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COLLECTION Identifier: 83-M217--83-M271

Papers of Evelyn Goodenough Pitcher, 1926-1984


Correspondence, scrapbook, travel diaries, etc., of Evelyn Goodenough Pitcher, child development specialist.


  • Creation: 1926-1984

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Evelyn Goodenough Pitcher 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.


1.42 linear feet ((1 carton, 1 file box) plus 1 folio volume)

The papers consist mainly of correspondence between Evelyn Goodenough Pitcher and Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough covering their relationship from courtship through divorce. There are also letters to Pitcher from friends and to both of their children. A scrapbook contains articles co-written by Pitcher on her work at the Gesell Institute and there is also material about her work at Tufts. Four diaries are included: one that Pitcher kept at the age of eleven, and three chronicling her travels in Europe and Israel in 1950-1951. Some of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough's work is described in the correspondence and a biographical folder, and letters between him and a mistress are included.

Additional papers from the Eliot-Pearson School and Department of Child Study are available at the archives of Tufts University.


Evelyn Goodenough Pitcher was born to Bert and Edna (Jackson) Wiltshire on June 15, 1915, in Lansing, Ohio, and grew up in Pennsylvania. In 1937 she received her A.B. from Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and in 1939 her A. M. in English from Yale University. There she worked as research assistant to Dr. Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough (1893-1965), professor of the history of religion. He divorced his wife to marry Pitcher in 1941, and they had two children, Ursula and Daniel. Before their marriage, Pitcher had taught at several private schools, including the Gateway School in New Haven. Pitcher became interested in child development and earned a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from Yale in 1956. From 1951 to 1959 she taught and studied pre-school children at the Gesell Institute of Child Development in New Haven, then moved to Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, to direct the Eliot-Pearson School of Child Development. When the school became a Tufts department, she became its chair and a professor. In 1962 she divorced Erwin Ramsell Goodenough to marry Robert Pitcher, whose wife Lucile had been a trustee of the Eliot-Pearson School. Pitcher became professor emeritus at Tufts in 1980; she was awarded an honorary LL.D. by New England College in 1963 and a D.Litt. by Wilson College in 1991. Her publications include five books and numerous articles on child development. Pitcher died June 25, 2004.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 83-M217, 83-M271

The papers of Evelyn Goodenough Pitcher were given to the Schlesinger Library by Evelyn Goodenough Pitcher in September and December 1983.


  1. Carton 1: 1-53
  2. Box 2: 54-70

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: August 1984

By: Margaret Espy


Pitcher, Evelyn Goodenough. Papers of Evelyn Goodenough Pitcher, 1926-1984: 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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