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COLLECTION Identifier: Gr 10

Clara Goldberg Schiffer print collection documenting working women, 1839-1994 (inclusive), 1851-1890 (bulk)

Overview

19th century prints of women's work in the United States and abroad.

Dates

  • 1839-1994
  • Majority of material found within 1851-1890

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

TERMS OF USE

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Radcliffe College makes no representation that it is the owner of the copyright in any part of this collection; permission to publish must be obtained from the owner(s) of the copyright (the author or her/his transferees, heirs, legatees, or literary executors.)

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

Extent

2.96 linear feet ((1/2 file box, 2 folio+ boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 3 oversize folders, 1 photograph folder, 1 folio+ folder of photographs)
This collection contains electrotype (some hand colored) and photomechanical prints, as well as engravings, photographs, clippings, pamphlets, and other miscellaneous material illustrating women at work in the United States and abroad in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection shows women's traditional spheres of work in domestic service, needlework, and agriculture; the development of their roles in commerce (from street markets to department stores); the limited occupations available to African American women in the South and to immigrants in the North; and the opportunities for women's professional advancement in teaching, medicine, and nursing. There are also illustrations of new openings for women as workers in government offices, telephone exchanges, and telegraph companies, and the employment of women in factories making clothing, munitions, textiles, tobacco, or watches, or processing food.

The collection illustrates not only the greater presence of women in the labor market, but also their sex-segregated jobs and exploitation in factories and sweatshops. Other aspects of the social history of women such as fashion, recreation, and sports are also shown.

The collection is arranged in two geographical and one miscellaneous series. In the first two series each print is designated by a folder and item number; in the third series items are grouped in numbered folders. There is an artist, subject, and occupation index at the end of this finding aid.

Series I, Prints of United States subjects (items #1-201), consists of electrotype and photomechanical illustrations of women's employment clipped from Gleason's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, Harper's Weekly, Harper's Bazar, Ballou's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, The London Illustrated News, other nineteenth century pictorial periodicals, and books. They are arranged alphabetically by subject or industry and illustrate women at work in agriculture, industry, commerce, domestic service, and the professions. Also interfiled alphabetically are topics unrelated to work, such as city and seascapes, fairs, slave auctions, suffrage, and depictions of immigrants and pioneers.

Series II, Prints of non-United States subjects (items #202-261), arranged alphabetically by country, shows the employment of women in France, Germany, and Great Britain in the 19th century with scattered examples of women's work in Ceylon, Costa Rica, India, Spain, and Switzerland.

Series III, Other formats (folders #27-35f+), includes the first issue of The Lowell Offering, pamphlets and catalogs about 20th century women printmakers and print exhibitions; clippings and pamphlets about women's occupations and women's field hockey and baseball; color reproductions of paintings showing women at work; a song in Yiddish memorializing the victims of the Triangle Shirt-Waist Co. fire; and photographs of women workers.

BIOGRAPHY

Clara (Goldberg) Schiffer (A.B. Radcliffe, 1932 and M.A. George Washington University, 1939) was a health program analyst for the United States Department of Health and Human Services and was concerned with occupational and environmental health and disease prevention. Earlier she had worked her way through college and spent summers working in factories and thus developed an interest in the history of women and work. Over the years, Schiffer assembled a large collection of prints culled from the 19th century pictorial press, which provided compelling documentation of women's labor history.

The era of pictorial journalism began with the publication of the London Illustrated News in England (1842) and Gleason's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion (1851) in the United States. In the United States a brilliant group of wood-engravers were employed by magazines to translate artists' sketches (by Winslow Homer et al.) into engravings on blocks of boxwood. For large illustrations, composite blocks were put together and then electrotypes capable of withstanding thousands of printings were produced from the blocks. The whole industry disappeared in the 1880s with the introduction of photomechanically produced blocks.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 88-M191, 90-M114, 90-M188, 91-M125, 93-M171, 94-M126, 96-M150, 97-M152

This collection was assembled by Clara Goldberg Schiffer and given to the Schlesinger Library between November 1988 and November 1997.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Clara Goldberg Schiffer print collection documenting working women, 1861-1999 (Gr-11.).

