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Phillips, Lena Madesin, 1881-1955. Papers of Lena Madesin Phillips, 1881-1955: 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.: 71-102--72-76
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Lena Madesin Phillips, 1881-1955
Title: Papers of Lena Madesin Phillips, 1881-1955
Date(s): 1881-1955
Quantity: 12.96 linear feet (12 cartons, 1 folio box)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, articles, speeches, etc., of Lena Madesin Phillips, lawyer, editor, and music teacher.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 71-102, 72-39, 72-76
These papers were given by Lena Madesin Phillips and Lisa Sergio.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: December 1978
By: Nora Murphy

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Lena Madesin Phillips 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:

Lena Madesin Phillips Papers, 1881-1955; item description, dates. 71-102--72-76, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


The following items have been removed from the collection and given to the Schlesinger Library book sale, January 1986:


Lena Madesin Phillips. Born 1881, Nicholasville, Kentucky; daughter of William Henry and Alice (Shook) Phillips; graduated from Jessamine Institute, Nicholasville, 1899; student at Goucher College, 1899-1900 and 1901-1902; Peabody Conservatory of Music, 1901-1903; LL.B., New York University 1923. Teacher of music, organizer and director of music school, Nicholasville until 1916; admitted to Kentucky bar 1917, New Jersey bar, United States District Court (New Jersey) 1922, New York bar 1924; secretary of national board, Young Women's Christian Association, New York City 1918-1919; executive secretary, 1919-1922; National Federation Business & Professional Women Clubs, president, 1926-1929, honorary president until 1955; founder International Federation of Business and Professional Women and president 1930-1947, founder-president until 1955; practiced law New York City, 1924-1935; associate editor, Pictorial Review, 1935-1939; President, National Council of Women, 1931-1935, honorary president until 1955; Vice President, National Kindergarten Association; Vice President, International Council of Women, 1938-1947; consulting member, Consumers' Advisory Board under National Recovery Administration. Member, Federal Council of Churches (Advisory Committee on a Just and Durable Peace). Sent by the Office of War Information on a special mission to Sweden, 1943-1944. Member: American Bar Association; New York League of Business and Professional Women (honorary president); Southern Women's Educational Alliance, Kentucky Society; Consumer's Cooperative Association; Saturday's Children of New York City; Soroptimist Club; Chi Omega; Phi Delta Delta; Order of the Coif. Died, 1955, Marseilles, France.


The collection has been arranged in roughly chronological order (by Lena Madesin Phillips's biographer or Marjory Lacy-Baker) which reduces the amount of work to be done with the collection. The collection should be divided into several series: Correspondence and Speeches and Writings. Determination of additional series will require a more in-depth study of the collection.
The papers reflect almost every aspect of Phillips's life, from family correspondence to minutes of meetings. There is frequent overlapping of interests because many of Phillips's friends and associates also belonged to more than one organization. The material has been arranged to aid in the writing of Phillip's biography. There is also included information collected by Phillips's biographer and Marjory Lacy-Baker to record as complete a portfolio of Phillips as possible. Additional papers of Phillips might be found at the offices of the National Federation Business & Professional Women, as they were given the option of also retaining papers of Phillips.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Women in the professions
Women--Societies and clubs
Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958
Haslett, Caroline
Holmes, Gordon
International Council of Women
International Federation of Business and Professional Women
Lacey-Baker, Marjory
Myrdal, Alva Reimer, 1902-1986
National Council of Women
National Federation of Business and Professional Women
United Nations
United States. Office of War Information
World Center for Women's Archives
Young Women's Christian Association