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American Women: Resources from the Manuscript Collections

New York Herald-Tribune

Bain News Service, publisher. Mrs. Whitelaw Reid (Elisabeth Mills Reid). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

One of the division's most important journalism collections is also a particularly strong source for women's history. The Reid Family Papers (232,000 items; 1795-1970) document the involvement of both Elisabeth Mills Reid (1858-1931) and her daughter-in-law Helen Rogers Reid (1882-1970) in the operation of the New York Tribune (later the New York Herald-Tribune). Elisabeth Reid closely followed her husband's career when he was managing editor and owner of the paper. After their son Ogden took control of the business, she wrote him and his wife Helen extensive letters concerning the paper's editorial policy and daily operations. Helen Reid had started as the paper's advertising editor in 1918 and eventually became president and chairman of the board. Like her in-laws, she too corresponded with the foremost women journalists and political figures of the period, and her papers make up the bulk of the Reid Family collection. Both Helen and Elisabeth were active philanthropists, with Elisabeth engaging in work with the American Red Cross, Bellevue Hospital, and Trudeau Sanitarium, whereas Helen supported various colleges and universities, the Fresh Air Fund, and women's suffrage.

Complementing the Reid collection are the papers of Irita Taylor Van Doren (1891-1966) who served as the New York Herald-Tribune's longtime literary editor from 1926 to 1963. Van Doren corresponded with many famous women authors, such as Pearl S. Buck, Agatha Christie, and Mabel Dodge Luhan, and collected files of their original manuscripts, articles, and book reviews (4,360 items; 1920-66).

Other Van Doren papers may be found in the records of the American Scholar (70,500 items; 1926-88; bulk 1944-88), on whose editorial board she served during the 1940s and 1950s, along with Ruth Benedict, Ada Louise Comstock, Margaret Mead, and Mary K. Simkhovitch, all of whom are represented in the journal's records.

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.