Papers of Anna Spicer Gladding and Miriam Van Waters, 1855-1992
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
5 linear feet ((12 file boxes) plus 4 folio+ folders, 57 photograph folders, 1 folio photograph folder, 1 folio+ photograph folder, 1 audiotape)
Series I, Papers of Anna Gladding, #1-196, documents Gladding's work at the reformatory, largely in the nursery. There are also printed materials (mostly clippings) collected by Gladding, most of which pertain to the accusations, trial, dismissal, and subsequent reinstatement of Van Waters. The clippings have been photocopied and discarded. There are many letters between Gladding and Van Waters, but little other personal correspondence.
Series II, Papers of Miriam Van Waters, #197-376, comprises the bulk of the collection. Personal materials consist mainly of family letters, diaries, and correspondence with Hans Weiss, a suitor, and Geraldine Thompson, a close friend who was active in social causes, especially prison reform, in New Jersey. There is also business correspondence, as well as exchanges between Van Waters and prisoners and ex-prisoners from the reformatory and elsewhere; there are many more such letters in the Van Waters papers in the Schlesinger Library (A-71).
There are also typescript and manuscript drafts of speeches given by Van Waters, at the reformatory or elsewhere, and notes and drafts of articles and other of her writings. Much of the material relating to the reformatory documents student activities, especially the plays staged by the students and directed by Van Waters. Like Gladding, Van Waters collected many printed materials, largely reflecting her interests; most pertain to prisons, penal reform, juvenile delinquency, and the death penalty. For additional information about her dismissal, hearing, and reinstatement, see the records of the Friends of Framingham Reformatory (B-18) in the Schlesinger Library. Most materials from her work on juvenile delinquency are at the Harvard Law School.
Series III, Photographs, #377-432. As it was impossible to determine whether Gladding or Van Waters owned any particular photograph, they have been left as one series. Most of the photographs depict scenes and activities at the reformatory, particularly students performing plays, including the Merrymakers Club (a club for African American students) in "A Hill of Beans," a play written for them by Van Waters. There are also photographs of Van Waters, her friends and family.
ANNA SPICER GLADDING BIOGRAPHY
Her most noted work was as superintendent of the Reformatory for Women at Framingham (1932-1957). Her liberal views on penal reform brought her both praise and condemnation. In January 1949 she was fired because of alleged administrative failings, such as condoning lesbianism among the "students" (as she called the prisoners) and failing to supervise a work-release program properly. After a lengthy hearing process she was reinstated. Van Waters was the author of Youth in Conflict (1925) and Parents on Probation (1927).
Although Van Waters never married, she had close family ties. She adopted a daughter, Sarah Ann, in 1932; her brother Ralph and his wife Bertha lived nearby, and after the death of Van Waters' father, her mother went to live with Van Waters. Sarah Ann Van Waters married Richard Hildebrandt; they had three sons and later divorced. Sarah Ann Van Waters died in an automobile accident in 1953. Miriam Van Waters died in a hospital in Framingham on January 17, 1974. For additional biographical information, see Notable American Women: The Modern Period (1980).
- Series I. Papers of Anna Gladding, #1-196
- Series II. Papers of Miriam Van Waters, #197-376
- Series III. Photographs, #377-432
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers of Anna Spicer Gladding and Miriam Van Waters were given to the Schlesinger Library in September 1982 and May 1984 by Anna Gladding; in April 1989 by Cynthia Thomas; in August 1989 by Anna Gladding and Margaret Van Wagenen; in April and May 1993 by Margaret Van Wagenen; in May 1993 by Margaret Van Wagenen (via Mary Q. Hawkes); in April 1993 by Richard, Peter, and George Hildebrandt (via Margaret Van Wagenen); and in November 1993 by Margaret Trapwell, and in January 1994 by Margaret Van Wagenen (via Estelle Friedman)
- Box 1: Folders 1-25
- Box 2: Folders 26-91
- Box 3: Folders 92-187
- Box 4: Folders 188-214
- Box 5: Folders 215v-219v
- Box 6: Folders 220v-241
- Box 7: Folders 242-270
- Box 8: Folders 271-286
- Box 9: Folders 287-310
- Box 10: Folders 311-331
- Box 11: Folders 332-355
- Box 12: Folders 356-376
By: Susan von Salis
- African American prisoners--Massachusetts
- Capital punishment--United States
- Children of women prisoners--Massachusetts
- Correctional institutions--Massachusetts
- Correctional psychology
- Corrections--Study and teaching
- Massachusetts--Officials and employees
- Prison administration--Massachusetts
- Prison libraries--Massachusetts
- Prison reformers--Massachusetts
- Prison reformers--New Jersey
- Prison theater--Massachusetts
- Prisons--Officials and employees
- Reformatories for women--Massachusetts
- Social work with criminals--Massachusetts
- Women correctional personnel--Massachusetts
- Women librarians--Massachusetts
- Women prisoners--Massachusetts
- Women prisoners--Sexual behavior
- Women--Social conditions
- Gladding, Anna Spicer, 1906-1992. Papers of Anna Spicer Gladding and Miriam Van Waters, 1885-1992: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- EAD ID
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