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COLLECTION Identifier: A/A236

Linda A. Adkins biography of Rosalie Edge, 1985


Biography of environmental activist Rosalie Edge written by Linda A. Adkins, a former student at Bridgewater State College.


  • 1985

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Linda A. Adkins, as well as copyright in other papers in the collection, may be held by the author, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

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


1 folder

The collection consists of a 13 page biographical account (typed) of Rosalie Edge.


Environmental activist Mabel Rosalie (Barrow) Edge was born in 1877 in New York City. She was educated in private schools and in her early 30s, married Charles Noel Edge, a British engineer in the shipping and railroad industries. The couple traveled in Europe for several years and during a visit to England, Edge was introduced to the British woman suffrage movement by Sybil Margaret Thomas. When the couple returned to New York in 1913, Edge joined the Equal Franchise Society and the New York State Woman Suffrage Party.

By the 1920s, Edge had also become active in wildlife preservation. She publicly denounced the killing and mounting of birds for study and published numerous articles on the preservation of bird species, including the impact of man-made toxins. In 1929 Edge launched a reform movement specifically aimed at the National Association of Audubon Societies (the National Audubon Society) for the fees they collected by sanctioning bird hunting in their natural habitats. She also formed the Emergency Conservation Committee and served as its president for thirty years. During her tenure, she took action against the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which offered bounties for killing birds of prey on the site then known as Hawk Mountain, situated on the Appalachian Trail. She later purchased the land and turned it into a bird sanctuary consisting of 1400 acres. Subsequent purchases of adjacent lands further expanded the sanctuary by an additional 2,600 acres. The site was eventually renamed Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Edge also launched national campaigns that led to the founding of Olympic National Park in Washington, DC (1938) and Kings Canyon National Park in California (1940).

In her later years Edge worked with organizations devoted to the preservation of forest and wildlife, including the Wilderness Society, the National Conservancy, and the Environmental Defense Fund. In October of 1962, after a long and public dispute, her achievements were publicly acknowledged by the National Audubon Society. Rosalie Edge died a month later and was buried in Wood Lawn Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. In 1965, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was designated a national landmark and is considered the world's oldest sanctuary for birds of prey.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 85-M218

The Linda A. Adkins biography of Rosalie Edge was given to the Schlesinger Library by Linda A. Adkins in 1986.

Processing Information

Processed: April 1988

By: Susan von Salis

Updated and additional description added: June 2021

By: Emilyn L. Brown

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

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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