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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 956: T-431

Papers of Janet McKelvey Swift, 1856-2002 (inclusive), 1880-1961 (bulk)


Correspondence, diaries, clippings, etc., of Janet McKelvey Swift.


  • 1856-2002
  • Majority of material found within 1880-1961

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 Janet McKelvey Swift 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.


2.09 linear feet ((5 file boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 photograph folder, 1 audiotape)

The papers of Janet McKelvey Swift include correspondence, diaries, clippings, photographs, etc., documenting Swift's life. Diaries document Swift's trips to Europe in 1910, 1932, and 1936, as well as a trip to South America from 1940 to 1941. Correspondence documents Swift's daily life as well as her relationships with friends and family, particularly her husband, Clarence. Also included is an audiotape of interview with Swift from 1958. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online. Files are arranged alphabetically with Swift's papers first.


The daughter of businessman John McKelvey (1835-1915) and Jane Rowland (Huntington) McKelvey (1837-1911), Janet McKelvey Swift was born in Sandusky, Ohio, on April 2, 1862. She had two brothers, John and Ralph, and a sister Alice (1867-1953). She graduated from Oberlin College in 1883 and married Clarence F. Swift (1861-1919), a Congregational minister, in 1886. They had three daughters: Dorothy Rowland Swift (1890-1981), Helen McKelvey Swift Gulick (1892-1969), and Janet Haynes Swift Jameyson (1906-1992). In 1910 she traveled to Oberammergau, Germany, to see the passion plays. Following the early death of her husband, she helped to support her family by giving slide lectures on the passion plays. Swift died on December 24, 1960.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2002-M166, 2003-M8

The papers of Janet McKelvey Swift were given to the Schlesinger Library by her granddaughter, Melba Christensen Gulick, in November 2002 and January 2003.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Melba Christensen Gulick, 1924-2015.

Processing Information

Processed: July 2018

By: Johanna Carll, with assistance from Ashley Thomas.

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.

Swift, Janet McKelvey. Papers of Janet McKelvey Swift, 1856-2002 (inclusive), 1880-1961 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
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. 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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