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COLLECTION Identifier: SC 22

Papers of Mary Coes, 1880-1958 (inclusive), 1880-1913 (bulk)


Correspondence, speeches, clippings, photographs, etc., of Mary Coes, Radcliffe College Class of 1887.


  • Creation: 1880-1958
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1880-1913

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Coes 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.


.83 linear feet (2 file boxes)

This collection consists of biographical data, correspondence, speeches, articles, tributes, certificates, photographs, and financial records. Folders #56-57 were removed from the Radcliffe Alumnae Pamphlet collection and added in June 2018.


Mary Coes, college administrator, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, March 24, 1861, and brought up by her father and stepmother. She attended public school and after studying at home, attended Oread Collegiate Institute where Abby Leach, an early Harvard Annex student, encouraged her to apply for Radcliffe. She prepared for college at the Worcester High School. She earned her AB in 1887 from Radcliffe and went to work in the college office for Arthur Gilman in 1887. She took occasional courses 1887-1897, and received her AM in 1897. Coes was appointed Assistant Secretary in 1890, Secretary, 1894, Acting Dean, 1909, and Dean 1910-1913. She was Secretary to the Council, 1903, permanent associate, 1904, and member of Council 1906. She was also President of the Alumnae Association 1905-06, and of the Boston branch of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, 1898-1900 and of the College Club, Boston. She was a member of many boards including the governing board of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union and of the American Historical Association. A woman of independent means, deriving from rented property in Worcester and real estate investments in Minnesota and Colorado, Mary Coes lived in Greenleaf House, 1910-1913 and on her death left the bulk of her estate to the college.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: R78-16, R79-41, R82-7

The papers of Mary Coes were given to the Radcliffe Archives by the Schlesinger Library in November 1979 and were added to papers found in the Radcliffe Archives vertical file. Financial records were deaccessioned by Baker Library and returned to the Archives in February 1982.


  1. Box 1: 1-39
  2. Box 2: 40-57

Processing Information

Processed: February 1982

By: Patricia Yee '83, Jane Knowles

Updated and additional material added: June 2018

By: Anne Engelhart

Coes, Mary, 1861-1913. Papers of Mary Coes, 1880-1958 (inclusive), 1880-1913 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Radcliffe College Archives, 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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