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COLLECTION Identifier: M-133, reel E28; A-68, Series XIII

Suffrage Miscellany in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1879-1920


Suffrage printed material, autographs, drawings, etc., collected by Mary Earhart Dillon.


  • 1879-1920

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals closed. Use microfilm (M-133, reel E28) or digital images.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in materials collected by Mary Earhart Dillon 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.


13 folders

This series combines the former series I and XIV of the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection. It consists of flyers, brochures, pamphlets, political cartoons for and against suffrage (both clippings and original drawings), postcards, posters, photographs, drawings of women, poems, songs, a play, autographs, a scrapbook of clippings, and memorabilia. These materials are from various suffrage organizations and provide an artifactual record of the woman suffrage movement on the national level and in the Midwest.


Mary Earhart Dillon assembled this collection in the early 1940s in the course of writing Frances Willard: From Prayers to Politics (published under the name Mary Earhart by University of Chicago Press in 1944). Due to the difficulty of finding primary source material, Dillon contacted various women in the Midwest (especially the Chicago lawyer and suffragist, Catharine Waugh McCulloch) who had been active in temperance, woman's suffrage, and related movements and activities. These women gave Dillon books and papers they had created or accumulated during their work for these causes, and Dillon, as a member of the faculty of Northwestern University, arranged with the university library that she would deposit the materials there when she had completed her research.

When the time came, she was told that the library had no space for the collection, nor funds to process it and make it available to other researchers, and she was asked to remove it as soon as possible from the basement of the building in which her office had been. Dillon later recalled that she then offered the collection to the Newberry Library (Chicago), The New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress, and possibly also to Syracuse University, but was unable to find a taker until, in June 1948, she wrote to the Women's Archives (later the Schlesinger Library) at Radcliffe College, and received a positive and enthusiastic response. When the papers arrived at Radcliffe in August 1952, the staff immediately recognized them as at least the equal in quality and importance of the Woman's Rights Collection, which had formed the nucleus of the Women's Archives.

Dillon, assistant professor of political science at Northwestern in June 1948, that September joined the Department of Government at Queen's College in New York. She later published a biography of Wendell Willkie, and was for many years a National Consultant for the Schlesinger Library.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 56-121

Processing Information

Reprocessed: June 1990

By: Kim Brookes, Bert Hartry, Katherine Kraft, Jane Ward

Dillon, Mary Earhart, collector. Suffrage Miscellany in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1879-1920: 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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