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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 913

Papers of Louise Merwin Young, 1910-1992


Mostly professional correspondence, speeches and writings, and research material compiled by author, professor, and League of Women Voters activist Louise Merwin Young.


  • Creation: 1910-1992

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Louise Merwin Young 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.


1.67 linear feet ((4 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder)

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence as well as research material gathered by Louise Merwin Young for her history of the League of Women Voters, In the Public Interest. The correspondence is largely professional, relating to her work as a researcher and editor working on the history and status of women, as well as her work as a speaker and activist for the League of Women Voters. Research material in the form of notes or photocopies, etc., was not retained, nor were various drafts of manuscript chapters. Material that was retained includes original press releases, reports, correspondence, etc. Folder headings are those of Louise Merwin Young; information in brackets was supplied by the processor.


Author, independent researcher, and professor of English at American University, Louise Merwin Young was the eldest of six children of Charles and Estella Merwin. She was educated at Ohio Wesleyan (B.A., 1925) and the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., 1927, Ph.D., 1939), and was married to economist Ralph Young, who was on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. Her interest in the possibilities of women's participation in the political process was piqued by her attendance at the 1944 national convention of the League of Women Voters, and when her husband moved to Washington, D.C., to join the staff of the Federal Reserve Board, she became increasingly active in the League of Women Voters, speaking throughout the country, and eventually arranging the organization's files for the Library of Congress. Young was also executive vice-chair of the National Committee on the Status of Women (1946-1948), and representative of the International Alliance of Women at U.N. Conferences of Non-Governmental Organizations (1947-1948). She edited an issue of Annals, the journal of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, on Women's Opportunities and Responsibilities, issued in May 1947, and was the author of Understanding Politics: A Practical Guide for Women (1950), and In the Public Interest: The League of Women Voters, 1920-1970 (1989), among other works. Louise Merwin Young died in Redlands, California.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 53-44, 80-M152, 82-M71, 87-M102, 91-M136, 91-M150, 91-M157, 91-M162, 91-M173, 91-M179, 91-M190, 92-M153, 93-M79; 53-44 was previously processed as A/Y73 and appears here in #3.12.

These papers of Louise Merwin Young were given to the Schlesinger Library by Louise Merwin Young, and her sons Ralph A. Young and M. Crawford Young between June 1953 and May 1993.

Processing Information

Processed: June 2017

By: Anne Engelhart

Young, Louise Merwin, 1903-1992. Papers of Louise Merwin Young, 1910-1992: 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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