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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 337

Papers of Margaret Divver, 1943-1977


Correspondence, articles, speeches, etc., of Margaret Divver, first woman vice-president of John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co.


  • Creation: 1943-1977

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Margaret Divver 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.


1.25 linear feet ((3 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder)

This collection consists primarily of clippings that provide biographical information about Margaret Divver, and letters of congratulation on her various achievements. Most of the clippings, letters, and post-cards were removed from six scrapbooks; the correspondence is in #1-6, while #7 and 8 contain other correspondence. #9 and 10 contain clippings, some from the scrapbooks and some found loose; they are arranged chronologically. #11 contains photographs of Divver; some of those that appear in the clippings have the corresponding articles attached. #12-19 contain Divver's speeches, and #20v-28v are reports of discussions (some chaired by Divver) on women's role in the job market.


Margaret Divver was born on September 7, 1902, the daughter of Neil A. and Margaret (Keefe) Divver. After graduation from St. Mary's Convent School in Melrose, Massachusetts, she became a free-lance ghost writer and a reporter for a financial newspaper (1928-1932). She started working for the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1932 as a copywriter. She became assistant advertising manager (1944-1946); associate advertising manager (1946-1948); and advertising manager (1948-1958). In 1958, she became the first woman vice-president of John Hancock, a post she held until her retirement in 1966.

Divver was also a member of the Boston Citizens Traffic Safety Committee (1958), the Boston City Planning Board (1956), director of the Boston Chapter of the American Red Cross (1958), director/chairman of the Public Relations Committee on Women in the Services (1954-1958). She was on the advisory board of the Simmons College School of Business; a member of the Advertising Federation of America, and a director, 1956-1957; and a member of the Advertising Club of Boston and director, 1944-1945. From 1956 to 1960 she was a member of the Examining Committee of the Boston Public Library. Divver was chosen as the Advertising Woman of the Year by the Advertising Federation of America and the Boston Business Woman of the Year by the Boston Business and Professional Women's Club, both in 1953.

Divver never married. She had five brothers and two sisters.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 82-M29

This collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by Margaret Divver's nephew, William G. Faucher, Jr., in February 1982.


  1. Box 1: 1-7
  2. Box 2: 8-13
  3. Box 3: 14-28v

Processing Information

Processed: April 1982

By: Christine C. Marshall

Divver, Margaret, 1902-1982. Papers of Margaret Divver, 1943-1977: 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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