Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937. Papers of Amelia Earhart, 1835-1977: 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
Reprocessing and microfilming of this collection was made possible by funds provided
by Joan R. Challinor.
Call No.: A-129; M-129
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937
Title: Papers of Amelia Earhart, 1835-1977
Quantity: 3.04 linear feet (4 file boxes, 1 folio+ box) plus 2 plaques, 2 folio folders, 4 folio+ folders, 26
photograph folders, 3 folio photograph folders, 1 folio+ photograph folder, 1 supersize
photograph folder, 1 audiocassette)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, photographs, baby books, etc., of Amelia Earhart, aviator.
Accession numbers: 463, 519, 521, 545, 671, 700, 916, 1060, 78-M147, 80-M194, 82-M142, 89-M210
These papers of or about Amelia Earhart were given to the Schlesinger Library by Muriel (Earhart) Morrissey between August 1962 and November 1989, and by Alma Lutz in January 1963.
Reprocessed: April 1990
By: Katherine Kraft
Access. Originals are closed; use microfilm M-129. An appointment is necessary to
use any audiovisual material.
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Amelia Earhart as well as copyright
in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
The papers of Amelia Earhart and related collections were selected for microfilming
in order to provide copies to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space
Museum, and because they are frequently requested by researchers.
Dates and/or other information have been written on some items by a number of people.
In organizing the material, the processor left undated material that was grouped with
dated items where it was. All dates and other information added by the processor are
in square brackets. Undated items are filed at the end of their respective folders.
The pages of some items were numbered to aid the filmer, the proofreaders, and researchers.
These numbers are in square brackets.
The film was proofread by the processor and corrections made where necessary. These
corrections may disrupt the sequence of frame numbers.
Some of the material in the collection was difficult to film due to such problems
as flimsy paper with text showing through, faded or smudged writing, faint pencil
notations, folded clippings, clippings discolored from glue or adhesive tape, or blurred
photocopies from tightly bound volumes. The film was carefully produced to insure
that these items are as legible as possible.
In some letters the text on the two inside pages was written in two different directions,
and in some the final lines of text and the signature are on page one. In these cases
letters were filmed as they appear; pages were not turned and first pages were not
In some cases, enclosures referred to in letters are missing.
Letters of one or more pages with either the salutation or the signature missing,
as well as portions of letters, articles, or clippings, have been marked as fragments
Both sides of postcards were filmed.
The versos of envelopes were filmed only if they contained a return address or notes.
Some scrapbook pages had to be filmed more than once because of folded and/or multiple-paged
items, such as Christmas cards, clippings, or programs.
Many loose clippings were mounted by the processor. Clippings from newspapers already
on microfilm (according to Newspapers in Microform, United States, Library of Congress, 1973), were discarded after filming.
All photographs were microfilmed with the collection. They are also available on the
microfilm of the Schlesinger Library photograph collection (M-54).
Some magazines, books, and other multiple-paged items were not filmed in their entirety,
but only the pertinent page(s), with the title page where necessary to establish name
and date of publication.
After filming, periodicals were removed to the Schlesinger Library periodical file.
Copies of this microfilm edition of the Amelia Earhart collections (M-129) may be
borrowed on interlibrary loan from the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, 10
Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
For a list of the contents of the Amelia Earhart Microfilm, see the inventory that
follows. When requesting microfilmed material, please use the microfilm number (M-129)
and the reel number.
Folders #1f+-32: M-129, Reel 1
Folders #33-69: M-129, Reel 2
Folders #70f-83: M-129, Reel 3
Amelia Earhart Papers, 1835-1977; item description, dates. A-129, folder #. Schlesinger
Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Amelia Earhart videotapes,
), Amy Otis Earhart Papers, 1884-1987 (MC 398
), Amy Otis Earhart Papers, 1944, Undated (A/E11
), and Clarence Strong Williams Papers,1907-1971 (A/W722
The Purdue University Library also has a large collection of Earhart papers. Additional
Otis family papers are in the possession of the family and will eventually be given
to the Minnesota Historical Society.
Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, the first daughter
of Amy (Otis) Earhart and Edwin Stanton Earhart. Her sister, Grace Muriel, was born
three years later. The family moved several times (to Kansas City, Kansas; Des Moines;
St. Paul; Chicago) during Earhart's childhood as her father tried unsuccessfully to
establish a profitable legal career. Earhart graduated from Chicago's Hyde Park High
School in 1916. Edwin Stanton Earhart's increasing reliance on alcohol and his inability
to hold a job led eventually to a divorce, in 1924.
In addition to attending a variety of schools (Ogontz School in Greenfield, Pennsylvania,
Columbia University, Harvard University), and experimenting with numerous areas of
study (e.g., pre-med, French poetry, physics) and types of jobs (e.g., wartime nurses'
aide in Toronto, telephone company worker, photographer), Earhart developed an interest
in the relatively new field of aviation. While living in Los Angeles she took flying
lessons from Neta Snook, pioneer woman pilot, and in 1921 made her first solo flight
and bought her first airplane.
After her parents' divorce Earhart moved with her mother to Medford, Massachusetts,
where Muriel was teaching. She taught English to immigrant factory workers and in
1926 became a social worker and resident at Denison House, a Boston settlement. During
these years she continued to fly at local airfields and in 1927 was offered, and accepted,
the opportunity to accompany Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon on their 1928 flight to
England. She thereby became the first woman to make the transatlantic crossing by
air, and an instant celebrity.
Intensely competitive, Earhart participated in numerous air races and held a variety
of speed records and "firsts": she was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic
solo (1932) and first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California
(January 1935), and from Los Angeles to Mexico City (April 1935). Earhart was a mentor
of other women pilots and worked to improve their acceptance in the heavily male field
of aviation. In 1929 she helped organize the Ninety-Nines, an international organization
of licensed women pilots (with 99 charter members) and served as its president until
1933. Married in 1931 to publisher and publicist George Palmer Putnam, Earhart still
maintained her grueling nationwide lecture tours, which largely financed her flying,
served as women's career counselor at Purdue University, and wrote books and articles
on women and aviation. An outspoken advocate of women's equality, Earhart also designed
sportswear for women, luggage suitable for air travel, and travel stationery.
Earhart made two attempts to fly around the world in 1937. The first, in March, ended
when her airplane was badly damaged on take-off in California. On June 1 she took
off from Miami with navigator Fred Noonan, intending to fly around the equator from
west to east. On July 2, having completed 22,000 miles of the trip, Earhart and Fred
Noonan took off from Lae, New Guinea, for Howland Island. They never reached the island.
Despite an intensive search by the United States Navy and others, following radio
distress calls, no trace of the fliers or their plane has ever been found.
The numerous Earhart biographies include Mary S. Lovell's The Sound of Wings: The Life of Amelia Earhart (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989), Doris L. Rich's Amelia Earhart: A Biography (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), and two by her sister, Muriel
Earhart Morrissey (Courage is the Price: The Biography of Amelia Earhart, Wichita, Kan.: McCormick-Armstrong Publishing Division, 1963; and, with Carol L.
Osborne, Amelia, My Courageous Sister: Biography of Amelia Earhart, Santa Clara, Calif.: Osborne Publisher, 1987). Jean Backus has edited a collection
of Earhart's letters, based on the Amy Otis Earhart Papers, also in the Schlesinger
Library (Letters from Amelia: An Intimate Portrait of Amelia Earhart, Boston: Beacon Press, 1982). For other biographical sketches, see Notable American Women: 1607-1950 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971), and Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. XXII, Supplement Two (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1958).
