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American Women: Resources from the Manuscript Collections

Government Officials

Warren K. Leffler, photographer. Asst. Law Prof. Patricia Harris, new Amb[assador] To Luxemburg. May 20, 1965. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Several women whose papers are in the division served in high-level government positions relating to education. In the mid-to-late 1960s, economist Alice M. Rivlin (b. 1931) was with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), first as assistant secretary for program coordination and later for planning and evaluation. Her papers (10,000 items; 1964-88) cover those years as well as her tenure with the Congressional Budget Office and the Brookings Institution, and her service on the boards of the Black Student Fund, Bryn Mawr College, and Harvard University. She kept files on aging, education, income maintenance programs, public welfare, social policy, and social unrest in the late 1960s, including materials on the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder (Kerner Commission) and the Poor People's Campaign.

Letters from Lindy Boggs, Evangeline Bruce, India Edwards, Florence Jaffray Hurst Harriman, and Margaret Chase Smith are among the papers (36,500 items; 1914-91; bulk 1942-68) of Katie S. Louchheim (1903-1991), deputy assistant secretary of state for cultural and educational affairs in the 1960s and director of women's activities for the Democratic National Committee during the previous decade. Also represented is Louchheim's work with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and her interest in Lady Bird Johnson's landscape beautification projects, women's rights, and social life in Washington, D.C.

Following a two-year stint as secretary of housing and urban development in Jimmy Carter's cabinet, lawyer and educator Patricia Harris (1924-1985) became Carter's secretary of health, education, and welfare (later health and human services). Her papers (113,400 items; 1950-83; bulk 1977-80) pertain primarily to these cabinet posts and include information on abortion, civil rights, consumer protection, discrimination, energy, the environment, housing, immigration, the Iran hostage crisis, and urban policy.

Also serving in Carter's cabinet, as secretary of education from 1979 to 1981, was lawyer and federal judge Shirley M. Hufstedler (b. 1925). Policy statements and other materials (1,360 items; 1979-81) document Hufstedler's promotion of educational programs, including the Youth Act of 1980, which was never enacted. Papers concerning Hufstedler's legal career and her tenure on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have not yet been received but are expected in the future.

Manuscript Resources Referenced

The following collection titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including finding aids for the collections, are included when available.