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2002-M108; Phon-46

Leet, Mildred Robbins, 1922-. Additional papers, 1929-2002: A Container List

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


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
November 2006

© 2006 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: 2002-M108; Phon-46
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Mildred Robbins Leet
Title: Additional papers, 1929-2002
Quantity: 6.42 linear ft. (6 cartons, 1 file box), plus 1 phonograph record, electronic records

Processing Information:

Container List: November 2006
By: Marilyn Morgan,Alina Morris

Acquisition Information:

Accession number: 2002-M108
These addenda to the papers of Mildred Robbins Leet were given to the Schlesinger Library by Mildred Robbins Leet in August 2002.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. The papers have been screened by library staff. Documents access to which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy have been placed in red sleeves within their original folders and temporarily restricted for the times specified. Red sleeves and their contents must be pulled by library staff before research use.

Use Restrictions:

Copyright. Copyright in papers created by Mildred Robbins Leet 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. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the director of the Schlesinger Library before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred citation for publication:

Mildred Robbins Leet Additional papers, 1929-2002; item description, dates. 2002-M108, folder title (if listed). Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Social activist and volunteer Mildred Robbins Leet was born Mildred Elowsky in 1922. Rasied in Brooklyn, New York, she graduated from New York University (B.A. 1942). She married Louis J. Robbins (1913-1970) in February 1941 and the couple had two children, Jane Marla (1943) and Aileen (1947). During World War II she volunteered as an air-raid warden and a nurse's aide, and following the war continued her commitment to volunteerism. She actively engaged in volunteer activities for Cerebral Palsy and in 1948 became one of the founders of United Cerebral Palsy, where she served as first president of the women's division. Leet expanded her volunteerism into politics and with Marietta Tree co-chaired New York's Volunteers for Stevenson (1956). She served as a United Nations (U.N.) representative (1957-1964) and president (1964-1968) of the National Council of Women of the United States, emphasizing civil rights, family planning, and international peacekeeping. From 1968 to 1970, she was an active member of the Women's Advisory Committee on Poverty in the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. Her expertise in international relations led to her involvement in the development of the International Peace Academy (1968-1974).
In 1974 she married Glen Leet (1908-1998), then President of the International Society for Community Development. Among his many activities in foreign development, he served as U.N. Advisor to Greece (1947-1950), and the first U.N. Consultant on Social Welfare Policy. In the 1960s he became of President of Save the Children. Together Glen and Mildred developed Hotline International, a telecommunications conferencing program that covered five U.N. conferences from 1974 to 1978. The couple also co-founded the Trickle Up Program (1979), which continues to receive awards for its philanthropic work. The enduring program assists low-income people worldwide by providing conditional seed capital and business training. The grants enable participants to launch a small business in partnership with local agencies. The recipient of numerous degrees and honors, Leet has written and lectured widely on women and development and technology. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame (2003) for philanthropic endeavors.


These addenda include correspondence, minutes, notes, printed materials, photographs, etc., pertaining primarily to Leet's professional and volunteer activities; also included is some personal correspondence between Leet and her parents. The following inventory represents an overview of the type and content of materials in each container. While all folder headings are listed, in some cases one heading may span multiple folders. Most folder headings were created by Leet; any additional information, including description of untitled folders, and full names for acronyms and abbreviations (when known) appear in brackets. Folders are in their original order, with no apparent organization; related materials are spread throughout.
Carton 1 includes letters written by Mildred as a child to her parents, childhood photographs, class notes, year books, scrapbooks, etc. It also contains correspondence, minutes, notes, printed materials, photographs, etc., pertaining to Leet's activism, including early speeches she wrote, through 1974.
Carton 2 contains materials pertaining primarily to organizations in which Leet participated beginning in the 1950s through the 1990s. It includes correspondence, reports, newsletters, photographs, conference announcements, schedules, minutes, notes, clippings, etc. Individual folder headings are not listed for this carton.
Carton 3 contains materials related to the Trickle Up Program [TUP] and other organizations in which Robbins participated, 1961 through 2001. The bulk of the material consists of typed papers, reports, addresses, and statements written and delivered by Leet. Notes and drafts of some papers as well as correspondence, newsletters, conference announcements, schedules, minutes, handwritten notes, clippings, etc., are also included. Folder headings were created Leet; any additional information, including description of untitled folders, appears in brackets.
Carton 4 contains printed materials related to organizations in which Robbins participated, 1976 through 1999. It includes correspondence (carbons from Leet), newsletters, conference announcements, schedules, minutes, press releases, research, clippings, etc., as well as notes, drafts, papers, reports, addresses, and statements written and/or delivered by Leet. Folder headings were created Leet; any additional information, including description of untitled folders, appears in brackets.
Carton 5 contains printed materials related to Leet's work with nonprofit organizations, especially the National Council of Women [NCW], 1958-1999. It includes correspondence, newsletters, drafts of speeches, papers and reports, photographs, tapes, conference materials, etc.
Carton 6 contains printed materials related to Leet's work with nonprofit organizations, especially the Trickle Up Program, 1980-2002. It also includes assorted miscellaneous folders pertaining to her involvement with political campaigns and activities in the 1950s and 1960s.
Box 7 contains materials pertaining to Leet's involvement with various organizations, 1957-2001. The majority of papers relate to Leet's work with Audrey Cohen College (ACC) and the College for Human Service (CHS), a nonprofit organization formed in the mid-1960s to create economic opportunities for women, enabling them to earn a one-year certificate while working as caregivers in shelters, hospitals, welfare centers, etc. Membership lists and newsletters make up the bulk of this container.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see 2002-M94 and 2002-M114--2002-M162.
A memorial web site was captured as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection (WAX).


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. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
Leet, Mildred Robbins
Camps--United States
Electronic records
International cooperation
International Peace Academy
National Council of Women of the United States
Political campaigns 1950-1960
United Cerebral Palsy Associations
United Nations
Web sites
Women volunteers in social service