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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 603: T-354

Papers of Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, 1617-2006 (inclusive), 1860-2000 (bulk)


Papers of educator Elizabeth Blodgett Hall and her husband, Livingston Hall, a professor at the Harvard University Law School.


  • Creation: 1617-2006
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1860-2000

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted, except that researchers must sign a special permission form to use #4.2 and 37.1-39.2; #11.1 is closed until January 1, 2026, #11.2 is closed until January 1, 2039, and #11.3-11.29, 17.3 are closed until January 1, 2029. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Elizabeth Blodgett Hall 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. No part of the collection may be digitized for use on the internet until January 1, 2030.


38.15 linear feet ((83 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 carton, 1 folio box, 1 folio+ box) plus 1 folio folder, 2 supersize folders, 91 photograph folders, 5 folio photograph folders, 3 folio+ photograph folders, 6 audiotapes)

The papers of Elizabeth Blodgett Hall include correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, legal documents, photographs, audiotapes, etc., documenting Hall's personal life and her work as an educator. Papers also document the lives of her husband, Livingston Hall, and her parents, Thomas Harper and Margaret Kendrick Blodgett, as well as other family members. Some files arrived at the library in folders; those folder titles were retained and appear in quotation marks. The archivist created folders for the loose materials. The file arrangement was also created by the archivist.

Series I, ELIZABETH BLODGETT AND LIVINGSTON HALL, 1823-2006 (#1.1-28.2, 85.1m, 87F+B.1-87F+B.4, FD.1, T-354.1 - T-.354.2), includes correspondence, scrapbooks, diaries, legal documents, printed material, etc., documenting the Halls' personal and, to a lesser extent, professional lives. The bulk of materials relating to Elizabeth Blodgett Hall's involvement with Simon's Rock were donated by Hall to Simon's Rock. Livingston Hall donated papers relating to his work in the legal community to the Harvard Law School (see Livingston Hall papers, 1947-1973 HOLLIS 601612 ). Files in this series are arranged in four subseries.

Subseries A, Elizabeth Blodgett Hall general files, 1909-2006 (#1.1-7.6, 85.1m, 87F+B.1-87F+B.2v, FD.1, T-354.1 - T-.354.2), includes articles and speeches by Hall, correspondence, scrapbooks, diaries, printed material, etc., documenting Hall's childhood, education, travels, and work as an educator. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries B, Elizabeth Blodgett Hall Concord Academy, 1923-1924, 1948-1993 (#7.7-11.29), includes personnel files, notes, printed material, etc. Also included is correspondence between Hall and Concord Academy students, former students, and teachers, as well as parents of Concord Academy students. Personnel files, which are closed until January 1, 2029, include correspondence with teachers and often include resumes and recommendations from placement offices, including offices at Radcliffe, Vassar, and Smith Colleges. The folder of surveys of former students about their college experiences and the role of advisors in the lives of college students provides detailed reports from students attending a variety of colleges. Files containing student information are closed for eighty years. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries C, Livingston Hall general files, 1910-1996 (#12.1-18.7, 87F+B.3), includes correspondence, schoolwork, appointment books, diaries, etc., documenting Hall's education, travels, and work as a lawyer. Several folders document Hall's role in organizing class reunions as class secretary for the Harvard Law School class of 1927. Additional materials concerning Hall's work in the legal community can be found at the Harvard Law School (see Livingston Hall papers, 1947-1973 HOLLIS 601612 ). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries D, Elizabeth Blodgett and Livingston Hall shared files, 1823-1999 (#18.8-28.2, 87F+B.4), includes correspondence, calendars, legal documents, notes, clippings, etc. Real estate files contain correspondence, legal documents, etc., concerning properties bought and sold by the Halls. Estate files contain correspondence and legal documents concerning the Halls' own estate planning, as well as their roles as beneficiaries of family members' estates. Vacation files include correspondence, journals, printed material, etc., from trips the Halls took. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Series II, ELIZABETH AND LIVINGSTON HALL CORRESPONDENCE, 1915-2002 (#28.3-39.2, T-354.3 - T.354.6), contains correspondence between the Halls and family and friends. It is arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A, General, 1915-2002 (#28.3-36.15), contains correspondence with family and friends. Letters in the 1940s discuss Elizabeth Blodgett Hall's pursuit of a degree from Radcliffe College while raising four children and Livingston Hall's enlistment in the Army and service in the South Pacific. Letters from the 1950s and 1960s contain mentions of Elizabeth Blodgett Hall's work as an educator, including in her role as headmistress of Concord Academy and founder and president of Simon's Rock. Letters throughout contain accounts of news and activities of friends and family, particularly from the Halls' children and grandchildren. Files are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically.

