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
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
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.
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.
Processed: May 1976
By: Pamela G. Seavey
Access. Collection is open for research.
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.
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.
- 1. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Shanghai, July 1923.
- 2. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Shanghai, August 1923.
- 3. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Shanghai and Hangchow, September 1923.
- 4. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Hangchow, October 1923.
- 5. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Hangchow, n.d. [1923?].
- 6. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Hangchow, November-December 1923.
- 7. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Hangchow, January 1924.
- 8. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Hangchow, February-March 1924, re trip to Peking.
- 9. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Hangchow, April-June 1924.
- 10. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen on way to Burma, July 1924.
- 11. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Burma, August 1924.
- 12. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Burma, September 1924.
- 13. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Burma, October 1924.
- 14. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Burma, November 1924.
- 15. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Burma, December 1924.
- 16. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Burma, January 1925. One letter re trip to Ceylon.
- 17. Letters from Thyra E. Pedersen from Rangoon and Shanghai, March-June 1925.
- 18. Letters to Thyra E. Pedersen from Asian students, June 1924 - July 1925.
- 19. Articles by Thyra E. Pedersen on East Asia, mainly China and Japan, 1924-1925.
- 20. Introduction to General Feng's camp, n.d.
- 22. Photographs, Ceylon, Indochina, and Hong Kong.
- 26. Photograph of Thyra E. Pedersen, taken approximately one year after return. Biographical
information on reverse; Nursing and veterans' affairs. Many of the speeches, articles
and programs in this box were annotated by Thyra E. Pedersen.
- 27. Thyra E. Pedersen articles re nursing published in Veterans Administration Medical Bulletin, September 1926 - April 1939. List included in folder.
- 28. Radio talks, Washington, D.C., on nursing schools. Thyra E. Pedersen was then Assistant
Superintendent of Nurses, United States Veterans Administration. [1930's].
- 29. Nursing conventions, Washington state, 1933-1934.
Scope and Contents: Newsclippings: May 21-27, 1933; official Program, 28th annual convention of the Washington
State Graduate Nurses Association, Tacoma, Washington, May 25-27, 1933. Thyra E. Pedersen,
Chief Nurse, United States Veterans' Hospital at American Lake, Washington, spoke
here on "Nursing for the U.S. Government"; program, Washington State Graduate Nurses
Institute, University of Washington campus, September 13-15, 1934. Thyra E. Pedersen
was chairman of program on "Mental Nursing," "Psychiatric Nursing," speech read during
program, typescript carbon copy.
- 30. Survey of Psychiatric Hospitals for the Washington State Graduate Nurses Association,
Scope and Contents: Typescript carbon copy; questionnaire for psychiatric hospitals, typescript carbon
copy; summary of survey, typescript carbon copy; autograph letter, signed to Thyra
E. Pedersen from Anne E. Radford, R.N., President, Washington League of Nursing Associations.
- 31. Material relating to Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1939-1954.
Scope and Contents: Four speeches by Thyra E. Pedersen on military nursing. Thyra E. Pedersen was department
service officer of the American Legion in Illinois; newsclippings: August 24, 1939
- June 23, 1954, re V.F.W. ruling barring women from membership; etc.
- 32. National Biennial Nursing Convention, 1940.
Scope and Contents: Typed letter, signed to Thyra E. Pedersen, May 6, 1940, from Ernestine Wiedenbach,
Secretary, Nursing Information Bureau. Thanks for copy of address for convention;
program, National Biennial Nursing Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 12-17,
1940. Thyra E. Pedersen, then Chief Nurse, Veterans Administration Facility, American
Lake, Washington, spoke here on "Staff Morale"; Thyra E. Pedersen's report on National
Biennial Nursing Convention, typescript carbon copy; pages from American Journal of Nursing, June 1940, re National Biennial Nursing Convention, with photographs.
- 33. Conventions of the Minnesota Nurses Association, 1941 and 1942.
Scope and Contents: Program, 36th annual convention, Minnesota Nurses Association, October 1-3, 1941;
"Veterans Administration Nursing Service," outlines of Thyra E. Pedersen speech for
convention, typescript, photocopy; Veterans Administration nursing care, manuscript,
summary and outline; notes for speech, manuscript; report on Minnesota Nurses Association
convention by Thyra E. Pedersen, typescript carbon copy. Thyra E. Pedersen was Chief
Nurse, Veterans Administration Facility, St. Cloud, Minnesota; The Minnesota Registered Nurse, October 1942. Includes program for 37th annual convention, Minnesota Nurses Association,
October 8-10, 1942; introductions of speakers, typescript; report of the Veterans
Facility program at Minnesota Nurses Association convention, October 9, 1942, typescript;
"U.S. Veterans Administration", American Journal of Nursing, December 1942. Thyra E. Pedersen is mentioned in article on United States Veterans
Administration; newsclippings re 1942 convention; correspondence re Minnesota Nurses
Association convention, June 18 - October 27, 1942.
- 34. Miscellaneous, August 1944 - June 1951.
Scope and Contents: resolution asking for preferential treatment for disabled veterans in housing, submitted
by Colonel H.H. Weimer, Chairman, Committee on Tuberculous Veterans, Tuberculosis
Institute of Chicago and Cook County. Thyra E. Pedersen was on the Executive Committee;
The D.A.V. Forward, August-October, December 1944. In each issue, "On the Home Front" by Thyra E. Pedersen;
"Hearing Aid Project Commended," by Thyra E. Pedersen, The Lamp of Delta Zeta, March, 1951; "Nursing Today," by Thyra E. Pedersen, Nursing World, June 1951.
- 35. Thyra E. Pedersen articles published in American Journal of Nursing, 1929-1950. List included in folder.
- 36. Material relating to domiciliary facilities for women veterans, June 8, 1972 - April
Scope and Contents: Frontiero v. Laird, United States Supreme Court decision that Veterans Administration
cannot discriminate against women veterans. The case involves dependency benefits
for women students. Brief synopsis of decision and its implementation, typescript;
manuscript note by Thyra E. Pedersen on discrimination in location and number of accommodations
and lack of information on benefits; "Half-Empty Veterans Home Flooded with Grateful
Applicants after Enquirer Story," by Selig Adler, National Enquirer, n.d., photocopy; correspondence re domiciliary facilities for women veterans, June
8, 1972 - April 4, 1974. Letters between Thyra E. Pedersen and officers of the Veterans
Administration, the American Legion, and various Congressmen, including Senator Adlai
E. Stevenson, III, and Senator Charles H. Percy.
Asia--Description and travel
Asia--Social life and customs
Burma--Description and travel
China--Description and travel
Sex discrimination against women
Voyages around the world
World War, 1939-1945--Medical care
Percy, Charles H., 1919-2011
Stevenson, Adlai E., III (Adlai Ewing), 1930-
United States. Veterans Administration
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States