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COLLECTION Identifier: A-3

Papers of Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, 1838-1920 (inclusive), 1838-1908 (bulk)


Diaries, correspondence, and other papers, of Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, educator and researcher.


  • Creation: 1838-1920
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1838-1908


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz 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.


2.5 linear feet ((6 file boxes) plus 1 supersize folder)

The papers of Elizabeth Cary Agassiz contain letters, diaries, 1877-1906, and other personal papers, including family letters of other Cary relatives. These papers were used by Lucy Paton, Agassiz's official biographer, and include material Paton acquired about Agassiz and her relatives, reviews of the biography, and letters of commendation.


Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, educator, was born into an upper class Boston family. She married the Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz in 1850. She reared his three children and traveled extensively with him. From 1855-1859, she ran the Agassiz school for girls, and in 1879, having been widowed in 1873, she became one of the seven Lady Managers of the Society for the Private Collegiate Instruction for Women (Harvard Annex).Elizabeth Cary Agassiz became the first President of the Society in 1882, and of Radcliffe College on its incorporation in 1894. Elizabeth Cary Agassiz resigned in 1900, and served as Honorary President until 1903. By her tact and her fund-raising abilities, she nurtured the college and insured its continuity.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 51-79

Gift of the estate of Lucy Paton. Received: November, 1951.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz Papers, 1884-1959 (SC 4); Records of Radcliffe College President Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, 1879-1978 (SC 99); Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz Papers, 1859-1879 (A/A262); Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz Letter, 1898 March 30 (A/A262a); Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz Letters, 1891, 1907 (A/A262b); Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz Letters, undated (A/A262c); Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz Letter, 1868 October 21 (A/A262d); Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz Postcards, 1905-1908 (A/A262e); Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz Letter, undated (A/A262f).


  1. Box 1: Volume 1 - Volume 6
  2. Box 2: Volume 7 - Volume 11
  3. Box 3: Volume 12 - Volume 16
  4. Box 4: Volume 17 - Volume 18; Folders 1-12
  5. Box 5: Folders 13-22
  6. Box 6: Folders 24-33, 35-39
Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, 1822-1907. Papers of Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, 1838-1920 (inclusive), 1838-1908 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
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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