The collection is arranged in number series:
- Series I. Family papers
- Series II. Amelia Earhart, 1897-1937
- Series III. Photographs and graphics
- Series IV. Muriel Earhart Morrissey
- Series V. Newsclippings, tearsheets, memorabilia
The bulk of this collection consists of papers about Earhart saved by her sister,
Muriel Earhart Morrissey. It is arranged in five series:
Series I, Family papers (#1-6), includes the 1835 passport of Earhart's great-grandfather,
Gebhard Harres; genealogical papers relating to the Otis and Earhart families; a few
letters and other items of Edwin Stanton Earhart; and miscellaneous correspondence
and other items of Amy Otis Earhart.
Series II, Amelia Earhart, 1897-1937 (#7-18f), consists of papers generated during
Earhart's lifetime, and include baby books; a few school-related papers; a small amount
of correspondence; some writings, most of which concern women and aviation; and programs
and awards. Of particular interest is a 1936 letter by Earhart to a young woman who
had inquired about career opportunities for women in aviation (see #14).
Series III, Photographs and graphics (#19-46), is divided into two groups: #19-34,
which were previously inventoried and cataloged as part of the Schlesinger Library's
Microfilm of Photograph Collections (M-54), and #35-46, which were received as addenda
and not previously cataloged. This artificial division is maintained in an effort
to minimize the confusion which could ensue from the renumbering of the photographs
in #19-34, which have been so frequently used and cited by researchers. The two groups
together consist of numerous photographs of Earhart, her planes and associates, her
family, George Palmer Putnam, and memorial sites. In addition, there is a painting
of Earhart's great-grandmother, a drawing of Earhart, and a black-and-white etching
of Earhart and Fred Noonan on their sinking plane.
Series IV, Muriel Earhart Morrissey (#47-68), documents some of Muriel Earhart Morrissey's
extensive involvement with Earhart's history, memory, and admirers after her disappearance.
It includes correspondence re: the disappearance; tributes, biographies, memorials,
poems, and sheet music, etc. honoring Earhart; commemorative stamps; and a philatelic
Series V, Newsclippings, tearsheets, and memorabilia (#69-83), consists of printed
material and a variety of artifacts, including a recording of Earhart's voice, medals,
buttons, plaques, book inscriptions, leis, a leaf and a rose. Most of the newsclippings
have been transferred to the Amy Otis Earhart Papers (MC 398) and integrated with
the clippings in that collection for microfilming in one chronological sequence. Muriel
Earhart Morrissey's scrapbook of clippings about Earhart and George Palmer Putnam's
serialized biography of Earhart remain in this series.
- Box 1: folders 2-17
- Box 2: folders 47-67
- Box 3: folders 69-75, 83
- Folio+ Box 4: folders 76m-82m
This index contains names of letter writers represented in various correspondence
folders but not specifically listed in the folder descriptions.
- Cochran, Jacqueline 47
- Connally, John B. 50
- De Carie, Margot 48
- de Schweinitz, Louise 48
- Devine, Thomas E. 47
- French, Edein 48
- Gervais, Joseph 53
- Goerner, Frederick 47, 50
- Holley, Clyde E. 53
- International Women's Air and Space Museum 48
- Kleppner, Amy 53
- Lynn, Evelyne 54
- Mantz, Paul 47
- May, Loma 54
- Mowbray, Eva 54
- National Portrait Gallery 48
- Ninety-Nines 47
- Noyes, Blanche 48
- Palmer, Gordon H. 55
- Pellegreno, Ann H. 47
- Reischauer, Edwin O. 53
- Roosevelt, Eleanor 47
- Royer, Lloyd 48
- Rueckert, Ruth 47
- Safford, Laurance Frye 47
- Saltonstall, Leverett 50
- Stanton, Frank 50
- Sylvester, Arthur 50
- Theil College 47
- Vaeth, J. Gordon 47, 48
- Walker, Agnes 54
- Women's Hall of Fame 48
- Wright, Lucile M. 47, 48
- Series I. FAMILY PAPERS
- 1f+. Gebhard Harres (Earhart's great-grandfather): passport, 1835
- 2. Genealogical papers. Otis family, 1907-1962.
