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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 726

Carol Riegelman Lubin Papers, 1909-2005


Biographical materials, personal and professional correspondence, reports, writings, speeches, and photographs of Carol Riegelman Lubin, primarily documenting her work with the International Labour Organization and other professional activities.


  • Creation: 1909-2005

Language of Materials

Most materials in English; some in French.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Carol Riegelman Lubin 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.


12.3 linear feet (29 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 12 photograph folders, 1 photograph album (113 photographs)

The Carol Riegelman Lubin Papers document the personal life, professional career, and research interests of Carol Riegelman Lubin. The bulk of the collection highlights her career at the International Labour Organization (ILO) from 1935 to 1952, including substantial correspondence with John G. Winant, assistant director of the ILO; Carter Goodrich, chair of the governing body; and Isador Lubin, an economist who worked closely with the ILO. Also included are committee minutes, reports, speeches, and writings. Personnel files, documenting the challenges Lubin faced as a woman at the ILO, are also included. There is substantial personal correspondence, including letters from her family and friends; much of this correspondence was stored in envelopes when received. Also included are papers related to Lubin's role as a researcher and educator; her work within several social welfare organizations; and membership in various other organizations. Most of these papers were received in folders identified by subject. The archivist created the arrangement and folder titles. Loose materials were sorted and interfiled.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1918-2005 (#1.1-5.9, FD.1, F+D.1), includes awards and certificates; appointment books for both Carol and Isador Lubin; curricula vitae; and a diary. Educational materials include elementary school letters, class lectures, master's thesis, an international student travel card issued by Smith College, and a diploma from Columbia University. There is substantial correspondence from Lubin's family, which provides insight into her friendship with James Shotwell and John G. Winant. There are also letters from friends and former colleagues with related material (greeting cards, clippings, invitations, and uncataloged photographs), including named correspondent files for Wilfred Benson and Isador Lubin. Folders are arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically with the exception of correspondence: family letters are followed by named correspondent files and those of friends and others.

Series II, RESEARCH PROJECTS, 1918-1956 (scattered) (#5.10-8.6, PD.3), includes correspondence, manuscripts, and travel diaries related to Lubin's early work as a researcher, editorial assistant, and secretary for James T. Shotwell from 1930 through 1934. Shotwell directed and participated in several overlapping projects: the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Social Sciences Research Council, and several international committees. Also included is a photograph of Lubin taking minutes at a conference held at the Hotel Bristol in Berlin (1931); speeches by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and other US officials (#6.2); reports and other historic documents related to the Paris Peace Conference and the founding of the ILO; and annotated drafts of Lubin's subsequent research project United States Policy toward the United Nations: Economic and Social Activities, conducted for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1955). The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series III, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION, 1931-1969 (#8.7-14.8), includes administrative and organizing records (minutes, articles, and other material related to the governing body); named correspondent files for John G. Winant, Carter Goodrich, and Isador Lubin highlight Lubin's role as an ILO official. Also included are committee records; conference proceedings; financial records; organizational history, including Lubin's draft for a proposed pamphlet; speeches and reports by Lubin and others; and some material related to her later work with the ILO Liaison Office with the UN. Lubin's personnel files, describing the challenges she faced in the workplace and security matters investigated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), are also included. The series is arranged alphabetically; conferences are arranged chronologically therein.

Series IV, OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES, 1936-2004 (#14.9-24.6), documents Lubin's leadership and organizing skills as a consultant, her professional affiliation with several social service organizations, and participation in membership organizations. The material is arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A, Teaching and consultant work, 1953-1981 (#14.9-16.8), includes correspondence, course descriptions, syllabi, and lectures related to Lubin's classes at Hunter College and proposed course work at the New School. Also included are correspondence and memoranda; conference ephemera; reports and studies related to her consultant work (community planner for the City of Reston, Virginia; contributor to the Draft Social Report published by the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; and consultant-monitor for the Ford Foundation's Home Advisory and Service Council Grant, which involved court-related family counseling in upstate New York). The series is arranged chronologically.

