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COLLECTION Identifier: RA.A/C739

Papers of Ada Louise Comstock, 1929-1974


Letters written by Ada Louise Comstock to Radcliffe alumnae and friends following her retirement from the Radcliffe Presidency.


  • Creation: 1929-1974

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Ada Louise Comstock 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.


3 folders

This collection is a composite collection consisting of letters written by Ada Louise Comstock (Mrs. Notestein) after her retirement from the Presidency of Radcliffe College, to Radcliffe alumnae and other Radcliffe friends. Whenever small quantities of letters of this type are given to the Radcliffe College Archives, they will be added to this collection.


Radcliffe College president (1923-1943), Comstock graduated from Smith College (1897), and received an A.M. from Columbia University (1899). She taught rhetoric and oratory at the University of Minnesota and became the first dean of women there in 1907. In 1912 she became the first dean of Smith College. Comstock was also the first president of the American Association of University Women and the only woman on the National Commission of Law Observance and Enforcement, served on the National Committee for Planned Parenthood, the Institute of Pacific Relations, and opposed discrimination against women in many areas of society. After retiring as president of Radcliffe, she married Wallace Notestein, professor at Yale, in 1943 and settled in New Haven.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: R81-10, R80-67

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Ada Comstock scrapbook, 1934 (SC 26), Ada Comstock records of the President of Radcliffe College, 1923-1943 (RG II, Series 2), Ada Comstock papers, 1818, 1887-1982 (MC 471; T-156), Ada Comstock diaries, 1902-1968 (M-126).

Processing Information

Processed: November 1985

By: Jane S. Knowles

Comstock, Ada Louise. Papers of Ada Louise Comstock, 1929-1974: A Finding Aid
Radcliffe College Archives, 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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