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COLLECTION Identifier: 79-M62--2007-M228

Papers of Margaret Harwood, 1902-1974


Correspondence, family papers, photographs, etc., of Margaret Harwood, astronomer.


  • Creation: 1902-1974

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 Harwood 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.


5.93 linear feet ((3 record cartons, 4 file boxes, 2 half file boxes, 2 card file boxes) plus 3 photograph folio folders, 1 oversize folder)

A preliminary inventory for this collection was created in 1987 and made available online using the accession number 79-M62--80-M91. This inventory was made up of folders #1-128, 1 carton of photographs, and 1 folio folder. Accessions 79-M187 (folder 130) and 2007-M228 (card file boxes 9-10 and photographs) were added to the collection in May 2016. Photographs in the preliminary inventory were re-processed with photographs from accession 2007-M228 at this time and numbered PD.1-PD.41.

The collection consists of Harwood family papers, the personal and professional correspondence of Margaret Harwood and the correspondence and papers concerning the Bibliography of Astronomical Literature, 1881-1898, a project of the International Astronomical Union. Also included are photographs of Harwood, her family, her trips, and of conferences, observatories and telescopes. There is some printed material concerning the history of Nantucket and of astronomy.

For folders #35-111, correspondence is arranged in alphabetical order by name of correspondent or title of organization. Surnames of correspondents are not always identified, but letters have been left in original letter box order.

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see SC 20.


Margaret Harwood, astronomer, was born in Littleton, Mass. in 1885 and received her AB from Radcliffe College in 1907 and her AM from the University of California in 1916. Employed at the Harvard Observatory after graduation, she also taught in private schools in Boston, Cambridge and Dedham. In 1912, Harwood was awarded the astronomical fellowship of the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Observatory, a small observatory built as a memorial to the first woman astronomer in America. In 1916, Harwood was appointed Director of the Observatory, eventually retiring in 1957. Her particular field was photometry, measuring variation in the light of stars and asteroids, especially that of the small planet Eros. A member of the American Astronomical Society and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Harwood corresponded with fellow astronomers and travelled widely in Europe and the United States. Harwood was a devoted Unitarian and worked in a voluntary capacity for the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the Nantucket School Committee and the Red Cross of Nantucket.

For full biographical details, see folders 1 and 2.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 79-M62, 79-M172, 80-M91. Accession numbers: 79-M187 and 2007-M228 were added in May 2016.

This collection was given to Schlesinger Library by Mrs. Robert Harwood in 1979; Peter Harwood, Harwood's nephew in 1979 and 1980; and Will Graves of the Harvard Observatory in December 2007.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Margaret Harwood Papers, 1891-1971 (SC 20).


  1. Carton 1: 1-34
  2. Carton 2: 35-85
  3. Carton 3: 86-128, 130-131, 132m-134m
  4. Box 4: PD.1-3, PD.5-6, PD.8, PD.11, PD.13-15, PD.17-18, PD.20, PD.22-33
  5. Box 5: PD.34, PD.36, PD.38-41
  6. Box 6: PD.4v, Pd.7v, PD.9v
  7. Box 7: PD.10v, PD.12v
  8. Box 8: PD.16v, PD.19v, PD.21v
  9. Card File Box 9: Notecards
  10. Card File Box 10: Notecards
  11. Box 11: 22, 45

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: November 1980

By: Jane S. Knowles

Updated and additional material added: May 2016

By: Lillianne Keaney


Harwood, Margaret, 1885-1979. Papers of Margaret Harwood, 1902-1974: 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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