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Overbury Collection, circa 1950
Collection Description & Creator Information
The collection contains personal papers of Holden, including lectures, speeches, articles and correspondence, reflecting the views of American feminists during the post-19th Amendment, pre- Feminine Mystique era, especially the early efforts to pass an equal rights Amendment. Also included alongside contemporary feminist views is a bulk of materials related to the role women have played in long history, from ancient Rome to the first women lawyers to depictions of women in mythical stories, reflecting Holden's belief that something needed to be done about the absence of women in the world's history.
Papers of mid-20th century women's rights groups feature prominently in this collection, especially the National Woman's Party, of which Miriam Holden was a member of the National Council. Materials from this group contain bound volumes of correspondence, pamphlets, Equal Rights, and a detailed record of the 1947 schism within the party. Also included are papers related to the World Center for Women's Archives, including extensive correspondence with Mary Beard. Also included are collections of papers belonging to Eugenie Andruss Leonard and Elsa Grove Butler, both friends of Holden and fellow women's studies scholars. Materials related to The American Woman in Colonial and Revolutionary Times, 1565-1800: A Syllabus with Bibliography, written by Miriam Holden, Eugenie Andruss Leonard, and Sophie Hutchinson Drinker, are also included as are the 34 radio scripts for the 1939-40 series "The Gallant American Woman," written by Jane Asham. Many of these materials represent the earliest stages of women's history as a body of scholarship and demonstrate efforts made by individuals before the formal establishment of this body of historical study in 1963.
The largest portion of this collection belongs to the Subject Files--materials collected by Miriam Holden on specific topics, people, events, and ideas. These largely cover subjects related to women's rights and history, although also include many other topics of interest to Holden, including anti-vivisection, hurricanes, New York social clubs, and social welfare. Many of these files include clippings, book reviews, pamphlets, advertisements, and notes. These subject files also include original 19th-century materials belonging to such important women as Belva Lockwood, Susan B. Anthony, Lydia Maria Child, Dorothea Dix, Caroline Norton, Alice Paul, and Victoria Woodhull. These materials largely include correspondence and writings. There are also several original sermons (mid-19th-century) and an autograph song by Victoria Woodhull on the Beecher & Tilton Scandal.
Above all, this collection clearly demonstrates the efforts of a woman who spent her life collecting knowledge about the role of women in history in a time when women's history had yet to be established as a formal field of historical inquiry as well as her dedication to the cause of advancing women's rights during the 20th-century.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No appraisal information is available.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Collection is open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
- Credit this material:
Overbury Collection; Miriam Y. Holden Collection, C0071, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
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