[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:sch01002View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement
M-133, reel A14-18; A-68, Series X

Shaw, Anna Howard, 1847-1919. Papers of Anna Howard Shaw in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1863-1955: 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

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: M-133, reel A14-18; A-68, Series X
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Shaw, Anna Howard, 1847-1919
Title: Papers of Anna Howard Shaw in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1863-1955
Date(s): 1863-1955
Quantity: 210 folders
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Papers of minister, physician, lecturer, and suffragist, Anna Howard Shaw.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 56-121

Processing Information:

Reprocessed: June 1990
By: Kim Brookes, Bert Hartry, Katherine Kraft, Jane Ward

Access Restrictions:


Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Anna Howard Shaw 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.


  • Dates and/or other information have been written on some items by a number of people. In organizing the material, the processor left undated material that was grouped with dated items where it was. All dates and other information added by the processor are in square brackets.
  • Some of the material in the collection was difficult to film due to such problems as flimsy paper with text showing through, faded or smudged writing, faint pencil notations, or brittle and/or torn clippings. The film was carefully produced to insure that these items are as legible as possible.
  • The film was proofread by University Publications of America.
  • Letters of one or more pages with either the salutation or the signature missing, as well as portions of letters, articles, or clippings, have been marked as fragments [frag.].
  • Undated items are marked "n.d." (no date) and filmed at the end of each folder.
  • The pages of many items were numbered to aid the microfilmer, proofreaders, and researchers. These numbers are in square brackets.
  • The reverse sides of outdated letterhead or other "scrap" paper was sometimes used for transcriptions, drafts, or notes. These reverse sides were filmed only if their respective letterheads were not represented elsewhere in the collection, or if they contained unique text. They have been filmed at the end of each folder in which they appear.
  • Portions of the transcribed Anna Howard Shaw/Lucy Elmina Anthony correspondence (#502-510) were numbered for a previous Schlesinger Library microfilm. Some pages are not in strict chronological order: those for November- December 1901, describing Anna Howard Shaw's Caribbean trip, were filed and filmed separately from the folder of 1901-05 correspondence.
  • Many loose clippings were mounted by the processor.
  • Many clippings from newspapers already on microfilm (according to Newspapers in Microform, United States, Library of Congress, 1973), were discarded after filming.
  • All photographs were microfilmed with the collection. They are also available on the microfilm of the Schlesinger Library photograph collection (M-54).
  • Preferred Citation:

    Anna Howard Shaw Papers in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1863-1955; item description, dates. A-68, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

    Related Material:

    There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Anna Howard Shaw papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1908-1943 (M-133, reel A18; WRC 1036-40).


    Minister, physician, lecturer, and suffragist, Anna Howard Shaw was born on February 14, 1847, in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, the sixth of seven surviving children of Thomas Shaw and Nicolas (Stott) Shaw. Shaw described her family's move to America (first to Massachusetts and later to the Michigan wilderness), their hardships on the frontier, her determination to get an education, and her career shifts from teacher to minister to physician to social reformer in her autobiography, The Story of a Pioneer (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1915).
    An avid reader, Shaw was largely self-taught before becoming a teacher at the age of 15. She later finished high school, and entered Albion College (Michigan) in 1873 at the age of 26. In 1878 she graduated from the divinity school of Boston University, the only woman in her class. In addition to performing various pastoral duties in the Methodist Protestant Church, Shaw enrolled in Boston University's medical school in 1883, graduating with an M.D. in 1886. She became increasingly convinced that the problems she encountered in her ministry and as a physician could not be solved without major political and social reforms, and that obtaining the vote for women was a necessary first step.
    Lecturing and organizing on behalf of the temperance and woman suffrage movements, Shaw became one of the best-known women in the United States. Her oratorical skills were legendary; in 1913 the National Anti- Suffrage Association forbade its members to engage in any further debate with her.
    In addition to serving as vice president (1892-1904) and president (1904-1915) of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Shaw was chairman of the Woman's Committee of the U.S. Council of National Defense (1917-1919). For her extraordinary work and success in coordinating women's contributions to the war effort she was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the United States government in May 1919.
    Shaw died of pneumonia on July 2, 1919, in the middle of an exhausting speaking tour on behalf of the League to Enforce Peace, an organization formed to rally support for Woodrow Wilson's proposed peace treaty and League of Nations. Lucy Elmina Anthony, niece of Susan B. Anthony, was also an active suffragist. For thirty years she was friend and secretary to Shaw; she shared a home in Moylan, Pennsylvania, with Shaw from 1903 until the latter's death in 1919.
    For additional biographical information, see The Story of A Pioneer; Notable American Women, 1607-1950 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971); and Wilmer A. Linkugel, "The Speeches of Anna Howard Shaw" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1960; available from University Microfilms).


