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Call No.: A-56
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Hall, Constance H. (Constance Huntington), 1886-1973
Title: Papers of Constance H. Hall, 1915-1921
Quantity: 5.57 linear feet (1 half file box, 4 folio+ boxes) plus 1 photograph folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Reports, scrapbooks, etc., of Constance Hall's work with the New England Clothing Committee in France during World War I.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library. Hall was a member of the Cambridge Sewing Club and donated that organization's records to the Schlesinger Library (B/C178s).
Donors: Constance H. HallThe following related volumes were also given tot he Schlesinger by Constance H. Hall and can be found in the library's Printed Material collection:
- Mitchell Percy. The American Relief Clearing House, Its Work in the Great War. (Paris, 1922?)
- Corinna Haven Smith and Caroline R. Hill. Rising above the Ruins of France. (New York: Putnam, 1920)
Constance Huntington Hall was born in 1886 to Constance Eliza Bottom and Edwin Herbert Hall, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She attended Cambridge Latin School and then Radcliffe College (BA, 1907). Hall was an accomplished pianist, and taught private lessons throughout her college years and after. Upon finishing Radcliffe, she taught English and Latin at the MacDuffie School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hall traveled to Italy and France between July and September 1914. She intended to spend a year in Europe, but returned to the United States because of the outbreak of war.Constance Hall was chairman of the New England Clothing Committee working with the Comité Franco-Américaine pour la Protection des Enfants de la Frontière. She was also a member of the Cambridge Sewing Club.Hall earned a master's degree in history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MS, 1938). She lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for most of her life, and died in 1973.
The papers of Constance Hall document American women's work to aid French and Belgian children and adults displaced by fighting during World War I. Four scrapbooks contain records of the New England Clothing Committee, of which Hall was chairman, from 1915 to 1921. The New England Clothing Committee worked with the Comité Franco-Américaine pour la Protection des Enfants de la Frontière, which established centers in France to care for displaced French and Belgian children during the war. It provided assistance to impoverished children and their families and was headquartered in Paris.The scrapbooks include sample patterns of clothes to be sewn for displaced children, bills for notions, purchased clothing and other supplies, photographs of French children, letters to and from American women working in France, reports, and other documents. While most of the correspondence is with other New England relief groups and suppliers, several letters from women's aid groups in Tennessee and [other states] speak to the national reach of the war relief work. The collection also contains a number of loose letters Constance H. Hall received from Caroline R. Hill, who worked with the Comité and the Red Cross. These letters (and others from Hill pasted into the scrapbooks) provide detailed descriptions of needed clothing, methods of packing and shipping, and describe situations of individual children under the Comité's care. Printed material includes a New England Clothing Committee circular detailing clothing, food, and supplies needed for relief of French children. Also Volume 1, Number 1 (October, 1919) of Children of the Frontier magazine. Thirty five photographs of displaced children, their new surroundings and caregivers are glued to a linen backing. Folders #5.1-5.2 and PD.1 were originally cataloged as A/H174.