Scope and Contents: "Genealogy and Brief Sketch of Issac Otis, his Family and Descendants," typescript,
1907, with 1912 cover letter; "Abiel Smith and Lydia Otis," bound reprints of newsclippings,
1923; Obituary of Alfred G. Otis, 1912; 2 letters, 1944, 1962.
- 3. Genealogical papers. Earhart family, 1898-1902, n.d.
Scope and Contents: "A Brief History...," by Reverend David Earhart, 1898: 2 copies, one with manuscript
annotations; "Genealogy of the Earhart Family," Joseph Earhart, typescript, 1902;
"History of the Altman Family," typescript carbon copy, n.d.; Other genealogical material,
- 4. Edwin Stanton Earhart, 1907-1920.
Scope and Contents: Business card, railroad passes (1907-1912) for wife and daughters; Letters, 1909-1920,
including Edwin Stanton Earhart to Muriel (1909), and job references for Edwin Stanton
Earhart; Society of the Sons of the Revolution (SSR): dues receipt, Iowa chapter,
1915; membership certificate, California chapter, 1919; Certificate of admission to
practice law before Supreme Court of Kansas, 1918 (photocopy); Photograph of Thiel
College (Pennsylvania) building, n.d..
- 5. Amy Otis Earhart. Correspondence, etc., 1936-1950.
Scope and Contents: Letter and itinerary re: European tour, 1936; 2 typed letters, signed from George
Palmer Putnam, 1942, n.d.; Notes re: Howland Light, n.d.; Book inscription, 1950;
- 5af+. Oversized items removed from folder #5
- Series II. AMELIA EARHART, 1897-1937
- 8. Baby books for Earhart, Muriel Earhart, 1897-1900, n.d.
Scope and Contents: "Queer Doings and Quaint Sayings of Baby Earhart," handmade book, most re: Amelia
Earhart, some Muriel Earhart. Includes PHOTOGRAPH of Amelia Earhart.
- 9. School papers: College Preparatory School (Atchison, Kansas): report card, 1905-1906;
Science lab reports [Hyde Park High School?], 1915.
- 10. Notebooks. Mostly re: photo developing; some financial and re: driving, 1923
- 11. Notebooks. Re: physics, n.d.
- 13. Correspondence and related. To Ann Helen Earhart (Edwin Stanton Earhart's second wife),
Scope and Contents: 3 typed letters, signed: 1930, 1932, n.d. Includes Muriel Earhart Morrissey note,
- 14. Correspondence and related. With others, 1926-1937, n.d.
Scope and Contents: To Lloyd Royer,1926 (photocopy); Award of Honorary Major for 381st Observation Squadron,
United States Army Reserve, July 19, 1929 (photocopy); To Jean Hoyt (re: formation
of The Ninety-Nines), copy of form letter, November 16, 1929; The Colonial Echo: pages from College of William and Mary yearbook, 1933 (photocopies); To Beatrice
Pugsley, September 29, 1936; Naval Air Service to Secretary of the Navy re: Earhart,
carbon copy of telegram, March 16, 1937; From Bess Young, June 16, 1937; manuscript
letter (?), fragment, by Earhart (?), n.d.; Earhart Christmas card, signed, n.d.;
Earhart initials and closing torn from letter, n.d..
- 15. Correspondence and related. Writings, 1929-1975.
Scope and Contents: Articles, most from Hearst's International Cosmopolitan, 1929-1932, 1937 (photocopies); Statements, 1932-1936, including address to 1933
convention of National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, with 1975
- 16. Programs (2) for Earhart events, 1928, 1935
- Series III. PHOTOGRAPHS AND GRAPHICS
FILED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS.
- 19. Photographs. Earhart's grandparents.
- 20. Photographs. Amy Otis Earhart.
- 21. Photographs. Edwin Stanton Earhart.
- 22. Photographs. Earhart, 1897-1915, alone or with others.
- 22af+. Photographs. Earhart. Duplicate of A129-22-2.
- 23. Photographs. Earhart, 1917-1923, alone, with others, or with plane.
