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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 903

Papers of Miriam Barber Judd, 1863-2008 (inclusive), 1920-1960 (bulk)


Biographical material, correspondence, clippings, photographs, etc. of Miriam Barber Judd, missionary.


  • 1863-2008
  • Majority of material found within 1920-1960

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Miriam Barber Judd 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.


4.17 linear feet ((9 file boxes, 2 half file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 23 photograph folders)
The collection consists of correspondence (both personal and professional); clippings; passports; programs and invitations; notes and essays; certificates; photographs; etc. Series I and II were arranged in rough chronological order by Mary Lou Judd Carpenter while conducting research for her book Miriam's Words and conform to the chapter order of the book. This original order was retained. Most folder titles were created by Carpenter with occasional additions to clarify content.

Series I, PERSONAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL, 1863-2008 (#1.1-5.5), contains Miriam Barber Judd's birth certificate, the Judd's wedding documents, clippings, passports, Judd's childhood application to the Young Women's Christian Association of India in 1910, notes, essays, and programs from Montclair High School, Mount Holyoke College, and Columbia College, a bronze medal of honor from Mount Holyoke, diary entries, and personal writings from throughout her life (many expressing discontent with having her life center around her husband's career), correspondence from Judd's school years. Also included is a family Bible with notes and prayers added by Miriam Barber Judd, a book of prayers, sayings, and quotes collected by Miriam Barber Judd, a manuscript of "My Testimony" by Coretta Clarke Barber (Judd's mother), a manuscript of "The Family of Aquila C. Barber" by Benjamin R. Barber (Judd's father), and three drafts and annotated versions of a biography about Miriam Barber Judd of differing titles written by Mary Lou Judd Carpenter which are all versions of the same book eventually published as Miriam's Words.

Series II, PROFESSIONAL, 1891-1994 (#5.6-11.4m), contains correspondence (1925-1994), invitations, programs, clippings, speeches, etc. Correspondence details Judd's move to China, the cultural adjustments to living there as well as the medical and other work that she and her husband did in China, and meeting Madame Chiang Kai-shek. Also documented is Judd's flight from China while pregnant in 1937, due to the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Her letters document her time as a Congressman's wife, and include her misgivings about her husband going into Congress, as well as attending events given by and meeting Eleanor Roosevelt (whom she admired despite the fact that she was a Democrat); her brief meeting with Frances Perkins, and her attendance at Roosevelt's inaugural address shortly before his death in 1945. The series also includes Judd's missionary certificate from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (October 1932); and clippings and speeches pertaining to her work as a missionary and her work on the board of the Young Women's Christian Association and Mount Holyoke board of trustees. There are programs and invitations to government events including an invitation and program for The Signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, DC (April 4, 1949), an invitation to meet Ernest Bevin, M.P. (the Secretary of State for foreign affairs for the British Embassy); an invitation to a reception in honor of the Italian Ambassador and Mrs. Tarchiani; an invitation to a reception from the French Ambassador and Madame Henri Bonnet; an invitation to dinner with General and Mrs. Peter J.K. Pei and Colonel and Mrs. David Lei; a menu for a state dinner given by Dr. Sukarno (president of the Republic of Indonesia) for President and Mrs. Eisenhower; and the program of the presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan to Walter Judd (October 9, 1981) and the menu for the luncheon for that event.

