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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 212

Papers of Eugenie Homer Emerson and Marian Clarke Nichols, 1806-1953


Papers of Eugenie Homer Emerson and her niece, Marian Clarke Nichols, and other members of the Emerson and Nichols families.


  • Creation: 1806-1953

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Eugenie Homer Emerson and Marian Clarke Nichols as well as 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.


3.34 linear feet (8 boxes)

Eugenie Homer was born in 1854, the fourth of the five children of a well-to-do Boston family. She traveled extensively in Europe during her early twenties, describing her travels in letters to her family; during 1878-1879 she visited various cities with her sister and brother-in-law, Augusta St. Gaudens and Augustus St. Gaudens, the latter a well-known sculptor. In about 1890 she began to write from the family home in Roxbury to the Reverend Oliver Pomeroy Emerson (1845-1938) in Hawaii, describing visits with family and friends, plays, concerts, her work with a girls' club, the artists she met through Augustus St. Gaudens, and discussing the annexation of Hawaii. After her marriage to Oliver in 1896 she wrote to her family, especially to her mother, from Hawaii. In the correspondence with her sister Augusta and her cousin Mary Elizabeth Homer Emerson, much attention is devoted to health and illness. Also included in the papers of Eugenie Homer Emerson are letters to Eugenie from various family members; papers (1806-1867) of Sidney Homer; and correspondence and other papers of the Emerson family.

The papers of Marian Clarke Nichols (1873-1963), daughter of Elizabeth Fisher Homer and Arthur Howard Nichols, cover the period 1821-1953, and include her diaries while traveling in Europe in 1891 and again in 1893-1894; family correspondence and photographs; and papers and lantern slides on civil service reform. Marian Clarke Nichols was active in both the Women's Auxiliary of the Massachusetts Civil Service Reform Association and on the Committee on Civil Service Reform of the Massachusetts State Federation of Women's Clubs; she served the latter as secretary, 1909-1918, and chairman, 1918-1923. She was also active in the National Civil Service Reform League and collected addresses made to the League by well-known speakers. The Nichols-Shurtleff Family Collection (A-170) contains papers of Marian Clarke Nichols which complement those in this collection.


Eugenie Homer was born into a prominent Boston family and traveled in Europe (1878-1879), with her sister and brother-in-law, Augusta and Augustus St. Gaudens, the latter a sculptor. In 1896 she married Oliver Pomeroy Emerson (1845-1938), a minister, and went with him to Hawaii. Marian Clarke Nichols (1873-1953), niece of Emerson, was active in civil service reform nationally and especially in Massachusetts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 739

These papers were found in the home (on Mt. Vernon Street, Boston) of Rose Standish Nichols upon her death. Her nephew, Sidney N. Shurcliff, gave them, with her books, to the Bryn Mawr Booksale; Mr. and Mrs. Lyman H. Butterfield then separated the papers from the books and gave the former to the Schlesinger Library (then the Women's Archives) in April 1964.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see the Nichols-Shurtleff family Papers, 1780-1953 (A-170), and the Nichols-Shurtleff family Additional papers, 1758-2006 (MC 766).


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-11
  2. Box 2: Folders 12-19
  3. Box 3: Folders 20-28
  4. Box 4: Folders 29-31, Vols. 1-10
  5. Box 5: Folders 33-36, Vols. 11-18
  6. Box 6: Card file of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Massachusetts Civil Service Reform Association
  7. Box 7: Glass negatives and Lantern slides (D-14 - D-127)
  8. Box 8: 98 glass lantern slides (D-128 - D-225)

Processing Information

Processed: January 1975, March 1976

By: Nancy Wagner, Eva Moseley

Emerson, Eugenie Homer, 1854-1940. Papers of Eugenie Homer Emerson and Marian Clarke Nichols, 1806-1953: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women
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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