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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 350

Diaries of Mary Augusta Carr Cumings, 1866-1880


Diaries of Mary Augusta Carr Cumings, mother and homemaker.


  • Creation: 1866-1880


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Augusta Carr Cumings 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.


.21 linear feet (1/2 file box)

Mary Augusta Carr Cumings wrote her diary entries in books at first called The Lady's Almanac, and beginning in 1879, Lady's Almanac and Note Book. These books include printed prescriptive literature (essays, poems, and the like) that advises how (and how not) to be a lady, and provide pages on which to record each day's activities.

Cumings's entries are infrequent and brief: she marked the onset of each menstrual period with an "X"; recorded callers; mentioned when she weaned each of her children, and noted their incoming teeth, their weight, illnesses, music lessons, and first days of school. In some years she wrote fairly extensively in the "Memoranda" section: in 1871 and 1872 she described her travels from Boston around New England and New York; in 1873 and 1876 she gave accounts of her children's bouts with scarlet fever (their symptoms, medications, and care given them); in 1876 she recorded recipes for silver polish, rice, bread, and so on. The 1876 Almanac is a special centennial edition, with short histories of the American Revolution and of the evolution of women's status since. The prescriptive literature of the last two volumes is devoted to specific topics: the 1879 volume to "Society," and the 1880 volume to "Brides and Weddings."


Born in 1837 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mary Augusta Carr Cumings lived in Boston, Massachusetts, later moving outside the city to Jamaica Plain, where she died in 1904.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 83-M81

These diaries were given to the Schlesinger Library in April 1983 by Louise (Perry) Harwood, granddaughter of Mary Augusta Carr Cumings (MACC) and Charles Bradley Cumings.

Processing Information

Processed: July 1983

By: Jeanne-Marie Mustoe

Cumings, Mary Augusta Carr, 1837-1904. Diaries of Mary Augusta Carr Cumings, 1866-1880: 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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