Series III, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1865-1991(#PD.1-PD.23), contains personal and professional photographs. Some of the photos are photocopies of originals that Judd's daughter obtained from newspapers and government agencies while conducting research for her book, Miriam's Words. Included are photographs of Miriam Barber Judd: after dinner at the palace in the Republic of Vietnam given by President Dvem's brother-in-law; with ambassadors to the Republic of China, and possibly the wife of the Vice President of the Republic of China at the time, with Madame Chiang Kai-shek after dinner at the Chiang house; in the Vietnamese Royal Palace with Congressman Pilcher's wife; with the wife of Pakistan ambassador at a Young Women's Christian Association Food Fair; with Mrs. Lawrence Smith (Congressman's wife) and Katherine Howard (United States delegate to NATO committee on civil defense). Also included are pictures of Walter and Miriam Judd at the Thai National Day Reception (June 24, 1955) with Colonel McQuillen, and Col. Heffner; with Ambassador Saivannavong, and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth T. Young, Jr. (Mr. Young was director of Philippines and Southeast Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State); and at the Burmese Independence Day reception (January 4, 1956) with ambassador Tran Van Chuong of Vietnam and Madame Chuong; and many photographs of Miriam and Walter Judd with their three daughters: Mary Louise Carpenter, Carolyn Ruth Johnson, and Eleanor Grace Quinn. Also included are family photographs, some professional some candid, of Eliza Jane Clarke, Thomas Clarke, John Clarke, Francis Watson Clarke, Andrew Clarke, Margaret Clarke, Anne Alexander, Bob Clarke, Fanny Watson, James Clarke, Thomas Clarke, Rebecca Jammer, Captain A.J. Barber, Lenora Barber, Charles Barber, Ben Barber, Clarke Barber, Mrs. Buckley, Miriam Clarke Barber, Matilda Clarke, the Stockwell family, Mary Lou Judd Carpenter, and Carolyn Judd Johnson. About half the photograph folders were arranged by book chapter and retain their original folder titles. The remainder were in either unlabelled folders or in folders marked as "for possible use in book." Folder titles in square brackets were created by the archivist. The series is arranged chronologically. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.


The daughter of Miriam (Clarke) and Benjamin Barber, Miriam Barber Judd was born in India where her parents worked for the Calcutta Young Men's Christian Association. When she was nine, the family returned to the United States and Judd later attended Mount Holyoke College, graduating in 1925. She worked for two years in New York City for the Student Volunteer Movement, an organization that sought to recruit American college students for missionary work abroad, as editor of the magazine, Far Horizons, before returning to India to teach English at the Kodiakanal School. In 1931 she began a program for her master's degree at Columbia Teachers College while working at the Student Volunteer Movement. At the Student Volunteer Movement she met Dr. Walter Judd, a medical missionary, and they married in 1932. The couple had three daughters: Mary Louise, Carolyn, and Eleanor.

After two years at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Walter Judd was appointed superintendent of a mission hospital in Fenchow in Shanxi Province and the family moved to the interior of northern China. In 1937, as a result of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Miriam Barber Judd and her two daughters fled China, returning to New Jersey to stay with her parents; three months later another daughter was born. Walter returned to New Jersey in 1938 and lectured widely on the dangers of Japanese aggression. After the attack on Pearl Harbor he was elected as a representative to Congress from Minnesota, where he served for 20 years.

While living in Washington, DC, Miriam Barber Judd served as president of the board of the local Young Women's Christian Association, presiding over the desegregation of its five branches which merged to become the National Capital Area Young Women's Christian Association. She also served on the national board of the Young Women's Christian Association and on its World Service Council. An active member of the Cleveland Park Congregational Church in Washington, DC, Judd was a delegate in 1950 to the Constituting Convention of the National Council of Churches. In 1975 she was awarded the Collegiate Alumnae Medal of Honor from Mount Holyoke College for her service on the board of trustees and her work with alumnae. Miriam Barber Judd died in 1994 of sepsis four months after the death of her husband.


The collection is arranged in three series:
  1. Series I. Personal and biographical, 1863-2008 (#1.1-5.5)
  2. Series II. Professional, 1891-1994 (#5.6-11.4m)
  3. Series III. Photographs, 1865-1991 (#PD.1-PD.23)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2016-M9

The papers of Miriam Barber Judd were given by her daughter, Mary Lou Judd Carpenter, in January 2016.

Processing Information

Processed: May 2017

By: Ada van Tine, with assistance from Mark Vassar and Margaret Dalton.
Link to catalog
Judd, Miriam Barber, 1904-1994. Papers of Miriam Barber Judd, 1863-2008 (inclusive), 1920-1960 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

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