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MC 187

Stokes, Caroline Phelps, 1854-1909. Papers of Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes, 1866-1927: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.
September 1973

© 1973 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 187
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Caroline Phelps Stokes, 1854-1909
Title: Papers of Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes, 1866-1927
Quantity: .42 linear feet (1 file box) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 folio folder
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, photographs, travel journals, etc., of Caroline Phelps Stokes and Olivia Egleston Phelps Stokes, daughters from a wealthy and religious New York City family.

Processing Information:

Processed: September 1973
By: Katherine Gray Kraft

Acquisition Information:

Accession number: 1042
The papers of Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in July, 1966 by Bishop Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes 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 for publication:

Papers of Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes, 1854-1927; item description, dates. MC 187, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Caroline Phelps Stokes Papers, 1892-1927 (MC 188).


Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes were sisters, born in New York City to wealthy, religiously zealous parents. They devoted their lives to Christian works through philanthropy, contributing to charitable, religious, and educational institutions, as well as to individuals in need. Caroline and Olivia were especially concerned with the problems of blacks, both in America and Africa, and gave generously to funds for schools and better housing. Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and Hampton Institute in Virginia were among the beneficiaries. Caroline bequeathed her estate to the establishment of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, to be used for improved housing, and education for minority students. After Caroline's death, Olivia contributed to Negro education through the Fund.


This collection consists of letters of appreciation from individuals and institutions which benefitted from the sisters' generosity; letters and other documents associated with the Ansonia Library in Connecticut, built by the sisters in memory of their father, James Stokes, and maternal grandfather, Anson Greene Phelps; letters from Olivia to Caroline; and various writings of Caroline, including her travel journals upon which Travels of a Lady's Maid, published anonymously in 1908, was based.


Additional catalog entries

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
Abbott, Lyman, 1835-1922
African Americans--Education
African Americans--Housing
Ansonia Library
Berkshire Industrial Farm
Dwight, Timothy, 1828-1916
Journals (notebooks)
Stokes, Olivia Egleston Phelps, 1847-1927
Tuskegee Institute
Voyages and travels
Washington, Margaret James Murray, 1865-1925
Women in charitable work
YMCA of the USA