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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 894

Papers of Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger, 1910-1977


Correspondence, articles, notes, etc., of Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger, historian and civic worker.


  • Creation: 1910-1977

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger as well as 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.


1.46 linear feet (3+1/2 file boxes)

This collection includes personal and business correspondence, clippings about Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger, her historical writings and talks, and the records of her civic activities.


Elizabeth (Bancroft) Schlesinger, 1886-1977, civic worker and historian, was born in Columbus, Ohio, educated at public schools and graduated in 1910 from the Ohio State University in Columbus. Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger taught History and English in Central High School, Kalamazoo, Michigan, from 1910 until her marriage to Arthur Meier Schlesinger, whom she had met at the Ohio State University. Until 1919 they lived in Columbus, where Arthur Meier Schlesinger was instructor in history, moved to the State University of Iowa, 1919-1924, and settled in Cambridge with their two sons, Arthur Meier Jr. and Thomas Bancroft, when Arthur Meier Schlesinger was appointed Professor of History at Harvard. There they remained with occasional trips abroad: a world trip, 1933-1934, and a year at the University of Leyden, 1948-1949.

Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger had many civic interests. She served the Cambridge League of Women Voters as Chairman of the Committee on Education, because with her mid-western experience of fine public education she was particularly concerned about the low standards of public education in Cambridge. She was on the board of the American Association of University Women of Boston, served on the Cambridge Public Library Board, and was appointed by the United States Office of Education to a committee to interview teachers wishing to teach abroad. Her correspondence shows her strong opposition to racial discrimination. Active with the Radcliffe Women's Archives before it was renamed the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, she contributed papers to its informal seminars on women's history and served on its Advisory Board, Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger's articles on women's history were published in a number of historical periodicals. She also gave talks to a variety of forums and contributed papers to the Mothers' Study Club.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 1134, 1140, 71-69, 71-95, 73-4?? 75-308, 75-322, 75-344, 76-5?? 84-M43, 71-110, 79-M115, 88-M32, 91-M185

This collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger between 1967 and 1976, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in May 1979, and Richard Leopold in February 1988.

Container List

  1. Box 1: folders 1-9
  2. Box 2: folders 10-27v
  3. Box 3: folders 28-34
  4. Box 4: folders 34a-37

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: February 1982

By: Jane S. Knowles

Updated: December 2016

This collection was formerly cataloged as 1134--88-M32.

Schlesinger, Elizabeth Bancroft. Papers of Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger, 1910-1977: 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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA