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COLLECTION Identifier: M-133, reel A5; WRC 67-74

Papers of Helen Hamilton Gardener in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1913-1941


Biographical material, photographs, correspondence, etc., of Helen H. (Helen Hamilton) Gardener, author, feminist, and suffragist. These papers are part of the Woman's Rights Collection.


  • Creation: 1913-1941

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 Helen Hamilton Gardener 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.


8 folders

Collection includes biographical material, photographs, clippings, correspondence, writings, etc.


Helen Hamilton Gardener was born Alice Chenoweth in 1853 in Winchester, Virginia. She published numerous lectures, articles, and books during the period 1885-1900 under the name Helen Hamilton Gardener, a name she continued to use both professionally and privately, and later legally adopted. In 1907, Gardener settled in Washington, D.C. and took up the suffrage cause. In 1913 she was appointed to the Congressional Committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), becoming vice-chairman six years later; she was elected a vice-president of NAWSA in 1917, and served as its chief liaison with the Woodrow Wilson administration. In 1920, Wilson appointed her to the United States Civil Service Commission, the first woman to occupy so high a federal position. Gardener was married twice but had no children; she died in Washington in 1925. For additional biographical information, see Notable American Women, 1607-1950 (Cambridge, Mass., 1971), which includes a list of additional sources. See also small collection (A/G218) in the Schlesinger Library.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers of Helen Hamilton Gardener fill eight folders of the Woman's Rights Collection, which was given to Radcliffe College in August 1943 and formed the nucleus of the Women's Archives, later the Schlesinger Library. The material in these folders was reprocessed and prepared for microfilming in June 1989 by Jane Ward. It was microfilmed as part of a Schlesinger Library/University Publications of America project.

Related Material:

This material forms part of the Schlesinger Library's Woman's rights collection, 1853-1958 (WRC).

Gardener, Helen H. (Helen Hamilton), 1853-1925. Papers of Helen Hamilton Gardener in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1913-1941: A Finding Aid
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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