- 24. Photographs. Earhart, 1926-1931, alone, or with George Palmer Putnam or others.
- 25. Photographs. Earhart, 1928: Earhart's arrival in England after first transatlantic
- 26. Photographs. Earhart, 1932: in Europe, including arrival after solo flight.
- 27. Photographs. Earhart, June 1932: in New York, including Earhart with Mayor Jimmy Walker.
- 28. Photographs. Earhart, 1932-1935: some with George Palmer Putnam and Muriel Earhart
Morrissey; Earhart in Hawaii and Mexico.
- 28af. Photographs. Earhart. 2 photographs, ca. 1935, n.d.
- 29. Photographs. Earhart, 1936-1937, including with George Palmer Putnam, Fred Noonan,
and on last flight.
- 30. Photographs. Earhart, n.d., including with Orville Wright, William S. Hart.
- 31. Photographs. Earhart. Portraits, 1915, n.d., and photographs of paintings.
- 31af. Photographs. Earhart. Duplicate of A129-31-5.
- 32. Photographs. Planes: "Friendship" and Lockheed Vega.
- 33. Photographs. Memorials, dedications. Amelia Earhart Light, Howland Island.
- 34. Photographs. Memorials, dedications. Amelia Earhart marker dedication in Atchison,
Kansas, by Zonta International, 1958.
See also #63.
- 35f+. Photographs. Portrait of Earhart's great-grandmother, Maria Grace Harres, artist unknown,
- 36. Photographs. Amy Otis Earhart.
- 37. Photographs. Earhart, 1912-1917, n.d.
- 38. Photographs. Earhart, 1925, ca.1932-1937, n.d.
- 38af. Photographs. Earhart, 1935.
- 39. Photographs. Earhart, July 1928: Medford (Massachusetts) celebration for Earhart.
- 40. Photographs. Earhart, 1932, in Ireland after transatlantic crossing.
- 41f+. Photographs. Earhart. Graphics: Photomechanical reproduction of drawing, post-mortem,
n.d.; Etching and drypoint: "In the South Pacific 1937," by Hans Kleiber, with biographical
notes re: artist.
- 42. Photographs. Earhart. Birthplace, automobiles.
- 43. Photographs. Earhart. Planes.
- 44. Photographs. Earhart. Memorials.
- 46. Photographs. Unidentified (house, car, planes).
- Series IV. MURIEL EARHART MORRISSEY
- 47. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. General correspondence re: Earhart's disappearance,
honors, tributes, biographies, 1955-1971.
Scope and Contents: Includes letters re: George Palmer Putnam's military service, tribute and article
re: Earhart by Thiel College, award from OX5 Club of Aviation Hall of Fame (1971),
- 50. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. Re: radio station KCBS investigation of Earhart
disappearance, 1961-1962. Includes photograph.
- 51. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. Re: radio station KCBS investigation of Earhart
disappearance. Anthropologist's report on human remains from Saipan Island, and press
release, December 1961
- 52. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. Re: radio station KCBS investigation of Earhart
disappearance. "Amelia Earhart--The 25 Year Mystery", by Frederick Goerner, mimeograph,
- 53. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. Re: Joseph Gervais's investigation, "Operation
- 54. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. Zonta International and other Zonta clubs, 1963-1977.
Scope and Contents: Includes correspondence with Donald Batten,1968, and photographs of Earhart and her
plane in Khartoum, 1937. Also, sheet music: "Wings: Dedicated to Amelia Earhart,"
words by Elise B. Gillespie, music by Evelyn D. Hotchkiss,1939.
See also #63-64.
- 56. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. Muriel Earhart Morrissey: manuscript notes for
talks re: Earhart, 1977, n.d.
- 58. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. Article and reference material by others re: Earhart's
last flight, 1937, ca.1963, n.d.
- 59. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. "Biographical research notes on the life of Amelia
Earhart," compiled by Marsha B. Hall, n.d. 90 pages.