    The series has been rearranged and now contains five subseries; though materials created by Lucy Elmina Anthony can be found in the four Shaw subseries (A-D), the majority of her papers are in Subseries E.


    Though the Anna Howard Shaw/Lucy Elmina Anthony papers do not provide a full record of either woman's life, they do reveal something of their personalities. Shaw's humor, sarcasm, and unflagging devotion to the cause of woman suffrage, as well as Lucy Elmina Anthony's fierce loyalty to the cause and to Shaw, are readily apparent.
    The papers bear evidence of their extensive use by Ida Husted Harper in the preparation of her unpublished Shaw biography, the original of which is in the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; for drafts see #355-358. She heavily marked not only her typed transcriptions, but also original documents. Annotations by Lucy Elmina Anthony and Caroline I. Reilly are so labeled. Dates provided by Ida Husted Harper and Lucy Elmina Anthony have been accepted by the processor, unless there was contradictory evidence.
    Subseries A, Archival and biographical (#350-373v), contains correspondence of Lucy Elmina Anthony with Mary Earhart Dillon and Nicolas Shaw Fraser re: the disposition of the Anna Howard Shaw papers, and archival notes. The bulk of the subseries consists of biographical papers: teaching certificates and contracts; results of medical school examinations; programs, passes, etc.; Shaw reminiscences; notes for and drafts of the Ida Husted Harper biography; tributes and other biographical material, both printed and manuscript (see also #555-558); clippings, some in an extremely fragile scrapbook; and photographs of Shaw, her friends, her house, suffrage groups, landscapes, and the christening (1943) of the battleship SS Anna Howard Shaw.
    Subseries B, Diaries and appointment books (#374v-416), contains books of both Shaw and Lucy Elmina Anthony. Most of Shaw's diary entries (1898-1919) are brief, though some are full pages. Many pages are blank; these have not been filmed. Diary entries for November 1901 to February 1902 describe Shaw's travels to various countries in and around the Caribbean, especially Cuba, Jamaica, and Venezuela. A few "diaries" are essentially appointment books, but the processor has not changed Lucy Elmina Anthony's original designations. While some appointment books (1889-1911) are inscribed "Anna Howard Shaw" and others "Lucy E. Anthony," Lucy Elmina Anthony's writing appears in both; the engagements are apparently those of Shaw. The 1900 diary and 1904 appointment book originally received with the collection are currently missing; there were no diaries for 1907 or 1909, and no 1908 appointment book.
    Subseries C, Writings and speeches (#417-500), contains a lecture itinerary; programs and publicity; tributes to Shaw as a speaker; press releases; and speeches, articles, and statements. Most are suffrage speeches, though some are about temperance, World War I, and other topics; see the inventory for a complete list. Shaw usually spoke extemporaneously; many speeches are thus transcripts by others, and a number are printed. The transcripts carry annotations by Shaw, Ida Husted Harper, and others. The subseries is arranged chronologically; the inventory provides titles and locales where known. The processor supplemented information on the documents with that provided by Wilmer Albert Linkugel in The Speeches of Anna Howard Shaw. Some of the unidentified items in #496 may be excerpts of longer speeches.
    A number of speeches have penciled numbers (e.g."#71") in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. These refer to folders in a previous arrangement; they have been retained to help researchers attempting to match earlier citations.
    This subseries spans Shaw's oratorical career, from the rough notes for her first sermon (1871) to a speech on lynching given two months before her death. Shaw had a number of set themes and delivered similar speeches repeatedly over the years throughout the U.S. and also abroad.
    A few speeches and reports by others are included at the end of the subseries.
    Subseries D, Correspondence (#501-541), has two major divisions: correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent, and other correspondence. In addition, there is one folder of Shaw letters to "Home Folks," written from trips abroad.
    Most of the correspondents in the alphabetical section are friends; they often addressed, and referred to, Shaw as "Ladee." The typed transcripts (prepared by Ida Husted Harper; the originals were apparently destroyed) of Shaw's letters to Lucy Elmina Anthony are informative and descriptive, as are her many letters to a close friend from childhood, Clara Osburn. The Anna Howard Shaw/Lucy Elmina Anthony transcripts retain page numbers assigned for a previous filming. There is little official NAWSA correspondence, though fragments exist on the backs of unrelated documents (see #505). Shaw's work during World War I with the Woman's Committee of the U.S. Council of National Defense is documented in #513-516, and #559. The WCTU correspondence contains references to the death of Frances Willard, as well as arrangements for Shaw speaking engagements.
    The general correspondence, arranged chronologically, pertains to suffrage campaigns and victories, or to capital punishment, and includes invitations to lecture, birthday and get well greetings, etc. There is one folder of poems by others, most dedicated to Shaw, and one of 70th birthday greetings.
    Subseries E, Lucy E. Anthony correspondence (#542-560), is divided into two main parts: correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent, and condolences, tributes, etc., about Shaw. Most of the letters in both sections were written after Shaw's death, and are of a personal nature.

