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COLLECTION Identifier: A-22; Vt-34

Papers of Alice Hamilton, 1909-1987 (inclusive), 1909-1965 (bulk)

Correspondence, articles, speeches, notes, clippings, and awards of physician Alice Hamilton.

Dates

  • 1909-1987
  • Majority of material found within 1909-1965

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

TERMS OF USE

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. The donor has transferred any copyright she held in these papers to Radcliffe College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in some papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the director of the Schlesinger Library before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.

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

Extent

1.9 linear feet ((4+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 oversize folder, 1 videotape)

As indicated above, these papers came to the Schlesinger Library in two separate installments. The first was divided, probably by the processor, into three sections: biographical papers, "Non-Medical Controversies," and "Medical Investigations and Controversies." Published items were individually numbered, with folder titles giving only the numbers of the items they contained. The 1971 accession, consisting of Hamilton papers temporarily in the possession of her colleague Harriet Hardy, was simply added on to the original collection. In reprocessing the papers, the processor has integrated the two accessions, maintaining the distinction between medical and non-medical papers, but adding other categories to make a total of four series.

Series I, Biographical material, consists of articles about Hamilton; letters written by Hamilton to her family from Europe, awards (with relevant clippings); and papers (correspondence, including letters of appointment, speeches, notes, clippings) concerning four of her professional appointments and affiliations (arranged in chronological order by content): Harvard professorship, Hull House, Health Committee of the League of Nations, and Herbert Hoover's President's Research Committee on Social Trends. This series also contains a few items of uncertain date or authorship.

Series II, Political and civil liberties issues, documents Hamilton's interests or involvement in such political issues as the Equal Rights Amendment, the position of the Catholic Church on conscientious objection to military service, United States diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, and the trials of Sacco and Vanzetti and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. The series consists mainly of correspondence, clippings, letters to the editor, speeches, and includes letters from Albert Einstein (#13 and #21), Felix Frankfurter (#18, 20, 23) and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (#21).

Series III, Speeches and writings, contains published articles by Hamilton in non-medical subjects, dealing with political and social conditions in Germany in the 1920's and 1930's; autobiographical articles; correspondence about and reviews of her autobiography; and speeches on non-medical. subjects Hamilton gave at secondary schools. Hamilton's speeches and writings also appear in other series, with papers to which they pertain (e.g., re: Jane Addams's death, in #6 and Sacco and Vanzetti in #14).

Series IV, Medical and professional papers, is the largest series in the collection, and contains correspondence, notes, speeches, articles and reviews of publications, by Hamilton and by others. For the most part, these materials have been arranged according to the chemicals whose structure or effects they describe. Papers concerning simple chemicals have usually been filed with papers dealing with their derivatives or compounds, while papers concerning chemicals that are chemically related and used in the same industry are filed together (e.g., #39-43 concern benzene, aniline and diphenyl, all used in the manufacture of dyes). In other cases, materials have been combined because they deal with a specific factory, company, industry, disease or group of people affected by a chemical or a labor practice. Some folders deal with specific controversies stemming from industry protests of Hamilton's statements concerning the effects of a material or chemical employed by the industry. With the exception of #81-84 (which deal with various substances and industries and have been placed at the end of the series), the series is arranged chronologically according to the first item in a folder or group of folders.

BIOGRAPHY

Following is a chronology of Alice Hamilton's life and work. For further information, see Notable American Women: The Modern Period and Hamilton's autobiography, Exploring the Dangerous Trades (Boston: Little, Brown, 1942). See also Hamilton family papers (MC 278), available on microfilm (M-24).

