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COLLECTION Identifier: A-122

Papers of Mary Ellicott Arnold, 1908-1958


Correspondence, business reports, photographs, and other papers, of Mary Ellicott Arnold, farmer and advocate of consumer cooperatives.


  • 1908-1958


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Ellicott Arnold 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.


1.46 linear feet (3+1/2 file boxes)
The papers of Mary Ellicott Arnold contain correspondence, reports, photographs, and published articles documenting Arnold and Mabel Reed's interest in the field of consumer cooperation, including the building of cooperative housing units for Nova Scotia miners and Newfoundland fishermen and the establishment of consumer cooperatives for the lobster fishermen along the Maine Coast.


Mary Ellicott Arnold was born April 23, 1876, in Staten Island, New York. At a young age, she moved to Somerville, New Jersey, where she began a friendship with Mabel Reed (1876-1962), who would become her lifelong companion and colleague. Arnold studied business at Drexel Institute and agriculture at Cornell University. Following an unsuccessful farming venture, she and Reed worked with the Korak Indians as employees of the United States Indian Bureau, an experience that formed the basis of their memoir In the Land of the Grasshopper Song. In the following decades, Arnold and Reed were involved in a number of cooperative ventures including cafeterias and apartment buildings in New York, miners' housing in Nova Scotia, fishermen's housing in Newfoundland, and credit unions among lobstermen in Maine. Arnold died May 23, 1968.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 337, 374, 427, 469, 729

Gift of Mary Ellicott Arnold, Ridley Creek Road, Moylan, Pennsylvania. Received 1961-1962, 1964.


Published material received with the collection and cataloged separately:
  1. Arnold, Mary Ellicott. The story of Tompkinsville. The Cooperative League, N.Y., 1940.
  2. Arnold, Mary Ellicott and Mabel Reed. In the land of the grasshopper song. Vantage Press, N.Y., 1957.
  3. Coady, M.M. Masters of their own destiny. Harpers and Brothers Publishers, N.Y., 1939.
  4. Fowler, Bertram B. The Lord helps those... The Vanguard Press, N.Y., 1938.


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-11, Volume 1a-Volume 1b, Volume 3a-Volume 3c
  2. Box 2: Folders 12-22, Volume 4, Volume 6a-Volume 6c
  3. Box 3: Volume 2a-Volume 2e, Volume 5a-Volume 5b, Volume 7
  4. Box 4: Volume 8a-Volume 8b
Arnold, Mary Ellicott. Papers of Mary Ellicott Arnold, 1908-1958: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

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