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SC 103

Peabody, Helen, 1898-1992. Papers of Helen Peabody, 1921-1985: 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

Call No.: SC 103
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Helen Peabody, 1898-1992
Title: Papers of Helen Peabody, 1921-1985
Date(s): 1921-1985
Quantity: .42 linear feet (1 file box)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Unpublished writings by Helen Peabody, Radcliffe College Class of 1921.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: R85-4, R85-5, R86-7, 2014-M134
The collection was given to the Radcliffe College Archives by Helen Peabody in August 1986; "Lift Up Your Heart" (#10) was given by John Ito in August 2014.

Processing Information:

Processed: September 1988
By: Isabelle Bland Dry '35
Updated: September 2014
By: Anne Engelhart

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Helen Peabody 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:

Helen Peabody Papers, 1921-1985; item description, dates. SC 103, folder #. Radcliffe College Archives, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Helen Peabody, beauty expert and author, was born in Auburndale, Massachusetts, on August 9, 1898. She attended Miss Haskell's School in Boston, the Ecole Vivet, Lausanne, Switzerland, the Cambridge School for Girls, and received her A.B. from Radcliffe in 1921. She concentrated in History of Fine Arts and Painting.
In 1921-1922 she met Vera Pilat in the YWCA in San Francisco, and teamed up with her to create a traveling marionette show consisting of nine puppets and a fold-up stage. Traveling in a Model T Ford with camping equipment, they put on their shows in schools, clubs, and private homes.
Peabody was a graduate student in Fine Arts at Radcliffe from 1922-1923, studied painting in Paris in 1923, and then attended Yale Drama School (1923-1924). She played in off-Broadway productions and was a make-up artist. She taught make-up at the Cosmetic Institute in New York.
On her return to live in Cambridge, she did volunteer work at Metropolitan state Hospital for the mentally ill. She was also active in the Friends' Meeting in Cambridge, working on the Peace and Social Concerns Committee which established the Martin Luther King Camp Scholarships Fund used to recruit black children for private summer camps.
She eventually turned to writing, producing many unpublished short stories and Lift Up Your Face (1975), a book addressing beauty and character.


This collection contains drafts of Peabody's unpublished writings. Folder #10 was added in September 2014.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Beauty operators
Short stories, American
Pilat, Vera
Radcliffe College--Alumni and alumnae
Radcliffe College. Class of 1921