COLLECTION GUIDES

1908-1989

Guide to the Collection

Restrictions on Access

The Jacoby Club records are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the records of the Jacoby Club of Boston, who provided social services to alcoholics and indigent older men. The collection includes administrative and financial records of the club from 1926-1979, and some printed material by and about the work of Ernest Jacoby and the origins and work of the club.

Historical Sketch

The Jacoby Club of Boston began in 1908 as part of the Emmanuel Movement associated with Dr. Elwood Worcester of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Newbury Street in Boston. Along with his church duties, Worcester practiced a method of spiritual healing of a variety of neurotic disorders. Worcester felt that alcoholics could be helped by redirecting their attention away from their problems to a life of service and spirituality. Prayer, group support and self-help were important components of this treatment. Ernest Jacoby, a Boston businessman born in England, began working with alcoholics at Emmanuel Church in 1908. Jacoby gathered around him group leaders who included men who were themselves alcoholics.

The Jacoby Club split with the Emmanuel movement in 1913 and set up its own clubhouse. Its motto was, "A club for men to help themselves by helping others." There were no membership dues and the only requirement for membership was "an expressed desire to lead an honorable life and a willingness to aid other men less fortunate."

The Jacoby Club provided social services to alcoholics and indigent older men. Its Saturday night meetings included food, entertainment and lectures on topics of current interest. Ernest Jacoby died in 1934. In 1941 the Jacoby Club moved part of its services to the Ellis Memorial Center on Chandler Street in Boston. The alcoholic programs continued in the Jacoby Club rooms as meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. In 1987 the Jacoby Club terminated its programs and turned its funds over to the Boston Foundation, an organization that continues to support the same type of services offered by the Club.

Sources

McCarthy, K. "Early Alcoholism Treatment: The Emmanuel Movement and Richard Peabody." Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Vol. 45, No. 1, 1984.

The Boston "Anti-Suicide Club" Has Its Twenty-Fifth Birthday," The Boston Transcript, 20 April 1935.

Collection Description

The collection is housed in 4 cartons. It includes the records of the Jacoby Club from 1926 to 1989, including by-laws, minutes of meetings, and yearly business records of the Club; subject files including correspondence and pamphlets on the Emmanuel Movement and Alcoholics Anonymous; financial records; and printed items by or about the Jacoby Club. The collection also includes items that belonged to Ernest Jacoby, dated 1917, and a scrapbook of clippings and invitations, 1908-1954.

The Jacoby Club records contain information on the activities of an early self-help group for alcoholics. Because of the Jacoby Club's desire for little publicity it is less well-known than the earlier (1840's) Washingtonian Movement or the present Alcoholics Anonymous programs of "alcoholics helping alcoholics."

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ernest Jacoby (the son of the founder), 1984, with later additions, including the 1990 gift of club by-laws, minutes, and state financial reports.

Restrictions on Access

The Jacoby Club records are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.

Restrictions on Use

The Jacoby Club records contain correspondence and other materials created by individuals who had no voice in the disposition of the collection. The Massachusetts Historical Society does not claim ownership to the literary rights (copyright) of letters and manuscripts written by individuals in this collection. The Massachusetts Historical Society cannot give permission to publish or quote from documents by individuals for whom it does not hold copyright. Use of these materials does not imply permission to publish. It is the sole responsibility of the researcher to obtain formal permission from the owners of the literary rights (copyright) to publish or quote from documents in this collection.

All reproductions, including photocopies and digital photographs, are for personal use only. Personal use copies may not be donated or deposited in other libraries or archives, or made available to other researchers without the written permission of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Correspondence and records, 1926-1979

Carton 1SH 15E5 R
Correspondence and records, 1926-1941 (Includes by-laws; minutes of meetings, 1944-1988; and correspondence concerning the termination of the Jacoby Club)
Carton 2SH 15E6 S
Correspondence and records, 1952-1972
Carton 3SH 15E7 T
Correspondence and records, 1973-1979

Subject Files

Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 1
"Emmanuel Movement History."Religion and Medicine, 1908.
Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 2
Boston Emergency Relief Campaign, 1933-1935
Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 3
Public Welfare annual report, 1939
Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 4
Alcoholics Anonymous correspondence, 1940-1942
Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 5
L.M. Hatlestad correspondence, 1941-1942
Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 6
Response to Erick Kling newspaper article, 1941
Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 7
Miscellaneous alcoholism literature, 1941-1945
Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 8
Boston Council of Social Agencies, 1941-1942
Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 9
D.H. McPheters pension, 1945-1960
Carton 3SH 15E7 TFolder 10
Directory of Foundations in Massachusetts, 1965
Carton 3SH 15E7 T
Massachusetts Division of Public Charities reports, 1980-1989

Bound Volumes

Carton 3SH 15E7 TVol. 1
Bank account journal, 1938-1955, 200 p.
Carton 3SH 15E7 TVol. 2
Petty cash journal, 1914-1923, 200 p.
Carton 3SH 15E7 TVol. 3
Petty cash journal, 1926-1937, 140 p.
Carton 4SH 15E8 UVol. 4
Petty cash journal, 1937-1942, 152 p.
Carton 4SH 15E8 UVol. 5
Jacoby Club By Laws, Charter, and Agreement of Association, 20 p.
Carton 4SH 15E8 UVol. 6
Cancelled bank checks, 1949-1953

Jacoby Club historical materials

Carton 4SH 15E8 U
Jacoby Club pamphlets (109 items).

Titles include: The Jacoby Club by a Member, What It Is and What It Is Meant to Be; The Story of the Lonesome Man; Fighting for Others; and Lonesome Trail.

Carton 4SH 15E8 U
Photograph and memorabilia of Ernest Jacoby, 1917.
Carton 4SH 15E8 U
Scrapbook of the Jacoby Club, 1908-1954.

Preferred Citation

Jacoby Club records, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Jacoby, Ernest, d.1934.
Worcester, Elwood, 1862-1940.

Organizations:

Alcoholics Anonymous.
Ellis Memorial Center.

Subjects:

Alcoholics -- Rehabilitation -- Massachusetts.
Emmanuel movement.
Clubs -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
Charities -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
Scrapbooks.