Subseries B, Social welfare and other organizations, 1936-2004 (#16.9-24.6), includes correspondence; memoranda; financial records; committee minutes; reports and proposals; and other material related to Lubin's work at the New York Urban Coalition, the United Neighborhood Houses of New York, Inc., and the New York State Association of Settlement Houses and Neighborhood Centers. Most of this material was maintained by Lubin in "chron files." Also included are correspondence, memoranda, minutes, conference ephemera, and other material related to membership organizations, which include the American Jewish Committee, the New York State Democratic Committee, and documents related to Lubin's work as a representative for the United Neighborhood Centers of America (formerly the National Federation of Settlements) and the National Assembly of Health and Welfare Agencies Title XX Task Force. Noteworthy items include Lubin's conference reports documenting New Delhi (India) schools for children, which she visited while attending the Society for International Development, 11th World Conference. The subseries is arranged chronologically.

Series V, WRITINGS AND RELATED, ca.1920-2000, n.d. (#24.7-30.5), includes published and unpublished writings by Carol R. Lubin; correspondence, including publishing guidelines and permission requests; book proposals, draft manuscripts, and reviews for The ILO and the United States (unpublished), and Social Justice for Women: the International Labor Organization and Women (Duke University Press, 1990). Some folders of drafts include Lubin's original ILO documentation (correspondence, memoranda, and reports). Noteworthy items include Lubin's transcribed recordings of visits to a Palestinian women and girl's center for vocational and teacher training center organized by the UN Relief and Works Agency. Also included are clippings, reference files that include source material such as reports and studies on women in the field of labor, and research files, which Lubin organized by repository. These files contain biographical and interview notes related to notable women labor leaders, including Clara M. Beyer, Frances Perkins, and Esther Peterson. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series VI, PHOTOGRAPHS, ca.1909-2005, n.d. (#PD.1v-PD.13), includes a photograph album of Lubin as a baby, her parents, and other family members. There are also photographs of Lubin socializing and traveling with friends, posing with staff members of the ILO and other organizations, receiving various awards, and her reunion at Smith College. Photographs used in her publication Social Justice for Women: the International Labor Organization (1990), are also included. The series is arranged chronologically.

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 [*].


Carol Riegelman Lubin was born in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1909 to social worker Lillian Ehrich Riegelman and attorney Charles A. Riegelman. Both parents were involved in civic activities: her mother was vice president of the New York City League of Women Voters, and her father served on the American Jewish Committee and other organizations. Her younger brother, William I. Riegelman, also became an attorney. Lubin attended local schools and the Woodmere Academy in Long Island (1922-1925), which included travel in Switzerland, France, Germany, and Great Britain. She majored in history at Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and wrote her thesis on the International Labour Organization (ILO), which was formed during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference to meet labor demands in the post-World War I era. The ILO was also the first international organization to advocate equal pay for women. Lubin graduated with honors from Smith (1930) and continued her studies at Columbia University (1930-1933) where she earned an MA in international relations. While at Columbia, Lubin was also employed as a researcher, editorial assistant, and secretary to James T. Shotwell, who was not only a Columbia professor of economics, but also the research and publications director of the Division of Economics and History at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, director of the Division of International Relations of the Social Sciences Research Council, and chair of several international committees. In preparation for Shotwell's two volume study The Origins of the International Labour Organization (Columbia University Press, 1934), Lubin traveled extensively in Europe, collecting letters, reports, and other documents from individuals who helped draft the ILO constitution. Lubin wrote Chapter III of Volume I and provided the notes for Volume II.

In 1935, Lubin was hired by the ILO and appointed to a special post as assistant to John G. Winant (1889-1947), former governor of New Hampshire, chairman of the first US Social Security Board, and the ILO's first American assistant director. Winant later served as ILO's director general (1939-1941). Lubin initially worked at ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where, in addition to administrative responsibilities, she worked in the conditions of work section preparing materials and reports on the reduction of work hours, and the official relations section, which included working with delegations, and assisting at the ILO Conference held in Havana, Cuba (1939). In 1940 ILO officials, concerned with the impending war, searched for an alternative site to house their offices. When the Canadian government offered the use of a chapel at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, Lubin's status as an American enabled her to serve as a transfer officer. While temporarily stationed in Lisbon, Portugal, she secured rooms for staff, organized transport, and obtained transit visas. After Winant was appointed US ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1941, Lubin worked in ILO's employment and migration section, and served as a migration expert at the International Labour Conference, Latin American Regional Conferences, and Permanent Migration Committee.

