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Dana family. Papers of the Dana family, 1822-1956: 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-85
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Dana family
Title: Papers of the Dana family, 1822-1956
Date(s): 1822-1956
Quantity: 7.92 linear feet (19 file boxes) plus 1 supersize folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Diaries, correspondence, and other papers of the Richard Henry Dana, Jr. family of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 113, 1408, 1676, 69-10
The papers of the Dana family were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in 1960, 1968, and 1969 by the Dana family.
Series II processed under NEH Grant Number RC 24669-76-987.

Processing Information:

Processed: Series I, 1960, 1968
Series II processed: July 1977
Series II processed by: Madeleine Bagwell Perez

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Dana family 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:

Dana family Papers, 1822-1956; item description, dates. A-85, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


The Dana family has been a prominent part of Cambridge, Massachusetts history since the first Richard Dana settled there around 1640.
For family history and genealogy see: Elizabeth Ellery Dana, The Dana Family in America, Cambridge, Mass.: 1956; and Charles Francis Adams, Richard Henry Dana, A Biography, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1890.



This collection of diaries, correspondence, and other papers centers primarily on four women of the Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815-1882) family: Sarah Watson Dana (1814-1907), his wife; Ruth Charlotte Dana (1814-1901), his sister; Elizabeth Ellery Dana (1846-1939), one of his daughters; and Rosamond Dana Wild (1879-1959), his granddaughter.
Spanning three generations, the writings and correspondence of these women provide a day to day, year to year account of one family's existence for over a century (1822-1956). Descriptions of social activities, school days, trips to Europe, as well as news of childbirth, family illnesses, and deaths fill the pages of diaries and letters. Letters from other family members and relatives reveal a closeness of family ties. Life-long friendships can be found among the numerous non-family correspondents. Very few of the letters venture outside the areas of family, health, religion, or weather. Other papers in the collection include family wills and property transactions as well as a small amount of correspondence, etc. for legal cases in which Richard Henry Dana, Jr., or his son, Richard Henry Dana, III (1851-1931), were the attorneys. For other legal papers as well as family papers see: Dana Collection, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. Also Longfellow House Archives, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The collection is divided into two series: Series I consists of diaries, correspondence books, account books, and miscellaneous notebooks; series II of correspondence and other papers.



This index lists writers and recipients of letters. Information about these individuals is not indexed; nor are subjects. The numbers are folder numbers.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Account books
Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Cambridge (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Family records
Religion--History--19th century
Women--Health and hygiene
Adams, Charles Francis, 1835-1915
Beecher, Catharine Esther, 1800-1878
Carrington family
Carter, Susan Nichols
Channing family
Dana, Elizabeth Ellery, 1846-1939
Dana, Richard Henry, 1815-1882
Dana, Richard Henry, 1851-1931
Dana, Ruth Charlotte, 1814-1901
Dana, Sarah Watson, 1814-1907
Doggett family
Fields, Annie, 1834-1915
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894
Ireland, Catharine Innes, 1838-1925
Lyman, Ruth Charlotte Dana, 1844-1903
Porter, Sarah, 1813-1900
Skinner, Angela Henrietta Channing Dana, 1857-1928
Swayne, Sarah Watson Dana, 1842-1902
Watson family
Wild, Mary Rosamond Dana, 1848-1937
Wild, Rosamond Dana, 1879-1959