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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 288

Papers of Anna Lord Strauss, 1918-1977


Minutes, reports, correspondence, etc., of Anna Lord Strauss, civic worker and president of the National League of Women Voters.


  • Creation: 1918-1977

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Anna Lord Strauss 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.


5.63 linear feet ((13+1/2 file boxes) plus 2 photograph albums, 24 folders of photographs, 2 oversize folders 1 folio+ folder, 1 folio folder)

In processing the material in series I and II, Anna Lord Strauss's own filing system has been followed, with the papers in each folder arranged chronologically regardless of type of material. The reader should be aware that Strauss did not divide all her correspondence by subject; much of the correspondence is arranged only by date. The subject and chronological files overlap; the researcher should therefore check each series and subseries carefully when looking for specific information.

Series I, Personal Papers, contains biographical information about Strauss; her correspondence with friends and relatives; miscellaneous papers about Strauss and her great-grandmother Lucretia Mott; and letters of Carrie Chapman Catt to Jean Picker. Folders #29-32 for which original restrictions have expired were added to the collection in October 2009.

Series II, Professional Papers, comprises the bulk of the collection and reflects Strauss's involvement in organizations and activities designed to educate citizens of the United States and the world to understand each other better. The series contains some speeches and articles (subseries A) by Strauss, but the major portion consists of correspondence, minutes, reports, notes, clippings, and the like (subseries B, C, D). The papers of the American Association for the United Nations and the United Nations Association for the United States of America are closed to researchers until January 1, 1990.

Series III, Photographs, gives a fairly complete pictorial overview of Strauss's active life. Besides pictures of Strauss, friends, and relatives, there are photographs of various meetings and trips in which Strauss was a participant. Most of the pictures are dated and identified.


Anna Lord Strauss, civic worker, was born in New York City on September 20, 1899, the daughter of Albert and Lucretia Mott (Lord) Strauss and the maternal great-granddaughter of the abolitionist and woman suffrage leader Lucretia Mott. She was educated in New York City and attended the New York School of Secretaries. In 1918 she became a secretary in the New York office of the Federal Reserve Board. She held several similar positions in state and federal government before joining the staff of Century Magazine in 1923; here she advanced from secretary to assistant to the editor, assistant editor, and managing editor, continuing in the last position until 1929.

In 1934 Strauss became a member of the League of Women Voters, to which she devoted the major portion of her energies for the next sixteen years. She served as president of the League of Women Voters of New York City from 1937 to 1943, and was elected national president in 1944, having filled various national offices as a member of the National Board. After her presidential term ended (1950), Strauss continued to work with the League in various capacities: president, Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial Fund, 1954-1959; trustee, Overseas Education Fund; and others.

Both Presidents Eisenhower and Truman appointed her to national and international boards and missions; the most prominent were the President's Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights (1951), and the United States Delegation to the United Nations Sixth General Assembly, which met in Paris in 1951-1952. Strauss continued her interest in the United Nations with the directorship of the American Association for the United Nations and membership in the United States Committee for the United Nations and the United Nations Association of the United States of America. During the 1960s she devoted much of her time to the Committee of Correspondence, New York City, a group of eighteen American women who exchanged ideas and experience with women leaders throughout the world in order to bring about better understanding and cooperation.


The collection is arranged in three series:

  1. I. Personal Papers. 1-39.
  2. II. Professional Papers. 40-291.
  3. ___A. Speeches and Articles. 40-49.
  4. ___B. United States Organizations. 50-211.
  5. ___C. United Nations Organizations. 212-243.
  6. ___D. Other International Organizations. 244-291.
  7. III. Photographs. 292v.-316.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 1690, 72-118, 76-182, 78-M38

The papers of Anna Lord Strauss were given to the Schlesinger Library in August 1969, November 1972, June 1976 and March 1979 by Anna Lord Strauss.


The following items have been removed from the collection and filed in organization files, August 1979:

  1. Printed material from League of Women Voters

The following items have been removed from the collection, August 1979:

  1. Printed material about the United Nations

The following items have been removed from the collection and deposited in the Library's biography, photograph files, August 1979:

  1. Printed material, photograph of Olympia Brown

The following items have been removed from the collection and deposited in the Library's biography file, August 1979:

  1. Printed material about Katharine Ludington, Eleanor Roosevelt

The following items have been removed from the collection and sent to Gifts & Exchanges, Fogg, Littauer, CFIA, August 1976, 1979:

  1. Various pamphlets - clipped and weeded

The following items have been removed from the collection [and sent to] Mrs. Henry Mali, August 1979:

  1. Duplicate photographs, other items

The following items have been removed from the collection and deposited in the Map collection -- Pusey [Library], December 1979:

  1. Maps

The following items have been removed from the collection and sent to NCNW, December 1979:

  1. National Council of Negro Women material [NCNW]


  1. Box 1: 1-21
  2. Box 2: 22-39
  3. Box 3: 40-59
  4. Box 4: 60-82
  5. Box 5: 83-108
  6. Box 6: 109-127
  7. Box 7: 128-150
  8. Box 8: 151-179
  9. Box 9: 180-201
  10. Box 10: 202-211
  11. Box 11: 212-236
  12. Box 12: 237-260
  13. Box 13: 261-276
  14. Box 14: 277-291

Processing Information

Processed: August 1979

By: Madeleine Bagwell Perez

Strauss, Anna Lord, 1899-1979. Papers of Anna Lord Strauss, 1918-1977: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
The collection was processed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (RC-24669-76-987).

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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