From Ohio History Central
Cercle des Conferences Francaises, translated as Circle of French Lectures, is a social organization for French immigrants in Cleveland, Ohio.
Typical of other Ohio cities, Cleveland has boasted a small French population for much of its history. By 1910, 494 French-born people resided in the city. Desiring to preserve their native culture and beliefs, in 1916, Cleveland's French residents established Cercle des Conferences Francaises. This organization consisted primarily of women who sought the camaraderie of other French women. Membership was open to both French and American women. Although Cleveland's French-born population never exceeded one thousand people, Cercle des Conferences Francaises still survives today. In 1990, Cercle des Conferences Francaises donated over four hundred books, tapes, and videos in French to Notre Dame College in Cleveland. These materials constitute the Cercle des Conferences Francaises de Cleveland Collection. Like numerous other national groups, the French came to Ohio seeking a better life, but as Cercle des Conferences Francaises illustrates, they still continued many of their native practices.
- Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, eds. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.