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MC 184

White, Marjorie, 1894-1972. Papers of Marjorie White, ca.1930-ca.1970: 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 184
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Marjorie White, 1894-1972
Title: Papers of Marjorie White, ca.1930-ca.1970
Date(s): 1930-1970
Quantity: 13.35 linear feet (31 file boxes, 1 card file)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Notebooks containing published and unpublished articles, photos, clippings, and notes on women and correspondence of Marjorie White, collector.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 73-71, 81-M54
The Marjorie White Collection was deposited in the Schlesinger Library in June 1973 and February 1981 by her daughter, Zalmar Perlin.

Processing Information:

Processed: September 1973

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Marjorie White 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:

Marjorie White Papers, ca.1930-ca.1970; item description, dates. MC 184, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Zalmar Whitworth Perlin, 1930?-1980 (81-M12--81-M54).


The following items have been removed from the collection:


Marjorie White was born on January 24, 1894 in Seattle, Washington, and died February 20, 1972. She lived in Forest Hills, New York.


This collection consists primarily of over one hundred loose-leaf notebooks filled with published and unpublished articles, newsclippings, photographs and notes on women throughout history and prehistory and on various subjects related to women, with an extensive section on North American Indian women. Marjorie White collected this material at a time when information on women was scattered and spotty; Mary R. Beard gave recognition to its usefulness in the Acknowledgements to Woman as Force in History (1946).
To a great extent the notebooks reflect an interest in prehistoric woman as priestess, midwife and originator of culture. This interest was stimulated by Marjorie White's association with Mary Milbank Brown, who evolved a theory of a matriarchal period preceding the post-Platonic patriarchy; she believe that men had redefined originally "matristic" words in an esoteric, "patristic" code, still in use by "initiated" philosophers and scientists. Correspondence with Mary Milbank Brown, and notes and outlines by her, are found mainly in volume 157 some of her unpublished writings appear in 143-145 and 147, and correspondence about her and her work in 151 (including letters by Dr. Bruno Oetteking and copies of letters from Pearl Buck to Jane Grant).
There is a good deal of correspondence with Mary Ritter Beard, as well as some of her writings. This material, found mainly in 150a-e, 154 and 155, concerns itself with the World Center for Women's Archives, a proposed Woman's Research Institute, Mary Milbank Brown's work, the Encyclopedia Britannica (often referred to as "CB"), and Collier's Encyclopedia. There were projects afoot to correct the treatment of women in these two encyclopedias, and Marjorie White contemplated an Encyclopedia of Women, but none of these was ever completed. The World Center for Women's Archives also met with failure, due to World War II and lack of funds, but gave an impetus to the collecting by other institutions of papers by and about women.
Other correspondents include Herma Briffault, Dora Edinger, C. Esther Hodge (editor of the English periodical, Women Speaking), Miriam Y. Holden, Inez Haynes Irwin, Dr. Blanche Christine Olschak, and Doris Stevens. These women and others shared a concern for correcting the general view of woman's role in history and thus pioneered and foreshadowed the more widespread interest manifested a quarter of a century later.
Correspondence in the Marjorie White Collection was written between 1936 and 1967; the articles and newsclippings were collected from the 1930s through the 1960s.
Most of the papers have been kept in the original loose-leaf binders, though in some cases the contents have been transferred to folders, retaining the original numbering.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Collier's Encyclopedia
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Encyclopedias and dictionaries
Indian women--North America
Language and languages
Women priests
Askanasy, Anna H.
Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958
Briffault, Herma
Brown, Mary Milbank
Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973
Edinger, Dora
Gillmore, Inez Haynes, 1873-1970
Grierson, Margaret
Hodge, C. Esther
Holden, Miriam Young
Inter-American Commission of Women
Lucy Stone League
Lutz, Alma
Oetteking, Bruno, 1871-1960
Olschak, Blanche Christine
Schwimmer, Rosika, 1877-1948
Stevens, Doris, 1888-1963
White, Leslie A., 1900-1975
World Center for Women's Archives
Yust, Walter, 1894-1960