  • 1869-1886Born in New York city; raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • 1886-1888Attends Miss Porter's School, Farmington, Connecticut
  • 1893 Earns M.D. from University of Michigan; interns at Northwestern Hospital for Women and Children, Minneapolis
  • 1893-1894 Interns at New England Hospital for Women and Children, Boston
  • 1895 Works in bacteriology laboratory, University of Michigan
  • 1895-1897Does postgraduate study in bacteriology and pathology in Germany
  • 1897 Postgraduate study at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore Appointed professor of pathology at the Woman's Medical School of Northwestern University Becomes resident and active member of Hull House
  • 1902-1910 Works as bacteriologist at Memorial Institute for Infectious Diseases, Chicago Investigates typhoid epidemic and drug traffic in Chicago
  • 1903 Studies at Pasteur Institute, Paris
  • 1907- Studies industrial diseases on her own
  • 1908 Appointed to the Illinois Commission on Occupational Diseases
  • 1910 Appointed supervisor of the Illinois Commission on Occupational Diseases, concentrating on lead poisoning
  • 1911-1912 Appointed special investigator for United States Department of Labor; investigates lead
  • 1913-1919 Works for Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor; investigates rubber, munitions, other industries
  • 1915 Delegate to first International Congress of Women (The Hague) Visits German-occupied BelgiumTravels to war capitals and discusses Congress's peace proposal
  • 1918 Appointed Assistant Professor of Industrial Medicine, Harvard Medical School (after 1928, Harvard School of Public Health), Harvard's first woman professor
  • 1919 Attends second International Congress of Women (Zurich) Visits Germany to investigate postwar famine
  • 1923-1933 Consultant to General Electric
  • 1924 Reviews industrial hygiene in U.S.S.R.
  • 1924-1930 Serves two consecutive terms on Health Committee of League of Nations
  • 1925Publishes Industrial Poisons in the United States
  • 1930-1932Member, Herbert Hoover's President's Research Committee on Social Trends
  • 1933Travels in Nazi Germany
  • 1934Publishes Industrial Toxicology
  • 1935 Retires from Harvard, moves to Hadlyme, Connecticut with sister Margaret and Clara LandsbergConsultant to Labor Department's Division of Labor Standards
  • 1937-38Conducts field study of conditions in viscose rayon industry for Division of Labor Standards
  • 1943Publishes autobiography, Exploring the Dangerous Trades
  • 1944-49President of National Consumers' League
  • 1949Publishes revised edition of Industrial Toxicology with Harriet Hardy
  • 1970Dies in Hadlyme at the age of 101
1869-1886
Born in New York city; raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana
1886-1888
Attends Miss Porter's School, Farmington, Connecticut
1893
Earns M.D. from University of Michigan; interns at Northwestern Hospital for Women and Children, Minneapolis
1893-1894
Interns at New England Hospital for Women and Children, Boston
1895
Works in bacteriology laboratory, University of Michigan
1895-1897
Does postgraduate study in bacteriology and pathology in Germany
1897
Postgraduate study at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore
Appointed professor of pathology at the Woman's Medical School of Northwestern University
Becomes resident and active member of Hull House
1902-1910
Works as bacteriologist at Memorial Institute for Infectious Diseases, Chicago
Investigates typhoid epidemic and drug traffic in Chicago
1903
Studies at Pasteur Institute, Paris
1907-
Studies industrial diseases on her own
1908
Appointed to the Illinois Commission on Occupational Diseases
1910
Appointed supervisor of the Illinois Commission on Occupational Diseases, concentrating on lead poisoning
1911-1912
Appointed special investigator for United States Department of Labor; investigates lead
1913-1919
Works for Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor; investigates rubber, munitions, other industries
1915
Delegate to first International Congress of Women (The Hague)
Visits German-occupied Belgium
Travels to war capitals and discusses Congress's peace proposal
1918
Appointed Assistant Professor of Industrial Medicine, Harvard Medical School (after 1928, Harvard School of Public Health), Harvard's first woman professor
1919
Attends second International Congress of Women (Zurich)
Visits Germany to investigate postwar famine
1923-1933
Consultant to General Electric
1924
Reviews industrial hygiene in U.S.S.R.
1924-1930
Serves two consecutive terms on Health Committee of League of Nations
1925
Publishes Industrial Poisons in the United States
1930-1932
Member, Herbert Hoover's President's Research Committee on Social Trends
1933
Travels in Nazi Germany
1934
Publishes Industrial Toxicology
1935
Retires from Harvard, moves to Hadlyme, Connecticut with sister Margaret and Clara Landsberg
Consultant to Labor Department's Division of Labor Standards
1937-38
Conducts field study of conditions in viscose rayon industry for Division of Labor Standards
1943
Publishes autobiography, Exploring the Dangerous Trades
1944-49
President of National Consumers' League
1949
Publishes revised edition of Industrial Toxicology with Harriet Hardy
1970
Dies in Hadlyme at the age of 101

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in four series:
  1. I. Biographical material
  2. II. Political and civil liberties issues
  3. III. Speeches and writings
  4. IV. Medical and professional papers

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 53-28, 70-lll, 88-M35

These papers of Alice Hamilton were given to the Schlesinger Library in May 1953 and September 1970 by Alice Hamilton. The videotape was a gift of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in March 1988.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Hamilton family papers, 1818-1974 (MC 278); Hamilton family papers, 1879-1947 (84-M210); and Hamilton family additional papers, 1850-1976 (83-M175).

Container list

  1. Box 1: 2-26
  2. Box 2: 27-41
  3. Box 3: 42-54
  4. Box 4: 55-77
  5. Box 5: 78-84

Processing Information

Processed: August 1983

By: Krystyna von Henneberg

Updated: April 2015

By: Anne Engelhart
Link to catalog
Title
Hamilton, Alice, 1869-1970. Papers of Alice Hamilton, 1909-1987 (inclusive), 1909-1965 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Sponsor
These papers were processed with a grant from Clara Goldberg Schiffer.
EAD ID
sch00031

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

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