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COLLECTION Identifier: A/S693

Shirley Camper Soman collection on Alice Hamilton, 1865-1969 (inclusive), 1921-1969 (bulk)


Photographs, correspondence, and other materials regarding Alice Hamilton collected by child advocate Shirley Camper Soman.


  • 1865-1969
  • Majority of material found within 1921-1969

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Shirley Camper Soman 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.


1 folder

Collection consists of materials related to Alice Hamilton collected by Shirley Camper Soman. It contains photographs, including Hamilton with fellow recipients of the American Public Health Association's Lasker award; a New York Times article on Hamilton's 100th birthday; Hamilton's passport with stamps denoting travel to France, Italy, Switzerland, and other countries; a two-page list of names, ages, and parents of "some children taken from Arkansas to Illinois," written in early 1865 by a Reverend Springer; and correspondence regarding a visit Soman and her daughter paid to Hamilton in 1969 with the goal of gathering information for a book on the history of social welfare Soman was writing. Among the correspondence is a letter from Hamilton's sister Margaret to Soman, noting that some days Hamilton is "active in her mind" and on other occasions sleeps all day.


A physician who was the first woman appointed to the faculty at Harvard University, Alice Hamilton also worked as a resident researcher at Hull House, a researcher of industrial poisons for the United States Department of Labor, and a member of the League of Nations Health Organization and of President Hoover's Committee on Social Trends. For further information see Notable American Women, The Modern Period; Hamilton's autobiography, Exploring the Dangerous Trades (Little, Brown, 1942); and Barbara Sicherman, Alice Hamilton: A Life in Letters (Harvard University Press, 1984). Shirley Camper Soman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1922. A social worker and child advocate, she published three books on children and childcare. Soman died in 2013.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2021-M185

The Shirley Camper Soman collection on Alice Hamilton was given to the Schlesinger Library by her daughter, Frances Camper, in November 2021.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Alice Hamilton, 1909-1987 (inclusive), 1909-1965 (bulk) (A-22 ), Papers of Alice Hamilton, 1942-1968 (A/H217), Papers of Alice Hamilton, 1915 (A/H217a), and Letters to Effie B. Collins from Alice Hamilton, 1919-1960s (A/C712).

Processing Information

Processed: January 2022

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 Sybil Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library and 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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