Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: 71-102--72-76

Papers of Lena Madesin Phillips, 1881-1955


Correspondence, articles, speeches, etc., of Lena Madesin Phillips, lawyer, editor, and music teacher.


  • Creation: 1881-1955

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Lena Madesin Phillips 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.


12.96 linear feet (12 cartons, 1 folio box)

The collection has been arranged in roughly chronological order (by Lena Madesin Phillips's biographer or Marjory Lacy-Baker) which reduces the amount of work to be done with the collection. The collection should be divided into several series: Correspondence and Speeches and Writings. Determination of additional series will require a more in-depth study of the collection.

The papers reflect almost every aspect of Phillips's life, from family correspondence to minutes of meetings. There is frequent overlapping of interests because many of Phillips's friends and associates also belonged to more than one organization. The material has been arranged to aid in the writing of Phillip's biography. There is also included information collected by Phillips's biographer and Marjory Lacy-Baker to record as complete a portfolio of Phillips as possible. Additional papers of Phillips might be found at the offices of the National Federation Business & Professional Women, as they were given the option of also retaining papers of Phillips.


Lena Madesin Phillips. Born 1881, Nicholasville, Kentucky; daughter of William Henry and Alice (Shook) Phillips; graduated from Jessamine Institute, Nicholasville, 1899; student at Goucher College, 1899-1900 and 1901-1902; Peabody Conservatory of Music, 1901-1903; LL.B., New York University 1923. Teacher of music, organizer and director of music school, Nicholasville until 1916; admitted to Kentucky bar 1917, New Jersey bar, United States District Court (New Jersey) 1922, New York bar 1924; secretary of national board, Young Women's Christian Association, New York City 1918-1919; executive secretary, 1919-1922; National Federation Business & Professional Women Clubs, president, 1926-1929, honorary president until 1955; founder International Federation of Business and Professional Women and president 1930-1947, founder-president until 1955; practiced law New York City, 1924-1935; associate editor, Pictorial Review, 1935-1939; President, National Council of Women, 1931-1935, honorary president until 1955; Vice President, National Kindergarten Association; Vice President, International Council of Women, 1938-1947; consulting member, Consumers' Advisory Board under National Recovery Administration. Member, Federal Council of Churches (Advisory Committee on a Just and Durable Peace). Sent by the Office of War Information on a special mission to Sweden, 1943-1944. Member: American Bar Association; New York League of Business and Professional Women (honorary president); Southern Women's Educational Alliance, Kentucky Society; Consumer's Cooperative Association; Saturday's Children of New York City; Soroptimist Club; Chi Omega; Phi Delta Delta; Order of the Coif. Died, 1955, Marseilles, France.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 71-102, 72-39, 72-76

These papers were given by Lena Madesin Phillips and Lisa Sergio.


The following items have been removed from the collection and given to the Schlesinger Library book sale, January 1986:

  1. Life (overseas edition), July 23, 1945 and July 30, 1945
  2. Collier's, August 18, 1945
  3. Yank, September 14, 1945


  1. Carton 1: 1-18
  2. Carton 2: 19-50
  3. Carton 3: 51-82
  4. Carton 4: 83-116
  5. Carton 5: 117-155
  6. Carton 6: 156-190
  7. Carton 7: 191-227
  8. Carton 8: 228-244
  9. Carton 9: 245-266
  10. Carton 10: 267-273
  11. Carton 11: 274-281
  12. Carton 12: 282-289
  13. Folio Box 13: See Inventory

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: December 1978

By: Nora Murphy

Phillips, Lena Madesin, 1881-1955. Papers of Lena Madesin Phillips, 1881-1955: 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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA