Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 466

Papers of Ellen Hennessey Hughes, 1911-1981


Letters and scrapbooks of teacher, Ellen Hennessey Hughes.


  • 1911-1981

Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright 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.


1.46 linear feet ((3+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder, 4 photograph folders)
The papers are divided into two parts: a scrapbook and letters. The scrapbook includes photographs, letters from family members to both Hughes and Alfred C. Hughes, certificates, awards, postcards, speeches, greeting cards, invitations, programs, artwork from grandchildren, clippings re: Hughes and family members, etc. The scrapbook was dismantled, due to its fragile condition. Pages appear to have been shuffled together and were not in any apparent order; all pages contain undated material. Items were removed from the pages and kept in the order in which they were found. They are housed in folders and described by the page numbers on which they were found; page numbers were supplied by the processor. Annotated pages (probably by one of Hughes' children) were photocopied, as were clippings and other fragile material. The original pages were discarded. Loose material found in the scrapbook, including a genealogical chart, clippings, letters, and a draft of the History of the Boston Home and School Association, appears at the end of this section (#19).

The letters are mostly from daughter Dorothy Callahan and her children to Hughes from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The last folder of letters (#38) is mainly from son Ken, a Jesuit priest in Jamaica, to Hughes. These letters include information about the social conditions in Jamaica. Some letters in the last folder are from other individuals to Hughes.


Ellen Cecilia (Hennessey) Hughes was born on June 29, 1894, in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to Sarah Cecilia (Mulhern) Flynn and Richard Hennessey, an Irish immigrant. Hughes graduated from Boston Normal School in 1913 and taught in Boston schools for 10 years before her marriage to Alfred C. Hughes in 1923. They had four children: Dorothy, Marie, Alfred C., Jr., and Kenneth.

Hughes was active in school associations, serving as president of the Randall C. Morris Home and School Association (1941-1942), the Roslindale Home and School Association (1945-1946), and the city-wide Boston Home and School Association (1949). In 1952, she compiled and edited the History of the Boston Home and School Association while serving as president of the Boston Normal School and Teachers College Alumni/ae Association. After her husband's death in 1966, Hughes remained active in church-related associations, such as the Maria Fo Mission Circle, and was secretary for the Guild of the Holy Name in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Grandmother of 10 and great-grandmother of five, Ellen (Hennessey) Hughes died in 1986 and is buried in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 87-M54

These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library by Alfred C. Hughes, Jr., in March 1987.


  1. Box 1: 1-11
  2. Box 2: 12-19
  3. Box 3: 24-34
  4. Box 4: 35-38

Processing Information

Processed: February 2000

By: Abby Lester
Link to catalog
Hughes, Ellen Hennessey, 1894-1986. Papers of Ellen Hennessey Hughes, 1911-1981: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-8647