Papers of Ruth Batson, 1919-2003 (inclusive) 1951-2003 (bulk)
- Majority of material found within 1951-2003
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
3.21 linear feet (5 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio box, 1 card file box, 3 folio+ folders, 1 supersize folder, 8 photograph folders, 2 folio photograph folders)
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 [*].
Materials arrived at the library unfoldered and in unlabelled folders; folder titles were created by the archivist. Files are arranged with interviews with Batson, her resume, and clippings about her first, followed by an alphabetical arrangement of the remaining files, and two oversized folders with items from throughout the collection.
Batson was chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) from 1963 to 1966. From 1966 to 1970, she served as assistant director and executive director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), a voluntary integration program busing students from racially imbalanced (predominantly with minority students) districts in Boston to schools in the surrounding suburbs (predominantly with white students). At Boston University, she was the director of the consultation and education program (1970-1975), director of the school desegregation research project (1975-1981), coordinator of the clinical task force, and associate professor at the School of Medicine's Division of Psychiatry. From 1987 to 1990, she was president and director of the Museum of Afro American History (later the Museum of African American History). In 1969, she founded the Ruth M. Batson Educational Fund, which provided grants to African American students, educational institutions, and community organizations.
A board member of the New England Television Corporation and WNEV-TV, Channel 7, Batson also served on the board of trustees of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston City Hospital, and the Citizens Training Group, Boston Juvenile Court. She was a member of the corporation of Massachusetts General Hospital, co-chairperson of the 1982 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) National Convention, co-chair of the National Advisory Committee on the Documentary Series Eyes on the Prize, and a member of the board of trustees of Tougaloo College. She was also the first woman to serve as president of the New England Regional Conference of the NAACP.
Batson won numerous awards and honors, including the Sojourner Truth Award of the Association of Business and Professional Women of Boston and Vicinity (1967), the Mary Hudson Olney Award, the highest commendation from the Hall of Black Achievement (1990), and the lifetime achievement Opening Doors Award from the Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development (2002).
Batson was a frequent guest speaker and wrote numerous articles and papers. In 2001, Northeastern University Press published Batson's The Black Educational Movement in Boston: A Sequence of Events (1638-1975).
Ruth Batson died October 28, 2003, in Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of Ruth Batson were given to the Schlesinger Library by Ruth Batson between August 1997 and February 1998; additional papers were given by Barbara Elam in January 1998, Dorothy B. Owusu in November 2001, and Diana Korzenick in July 2007.
By: Johanna Carll
- African American women--Massachusetts
- African Americans--Civil rights--Massachusetts
- Boston (Mass.)--Race relations
- Boston (Mass.)--Social conditions
- Civic leaders--United States
- Massachusetts--Officials and employees
- School integration--Massachusetts--Boston
- Social reformers--United States
- Voyages and travels
- Batson, Ruth. Papers of Ruth Batson, 1919-2003 (inclusive), 1951-2003 (bulk): A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from the Radcliffe College Class of 1955.
- EAD ID
Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository
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