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COLLECTION Identifier: A/F663; M-133, reel D4

Papers of Margaret Foley, 1888-1957


Address book, clippings, letters, and other papers of Margaret Foley, Massachusetts suffragist and Boston child welfare official.


  • 1888-1957

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals closed; use microfilm (M-133, reel D4).

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Margaret Foley 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.


.21 linear feet (1/2 file box)

Collection includes address book, with letterheads of many state suffrage leagues listing board members; two letters to Foley, 1916, 1920; clippings re: Foley; reviews of a primer by Anna B. Badlam; Fifth Report of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association, 1910; suffrage buttons, etc.


Margaret Foley was born on March 19, 1875, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. A member of the Hat Trimmers' Union, Foley was on the board of the Boston Women's Trade Union League. She was employed by the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association from 1906 to 1915 as a speaker and manager of organizational work. After making open-air suffrage speaking tours across Massachusetts, in 1911 Foley attended the International Woman Suffrage Alliance convention in Stockholm and spent a month in London studying English suffrage tactics. Between 1912 and 1918 Foley traveled to other states to help local suffrage organizations campaign in critical referenda and elections.

In addition to her suffrage work, Margaret Foley was a Trustee for Children in the Children's Institutions Department, 1913-1920, and deputy commissioner of the Child Welfare Division in the Institutions Department, 1920-1926, both for the City of Boston. Foley never married and probably lived with her long-time friend Helen Elizabeth Goodnow for many years.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 82-M2

These papers of Margaret Foley were given to the Schlesinger Library in January 1982 by the Boston Athenaeum.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Margaret Foley Papers, 1847-1968 (MC 404); Margaret Foley Additional papers, 1892-1974 (MC 840); Papers of Margaret Foley and Helen Elizabeth Goodnow, 1882-1965 (MC 405); and Papers Margaret Foley in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1911-1924 (WRC 62-64af).


Donor: Boston Athenaeum

Accession number: 82-M2

The following pamphlets were transferred to the Schlesinger Library subject files, February 1982:

  1. The Case Against Woman Suffrage, Massachusetts Anti-Suffrage Committee, ca.1915
  2. Anna Howard Shaw Memorial of the NAWSA [National American Woman Suffrage Association]
  3. "Living Witnesses," New York State Woman Suffrage Party
  4. "Turn on the Light," New York State Woman Suffrage Party
  5. "What President Wilson Says," New York State Woman Suffrage Party
  6. The Woman Suffrage Year Book, 1917, edited by Martha G. Stapler, National Woman Suffrage Publishing Co.

Processing Information

Processed: October 1990

By: Kim Brookes

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.

Foley, Margaret, 1875-1957. Papers of Margaret Foley, 1888-1957
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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