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MC 306; M-100

Pruette, Lorine, 1896-1976. Papers of Lorine Pruette, 1915-1974: 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

The collection was processed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (RC-0051-79-1260).

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 306; M-100
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Lorine Pruette, 1896-1976
Title: Papers of Lorine Pruette, 1915-1974
Date(s): 1915-1974
Quantity: 1.67 linear feet (4 file boxes) plus 6 photograph folders, part of reel of microfilm (M-100)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Drafts of fictional works, poems, and plays, lectures, radio scripts, correspondence, etc., of Lorine Pruette, psychologist, writer, lecturer, and feminist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 74-149, 75-96, 77-M107
The papers of Lorine Pruette were given to the Schlesinger Library in June 1974 and April 1975 by Lorine Pruette, and in July 1977 by her brother F. Miller Pruette.

Processing Information:

Processed: July 1980
By: Madeleine Bagwell Perez

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Lorine Pruette 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:

Lorine Pruette Papers, 1915-1974; item description, dates. MC 306, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


The following items have been removed from the collection, July 1980:


Lorine Livingston Pruette, psychologist, writer and lecturer, was born November 3, 1896, in Millersburg, Tennessee, the daughter of Oscar Davis and Eula (Miller) Pruette. She grew up in Chattanooga and attended Chattanooga High School, graduating in 1915. She received a B.S. degree from the University of Chattanooga (1918), an M.A. from Clark University (1920), and a Ph.D. from Columbia University (1924), with a dissertation entitled Women and Leisure, A Study of Social Waste.
An early feminist, as seen in her writing, Pruette kept her maiden name after her marriage to Douglas Fryer in 1920. Pruette and Fryer collaborated on several studies and articles before their divorce in 1932.
Before and after graduation from Columbia University Pruette taught sociology and psychology at various schools, including Smith College (1922-1923), University of Utah (1923-1924), and New York University (1926-1927), and was a research psychologist at R. H. Macy and Company (1925-1926) and consulting psychologist for the Graduate School of New York University (1928-1933).
Pruette then held editorial positions with the American Woman's Association (1934-1935), the Commission on Human Relations, Progressive Education Association (1936-1940), National Bureau for Economic Research (1941-1943), and the Office of War Information (1943-1944). She joined the staff of New York Medical College in 1954, but most of her counseling was done in private practice, both in New York City and in Tennessee.
Pruette died in December 1976.


The papers of Lorine Pruette provide only a sketchy outline of her professional life. From vitae, job applications, bibliographies, and newspaper clippings one can put together a chronology of her activities during college and after; there is no documentation of her work as a psychologist, though her articles indicate her interests and points of view.
While there are copies of published articles, lectures, and radio scripts, the bulk of the collection consists of drafts of fictional works (#22-182). The writings are arranged alphabetically and also include poems and playlets. The publishing status is usually unclear and only a few articles are dated.
The correspondence (#5-7) covers the years 1924-1974 in a very scattered way, giving hints about friendships, problems in writing and publishing, trips taken, and so on. There is also some information as to dates and publication status of Pruette's writings. Included are autographed notes from Louis Ferdinand and Kira, Prince and Princess of Prussia, Alfred Stieglitz, and Ayn Rand (#6-7).
The papers give only a little information about Pruette's family and personal life. Correspondence and vitae offer some clues and, in notes about her fiction, Pruette implies that many of the incidents were based on actual events. This is especially true of "My Life Among the Doctors" and "The Times of Theeny Trail." The photographs are primarily of Pruette, with a few of her parents, sister, brother, and friends.
Pruette spent much of her life traveling, lecturing, and writing. Among her many articles and books are Woman and Leisure; G. Stanley Hall, A Biography of a Mind; Saint in Ivory; Women Workers Through the Depression; School for Love; and The Parent and the Happy Child.



A selective index of writers of letters. Information about individuals is not indexed; nor are subjects. The numbers refer to folders.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Child psychology
Parent and child
Cabell, James Branch, 1879-1958
Cowley, Malcolm, 1898-1989
Fryer, Douglas Henry, 1891-1960
O'Neill, William L.
Rand, Ayn--Autographs
Rossi, Alice S., 1922-2009
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946--Autographs