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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 963

Joan C. Tonn Collection on Mary Parker Follett, 1979-2001 (inclusive), 1982-1988 (bulk)


Research material, photocopies of documents, notes, academic papers, and correspondence created and assembled by Joan C. Tonn while writing a biography of Mary Parker Follett.


  • Creation: 1979-1998
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1982-1988
  • Creation: 1979-2001
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1982-1988


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Joan C. Tonn 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.


1.67 linear feet (4 file boxes)

Collection contains photocopies of documents and research material used by Joan C. Tonn to write Mary P. Follett: Creating Democracy, Transforming Management. The original material copied dates between the 1840s-1960s. The photocopies include vital, probate, military, and census records; clippings; and genealogical information pertaining to Mary Parker Follett and her extended family. There are also photocopies of school and organizational records, including copies of bulletins of the Women's Municipal League of Boston (originals 1909-1922). The collection also contains Tonn's notes, academic papers, and correspondence with archivists and records managers regarding her search for material about Follett (ca.1982-1988). Tonn used material first gathered by Elliott M. Fox and copies of this material is also included; in some cases these papers are referred to by Tonn as "Fox papers." Original folder titles created by Tonn were retained; the archivist's notes are in brackets. The archivist also provided dates. The folders are arranged alphabetically.


An organizational psychologist and associate professor in the College of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Joan C. Tonn (born 1947) is the author of Understanding the Other Person Skillful Interpersonal Communication (1986), and Mary P. Follett: Creating Democracy, Transforming Management (2003). Mary Parker Follett was an American social worker and leader in the field of organizational theory and organizational behavior. Tonn spent years researching Follett's life, and in doing so she worked with Follett's family members and contacted numerous repositories in search of records documenting Follett's life.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2018-M183, 2022-M90

The Joan C. Tonn Collection on Mary Parker Follett was given to the Schlesinger Library by Joan C. Tonn in 2018 and 2022.

Processing Information

Processed: January 2019

By: Paula Aloisio, with assistance from Ashley Thomas

Updated: August 2022

By: Johanna Carll

Additional materials received from Joan C. Tonn were added to the collection in August 2022 and can be found in folders #3.25-4.14.

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.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Radcliffe College Class of 1957 Schlesinger Library Fund and the Gerard Schlesinger Library 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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