An Inventory of the Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon Schlesinger Library Papers, 1906-1979

(7 boxes; 3.5 linear ft.)

RG 5/124


© Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.  
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081-1399 U.S.A.  

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
Abstract
Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon (1890-1979) was born into an extended Quaker family who lived for generations in Clarke and Loudon counties, Virginia. She moved beyond the Virginia Quaker community to a career in the women's movement, first as a campaigner for women's suffrage (1917-1920), then as an educator and political activist in Virginia (1920-1928) and finally as a research economist for the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor (1928-1956). During her retirement years, Pidgeon became active in Quaker affairs. The collection contains personal and professional papers of Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon (1890-1979), including family and other correspondence and papers relating to her activities as student, suffragette. and in her professional and organizational work.

Background note:
BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon (1890-1979) was born into an extended Quaker family who lived for generations in Clarke and Loudon counties, Virginia. She moved beyond the Virginia Quaker community to a career in the women's movement, first as a campaigner for women's suffrage, 1917-1920, then as an educator and political activist in Virginia, 1920-1928, and finally as a research economist for the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, 1928-1956. During her retirement years, Pidgeon became active in Quaker affairs.

Time-line
1890 Born, August 2, Wadesville, Clarke County, Virginia, daughter of Lewis Pidgeon (1859-1951) and Susan Talbott Williams Pidgeon (1860-1942).
1904-1906 Attended school at Waterford, Virginia.
1906-1909 Attended George School, Pa., graduating in 1909.
1909-1913 Attended Swarthmore College, received B.A. (English) in 1913.
1914-1916 Teacher, Media Friends School, Media, Pa.
1917-1920 Field Secretary, National American Woman Suffrage Association, located principally in New York, South Dakota, Virginia, and North Carolina.
1920-1926 Director, Bureau of Citizenship Education, Extension Division, University of Virginia.
1921 Chairman, Executive Committee, Virginia Governor's Conference on Governmental Efficiency.
1920-1928 Chairman, Efficient Government Committee, Virginia League of Women Voters.
1922-1928 Executive Secretary, Virginia Women's Council of Legislative Chairmen of State Organizations.
1924 M.A. (Political Science), University of Virginia.
1925 Studied at Fédération Universitaire Internationale, Geneva, Switzerland.
1926-1927 Fellow in Political Science, University of Chicago (candidate for Ph.D.)
1928 Appointed Assistant Editor, Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.
1930-1956 Director, Division of Research, Women's Bureau; retired in 1956.
1967 Moved from Washington, D.C. to Friends House, Sandy Spring, Md.
1979 Died at Friends House, Sandy Spring, Md.
Scope and content
SCOPE AND CONTENT Researchers should note that additional Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon papers which originally were part of the same collection were given to Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College in 1983 by the same donor who gave the Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon Schlesinger Library Papers to Radcliffe College in 1982. This larger collection also contains personal and professional papers of Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon as well as family papers and is named the Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon Family Papers, RG 5/123. The collections are administered as two separate collections. However, the checklists for both collections refer to related material.

The collection contains chiefly personal and professional papers of Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon (1890-1979), including family correspondence and papers related to her professional and organizational life

Arrangement
Arrangement The collection is divided into seven series:


Added entries

Subjects
  • Bucks County (Pa.) --Education -- Schools
  • College students -- United States
  • Education -- Pennsylvania
  • Indiana -- Education -- Universities and colleges
  • Labor bureaus
  • Peace
  • Peace -- Religious aspects -- Society of Friends
  • Pennsylvania -- Education -- Universities and colleges
  • Quakers -- Virginia
  • Quakers--Diaries--20th century
  • Quakers--Education
  • Quakers--Politics
  • Quakers--Social life and customs
  • Quakers--Social service
  • Quakers--Suffrage
  • Suffrage -- New York
  • Swarthmore (Pa.) -- Education - Universities and colleges
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania
  • Virginia -- Churches and religious affairs -- Quaker
  • Virginia -- Education -- Universities and colleges
  • Virginia -- Family and personal papers
  • Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Virginia -- Politics and government
  • Voting -- Societies, etc.
  • Voting -- United States
  • Women -- Suffrage -- New York (State)
  • Women -- Suffrage -- Societies, etc.
  • Women --Suffrage -- Virginia
  • Women and peace
  • Women in politics -- Societies, etc.
  • Women in politics -- United States
  • Women, Quaker -- Virginia
Credits
Processed by: Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
Date: 1984
Restrictions: Use Restrictions Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Sponsor: Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries


Inventory

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE RECORDS
Notes
Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below:

Ser. 1. Biographical and pictorial
For related material, see also Pidgeon Papers. The relevent series in the Pidgeon Papers is indicated where appropriate.


