Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 944

Papers of Anne Cabot Wyman, 1849-2011


Correspondence, family history, writings, photographs and other papers of Boston Globe journalist Anne Cabot Wyman.


  • 1849-2011

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 Anne Cabot Wyman 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.


20.85 linear feet ((50 file boxes) plus 2 folio folders, 3 folio+ folders, 14 photograph folders, 1 folio photograph folder, 1 folio+ photograph folder, 3 photograph albums, 1 object)

The papers of Anne Cabot Wyman document the personal life and professional career of Anne Cabot Wyman. Major research strengths of the collection include the lives of 19th century women in Boston and surrounding areas; Wyman's interpersonal relationships with extended family members, and her accomplishments as the Boston Globe's first woman travel editor and editorial writer. Included are biographical essays and statements, address and date books; alumni activities; awards, honors, and citations; diaries and journals. Educational materials include her academic course work, school reports, yearbooks, and artwork from her years in primary school through her undergraduate studies. Some family history and genealogical research is also included.

The bulk consists of correspondence, which was stored in annotated envelopes, bundled and marked chronologically by year. This correspondence includes family letters and postcards, ranging from the late 1853 to 2007. There is also correspondence from Wyman's numerous friends, including individuals from her years at Baldwin, McGill University, and Radcliffe College. There is some correspondence representing her early career as an editorial reader at Houghton Mifflin and other publishing houses. Most of the professional correspondence, articles, and editorials by and about Wyman relate to her evolving role as a travel writer and journalist at the Boston Globe. Wyman's other professional activities and interests are represented by pilot logs, flight maps, memberships in various clubs, and speeches. Artwork, a substantial number of unpublished short stories and documents related to publications about her father, written and published by Wyman, represent her hobbies and interests during her post-retirement years. The Wyman papers were received without an existing order. The archivist created folder titles, consolidated material, and created the arrangement for all series.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL 1849-2011, n.d. (#1.1-20.1, FD.1-FD.2, F+D.1-F+D.2, 3.4m), includes address and date books, biographical documents and family history; diaries; educational course work, test booklets, and school reports, which kept in looseleaf notebooks to use as journals. Decorated with artwork and travel stickers, these notebooks, some of which were dismantled, include letters to family and friends, program flyers for social activities, school essays and poetry submitted to Atlantic Monthly and other publishers. Family correspondence in this series includes letters written by the Wymans, Cabots, Forbes, Walcotts, and other related families. Family members often circulated letters, and many were annotated, possibly by Anne Cabot Wyman or other family members. To provide context, explanatory notes, which were found with bundled letters, were kept with the letters they describe. The earliest family correspondence dates back to the mid 19th century and includes letters and postcards from her father, Jeffries Wyman, Jr. (1901-1995) to his parents detailing overseas travel in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia; his engagement to Anne M. Cabot, and his career in the sciences. Clippings detailing his accomplishments in scientific research, postcards, photographs, drawings, and travel itineraries are also included. Letters written by Ann Cabot, Wyman's mother, detail her daily life and social activities prior to and during her courtship and engagement to Jeffries Wyman. A gap in the correspondence occurs during the 1930s but following the death of Wyman's mother in 1943, the correspondence resumes. Correspondence between Wyman, her father, step mother Rosamond Forbes, and her brother provide insights into her adolescent years and the impact of her father's long absences while he was conducting scientific research. Personal writings in this series underscore the tensions of Wyman's later years at the Boston Globe, the impact of a long term affair with a married man, her decision to retire in 1990, and subsequent adoption of a child from Bangladesh. Folders are arranged alphabetically and chronologically thereunder. Folder titles were created by the processor.

