Skip to Main Content

American Women: Resources from the Manuscript Collections

University Professors

Many women who achieved fame in their professions held university teaching positions at some point in their lives, including Sophonisba Breckinridge and Margaret Mead described elsewhere.

Helen Taft, full-length portrait, standing by fireplace, facing right. Circa 1911. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Helen Taft Manning (1891-1987), the daughter of President William Howard Taft, was a history professor, dean, and president of Bryn Mawr College who corresponded with her father about her career, family matters, and Washington politics (350 items; 1908-56; bulk 1917-29).

Elizabeth Reynolds Hapgood (1894-1974), the wife of diplomat and author Norman Hapgood (6,000 items; 1823-1977), was an editor and translator who became head of the Russian Department at Columbia University in 1915 and founder of the Russian Department at Dartmouth College in 1919.

The papers (4,000 items; 1895-1968; bulk 1922-68) of sociologists Helen Merrell Lynd (1896-1982) and her husband Robert Staughton Lynd relate to their academic careers at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College and their authorship of the famous cultural studies on Middletown (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937).

Leading postwar philosopher and political scientist Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) fled Nazi Germany for Paris in 1933, worked with the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and was detained in a concentration camp before succeeding in emigrating to the United States in 1941. In the United States, she continued her career as a lecturer, writer, social critic, and college educator. Topics covered in her papers (28,000 items; 1898-1977; bulk 1948-77) include the Holocaust, education, violence, justice, and women's liberation. A digital version of the Hannah Arendt Papers is available in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, in the Raymond Fogelman Library at the New School University in New York, N. Y., and in the Hannah Arendt Research Center at the University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany. Selected items from the digital version can be accessed through the Library of Congress web site.

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.