Thompson, Margaret Stewart Dismorr, 1888-1969. Papers of Margaret Stewart Dismorr
Thompson, 1865-1985 (inclusive), 1910-1942 (bulk): 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
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 885
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Thompson, Margaret Stewart Dismorr, 1888-1969
Title: Papers of Margaret Stewart Dismorr Thompson, 1865-1985 (inclusive), 1910-1942 (bulk)
Quantity: 2.21 linear feet (3 file boxes, 1 folio box) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 oversize folder, 3 photograph
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Papers of economic and labor specialist, Margaret Stewart Dismorr Thompson.
Accession number: 2007-M36
The papers of Margaret Stewart Dismorr Thompson were given to the Schlesinger Library
in February 2007 by her daughter, Janet Thompson Keep.
Processed: September 2016
By: Johanna Carll, with assistance from Margaret Dalton.
Access. Collection is open for research.
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Margaret Stewart Dismorr Thompson 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.
Margaret Stewart Dismorr Thompson Papers, 1865-1985; item description, dates. MC 885,
folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge,
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of the Thompson family,
Donors: Janet Thompson Keep
Accession number: 2007-M36
Processed by: Johanna Carll
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed
- With the American Red Cross in France, 1918-1919, by Carter H. Harrison, 1948.
Economic and labor specialist, Margaret Stewart Dismorr Thompson was born in Kent,
England, on June 22, 1888, the youngest daughter of Mary Ann Rebecca Clowes and John
Stewart Dismorr, a tea merchant and recent immigrant from Australia. She studied Medieval
and Modern Languages at Cambridge University (AB 1910), studied economics and politics
at Bryn Mawr College (1910-1912) and statistics at Radcliffe College (1912-1913),
and received an AM from Cambridge University (1925). From 1912 to 1913, she held a
fellowship in social-economic research with the Women's Educational and Industrial
Union in cooperation with the Massachusetts State Bureau of Statistics where she reported
on women's working conditions in textile and food processing plants. In 1913, she
worked as a special agent for the Massachusetts Minimum Wage Commission. From 1914
to 1916, she was a special agent and later expert with the United States Department
of Labor in cooperation with the United States Commission on Industrial Relations
and others. With the outbreak of World War I, she returned to England to work as a
traveling welfare officer in the Welfare and Health Section of the British Ministry
of Munitions. In 1918, she joined the American Red Cross and was assigned to Base
Hospital 87-B in Toul, France. When the hospital was demobilized, she was reassigned
to Czechoslovakia where she worked with the American Relief Administration.
Thompson returned to the United States in 1920 and married James David Thompson, a
mathematician, scientist, and a founder of the British Labour Party. The had one daughter,
Janet, who was born in 1921. Margaret continued to do investigative research for a
number of government bodies, including the National Research Council's Child Welfare
Committee, and the United States Children's Bureau. After James's death in 1932, Margaret
moved to Rhode Island and later to Massachusetts, though she did return to Washington,
D.C., during the Second World War, writing reports on German industrial development.
She died March 28, 1969.
The papers of Margaret Stewart Dismorr Thompson include genealogical and biographical
material, correspondence, recipes, photographs, diplomas, published reports, and other
writings, documenting Thompson's work as a labor specialist. Correspondence include
letters from Thompson's American Red Cross and American Relief Administration colleagues,
many of whom continued to work with relief organizations in Europe, particularly with
Near East Relief in Armenia and Georgia, as well as professional correspondence relating
to Thompson's job searches and government contract work. Also included are two illustrated
travel diaries created by Thompson's father, John Stewart Dismorr, recounting trips
to England (1865) and Egypt (1891). Most of the photographs in this collection are
or will be digitized and available online. Files are arranged alphabetically.
- 1.1. American Red Cross in France and Czechoslovakia, 1918-1919
- 1.2m. American Red Cross memorabilia, 1918-1919.
- 1.2m-1. Ceskoslovenska Pece o Dite commemorative plaque, 1919. Rectangular, silver plaque
featuring relief of Stanislav Sucharda's Prague and the Vltava on front. Reverse engraved,
"To Miss Margaret Stewart Dismorr, A.R.C. From the Officers of the A.R.A. Ceskoslovenska
Pece o Dite Praha July 17 1919."
- 1.2m-2. Czechoslovakia coat of arms pin, 1919. Bronze, shield-shaped Czechoslovakia coat of
arms featuring relief of the Bohemia crest under smaller Slovakia crest with small
Moravia crest to the left and small Silesia crest to the right.