CONTAINER LIST

  1. Folio+ Box 1: #1-55, 57-68, 70-74, 76-90, 92-114
  2. Folio+ Box 2: #115-189, 191-193, 195-199, 201-221, 223-232, 234-252, 254-259, 261
  3. Box 3: Folders 27-29, 31, 32f+, 33f
INDEX Index of artists, places, subjects, and occupations
INDEX
  1. Abbey, Edwin Austin 171
  2. Actresses 26
  3. Ammunition 48-49, 201, 207, 221, 261
  4. Amusement parks 147
  5. Afro-Americans 1 3-7, 10, 15-16, 68, 70, 79, 93, 98, 100-102, 104, 163-164, 186-188, folder 29
  6. Agriculture 2-19, 85, 203-204, 212-218
  7. Archery 150
  8. Art 20-25, 254
  9. Artists 20-25, 200o, 254
  10. Arts 26-29, 254
  11. Asylums 140
  12. Ballerinas 27
  13. Baseball folder 30o
  14. Bicycles 152
  15. Bookkeepers 206
  16. Boston (Mass.) 36-41, 96-97, 142, 174, 182
  17. Brushmaking 50
  18. Buttermaking 2
  19. Cannery workers 80, 210-211, 239
  20. Ceylon 203
  21. Charities 30-35, 141, 155, 170
  22. Charleston (S.C.) 98, 102, 187
  23. Child care workers see Servants and Teachers
  24. Church, Frederick S. (Frederick Stuart) 122
  25. Cigarettes 66-69
  26. Cityscapes 13, 36-46
  27. Civil War (1861-1865) 74-76, 132-134
  28. Clergy 47
  29. Clothing industry 115-131, 182, 184-185, 200o, 209, 215-217, 232-233
  30. Coal mining, see Mining
  31. Costa Rica 204
  32. Cotton growing--Southern States 3-7, folder 35f+
  33. Cotton mills 60-63, 65, 229-231
  34. Cotton (textile) 60-63, 65, 229-231
  35. Cranberry bogs 8-9
  36. Cushman, Charlotte 26
  37. Davis, Theodore R. 19, 49, 157
  38. De Thulstrup, Thure 14, 29, 43
  39. Dressmakers 58-59, 115-131
  40. Excursions 144, 146-152
  41. Exhibitions 63, 65, 73, 78, 118, 229
  42. Factories 48-73, 209, 221-235
  43. Fairs 74-78
  44. Farming 10-13, 17-19, 203-204, 217-218
  45. Fashion 124-129
  46. Field hockey folder 29
  47. Firefighting 238
  48. Firewood 16
  49. Fishing 79-80, 210-211, 239-240, folder 35f+
  50. Forests 14-16
  51. France 205-211
  52. Frenzeny, Paul 114, 137, 196, 204, 211
  53. Fruit farms 17-19, 218-219, folder 35f+
  54. Germany 212-217
  55. Government employees 81-88, folder 34
  56. Great Britain 218-252
  57. Homer, Winslow 11, 34, 36-40, 48, 61-62, 74-76, 90, 96-97, 166
  58. Hotels 157
  59. Immigrants 89-92, 137
  60. India 256
  61. Industrial expositions 63, 65, 73, 78, 118
  62. Italy 257
  63. Kendrick, Charles 148
  64. Knitting 32, 119
  65. Laundresses 141, 255
  66. Lebanon 2
  67. Libraries 69o, 94
  68. Limmer, Emil 213
  69. Linen 64, 233o
  70. Lowell Offering, folder 27
  71. Macquoid, Percy 232, 239
  72. Mail carriers 201
  73. Market places 95-111, 240-242, 255
  74. Matches 52, 224-226
  75. Medicine 112-113, folder 34
  76. Milliners 200o, 205, 228
  77. Mining 114, 243-245
  78. Musicians 28-29, 214, 255
  79. Needleworking 33-34, 58-59, 115-131, 200o, 202, 215-217, 232, 246
  80. New York (N.Y.) 32-34, 42-43, 66, 74-77, 99, 101, 103, 108-113, 124o, 131, 139-140, 144, 148, 150-151, 157, 159, 166-167, 171-172, 183, 190o-191, 193, 195
  81. Nursing 132-136, 140, 247-249, 254, folder 34
  82. Orchards 17
  83. Orphanages 34, 162
  84. Papermaking 53-54, 200o
  85. Perfume 208
  86. Philadelphia (Pa.) 44-46, 78, 81
  87. Physicians 112-113
  88. Pilots 201
  89. Pioneers 137
  90. Plantations 3-7
  91. Policewomen 201
  92. Post offices 42, 74
  93. Printers (people) 138, 200o, 250
  94. Printing 138, 250
  95. Prisons 139, 141-143
  96. Prostitutes 141
  97. Railroads 201, folder 35f+
  98. Ray, Frederic E. 57
  99. Reading 32
  100. Recreation 144-153
  101. Reformatories 141-142
  102. Restaurants 154-160
  103. Rogers, W. A. (William Allen) 13, 25, 109
  104. Saloons 154, 158-160
  105. Seashores 149-150, 179
  106. Servants 161, 175-181
  107. Sheppard, William Ludwell 10, 16, 70
  108. Silk manufacture 209, 235, 258
  109. Skaters 151
  110. Slave auctions 186-188
  111. Small, Frank O. 153
  112. Smedley, W. T. (William Thomas) 257
  113. Spain 259-260o
  114. Sports 150-152, folders 29-30o
  115. Stone, M. L. 176
  116. Stores 182-185, 230
  117. Strikes 196, 198-199
  118. Suffrage 189, folder 34
  119. Sweatshops 124o, 131
  120. Swedish immigrants 89, 92
  121. Switzerland 261
  122. Taylor, James E. 5, 145, 164
  123. Teachers 161-174, 251
  124. Telegraph offices 190o-191, 252
  125. Telephone exchanges 192-194o, 213, 253o
  126. Temperance 194o
  127. Textile workers 51, 55-56o, 60-65, 229-231, 234, 236
  128. Textiles 51, 55-56o, 60-65, 229-236
  129. Theater 26, 29
  130. Tobacco 66-70
  131. Trade unions 195-199
  132. United States Sanitary Commission 74-76, 132-134
  133. Washington (D.C.) 82-84, 104-105, 107, 132-133
  134. Watchmaking 71-73
  135. Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph) 77, 82, 91o, 100, 103, 163, 165
  136. Woodhull, Victoria Claflin 189
  137. Working class--Songs and music folder 33f

Processing Information

Processed: March 1998

By: Jane S. Knowles
Link to catalog
Title
Schiffer, Clara Goldberg, collector. Clara Goldberg Schiffer print collection documenting working women, 1839-1994 (inclusive), 1851-1890 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
EAD ID
sch00272

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.

Contact:
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Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-8647