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MC 259; M-59

Sprague, Nancy Ann Atwood, 1837-1916. Papers of Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague, 1854-1916: 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.: MC 259; M-59
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Sprague, Nancy Ann Atwood, 1837-1916
Title: Papers of Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague, 1854-1916
Date(s): 1854-1916
Quantity: 4.17 linear feet (10 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Diaries, scrapbooks, etc., of Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague, mother and diarist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 77-M88, 77-M118, 77-M143
The papers of Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague were given to the Schlesinger Library in June and September 1977 by Margaret Stewart (Coit) Coolidge (Mrs. Albert Sprague Coolidge).

Processing Information:

Processed: January and October 1978
By: Nancy M. Robertson, Joseph A. Interrante

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals closed; use microfilm (M-59, reels 988-992, no. M26).

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague is held by Margaret Stewart (Coit) Coolidge. Upon her death, copyright transfers to her daughter, Elizabeth Coolidge Winship. 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:

Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague Papers, 1854-1916; item description, dates. MC 259; M-59, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Nancy Ann Atwood was born September 3, 1837 in Barnard, Vermont. She was the seventh of twelve children, with five older brothers, one older sister, four younger brothers, and one younger sister. Until her marriage to Albert Arnold Sprague (born May 19, 1835), she lived in the small towns of Barnard and Royalton, Vermont. Following her marriage on September 29, 1862, she and Albert Arnold Sprague moved to Chicago, where he was to become a prominent businessman. They spent many of their summers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The Spragues had three daughters, two of whom died in childhood. Elizabeth Penn Sprague (born October 30, 1864), the eldest and sole surviving child, married Frederic Shurtleff Coolidge in 1891; they had one son, Albert Sprague Coolidge, born on January 23, 1894. Elizabeth Penn Sprague Coolidge was notable for her financial support of musical performance, especially at the Library of Congress.
Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague's Family:


These papers consist of diary/scrapbooks kept by Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague and a photocopy of memoirs of her childhood, Pleasant Memories of My Life. The diaries contain comments on the weather, social events, trips and family information; Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague rarely recorded her thoughts or emotions. The volumes also include numerous enclosures, particularly clippings and programs of the social events and organizations of Chicago and many letters. The bulk of the letters are from Elizabeth Penn Sprague Coolidge and Albert Sprague Coolidge. The diaries start in 1854 and end in 1916 with Nancy Ann Atwood Sprague' final illness.

Container List

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Chicago (Ill.)--Social life and customs
Families--Health and hygiene
Family records
Mothers and daughters
Women--Societies and clubs
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
Vermont--Social life and customs
Voyages and travels
Atwood family
Coolidge, Albert Sprague, 1894-1977
Coolidge, Elizabeth Penn (Sprague) 1864-1953
Mitchell, Lucy Sprague, 1878-1967
Mount Holyoke Female Seminary
Sprague family