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Pedersen, Thyra E., 1888-1980. Papers of Thyra E. Pedersen, 1923-1974: 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

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: A-101
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Thyra E. Pedersen, 1888-1980
Title: Papers of Thyra E. Pedersen, 1923-1974
Date(s): 1923-1974
Quantity: .42 linear feet (1 file box)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, photographs, speeches, etc., of Thyra E. Pedersen, teacher and nurse.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 274, 849, 74-180
The papers of Thyra E. Pedersen were deposited with the Schlesinger Library by Thyra E. Pedersen in March 1961, January 1965, and July 1974.

Processing Information:

Processed: May 1976
By: Pamela G. Seavey

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Thyra E. Pedersen 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:

Thyra E. Pedersen Papers, 1923-1974; item description, dates. A-101, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Thyra Elizabeth Pedersen, daughter of Lars Pederson, was born April 17, 1888, in Waupaca, Wisconsin. She spent two years, 1923-1925, traveling around the world and teaching at the Union Girls' School in Hangchow, China and Sgaw Karen High School in Bassein, Burma. She returned to the United States in 1925 and resumed her work as Assistant Director of the Nursing Service of the United States Veterans Administration, a post she held until 1943. As a Rehabilitation Officer for the American Legion, 1947-1950, she was Chief Nurse at the Veterans Administration Facilities at American Lake, Washington and St. Cloud, Minnesota. Between 1939 and 1954, she actively opposed the Veterans of Foreign Wars ruling barring women from membership. In 1972, she initiated an investigation into discrimination against women veterans in Veterans Administration domiciliary facilities. She was also a member of the Disabled American Veterans. Thyra E. Pederson died August 10, 1980.


The collection contains Thyra E. Pedersen's letters from Asia, speeches read at various nursing conventions, published articles and correspondence relating to domiciliary facilities for women veterans.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Asia--Description and travel
Asia--Social life and customs
Burma--Description and travel
China--Description and travel
Military nursing
Nursing schools
Psychiatric nursing
Sex discrimination against women
Soldiers' homes
Veterans--Medical care
Voyages around the world
Women veterans
World War, 1939-1945--Medical care
American Legion
Percy, Charles H., 1919-2011
Stevenson, Adlai E., III (Adlai Ewing), 1930-
United States. Veterans Administration
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States