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MC 410; M-134; T-102

Barron, Jennie L. (Jennie Loitman), 1891-1969. Papers, 1911-1969: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


The papers were processed with a grant from Clara Goldberg Schiffer.
Radcliffe College
March 1992

© 1992 Radcliffe College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 410; M-134; T-102
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Jennie L. (Jennie Loitman) Barron, 1891-1969
Title: Papers, 1911-1969
Quantity: 11 file boxes, 2 folio folders, 1 folio+ folder, 3 oversize folders, 6 audiotapes, 2 reels of microfilm (M-134)
Abstract: Correspondence, clippings, photographs, etc., of Jennie Loitman Barron, lawyer and Municipal Court judge.

Processing Information:

Reprocessed: March 1992
By: Anne Engelhart

Acquisition Information:

Accession numbers: 621, 80-M171, 92-M31, 92-M72, 99-M57, 2009-M227
These papers of Jennie (Loitman) Barron were given to the Schlesinger Library by JLB in July 1963 and by her daughter, Erma (Barron) Wernick, in July 1980. A photograph was given by Linda Morrison in October 2009.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. Folders #39, 41-49, and 51o are closed. Use microfilm M-134, reel 1-2.


The daughter of Morris Loitman and Fannie (Castleman) Loitman, Jennie (Loitman) Barron was born in Boston, Mass., on October 12, 1891. She attended Boston University (A.B. 1911, LL.M. 1914, honorary LL.D. 1959) and had a private law practice in Boston, 1914-1918, with her husband, Samuel Barron, Jr., 1918-1937. During this time she was elected to the Boston School Committee (1926-1930). The first woman in Massachusetts to present evidence to a Grand Jury and the first to prosecute major criminal cases, JLB in 1937 was also the first woman judge appointed for life to the Municipal Court in Boston, and in 1959 to the Superior Court in Massachusetts. She had married Samuel Barron, Jr., in 1918; they had three daughters: Erma (Barron) Wernick, Joy (Barron) Rachlin, and Deborah (Barron) Blazar, who died in 1956.
An organizer and first president of the Women's Suffrage Association of Boston University, JLB spoke at suffrage rallies in three states, was active with the League of Women Voters, and worked for the passage of laws to enable women to serve on juries in Massachusetts, and to provide equal guardianship rights for mothers. She was a delegate from the National League of Women Voters to the National Conference on Uniform Laws Regarding Marriage and Divorce (1930), and to the Mid-Century White House Conference on Child Welfare (1950). She lectured widely, in the United States and abroad, on juvenile delinquency and crime, and in 1960 was chosen to deliver the Independence Day Oration in Boston.
JLB was active in numerous professional, charitable, and civic organizations, including Beth Israel Hospital, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers, American Association of University Women, Hadassah, and Boston University. She was the recipient of many awards and citations, including National Woman of the Year (Boston Business and Professional Women's Club, 1954) and National American Mother of the Year (American Mothers Committee, 1959).


The collection primarily documents JLB's public and professional life, largely through clippings and correspondence. Although there is some family correspondence, the bulk of the correspondence relates to her public speaking engagements and her charitable and civic activities. The papers are arranged in three series:
Series I, Family and personal (#1-113), includes photographs, resumes, articles about JLB, awards and certificates, family and general correspondence, datebooks and travel diaries, programs of events at which JLB spoke, speeches and notes for speeches, two audiotapes, and clippings. General correspondence contains letters from government and university officials, judges, lawyers, and other prominent people, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Clippings and scrapbooks are available only on microfilm.
Series II, Professional (#114-178at), includes photographs, some legal correspondence and other documents, courtroom notebooks, most of JLB, and three audiotapes.
Series III, Volunteer activities (#179-200), contains correspondence, photographs, and an audiotape; there is also considerable correspondence documenting her volunteer activities in the general correspondence in Series I.

Additional catalog entries.

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases.
American Association of University Women
Boston (Mass.) School Committee
Bunting, Mary Ingraham, 1910-
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers
Mother of the Year Award
Africa--Description and travel--1951-1976
Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs--20th century
Civic leaders--Massachusetts
Jews--United States--Charities
Judicial records
Massachusetts--Politics and government
Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955
Voyages and travels
Women, Jewish--Massachusetts


  • Many of the clippings were mounted by the processor to facilitate microfilming. All clippings were discarded after microfilming.
  • Scrapbook pages were microfilmed in the order in which they were found; clippings in the scrapbooks were discarded after microfilming.
  • Items from scrapbooks not discarded after microfilming can be found in #50 and 52o.
  • Some of the clippings in the scrapbooks were difficult to film: many items overlapped, much of the newsprint was brittle and no longer intact, and many of the articles were folded. Many pages had to be filmed more than once due to the presence of folded, overlapping, and/or multiple-paged items.
  • Scrapbook pages were numbered by the processor to aid the microfilmer, the proofreader, and researchers.
  • M-134, reel 1: #39, 41-49
  • M-134, reel 2: #51o