- 60. Correspondence, etc., re: Earhart. Miscellaneous: unidentified manuscript note, 1940;
2 advertising cards (one re: Earhart stationery, n.d.); advertisement for plane with
fragment note and attached photograph, n.d. (photocopies)
- 62. Programs, announcements, other re: Earhart memorials, tributes, etc., 1943-1982, n.d.
- 64. Programs, announcements, other re: Earhart memorials, tributes, etc. Zonta. Zontian, 1963-1975 (scattered issues).
- 65. Sheet music: "Amelia Queen of the Air," words and music by A.J Maurer, arranged by
See also #54.
- 66. Programs, announcements, other re: Earhart memorials, tributes, etc. Earhart commemorative
stamps: program and stamp sheet for first day of issue of United States stamp, 1963;
article re: issue of Surinam stamp.
- 67. Programs, announcements, other re: Earhart memorials, tributes, etc. Catalog: "Amelia
Earhart: The Aviation Record of America's Most Famous Woman Pilot", by Walter Curley,
Weston, Mass.: Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum, 1966
- 68. Photographs from #4, 47-50, 54, 55, 62.
Filmed with respective folders. FILED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS.
- Series V. CLIPPINGS, TEARSHEETS, AND MEMORABILIA
- 70f. Tearsheets of articles re: Earhart, 1938-1977, n.d.
- 70a. Items removed from 70f
- 71. "Lady with Wings: The Life Story of My Wife Amelia Earhart," by George Palmer Putnam,
serialized in Liberty, March-April 1939
- 72. Memorabilia. Audio-recording on paper: "From Amelia Earhart's International Broadcast
in London, May 22, 1932, as picked up in New York by Silvertone"
- 73at. Memorabilia. Audiotape of "From Amelia Earhart's International Broadcast in London,
May 22, 1932, as picked up in New York by Silvertone."
Request as T-232.
For transcript, see #72.
- 74. Memorabilia. Re: books, 1910-1942, n.d.
Scope and Contents: Book cover inscribed "Millie Earhart June 4-1910 For writing the best themes," with
title page; Swords for Life: inscription, title page (1916), annotated poem; Descriptive lists of books and pictures
in Earhart's library, by book dealer, 1942, n.d. Includes Earhart bookplate.
- 75. Memorabilia. A Line-o'-Verse or Two, by Bert Leston Taylor (Chicago: Reilly & Britton, 1911), with Earhart's manuscript
copies of poems by others at end.
- 76m. Memorabilia. Plaques. International Aerospace Hall of Fame, 1967
- 77m. Memorabilia. Plaques. Aviation Hall of Fame(Dayton, Ohio), December 17, 1968
- 78m. Memorabilia. Miniature plane and medallion with image of plane surrounded by words,
"Newfoundland June 17 - South Wales June 18, 1928/Seaplane Friendship." On reverse,
Earhart's image and words: "The First Woman to Cross the Atlantic by Airplane - Amelia
- 79m. Memorabilia. Button, "Welcome Home Heroes," with photographs of Earhart, Wilmer Stultz,
Louis Gordon 
- 80m. Memorabilia. "Guest" medal presented at City of Boston (Massachusetts) tercentenary
- 81m. Memorabilia. Key to the City of Newton (Kansas), n.d.
- 82m. Memorabilia. 2 leis, presented in Hawaii before Oakland flight, 1935
- 83. Memorabilia. From Ann Pellegreno's round-the-world flight, 1967: leaf from wreath
made in New Guinea and dropped over Howland Island, July 2, and rose from bouquet
presented at Oakland Airport, July 6
Women in aeronautics
Connally, John Bowden, 1917-1993
De Schweinitz, Louise
Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937
Morrissey, Muriel Earhart
Putnam, George Palmer, 1887-1950
Reischauer, Edwin O. (Edwin Oldfather), 1910-1990
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
Saltonstall, Leverett, 1892-1979
Stanton, Frank, 1908-2006
Vaeth, J. Gordon (Joseph Gordon), 1921-
Wright, Lucile M.