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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 187

Papers of Caroline Phelps Stokes and Olivia Phelps Stokes, 1866-1927


Correspondence, photographs, travel journals, etc., of Caroline Phelps Stokes and Olivia Egleston Phelps Stokes, daughters from a wealthy and religious New York City family.


  • Creation: 1866-1927

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes 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.


.42 linear feet ((1 file box) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder)

The papers of Caroline Phelps Stokes and Olivia Phelps Stokes consist of letters of appreciation from individuals and institutions which benefitted from the sisters' generosity; letters and other documents associated with the Ansonia Library in Connecticut, built by the sisters in memory of their father, James Stokes, and maternal grandfather, Anson Greene Phelps; letters from Olivia to Caroline; and various writings of Caroline, including her travel journals upon which Travels of a Lady's Maid, published anonymously in 1908, was based.


Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes were sisters, born in New York City to wealthy, religiously zealous parents. They devoted their lives to Christian works through philanthropy, contributing to charitable, religious, and educational institutions, as well as to individuals in need. Caroline and Olivia were especially concerned with the problems of Black people, both in America and Africa, and gave generously to funds for schools and better housing. Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and Hampton Institute in Virginia were among the beneficiaries. Caroline bequeathed her estate to the establishment of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, to be used for improved housing, and education for minority students.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 1042

The papers of Caroline Phelps Stokes and Olivia Phelps Stokes were given to the Schlesinger Library in July 1966, by Bishop Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Caroline Phelps Stokes and Olivia Phelps Stokes, 1892-1927 (MC 188).

Processing Information

Processed: September 1973

By: Katherine Gray Kraft

Stokes, Caroline Phelps, 1854-1909. Papers of Caroline Phelps Stokes and Olivia Phelps Stokes, 1866-1927: 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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