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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 947

Papers of the Barry family, 1849-1987 (inclusive), 1849-1919 (bulk)


Correspondence, photographs, memoirs, etc., of members of the Barry family.


  • 1849-1987
  • Majority of material found within 1849-1919

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Barry family 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 for research use, but material may not be digitized for the Worldwide Web until 2022.


.83 linear feet ((2 file boxes) plus 1 photograph folder)
Collection contains correspondence, photographs, etc., documenting the lives of Royal Pierce and Eleanor Barry; their daughters, Mabel Grace (Barry) Wills and Ruth Harriet (Barry) Derr; and Mabel Grace (Barry) Wills' daughter, Eleanor. Royal Pierce and Eleanor Barry's correspondence includes courtship letters and letters written by Royal Pierce Barry and others while serving in the Civil War. Ruth Harriet (Barry) Derr's papers include letters, photographs, and a memoir documenting her service in the Red Cross as a canteen worker in France during World War I. Also included are letters written by Eleanor Wills while a student at St. Margaret's School in Waterbury, Connecticut, and a photocopy of a transcription of Rebecca Wills' journal documenting a trip from Boston to Calcutta, India, while four months pregnant in 1849.


Royal Pierce Barry, son of Royal Pierce and Elizabeth (Serrat) Barry, was born December 5, 1839, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was employed by Thayer, Rice & Co., commission merchants, and became a partner in the firm in 1865. He also served as director of Eliot National Bank of Boston and Melrose National Bank. In 1862 he enlisted for nine months in Company D, Forty-fifth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers. In 1864, he married Eleanor (Nellie) Maria Jones, daughter of Isaac and Susan (Rust) Jones. They had eight children, Mabel Grace, Amy Frances, Royal Pierce, Jr., William Thayer, Charles Wingate, Ruth Harriet, Alice, and Bessie. Royal Pierce Barry died September 28, 1903; Eleanor M. Jones died June 6, 1901. Mabel Grace Barry (1867-June 29, 1942) was educated in the Melrose, Massachusetts, schools and at St. Margaret's School in Boston. She married George A. Wills (December 27, 1861-January 2, 1899); they had three children. Ruth Harriet Barry (October 23, 1885-May 14, 1972) received her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1908, and worked as a teacher in Melrose, Massachusetts, and Pelham, New York. During World War I, she served as a canteen worker in France. She was married to O.V. Derr.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2012-M135

The papers of the Barry family were given to the Schlesinger Library by Elizabeth Flemings, 2012.

Processing Information

Processed: May 2018

By: Johanna Carll

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
Barry family. Papers of the Barry family, 1849-1987 (inclusive), 1849-1919 (bulk)
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Jeannette Ward Fund.

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.

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