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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:776 1921-1925 F481

A. Lincoln Filene papers

Scope and Contents

Papers relating to certain non-business interests of Filene. Included are some materials on industrial relations and papers of the National Committee for a Department of Education, of which Filene was chairman.

Filene was particularly interested in educational issues and consequently was a member of the Executive Board of the National Committee for a Department of Education. The collection contains hundreds of letters (from 1920 to 1923) by and from women active on behalf of the effort to pass the Towner-Sterling bill to create a federal department of education. More than sixty of these letters are to or from Grace Hodges Bagley (1860-1944), an activist for social welfare and women's suffrage. Other letters are from lobbyists Charl Ormond Williams and Marian I. Parkhurst, public relations executive Mary Caroline Crawford, and executive secretaries Anna C. Somdal, Agatha O. Stewart, and Anna Bogue.

Material on women's professions includes: a number of women's resumes; budgets of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that list secretarial wages; letters from Lucinda W. Prince, Director of the Prince School of Education for Store Service in Boston; letters from Isabel Craig Bacon who worked for the Federal Board of Vocational Education; letters from the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, New York, regarding its School of Household Science and Arts. There are also some papers regarding saleswomen at Filene's, including a Floor Managers Manual from 1925 and a 1920 article entitled "Why Mary Smith Wants to Work at Filene's."


  • 1907-1929



2.5 linear feet (6 boxes, 1 volume)

Biographical / Historical

A. Lincoln Filene (1865-1957): merchant and civic leader. President, William Filene's Sons Company. Organized the Retail Research Association and the Associated Merchandising Corporation. Formed Federated Department Stores, 1929. A pioneer in applying principles of industrial relations and scientific management to retail stores.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Widener Library, February 1959.

Baker Library Special Collections Staff
December 2017
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections and Archives, Harvard Business School Repository

Baker Library Special Collections and Archives holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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