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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 521

Records of the Speculating Squirrels, 1958-2001


Records of the Speculating Squirrels, a women's investment club in Brookline, Massachusetts.


  • 1958-2001

Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the records of the Speculating Squirrels 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.


5.46 linear feet (8 + 1/2 file boxes, 2 folio boxes)

The collection contains by-laws, minutes, notes, reports, membership lists, bank statements, broker statements, correspondence, financial statements, ledgers, portfolio evaluations, tax returns, etc. Most materials were unfoldered and those in folders or envelopes were vaguely labeled, often identified only by year. There were, however, distinct record groups, which the archivist used to create folder headings. The minutes were isolated and identified by the Speculating Squirrels, but all other groupings and folder titles were created by the archivist. The collection is arranged in two series.

Series I, Internal Administrative, 1958-1999 (#1.1-3.7), contains by-laws, minutes, notes, reports, membership lists, etc., created by the Speculating Squirrels for internal use. Minutes include accounts of meetings and social activities of the club, including a group trip to New York City, parties at members houses, and accounts of trips taken by members. The investment committee and the treasurer reported to the group at the monthly meetings and occasionally copies of their reports are included in the minutes. A more complete account of committee and officer duties can be found in the records of the investment committee, presidents, and treasurers. After 1982, the investment committee records can be found only in the minutes. There are no minutes from 1975-1978. Materials are arranged with the by-laws first, followed by the minutes, investment committee records, presidents' records, and treasurers' records.

Series II, Financial Records, 1958-2001 (#3.8-9.5, 10FB.1-11FB.7), contains bank statements, broker statements, correspondence, financial statements, ledgers, portfolio evaluations, tax returns, etc., documenting the Speculating Squirrels' stock transactions, the amount of money they invested, and their profits and losses. Additional, less detailed, information concerning the group's finances can be found in Series I. Materials are arranged alphabetically.


The Speculating Squirrels was founded on November 10, 1958. The original fifteen members were Sally Baldwin, Julia Bigelow, Dorothy Bridges, Betty Caredis, Jean Dane, Lois Davis, Betsy Flory, Ruth Gerrity, Charlotte Harding, Anita Hovey, Peg Mabley, Kay Littlefield, Florence Rapalyea, Didi Seybolt, and Sally Wakeman.

Membership in the club was limited to fifteen, but early members agreed to reconsider if "a worthy person came up." There were three elected officers, president, secretary, and treasurer, each serving one year terms. Officers were elected from a pool of three candidates selected by a nominating committee consisting of three members appointed by the president. An investment committee of three members was also established to investigate suggested stocks and report to the group at the following meeting. Members of the investment committee rotated alphabetically every month, with the chairman serving two months. Meetings were held once a month over lunch. Each member made an initial investment of $100 and paid a monthly fee of $25, $20 to invest and $5 for lunch. Any leftover funds were put into a savings account to be used for entertainment.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2002-M60

These papers were given the Schlesinger Library by the Speculating Squirrels in April 2002.

Processing Information

Processed: March 2005

By: Johanna Carll

Speculating Squirrels (Club). Records of the Speculating Squirrels, 1958-2001: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from Mary and Michael Gellert

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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