- 1.2m-3. Czechoslovakia coat of arms pin, 1919. White, shield-shaped enameled coat of arms
of Czechoslovakia featuring orange and gold Bohemia crest under smaller red, gold,
and green Slovakia crest with small red, gold, and blue Moravia crest to the left
and small black and yellow Silesia crest to the right.
- 1.2m-4. Red Cross uniform button, 1918-1919. Round, bronze with raised corrugated cross. Attached
to cardboard reading, "American Red Cross M.D.T. 1918 and 1919 overseas service (France
and Czechoslovakia and Germany)." Reverse reads, "On these overcoat buttons, on active
service (in war-stricken areas, such as the American hospital group in Meurthe et
Moselle) where I served, roughened corrugations of the cross were used to strike matches
in the dark."
- 1.3. Barnard College teaching, 1937-1939
- 1.4. Biographical, 1923-1969
- 1.5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Labor Department/Works Progress Administration
Family Income in Five New England Cities, 1935-1936, Volume I, Thompson contributor, 1939
- 1.6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Labor Department/Works Progress Administration
Family Income in Five New England Cities, 1935-1936, Volume II, Thompson contributor, 1939
- 1.7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Labor Department/Works Progress Administration
Urban-Consumer Purchases Study (U.S.), New England Region, 1936-1937
- 1.8. Certificates, 1942; most re: civilian World War II service
- 1.9. Children's Bureau credentials, 1916
- 1.10. Clippings re: Thompson, 1914-1969; includes obituaries
- 1.11. Committee for the Study of Public Health Nursing Education, 1920-1922
- 1.12. Consumers' Council, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, 1933-1935; includes drawings
by Thompson included in publications
- 1.13. Correspondence, 1914-1919; includes 1914 letter detailing impact of World War I on
life in England, 1919 letters from servicemen Thompson served with in Toul, France
re: end of war and returning home
- 1.14. Correspondence, 1920-1924; includes letters from former Red Cross colleagues re: relief
work in the Caucus Region, including commentary on Bolsheviks
- 2.1. Correspondence, 1933-1939; includes letter from Thompson re: working at Consumers'
- 2.2. Correspondence, 1940-1949; includes re: World War II homefront
- 2.3. Correspondence, 1952-1971, n.d.
- 4FB. Needlework samples by Thompson, 1910
- 2.4. John Stewart Dismorr illustrated diary, "Egyptian trip, 1891"
- 2.5. John Stewart Dismorr illustrated diary, "tours in England, July-August 1865"; includes
trip to Stonehenge
- 2.6. Education, 1925, 1960
- 2.7-2.8. Genealogy and family history, 1929-1963; includes transcription of 1851 letters from
Charles Darwin to James Stewart Dinsmorr (#2.7)
- OD.1. Genealogy: family tree by Janet Keep documenting family relationships, alcoholism,
religion, immigration status, suicides, and other issues, 1985
- 2.9. Government appointments, 1915-1943
- 2.10. "Journal of Berkshire horseback ride, 1913" [transcription]; includes trip budget
- 2.11. Letters and notes by Thompson while working on ranch outside Shell, Wyoming, 1915;
includes descriptions of ranch employees and rounding up horses, transcriptions of
- 3.1-3.2. Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics reports with contributions from Thompson, 1912-1914
- 3.3. Minimum Wage Commission of Massachusetts reports with contributions from Thompson,
- 3.4-3.5. "Old-time cooking, meals, recipes," 1920s-1940s
- PD.1+. Panoramic photograph of Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Labor Department/Works
Progress Administration Urban-Consumer Purchases Study (U.S.), New England Region
workers during outing at Rocky Point, Augus 7, 1936
- PD.2. Photograph albums: Bryn Mawr, 1910-1911
- PD.3. Photographs of Margaret Stewart Dismorr Thompson, 1890-1961
- 3.6. Product Standards and Labeling for Consumers, by Alice L. Edwards, 1940; includes acknowledgment of Thompson's contribution as
- 3.7. Putney School English House, 1941; includes letters and reports re: Thompson's role
as temporary housemother to English children displaced by World War II
- F+D.1. University of Cambridge diplomas: AB (1910), MA (1925)
- 3.8. World War I, 1917-1918; includes correspondence re: job search, "tentative notes on
the British government in the production of munitions of war"
Egypt--Description and travel
Government economists--United States
Government statisticians--United States
International relief--Georgia (Republic)
Voyages and travels
Women immigrants--United States
World War, 1914-1918--War work--Red Cross
World War, 1914-1918--Women
American Red Cross
Bryn Mawr College--Students
Thompson, James David, 1873-1932
United States. Children's Bureau--Officials and employees
United States. Department of Labor--Officials and employees