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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1089

Papers of Marjorie M. Whiteman, 1936-1982


Letters between Whiteman and Eleanor Roosevelt, and other Roosevelt material saved by Whiteman.


  • Creation: 1936-1982

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Marjorie M. Whiteman as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.21 linear feet (1 half file box)

These papers of Marjorie Whiteman primarily relate to her work and relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, and include correspondence, notes, clippings, and printed material. The collection consists mainly of letters Whiteman exchanged with Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as typed copies of Roosevelt's public remarks and clippings about Roosevelt. Also included are other letters and invitations received by Whiteman. Several letters between Whiteman and Roosevelt reveal their close working relationship, and Roosevelt's reliance on Whiteman's expertise on matters relating to international human rights matters and international law in general. Whiteman's letters to her family members about Roosevelt and an article she published about Roosevelt and human rights show her profound admiration for Roosevelt's public work and private persona. Collection is arranged chronologically.


Marjorie Millace Whiteman was born in Liberty Center, Ohio in 1898, the second of four daughters, to Margaret (Bonnell) and Herbert Lincoln Whiteman. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University (BA, 1920) and Yale University Law School (LLB, 1927, JD, 1928). Whiteman began working in the United States State Department in 1929, eventually becoming an international law advisor to 10 Secretaries of State. Whiteman participated in many Inter-American conferences, including the 1948 conference where the Organizations of American States charter was drafted. When the State Department was reorganized in 1949, Whiteman became the first Assistant Legal Adviser for American Republic Affairs.

Eleanor Roosevelt served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly beginning in December 1945; she was appointed first chairperson of the preliminary United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and her work with the United Nations lasted until 1952. Whiteman was assigned by the State Department to work with Roosevelt in 1945, and advised her on legal and diplomatic matters. In 1969, Whiteman published the 15-volume Digest of International Law. She died in 1986 in Ohio, in the house where she was born.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2020-M65

The papers of Marjorie M. Whiteman were acquired from Capitol Hill Books in August 2020.


Donors: Capitol Hill Books

Accession number: 2020-M65

Processed by: Jenny Gotwals

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library Books Department:

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt. You Learn by Living. New York: Harper. 1960.
  2. Eleanor Roosevelt. On My Own. New York: Harper. 1958.

Processing Information

Processed: August 2020

By: Jenny Gotwals

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Alice Jeanette Ward Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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