During her final years at the ILO, Lubin completed a PhD in public law and administration (Columbia University, 1950) and worked temporarily at the ILO's Liaison Office with the United Nations preparing reports on UN economic activities for the General Assembly, including International Financing of European Migration. She also consulted with the UN staff on the development of the ILO Migration Program, and served as an ILO delegate to the UN (1951-1952). After retiring from the ILO in 1952, Lubin married Isador Lubin, a noted economist who had served as an advisor to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration, and was later appointed New York State Industrial Commissioner. Isador Lubin had two daughters, Alice Lubin Everitt and Ann Lubin Buttenwieser. Carol Lubin adopted Ann. From 1953 to 1977, Lubin accompanied her husband on annual trips to Geneva, where she continued as an unofficial consultant for the ILO. Isador Lubin died in 1978.

Between official travels to Geneva and conference-related visits to India, Israel, and Palestine, Lubin held a number of short-term positions. She taught courses on American political institutions and government at Hunter College in New York City (1953), conducted a special research project on US policy toward the UN for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to (1954-1955), served as editor of the UN Business Factsheet published by the American Association for the United Nations (1957-1960), and worked briefly for the Urban Studies Center of Rutgers University. This was followed by a number of consultant positions: community planner for the City of Reston, Virginia (1961-1967); consultant and contributor to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (D-HEW) "Draft Social Report" prepared for President Lyndon Johnson's administration (1967-1968); and consultant monitor for the Ford Foundation's Home Advisory and Service Council Grant (1967-1973).

From the late 1960s through the early 1980s, Lubin worked for social welfare organizations concerned with issues of welfare reform, children's day care, the needs of the elderly, and urban renewal; organizations included the New York Urban Coalition (1968-1970), United Neighborhood Houses, New York, Inc. (1970-1978), and the New York State Association of Settlement Houses and Neighborhood Centers (1978-1981). During this period Lubin also served as a board member of the United Neighborhood Centers of America (formerly the National Federation of Settlements), which monitored work standards in settlement houses, and was a representative for the International Federation of Settlements and Neighbourhood Centres at the UN. She held memberships in various civic, religious, and special interest organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, where she served as one of 17 delegates to the Consultative Conference of Jewish Organizations in London (1955), the Community Service Society, and the Women's Division of the NY State Democratic Committee. During the Jimmy Carter administration, she prepared a study of the US Employment Service, subsequently published in Unemployment Compensation: Studies and Research of the National Commission on Unemployment Compensation (1980).

After 1982, Lubin devoted several years to researching and writing Social Justice for Women: The International Labor Organization and Women (Duke University Press, 1990). In recognition of her contributions to the field of labor, she received awards from the New York State Department of Labor (1983), the NGO Committee on Social Development (2004), and the International Labour Organization (2005). Carol Riegelman Lubin died on July 26, 2005, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.


The collection is arranged in six series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and personal, 1918-2005 (#1.1-5.9, FD.1, F+D.1)
  2. Series II. Research projects, 1918-1956 (scattered) (#5.10-8.6, PD.3)
  3. Series III. International Labour Organization (ILO) 1931-1969 (#8.7-14.8)
  4. Series IV. Other professional activities, 1936-2004 (#14.9-24.6)
  5. ___Subseries A. Teaching and consultant work, 1953-1981 (#14.9-16.8)
  6. ___Subseries B. Social welfare and other organizations, 1936-2004 (#16.9-24.6)
  7. Series V. Writings and related, ca.1920-2000, n.d. (#24.7-30.5)
  8. Series VI. Photographs, ca.1909-2005, n.d. (#PD.1v-PD.13)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 95-M111, 2005-M141

The papers of Carol Riegelman Lubin were donated to the Schlesinger Library by Carol Riegelman Lubin in 1995 and by her estate in 2005.

Processing Information

Processed: November 2012

By: Emilyn Brown, with the assistance of Emily Underwood.

Lubin, Carol Riegelman. Carol Riegelman Lubin Papers, 1909-2005: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Class of 1959 and the Falik Fund.

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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