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A-157; M-99

Littledale, Clara Savage, 1891-1956. Papers of Clara Savage Littledale, 1903-1982 (inclusive), 1903-1956 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: A-157; M-99
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Littledale, Clara Savage, 1891-1956
Title: Papers of Clara Littledale Savage, 1903-1982 (inclusive), 1903-1956 (bulk)
Date(s): 1903-1982
Date(s): 1903-1956
Quantity: 2.09 linear feet (5 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 photograph volume, 5 folders of photographs, 1 folio photograph folder, 1 reel of microfilm (M-99)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, diaries, writings, etc., of Clara Savage Littledale, author, editor, and expert on child rearing.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 955, 82-M160. Accession number 91-M49 was added to the collection in January 2016.
The papers of Clara Savage Littledale, reporter, editor and writer, were given to the Schlesinger Library by her daughter, Rosemary Rieser, and her son, Harold Aylmer Littledale, Jr., between October 1965 and March 1991.

Processing Information:

Reprocessed: October 1984
By: Bert Hartry
Updated and additional material added: January 2016
By: Mark Vassar

Conditions Governing Access:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Clara Littledale Savage 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.

Preferred Citation:

Clara Littledale Savage Papers, 1903-1982; item description, dates. A-157, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


The following chronology outlines most of the major events and affiliations in Clara Littledale Savage's life:
In addition to the specific activities mentioned in this chronology Clara Savage Littledale made frequent appearances on radio and television programs and lecture platforms, and her articles and stories were printed in a variety of publications. She was a member of many organizations, including the Child Study Association of America, the National Commission for Mental Hygiene, the American Association for Adult Education, the National Council for American-Soviet Friendship, and the Advisory Council of the Experiment in International Living.
Additional biographical information is available throughout this collection. See also the articles in Notable American Women: The Modern Period (Cambridge, Mass., 1980) and Who Was Who in America (1951-1960).


The collection is arranged in four series:


This collection contains commonplace books, diaries, writings, speeches, radio talks, correspondence (personal and professional), clippings, and photographs of Littledale and others. The papers originally included five scrapbooks containing an assortment of items covering a wide variety of subjects. These volumes were in very poor condition; the contents were therefore removed by a previous processor and integrated into the collection. The clippings and other printed materials in #12o, 26o, and 45f were discarded after microfilming; they are available on microfilm number M-99. Additional material (accession number 91-M49) was added to the collection in January 2016. This material is located in Series IV (#94-104).
Series I, Personal and biographical, 1907-1982 (#1-24), begins with photographs, followed by commonplace books, material about Smith College, travel documents, biographical and genealogical information, and ten diaries. Each category is arranged chronologically. The series provides information about Littledale's family life, her adolescence, the 1941 air crash, and awards she received. The diaries (1914-1916) describe her life as a reporter in New York City, her job with the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and women she met or worked with (including Anna Howard Shaw, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Mother Jones, Ida Tarbell, Rose Schneiderman). The six travel diaries were written on four trips: to Great Britain with her family to take her daughter, Rosemary, to Dartington Hall School in England (1937); alone to France and England , to pick up Rosemary (1938); to Guatemala with Harold Aylmer Littledale (1940); and to Hawaii when Littledale and other journalists were guests of the United States Navy (1953). See also, Series IV.
Series II, Writings, radio talks, and speeches, 1907-1951 (#27-49), includes Littledale's poems, articles, and short stories, and one story by her daughter, Rosemary. The series is divided into two sections: writings, and radio talks and speeches; each section is arranged chronologically. The articles and talks are mostly advice to parents on child rearing; other subjects include working in an office, marriage, and France in 1918. See also, Series IV.
Series III, Correspondence, 1903-1956 (#50-93), is divided into two categories: personal, and professional and organizational: The personal section is arranged chronologically. The letters from Littledale's sisters, Grace Selden and Marion Sabin, and a large number of letters from Littledale to Sabin provide information about the Savage family, the relationship among the sisters and between Littledale and her mother, Littledale's childhood and adolescence, her experience as a foreign correspondent and traveler in Europe (1918-1920), her marriage and children, her years as a working mother and editor of Parents' Magazine, and her divorce. There is no correspondence with Harold Aylmer Littledale and there are no letters from Rosemary Littledale Rieser, with only two from Harold Aylmer Littledale, Jr. Littledale's letters to her daughter and son-in-law (#65) include information about the labor dispute at Parents' Magazine in 1947. (For additional documents about the dispute, see Series III and the papers of Frances Ullmann DeArmand in the Schlesinger Library.) Littledale also discusses Lillian Gilbreth in several of her letters (#65, 69) (see also Selected Index of Correspondents).
The professional and organizational correspondence includes many carbon copies of Littledale's letters; it is sub-divided into four parts, each arranged chronologically. The first, editorial, contains Littledale's correspondence with publishers, literary agents, editors and readers of her articles. Although Littledale used the Parents' Magazine address, this correspondence deals not with the business of the magazine but with Littledale's attempts to place her own stories in various publications. Letters from readers are in response to articles that appeared elsewhere. This collection includes almost no material dealing directly with Parents' Magazine, with the exception of the labor dispute. Littledale's letters to Mary E. Buchanan and other colleagues at the magazine (#75) are mainly about her transcontinental tour. Part two contains correspondence concerning the arrangements for Littledale's radio talks, chiefly the "G-E Circle" program. There are also many letters from listeners, some addressed to "Grace Ellis" (Dorothy Greig), the General Electric announcer, and Littledale's responses. Part three provides information about Littledale's participation in the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, Inc.; it includes programs and press releases. The correspondence in part four deals, for the most part, with the program and membership activities of the Women's Conference Group, an organization of New York professional women.
Series IV, Addenda, 1918-1954 (#94-104), includes professional correspondence, clippings, writings, organizational material, etc. Material in this series overlaps with previous series content. Professional correspondence documents the labor dispute and subsequent strike (1946-1947) at Parent's Magazine (see Series III). Also included are a small amount of writings, a 50th reunion book from Smith College, several photographs of Littledale and others visiting the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, etc..