Subseries B, Round robin, 1942-1991 (#37.1-39.2, T-354.3 - T-354.6), contains letters exchanged by Elizabeth Blodgett Hall and three of her friends: Nancy Pierce, Margaretta "Gretta" Prince, and Florence Dorothy "F.D." Tschebotaridff. Hall met Pierce in Weston, Massachusetts, when they were both young mothers living there. She met Prince through Livingston Hall, who was friends with Gretta's husband, Kim Prince. She met Tschebotaridff through her parents who were friends with Tschebotaridff's parents. The four women met each other when the Halls invited everyone on a sailing trip along the Maine coast in the 1940s and they began exchanging letters once they moved to different parts of the country. The round robin worked as follows: the first woman wrote a letter and sent it on to a designated recipient, who wrote a letter in response to the received letter and sent her letter and the letter she had received on to a third recipient. The third recipient would read both letters and send them along with her letter to the fourth recipient, who would add her letter to the package. She would send all of the letters back to the original letter writer and the letters would continue to circulate until the accumulated letters became too bulky to mail. Hall would remove older letters from the round robin and save them in notebooks, which she labeled as volumes. The round robin ended in the 1950s and began again in the 1970s. In addition to the volumes, this series includes letters Hall exchanged with Pierce, Prince, and Tschebotaridff that were found loose and may or may not have been shared with the other women. The letters document news of the women's daily activities and news of family members and friends; they also contain detailed passages describing how the women felt about the people and events in their lives and about national events. Topics discussed include religion and faith; Hall's Shetland sheepdogs; aging, including age-related physical ailments such as arthritis and Hall's diagnosis of macular degeneration; their spouses, including caring for their aging spouses; and grieving, particularly following the death of Pierce's son, Hall's friend Doreen Young, and Prince's husband. Discussions of their grandchildren often include opinions regarding generational differences, particularly the decision of several members of the younger generation to live with a member of the opposite sex outside of marriage. Hall's letters often contain detailed descriptions of decisions made by the Simon's Rock administration and her reaction, often outrage, to them. Files are arranged with the volumes compiled by Hall first, followed by the loose letters in chronological order.

Series III, MARGARET KENDRICK AND THOMAS HARPER BLODGETT, 1881-1973 (#39.3-58.13, 85.2m-85.3m, 86FB.1v, 87F+B.5, SD.1), includes correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, notebooks, printed material, etc. It is arranged in two subseries.

Subseries A, General, 1881-1973 (#39.3-54.15, 85.2m-85.3m, 86FB.1v, 87F+B.5, SD.1), includes correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, notebooks, printed material, etc. Materials relating to Margaret Kendrick Blodgett document her time as a student at the Ogontz School in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, which was well known for training students in military drill, and her love of gardening. Several folders of material appear to have been removed from one or more scrapbooks and have been grouped together with the designation "scrapbook?" to indicate their possible connection. Among the files concerning Thomas Harper Blodgett are those documenting his travels, including his 1899 trip to England aboard a cattle boat for only $100. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries B, Correspondence, 1898-1973 (#55.1-58.13), contains letters from family and friends, including Elizabeth Blodgett and Livingston Hall, Thomas and Margaret Blodgett's daughter and son-in-law. Letters contain accounts of everyday activities, as well as news about family members and friends. Letters from the Halls in the 1940s contain accounts of Elizabeth Blodgett Hall's pursuit of a degree at Radcliffe College while raising four children and of Livingston Hall's service in the South Pacific in the Army during World War II. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Series IV, GENEALOGY, 1861-1991 (#59.1-65.15), includes notes, correspondence, drafts, genealogy books, genealogical charts, etc., relating to the ancestors of Elizabeth Blodgett and Livingston Hall. Files contain a small amount of primary source materials used to compile genealogies. Documents created by many of the individuals and families included in the Halls' genealogical research can be found in Series V. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Series V, OTHER FAMILY AND FRIENDS, 1617, 1708, 1771-1991 (#65.16-84.5, 85.4m, 87F+B.6, SD.2), includes correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, writings, clippings, etc., documenting the lives of Elizabeth Blodgett and Livingston Hall's family. A small number of files relate to Doreen Young, a close friend of the Halls who taught art at Concord Academy and Simon's Rock and who was killed in a plane crash in 1981. It is likely that most of the materials in this series were used to compile genealogies found in Series IV. Included in the family files are diaries written by Elizabeth Blodgett Hall's cousin, Emma S.R. Kendrick, detailing life in Worcester, Massachusetts, including detailed accounts of visits with other residents of the city and car trips to surrounding areas. Also included are diaries and writings by Livingston Hall's grandmother, Mary Lovering Rumsey Movius, who spent most of her life in Buffalo, New York, and wrote about her children, Evelyn (Movius) Hall and Hallam Leonard Movius, as well as her involvement in the Baha'i religion. Also of interest are the letters and diaries of Elizabeth Blodgett Hall's great-grandfather, Benjamin Rector, who rose to the rank of major in the 4th Iowa Cavalry during the Civil War. He was taken prisoner in 1862 and later exchanged for a Confederate lieutenant colonel and died of dysentery on January 23, 1863. His letters to his wife and children contain assurances that he is living a moral life, accounts of other men's immoral actions, worries about his family, encounters with Confederate troops, interactions with freed slaves, expressions of patriotism and anti-slavery sentiments, and illnesses that he and other men in camp suffered from. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Series VI, PHOTOGRAPHS, ca.1840-1995 (#PD.1-PD.99f), contains photographs and daguerreotypes depicting Elizabeth Blodgett and Livingston Hall and their families and friends. The arrangement mirrors the arrangement of the paper documents.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].


Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, daughter of Thomas Harper and Margaret (Kendrick) Blodgett, was born November 16, 1909, in New York City. She attended the Ethical Culture School in New York City, Miss Hall's School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and Knox College. On September 13, 1930, she married Livingston Hall. They had four children: Thomas Livingston Hall, Margaret "Peggy" (Hall) Whitfield, Elizabeth (Hall) Richardson, and John Kendrick Hall. She returned to college in the early 1940s and became one of the first older women to graduate from Radcliffe College, receiving her A.B. in government in 1946. In 1948, she joined the staff at Concord Academy as the head of the history department. In 1949, she was appointed headmistress, a position she held until her resignation in 1963. In 1964, she founded Simon's Rock, an "early college" in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, designed for students who are mature enough to pursue a college education after having completed the tenth or eleventh high school grade level. She served as president of the school from 1964 to 1972 and was a supporter of the college for the remainder of her life, serving on the Board of Trustees from 1972 to 1996. She died July 18, 2005 in Canaan, Connecticut.

Livingston Hall, son of James Parker and Evelyn (Movius) Hall, was born May 5, 1903, in Chicago, Illinois. He received his Ph.B. from the University of Chicago in 1923 and his LL.B. from the Harvard University Law School in 1927. He was an assistant professor (1932-1937), professor of law (1937-1971), Roscoe Pound Professor of Law (1964-1971), professor emeritus, vice dean (1938-1958), and acting dean (1959) at Harvard University Law School. He was a member of the American Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association, serving as president of the latter (1963-1964). He died November 18, 1995, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.


The collection is arranged in six series:

  1. Series I. Elizabeth Blodgett and Livingston Hall, 1823-2006 (#1.1-28.2, 85.1m, 87F+B.1-87F+B.4, FD.1, T-354.1 - T-.354.2)
  2. Series II. Elizabeth Blodgett and Livingston Hall correspondence, 1915-2002 (#28.3-39.2, T-354.3 - T.354.6)
  3. Series III. Margaret Kendrick and Thomas Harper Blodgett, 1881-1973 (#39.3-58.13, 85.2m-85.3m, 86FB.1v, 87F+B.5, SD.1)
  4. Series IV. Genealogy, 1861-1991 (#59.1-65.15)
  5. Series V. Other family and friends, 1617, 1708, 1771-1991 (#65.16-84.5, 85.4m, 87F+B.6, SD.2)
  6. Series VI. Photographs, ca.1840-1995 (#PD.1-PD.99f)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2008-M177, 2009-M134

The papers of Elizabeth Blodgett Hall were given to the Schlesinger Library in October 2008 and July 2009 by her children, John K. Hall, Thomas L. Hall, Elizabeth Hall Richardson, and Margaret Hall Whitfield.


Donors: John K. Hall, Thomas L. Hall, Elizabeth Hall Richardson, and Margaret Hall Whitfield

Accession numbers: 2008-M177, 2009-M134

Processed by: Johanna Carll

The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection:

  1. McFarland, Philip James. A History of Concord Academy: The First Half-century. Concord, Mass.: The Academy, 1986.
  2. N. J., Mrs. How We Are Born: A Letter To Parents For Their Children. London: C.W. Daniel, 1906.

Processing Information

Processed: September 2009

By: Johanna Carll

Hall, Elizabeth B. (Elizabeth Blodgett), 1909-2005. Papers of Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, 1617-2006 (inclusive), 1860-2000 (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 a gift from the Margaret Kendrick Blodgett Foundation.

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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