Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 933; Vt-88

Papers of Mary M. Graveline, 1928-1999


Diaries, reminiscences and autobiographical writings, records of craft projects, etc., of Mary Graveline, psychiatric aide and lifelong learner.


  • 1928-1999

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary M. Graveline 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.


1.88 linear feet ((4+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 videotape)
The collection consists mostly of diaries (called journals by Graveline) detailing her daily life, volumes of haiku by Graveline, writings (many autobiographical) probably written for various writing classes, etc. Many of the volumes were handmade by Graveline. Diary entries typically include mention of her cat, the various arts and crafts projects she's working on, friends, her health (she has a thyroid condition, spells of blindness, pain in her legs), her diet, cooking, the weather, working in the garden and what's in bloom, household tasks, genealogical research, shopping, thoughts on aging, etc. Folder titles in quotations are those of the donor.


The daughter of Bert and Clydia Knepper Wesley, Mary Magnolia Wesley Graveline grew up in Illinois. Her first marriage in 1928 was to Edwin Carlson Higgins (he died later that year) and her second in 1932 was to Harry Dolson (1902-1967). The Dolsons had three children: Mary Ann (born 1933, married Patrick Benoit); Eloise (1936-1995, married T. Douglas Wilson); and Edward (1940-1995). She later married a mechanic, Eugene Graveline, who died in 1985. Mary Graveline worked as a psychiatric aide at the Kankakee State Hospital from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Following the death of her husband and two of her children, Graveline moved to California to be with her remaining daughter, Mary Ann. Among her many interests were wildflowers, Spanish, poetry, and crafts such as book- and lace-making. An avid learner, Graveline went back to college at age 76, studying biology and botany, and in her later years learned Spanish, lace making, bookbinding, among other accomplishments. She died in Livermore, California, in 2009.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 97-M67, 97-M76, 97-M81, 97-M84, 97-M111, 99-M177, 99-M184

The papers of Mary M. Graveline were given to the Schlesinger Library by Mary M. Graveline between June 1997 and December 1999.

Processing Information

Processed: March 2018

By: Anne Engelhart

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

General processing procedures in place at the Library include the following:  books (when not heavily annotated) by and about the collection’s creator and on subjects which fall within the Library’s collecting area are removed and cataloged separately with information about their provenance; other books and serials are not retained.  Other material not normally retained include:  clippings that are not by or about the collection’s creator; research files; financial documents such as checkbooks, cancelled checks, bank statements, etc. (when there is financial documentation at a higher level); invoices, receipts, orders, airline tickets, etc.; and envelopes (when they do not contain additional information).

When samples of weeded documents are retained, it is indicated in the finding aid.
Link to catalog
Graveline, Mary M., 1905-2009. Papers of Mary M. Graveline, 1928-1999: 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

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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-8647