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COLLECTION Identifier: A/P463h

Papers of Helen Guest Perry, 1950-2003


Cookbook, photographs, and biographical information of librarian Helen Guest Perry.


  • Creation: 1950-2003

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers of Helen Guest Perry is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. 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 folder

The collection includes a typed cookbook entitled "How to Fry an Egg," compiled by Helen Guest Perry's mother, Helen Harden Washburn, on the occasion of Perry's marriage; the cookbook includes recipes for soup, main courses, vegetables, sauces, and desserts. Also included are reminiscences about Perry, photographs (including of the interior of Perry's home, and of Perry posing with an unfinished painting of herself, of her wedding, and with Senator Ted Kennedy),a list of Perry's cookbooks, with favorite recipes noted, and an obituary and memorial reminiscences.


Helen Guest Perry was born in 1929, the daughter of Robert and Helen Harden Washburn. Known as "Guest" throughout her life, she graduated from Keuka College in 1950 and married Tom Perry the following year. They had three children: Sarah, Taft, and Perry. The founding librarian of the Houghton Mifflin Library, Perry was very active in numerous civic organizations in Charlestown, Massachusetts, including the Community Garden of Charlestown, the Charlestown Preservation Society, and Friends of City Square Park. She died in 2003.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2004-M96

The Papers of Helen Guest Perry were given to the Schlesinger Library by Christine Downing and the Children of Helen Guest Perry in 2004.

Processing Information

Processed: August 2004

By: Anne Engelhart

Updated and additional description added: November 2020

By: Susan Earle

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 possible by the Radcliffe Class of 1955 Manuscript Processing 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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