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Harwood, Margaret, 1885-1979. Papers of Margaret Harwood, 1902-1974: 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.: 79-M62--2007-M228
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Margaret Harwood, 1885-1979
Title: Papers or Margaret Harwood, 1902-1974
Date(s): 1902-1974
Quantity: 5.93 linear feet (3 record cartons, 4 file boxes, 2 half file boxes, 2 card file boxes) plus 3 photograph folio folders, 1 oversize folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, family papers, photographs, etc., of Margaret Harwood, astronomer.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 79-M62, 79-M172, 80-M91. Accession numbers: 79-M187 and 2007-M228 were added in May 2016.
This collection was given to Schlesinger Library by Mrs. Robert Harwood in 1979; Peter Harwood, Harwood's nephew in 1979 and 1980; and Will Graves of the Harvard Observatory in December 2007.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: November, 1980
By: Jane S. Knowles
Updated and additional material added: May 2016
By: Lillianne Keaney

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Margaret Harwood 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:

Margaret Harwood Papers, 1902-1974; item description, dates. 79-M62--2007-M228, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Margaret Harwood Papers, 1891-1971 (SC 20.).


Margaret Harwood, astronomer, was born in Littleton, Mass. in 1885 and received her AB from Radcliffe College in 1907 and her AM from the University of California in 1916. Employed at the Harvard Observatory after graduation, she also taught in private schools in Boston, Cambridge and Dedham. In 1912, Harwood was awarded the astronomical fellowship of the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Observatory, a small observatory built as a memorial to the first woman astronomer in America. In 1916, Harwood was appointed Director of the Observatory, eventually retiring in 1957. Her particular field was photometry, measuring variation in the light of stars and asteroids, especially that of the small planet Eros. A member of the American Astronomical Society and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Harwood corresponded with fellow astronomers and travelled widely in Europe and the United States. Harwood was a devoted Unitarian and worked in a voluntary capacity for the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the Nantucket School Committee and the Red Cross of Nantucket.
For full biographical details, see folders 1 and 2.


A preliminary inventory for this collection was created in 1987 and made available online using the accession number 79-M62--80-M91. This inventory was made up of folders #1-128, 1 carton of photographs, and 1 folio folder. Accessions 79-M187 (folder 130) and 2007-M228 (card file boxes 9-10 and photographs) were added to the collection in May 2016. Photographs in the preliminary inventory were re-processed with photographs from accession 2007-M228 at this time and numbered PD.1-PD.41.
The collection consists of Harwood family papers, the personal and professional correspondence of Margaret Harwood and the correspondence and papers concerning the Bibliography of Astronomical Literature, 1881-1898, a project of the International Astronomical Union. Also included are photographs of Harwood, her family, her trips, and of conferences, observatories and telescopes. There is some printed material concerning the history of Nantucket and of astronomy.
For folders #35-111, correspondence is arranged in alphabetical order by name of correspondent or title of organization. Surnames of correspondents are not always identified, but letters have been left in original letter box order.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see SC 20.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Astronomy -- History.
Nantucket Island (Mass.)--History
Observatories--Pictorial works
Voyages and travels
Women scientists
American Astronomical Society
Gaposchkin, Cecilia Helena Payne, 1900-
Gilbreth, Lillian Moller, 1878-1972
Green, Marion
Harwood, Emelie Green, 1854-1919
Harwood, Jonathan, 1892-1963
Heath, John
International Astronomical Union. Bibliography of Astronomical Literature, 1881-1898
Maria Mitchell Association
Paddock, Alvin Egan, 1868-1953
Radcliffe College
Radcliffe College--Alumni and alumnae
Royal Astronomical Society
Searle, Arthur, 1837-1920
Stackpole, Edouard S.
Steavenson, W. H. (William Herbert), 1894-
Stratton, F.
Waterfield, Reginald