Series II, OTHER CORRESPONDENCE, 1943-2007, n.d. (#20.2-44.4), includes letters that reflect Wyman's life-long friendships with former classmates of the Winsor and Baldwin Schools, McGill and Radcliffe Colleges, as well as male suitors. Correspondents from her school and college years often addressed her as "Sid," a reference to her middle name Sidney, or as "Cabby," a reference to her family name Cabot. These letters, which include photographs, clippings, poetry and artwork, provide a glimpse of Wyman's adolescent years, active social life, and love of travel. There is some personal correspondence from colleagues at the Boston Globe who also knew Wyman socially. Folders are arranged alphabetically and chronologically thereunder. Folder titles were created by the processor.

Series III, PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES, 1948-2008 (#44.5-50.8, F+D.3), includes articles, editorials, and clippings by and about Wyman, which highlight her accomplishments and challenges at the Boston Globe. Of particular interest is are Wyman's letters to the editor of various newspapers regarding the Vietnam War. There is also some correspondence and memoranda related to her leadership of the Spotlight Team's coverage of Boston's busing controversy. The team was eventually awarded the Pulitzer prize. There are some papers related to her early career at Houghton Mifflin and other publishing houses. Papers related to memberships in the Junior League of Boston, the Women's Flying Club, and other organizations highlight Wyman's social and civic involvement. Speeches presented at alumni events, before student bodies and other groups, describe her achievements as a licensed pilot and unique perspective on being a woman journalist. This series also contains various writings by Wyman, including correspondence and notes related to two published editions of letters, one written by her father while living in Japan, and the other consisting of diary entries describing his life in New Guinea. There are also papers related to Wyman's highly regarded memoir of her father. Other writings in this series include biographical memoirs of her father written by his former colleagues, and a draft manuscript of the Cabot family. Short stories written by Wyman and water color scenes of Naushon, Massachusetts are also included. Folders are arranged alphabetically and chronologically thereunder. Folder titles were created by the processor.

Series IV, PHOTOGRAPHS, ca.1890-2010, n.d (#PD.1f-PD.16v), includes family portraits, and formal and informal portraits of Anne Cabot Wyman, ranging from her youth through her retirement years. Other photographs highlight Wyman's flight activities and overseas travels, which most likely relates to her work as a travel editor for the Boston Globe. Several photographs of Wyman posing with the Boston Globe staff are also included. Scrapbooks in this series contain photographs dating back to the 19th century, and include family members in period dress, locales in Brookline, West Newton, Wellesley Hill and East Gloucester in Massachusetts where the family lived and vacationed. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online. The series is arranged by format and chronologically thereunder. Folder titles were created by the processor.


Journalist Anne Cabot Wyman was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on November 6, 1929 to Anne McMaster Cabot Wyman (1903-1943) and Jeffries Wyman, Jr. (1901-1995). Her mother was a graduate of the Radcliffe College Class of 1928 and her father, the third member of the family to carry the same name, was a highly influential biophysicist who taught at Harvard. Considered members of Boston's Brahmin class, the Wyman and Cabot families traced their lineage to 17th and 18th century settlers in Woburn and Salem, Massachusetts. Wyman, affectionately known as "Anne-Anne" and her brother, also named Jeffries, were born on her grandmother's estate in Brookline, Massachusetts. Her formative education took place at the Beaver Country Day School in Brookline and the Winsor School in Boston. Wyman's mother died of Hodgkin's disease in 1943 and her father, who studied abroad in his youth, continued to travel for research while Wyman and her brother were raised by a maternal aunt. In 1948 she graduated from the Baldwin School for Girls in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and later moved to Montreal where she attended McGill University for two years. She returned to Boston in 1950 to complete her undergraduate studies at Radcliffe College where she earned a BA in 1953.

Following graduation, Wyman was briefly engaged but ultimately decided against marriage. Encouraged by her father to pursue a broad range of interests, which included riding, sailing, and hiking, Wyman learned to fly at the Revere, Massachusetts, airport, earning a pilot's license in 1955. She flew biplanes in England, a seaplane to Nova Scotia, and a small Cessna across the U.S. She also held memberships in various clubs including a women's flying club. Wyman also held several positions that paved the way for her career in journalism. She was an editorial reader at Houghton-Mifflin Company in Boston (1953-1956), and at Chatto & Windusin London (1956-1957). In 1958, she briefly worked for Mel Evans Company, a fledgling publishing house in New York City.

