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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 804

Papers of Marjorie Handsaker, 1914-1987 (inclusive), 1930-1987 (bulk)


Correspondence of Radcliffe College graduate and economist, Marjorie Linfield Handsaker.


  • 1914-1987
  • Majority of material found within 1930-1987

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Marjorie Linfield Handsaker 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.


2.09 linear feet (5 file boxes)

The collection contains correspondence between Handsaker and her family and friends as well as small number of photographs of Handsaker. Letters from Handsaker consists of letters to her daughter, Alice E. Kidder, and carbon copies of typed letters addressed to "folks" who appear to be Handsaker relatives living in California. Handsaker's letters include news of various friends and family members, accounts of Morrison Handsaker's arbitration work, and commentary on Pennsylvania politics and current events including her support for the civil rights movement and the peace movements of the 1960s and 1980s. Letters to Handsaker are largely from Kidder and include news about her husband and children and her work as an economics professor in Atlanta, Georgia, North Carolina, and Syracuse, New York. In 1966, Kidder and her husband spent a year in Calcutta, India. During the year, Kidder became pregnant and gave birth to her first child. Handsaker's letters to Kidder contain prenatal advice, express concerns over medical care in Calcutta, and information about the availability of baby supplies through the Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs. Kidder's letters contain impressions on life in India, accounts of prenatal resources she has consulted, and lists of baby supplies to be ordered through catalogs. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online. Files are arranged chronologically.


Marjorie Linfield Handsaker, daughter of Bertram French and Eltha Nona (Brown) Linfield, was born April 2, 1905, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A graduate of the Girls' Latin School of Boston, she received an AB in history (1925) and an AM in economics (1930) from Radcliffe College. She also pursued, but did not complete, a PhD in economics at the University of Chicago. In 1934, she married John Morrison Handsaker (known as Morrison Handsaker), an economist and labor arbitrator. Both Handsakers worked for the National Recovery Administration before moving to Seattle, Washington, and Los Angeles, California, and before settling in Easton, Pennsylvania, where John Morrison Handsaker was the chair of the economics department at Lafayette College. Following the birth of her daughter Alice in 1941, Handsaker became a stay-at-home mother and served as her husband's research assistant and frequent co-author. Handsaker died of brain cancer in 1988.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2014-M112

The papers of Marjorie Linfield Handsaker were given to the Schlesinger Library by her daughter, Alice E. Kidder, in July 2014.

Processing Information

Processed: July 2014

By: Johanna Carll, with assistance from Caitlin Jones.

Handsaker, Marjorie. Papers of Marjorie Handsaker, 1914-1987 (inclusive), 1930-1987 (bulk): 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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