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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 566

Papers of Rowena Morse Langer, 1914-1981


Papers from Rowena Morse Langer, most of which are letters to her parents while studying chemistry and mathematics in Paris during the 1920s.


  • 1914-1981

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Rowena Morse Langer 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.


.83 linear feet ((2 file boxes) plus 1 photograph folder)

Collection includes letters (and typed transcripts of letters) to her parents, mostly from Paris, 1923-1927, 1945; programs from performances she attended in Paris; photographs; writings by Langer, 1914-1981; and a diary, 1979-1981.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].


The daughter of Frank L. Morse, inventor, and director of the Morse Chain Company in Ithaca, NewYork, Rowena Morse Langer was born in Trumansburg, New York, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell in chemistry, and studied mathematics at the Sorbonne (1923-1924) in preparation for a degree in physics. With the illness of her father, she returned to the United States in 1924 and attended Johns Hopkins University. She married Duke University history professor Ernest W. Nelson in 1927; they had four children. Her second marriage was to Harvard University history professor William L. Langer. She was an active member of a number of Cambridge groups, including the Cambridge Art Association and the Saturday Morning Club. She died in Boston in 1990.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 90-M78, 90-M193, 91-M59

These papers of Rowena Morse Langer were given to the Schlesinger Library by Rowena Morse Langer and her estate between May 1990 and April 1991.

Processing Information

Processed: May 2008

By: Anne Engelhart

Langer, Rowena Morse, 1902-1990. Papers of Rowena Morse Langer, 1914-1981: 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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