    Container List

    Additional Index Terms

    Blacks--Caribbean Area
    Caribbean Area--Description and travel
    Caribbean Area--Social conditions
    Frontier and pioneer life
    Political rights
    Temperance--United States
    Women clergy
    Women orators
    Women physicians
    Women social reformers
    Women--Suffrage--United States
    Women travelers
    World War, 1914-1918--Peace
    World War, 1914-1918--Women
    Addams, Jane, 1860-1935
    Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964
    Anthony, Susan B. (Susan Brownell), 1820-1906
    Anthony, Lucy Elmina
    Avery, Susan Look
    Avery, Rachel Foster, 1858-1919
    Baker, Newton Diehl, 1871-1937
    Bartol, Emma J.
    Barton, Clara, 1821-1912
    Blackwell, Henry Browne, 1825-1909
    Bok, Edward William, 1863-1930
    Booth-Tucker, Emmaline, 1860-1903
    Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947
    Coit, Adela
    Crane, Caroline Bartlett, 1858-1935
    Crosset, Ella Hawley
    Cunningham, Minnie Fisher, 1882-1964
    Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947
    Dillon, Mary Earhart, collector
    Fawcett, Millicent Garrett, Dame, 1847-1929
    Fitzgerald, Susan W., 1871-1943
    Fry, Susanna M. D. (Susanna Margaret Davidson), 1841-1920
    Gannett, Mary T. L.
    Gardener, Helen H. (Helen Hamilton), 1853-1925
    Gifford, W. S.
    Harper, Ida Husted, 1851-1931
    Hay, Mary Garrett, 1857-1928
    Hepburn, Katharine Houghton, 1878-1951
    Holley, Marietta, 1836-1926
    Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
    Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910
    Howland, Emily, 1827-1929
    Howland, Isobel
    International Council of Women
    Ivins, Emma
    Jacobs, Aletta H. (Aletta Henriette), 1854-1929
    Jewett, Mary B., 1858-1928
    Kent, Juliet Crosset, 1880-1949
    Ketcham, Emily B.
    Laidlaw, H. B. (Harriet Burton), 1873-1949
    Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932
    League to Enforce Peace (U.S.)
    Lewis, Katherine Bell
    Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice, 1820-1905
    Lynch, G. H., Mrs.
    Malone, Maud, 1877-1951
    Manus, Rosette Suzanne, 1881-1942
    Mastin, Florence Ripley, 1886-1968
    McCormick, Katharine Dexter, 1875-1967
    McCormick, Medill, 1877-1925
    McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, 1862-1945
    Mills, Harriet May, 1857-1935
    National American Woman Suffrage Association
    North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College
    North Carolina State College for Women
    Osburn, Clara A.
    Osburn, Eliza W.
    Palmer, Bertha Honoré, 1849-1918
    Pankhurst, Christabel, Dame, 1880-1958
    Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955
    Patterson, Hannah Jane, 1879-1937
    Peabody, George Foster, 1852-1938
    Purdy, I. Marcia
    Reilly, Caroline I.
    Rennes, Catarina van, 1858-1940
    Short, William H. (William Harrison), 1868-1935
    Smith, Ethel M.
    Snowden, Ethel
    Stevens, Lillian M. N.
    Stevenson, Katharine Lente
    Stone, Lucy, 1818-1893
    Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930
    Tarbell, Clara
    Tarbell, Ida M. (Ida Minerva), 1857-1944
    Thomas, M. Carey (Martha Carey), 1857-1935
    United States. Council of National Defense. Woman's Committee
    Villard, Fanny Garrison, 1844-1928
    Ward, Lydia Avery Coonley, 1845-1924
    Wetmore, Maude
    Willard, Frances E. (Frances Elizabeth), 1839-1898
    Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924
    Wise, Stephen Samuel, 1874-1949
    Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
    Woolley, Mary Emma, 1863-1947