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Hull, Josephine, 1877-1957. Papers of Josephine Hull, 1871-1957: 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

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: A-94
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Josephine Hull, 1877-1957
Title: Papers of Josephine Hull, 1871-1957
Date(s): 1871-1957
Quantity: 3.34 linear feet (8 file boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 folio folder, 21 photograph folders)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, diaries, photographs, etc., of Josephine (Sherwood) Hull, stage and screen actress.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 368, 614, 79-M290, 87-M147
The papers of Josephine Sherwood Hull were given to the Schlesinger Library in November 1960, July 1963, December 1979, and September 1987 by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Turner. Charles Turner, Josphine Hull's nephew and attorney-in-fact, had donated some of Hull's possessions and papers to the Radcliffe Alumnae Association in 1957. Costumes and other material were given to the "Dramatic Association" and to the Harvard Theatre Collection; the remaining papers came to the Schlesinger Library in 1960. A separate collection of letters was transferred to the library in 1979 from the Radcliffe College Archives.

Processing Information:

Reprocessed: April 1984
By: Anne Engelhart

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Josephine Hull as well as 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:

Josephine Hull Papers, 1871-1957; item description, dates. A-94, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Josephine Hull, 1899-1960 (MC 371) and Papers of Josephine Hull, 1898-1954 (MC 372.).


Josephine Sherwood Hull, stage and screen actress, was born Mary Josephine Sherwood in Newtonville, Massachusetts. Although she never divulged the exact date of her birth, on the basis of Radcliffe College entrance examination records it seems likely that she was born on January 3, 1877. In 1910 she married Shelley Hull, a young actor who died nine years later from influenza. Hull died on March 12, 1957, in New York City. For detailed accounts of her life, see Dictionary of American Biography, 1956-1960, and Dear Josephine, the Theatrical Career of Josephine Hull (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963) by William Glasgow Bruce Carson.


The collection is arranged in three series:


This collection consists of personal and professional papers and photographs documenting Josephine Hull's long and successful career.
Series I, Family and biographical, contains some family papers, diaries of both Hull and of her mother, Mary Tewksbury Sherwood, and Hull's correspondence with friends and family. The diaries contain short entries, recording visitors, trips, and daily activities. The correspondence contains some letters from Hull, but is made up primarily of letters to her from friends and associates; many speak of the pleasure that her performances have brought them. This series also includes the transcript of a radio interview with Hull and programs of events at which Hull was guest of honor or was given an award.
Series II, Professional papers, consists of scripts, programs, publicity, and contracts spanning the years of Hull's acting career. There are also a few records of two organizations with which she was affiliated, and scrapbooks of reviews and programs of plays in which either she or Shelley Hull appeared. The Cambridge productions in which she appeared before and after her graduation from Radcliffe College are represented by scripts and programs dating from 1897 through 1901.
Series III, Photographs, includes family pictures, portraits of Hull, and photographs tracing her professional career and other activities.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Motion picture actors and actresses
Reviews (criticism)
Television broadcasting
World War, 1914-1918--Women
World War, 1939-1945--Women
American Theatre Wing
Dix, Beulah Marie, 1876-1970
Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, 1822-1907
Daniels, Mabel W. (Mabel Wheeler), 1878-1971
Hull, Shelley, 1885-1919
Radcliffe College
Radcliffe College--Alumni and alumnae
Sherwood, Mary Tewksbury
Stage Women's War Relief