Wyman began her career at the Boston Globe in October of 1959. Her first assignment was in the promotions department where she organized school contests and wrote follow up articles. In 1961, she became a general assignment reporter, and two years later took on the role of suburban reporter, responsible for writing town profiles. Based on her proven track record as a pilot, in 1965 Wyman became the newspaper's first full-time travel editor. Because the position was funded by the Boston Globe, rather than advertisers, Wyman explored out of the way locales and reported her findings under the byline "Off the Beaten Path." During her stint as a travel editor she traveled to 41 countries, 18 states, and numerous Caribbean islands. Select articles from her column were republished by Protean Press in 2013.

In 1970 Wyman was promoted to the position of editorial writer. Known for her solid research, she reported on environmental issues, school desegregation, and foreign affairs. At the height of the busing controversy in Boston Wyman attended community meetings, and met with school officials and police departments despite threats against her and the Boston Globe. Her persistence helped the newspaper win the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service in 1975; the top award in journalism. In 1975 she also replaced Charles Whipple as editor of the editorial and op-ed pages; the first woman to hold the position. Responsible for reporting on local, national, and international news, Wyman earned a reputation for her independent, and sometimes controversial stand on various topics.

A marked shift in her career occurred during the 1980s when she was reassigned to writing about science, technology, and ideas under the byline "Breaking Ground," and subsequently as an assistant metro editor working with reporters covering medicine, education, and the environment. Towards the end of her career, Wyman briefly returned to the position of general assignment reporter. She retired in 1990 at the age of sixty and pursued varied hobbies and interests. She was a gardening enthusiast, took up water color painting, and attended fiction writing workshops where she produced many notable short stories. Equally interested in the value of education, she also served as a volunteer classroom aide in a local high school, started a writing club for students, and taught a weekly writing class at Boston University's Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Wyman published several volumes of family letters, including Letters from Japan: 1950 (2009), which documented her father's experience during the post-World War II era, and Alaska Journal: 1951 (2010), her father's personal account of life with the Inuit in the Arctic. She also published Kipling's Cat, a well-received memoir of her father. Widely remembered as a trailblazer, Anne Cabot Wyman died in 2014.


The collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and personal, 1849-2011, n.d. (#1.1-20.1, FD.1-FD.2, F+D.1-F+D.2, 3.4m)
  2. Series II. Other correspondence, 1943-2007, n.d. (#20.2-44.4)
  3. Series III. Professional activities, 1948-2008, n.d. (#44.5-50.8, F+D.3)
  4. Series IV. Photographs, ca.1890-2010, n.d. (#PD.1f-PD.16v)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2015-M56, 2017-M53

These papers of Anne Cabot Wyman were given to Schlesinger Library between April 2015 and March 2017

Related material

There is related material at the Harvard University Archives; see Wyman Family Archive 1711-2010 (HUM 271) and at the Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine; see the Jeffries Wyman Papers,1832-1936 (H MS c 12. H)


Donors: The Papers of Anne Cabot Wyman were given to the Schlesinger Library by the estate of Anne Cabot Wyman.

Accession number(s): 2015-M56, 2017-M53

Processed by: Emilyn L. Brown

The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library Books and Printed Materials Division (pending review by the curator):

  1. Jeffries Wyman Letters from Japan 1950
  2. Jeffries Wyman Alaska Journal 1951
  3. Kipling's Cat A Memoir of My Father

Processing Information

Processed: January 2018

By: Emilyn Brown, 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.

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.

Wyman, Anne Cabot. Papers of Anne Cabot Wyman, 1849-2011: 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 Archival Processing Fund, the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Fund, and the Class of 1950 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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA