Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: A/B174

Papers of Emily Greene Balch, 1915


Copy of an index of "civic organizations" in the Boston, Massachusetts, area, compiled by humanitarian and pacifist Emily Green Balch.


  • 1915


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. The papers created by Emily Greene Balch are in the public domain.

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


1 folder

Collection consists of a copy of "Index to Civic Organizations in Boston, 1915" compiled by Emily Greene Balch for the Central Council of Civic Organizations. The introduction to the index notes that it is "preliminary only," and "issued for the purpose of circulation among organizations and persons interested in civic activities." The index is arranged in ten broad categories: Civic Improvement, Birth and Homefinding, Immigration (and Race Problems), Education, Industry, Recreation, Government, Health, and Morality, with several subsections for each category. The original of index is in the Wellesley College Archives.


Emily Greene Balch was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, in 1867, the daughter of Francis V. and Ellen (Noyes) Balch. Her father was a lawyer and had served as secretary to United States senator Charles Sumner. She was a member of Bryn Mawr College's first graduating class in 1889. She continued her studies in Paris and Berlin, as well as at the University of Chicago and Harvard University, and also worked with Vida Scudder at Denison House in Boston. In 1896, she began teaching at Wellesley College, focusing on immigration, consumption, and the economic roles of women. In 1913, she was promoted from associate professor to professor of political economy and of political and social science. Wellesley College ended her contract in 1919.

Balch was involved in many humanitarian and civic organizations, including the first state commission on minimum wages for women, Henry Ford's International Committee on Mediation, and the Boston Women's Trade Union League. She supported the civil liberties of conscientious objectors during both world wars. In 1919, Balch played a key role in the founding of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, serving as the League's first international secretary-treasurer. She created branches of the League in over fifty countries and collaborated with the League of Nations on issues including immigration and disarmament. She remained a pacifist and a worker for social reform throughout her life, winning the 1946 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Balch died in 1961.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 83-M164

The papers of Emily Greene Balch were acquired by the Schlesinger Library from the Wellesley College Archives in 1983.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Letter of Emily Greene Balch, 8 March 1947, (A/B174a).

Processing Information

Processed: August 1983

By: Mary S. Neumann

Updated and additional information added January 2022

By: Susan Earle

With the assistance of Erin LaBove

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 Sibyl Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library and the 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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA