Named after Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger, a renowned feminist, and her husband, Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr, a Harvard history professor, the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is a research library focusing on the lives of women in the past and present, for the future.
The library holds a collection of books, manuscripts, periodicals, photographic, and audiovisual materials, all related to women’s activities, experiences and issues – from domestic life, health, sexuality, and etiquette to education, professional life, feminism, and activism.
The collection includes materials documenting women’s concerns from around the world, such as letters of missionaries in China and the speeches of Shirley Graham Du Bois.
The #MeToo campaign led the library to create a Digital Media Collection, documenting the movements development, their struggles, battles, and political and social impact in the US.
In 1943, Maud Wood Park, a former suffragist and a Radcliffe alumna donated her collection of books and memorabilia to the college.
Over time, the collection grew into a research library and was named the “Women’s Archives”.
In 1965, the library was renamed after the Schlesingers’, as dominant supporters of the library’s work.