Researchers should refer to this index because there is correspondence throughout the collection, not only in Series III.
This index includes the names of all writers and recipients, with two exceptions. One is that little-known persons writing for organizations or as secretaries are not indexed (while the organizations and employers are). The second exception is that correspondence between readers/listeners and Littledale/"Grace Ellis" is not indexed. These letters are in #71-88. Individuals who are the subjects of letters are not indexed.


The numbers refer to folders.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Advertising agencies
Aircraft accidents
American literature--20th century
Authors and publishers
Child rearing
Europe--Description and travel
Family records
Guatemala--Description and travel
Literary agents
Mothers and daughters
North America--Description and travel
Publishers and publishing
Radio programs
Short stories
Strikes and lockouts--Periodicals
Teenage girls
Voyages and travels
World War, 1914-1918--Journalists
Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939
Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborne, Inc.
Baumgartner, Leona, 1902-1991
Blue Network Company
Book and Magazine Guild
Bromley, Dorothy Dunbar, 1896-1986
Buchanan, Mary Elizabeth Torrance, 1898-
Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973
Cerf, Bennett, 1898-1971
Columbia Broadcasting System, inc.
Cousins, Norman
Cumming, Adelaide Fish Hawley, 1905-1998
Curtis, Anna L. (Anna Louise), 1882-
Dafoe, Allan Roy, 1883-1943
Douglas, Helen Gahagan, 1900-1980
Gavit, John Palmer, 1868-1954
Gilbreth, Lillian Moller, 1878-1972
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935
Hecht, George Joseph, 1895-1980
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
Jones, Mother, 1843?-1930
Joseph, Nannine V., -1976
Kenyon, Dorothy, 1888-1972
Lenroot, Katharine F. (Katharine Fredrica), 1891-1982
Littledale, Harold Aylmer, 1885-1957
Littledale, Harold Aylmer, 1927-
McCormick, Anne Elizabeth O'Hare, 1880-1954
Menninger, William Claire, 1899-1966
Menon, Lakshmi N.
Myrdal, Alva, 1902-1986
National American Woman Suffrage Association
National Council of American-Soviet Friendship (U.S.). Committee of Women
Neilson, William Allan, 1869-1946
Norris, Kathleen Thompson, 1880-1966
North, Sterling, 1906-1974
Pandit, Vijaya Lakshmi, 1900-1990
Parents' Magazine Enterprises
Perkins, Frances, 1880-1965
Pruitt, Ida
Reeser family
Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970
Sabin, Marion Savage, 1884-1971
Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966
Savage family
Selden, Grace Savage, 1870-1952
Shaw, Anna Howard, 1847-1919
Smith College
Smith, Lillian Eugenia, 1897-1966
Tousley, Clare M. (Clare May), 1889-
Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965
Weaver, Polly, 1900-
Women's Conference Group