Photographs of family and friends.
Photograph celebrating victory of woman suffrage in New York State, removed to PICTURE COLLECTION: Oversize - Miscellaneous - Woman Suffrage. See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 21.
Box 1: 1

Biographical
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 8
Box 1

Memberships identification cards, etc
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 8
Box 1: 3

Clippings programs, and miscellaneous material re: MEP
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 8
Box 1: 4

Ser. 2. Family correspondence, 1906-1979

Letters by MEP to her parents, Susan Talbott (Williams) and Lewis Pidgeon
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 10
1906-1913 Box 1: 5

Letters by MEP to her parents on suffrage campaign
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 10
1917-19 Box 1: 6

Letters by MEP to her parents
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 8
1925 and 1939-1941 Box 1: 7

Letters from parents to MEP
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 8
1918 and 1929-1939 Box 1: 8

Letters to Susan Pidgeon (not by MEP)
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 3
1922-1923 Box 1: 9

Susan Pidgeon's bank account, driver's license, etc
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 5
1930-1943 Box 1: 10

Letters following the death of Susan Pidgeon
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 3
1943 Box 1: 11

Letters following the death of Susan Pidgeon
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 3
1943 Box 1: 12

Correspondence of Dorothy Everett (Pidgeon) Berry, mostly with Susan and Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 3, 10
1908-1979 Box 1: 13

Letters from Hannah Conrow (Williams) Tomlinson to Susan and Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 3, 10
1934-1960 Box 1: 14

Condolence letters on the death of Rebecca R. Pidgeon (aunt)
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 10
1942-1943 Box 2: 15

Other family correspondence
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 3, 10
1908-1979 Box 2: 16

Ser. 3. Other correspondence of Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon, 1909-1979
For below, see also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 10.


Letters received 1909-1934 Box 2: 17

Letters from Louise Lawton 1915 Box 2: 18

Correspondence concerning job searches
Includes telegram from Mary Anderson offering MEP a position at the Women's Bureau, February 8, 1928.
1927-1929 Box 2: 19

Letters from Rachel Ryan 1935-1947 Box 2: 20

Letters received by MEP, 1936-1968

Letters received by MEP 1936-1943 Box 2: 21

Letters received by MEP 1946-1967 and 1974 Box 2: 22

Letters received by MEP 1977 Box 2: 23

Letters received by MEP 1978 Box 2: 24

Letters received by MEP 1979 Box 3: 25

Christmas cards and unidentified material, etc. n.d. Box 3: 26

Ser. 4. Diaries, finances and notes of Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon, 1936-1968

Engagement books, book list
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 9
1936, 1940, 1941, 1967, 1968 Box 3: 27

Financial bills and receipts
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 18
Box 3: 28

Notes
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 20
Box 3: 29

Ser. 5. School papers, 1913-1979

George School, reunions
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 13
1959-1979 Box 3: 30

Swarthmore College
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 14
1913, 1979 Box 3: 31

Ser. 6. Professional and organizational work, 1913-1972

New York State Woman Suffrage Party, 1915-1917
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 14

Correspondence and reports 1915-1917 Box 3: 32

Releases 1916-1917. Box 3: 33

Releases, resolutions, bulletins 1916-1917 Box 4: 34

Virginia Good Road Association
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 16
1921 Box 4: 35

University of Virginia, Extension Division
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 15
1922-1923 Box 4: 36

Virginia League of Women Voters
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 16

Correspondence (including with Belle Sherwin) 1922-1926 Box 4: 37

Correspondence and related material 1927-1928 Box 4: 38

National League of Women Voters, printed material
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 16
Box 4: 39

Virginia Council of Administrative Women in Education 1922-1924 Box 4: 40

Virginia Women's Council of Legislative Chairmen of State Organizations
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 16
1923-1929 Box 4: 41

Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, 1913-1956
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 17

Bulletins, planned and written by MEP 1930-1937 Box 4: 42

Reports and bulletins 1937-1938 (bound volume, interleaved) Box 4: 43

Inserts removed from "Women in the U.S.” 1937 Box 5: 44

Publications 1940-1941 Box 5: 45

Bulletins, 1942-1956 Box 5: 46

Publications written under the direction of MEP 1941-56 Box 5: 47

Research Division, writings describing its work 1929-1939 (ms. and clippings) Box 5: 48

Publications by and about the Women's Bureau 1913-1954 Box 5: 49

Memos and correspondence (includes Mary Anderson) 1928-1956 Box 6: 50

Reports concerning equal pay for women 1945 Box 6: 51

Reports, clippings, about women in Congress 1924-1955 Box 6: 52

Notes, studies 1940s Folder 53

National Council for the Prevention of War
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 19
1928 Box 6: 54

Women's Centennial Congress, 1940

Correspondence, program, committees Box 6: 55

Publicity Box 6: 56

Correspondence and printed material Box 6: 57

Printed proceedings (and inserts) Box 6: 58

Other printed material and reports on the Congress Box 6: 59

Society of Friends, 1948-1972

Notes, programs, newsletters, mostly concerning Baltimore Yearly Mtg.
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 10, 19
1948 and 1966-1967 Box 6: 60

Friends Meeting of Washington, D.C., newsletters, programs, etc.
See also Pidgeon Family Papers, Ser. 10
1970-72 Box 7: 61

Women Strike for Peace, newsletters, releases, clippings, 1962-1967

Women Strike for Peace 1962 Box 7: 62

Women Strike for Peace 1963 Box 7: 63

Women Strike for Peace 1964 Box 7: 64

Women Strike for Peace 1965 Box 7: 65

Women Strike for Peace 1966-1967 Box 7: 66

Memo (official publication of WSP) 1962-1967 Box 7: 67

Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions,
Includes letter by MEP which appeared in Change.
1965 Box 7: 68

Ser. 7. Miscellaneous printed material and clippings about women, 1904-1964

The Outlook, Women's Number and other publications
See also Oversize.
1904, 1928-1947 Box 7: 69

Madeleine Doty articles “Women of Many Lands” in Good Housekeeping 1918, and n.d. Box 7: 70

Clippings about women 1940s Box 7: 71

Oversize in Chart Case: Posters, clippings, and other printed material 1917, 1946, 1964