Mrs. Harlan Ward Cooley Papers

Dates: 1932-1934
Size: 0.5 linear feet
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Provenance: In April of 1954, Mrs. Harlan Ward Cooley and her daughter donated the papers that make up this collection to The Chicago Public Library. After the creation of the Special Collections Division in 1976, the papers were transferred, along with other materials pertaining to the Century of Progress Exposition, 1933-34, from the Social Science and History Department.
Access: No restrictions.
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Mrs. Harlan Ward Cooley Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library
Processed by: The papers were archivally processed in the Summer of 1983.

Historical Note

When it became known that the Century of Progress Exposition was to be held in Chicago, the Chicago Women’s Club formed a Century of Progress Committee to sponsor a series of lectures entitled, “Women in Civilization.” Mrs. H.W. Cooley was appointed to head this committee and began by drawing up a list of prospective women speakers covering a wide range of academic, political and social endeavors. From this list she began to send out correspondence requesting participants for the lecture series. Many notable women throughout the United States were queried. The list included such persons as Jane Addams, founder of Hull House, author and historian Mary B. Beard, Amelia Earhart and Lena M. Phillips, president of the National Council of women.

Scope and Content

This collection presents to researchers the work of Mrs. Cooley and the Chicago Women’s Club in organizing a program for and about women during the celebration of a century of American progress. The collection further reflects the role of women in American society through the speeches and lectures given by many of the country’s most notable women leaders.

Important correspondents and speakers include:

  • Abbott, Grace: U.S. Department of Labor – Children’s Bureau
  • Addams, Jane: Founder of Hull House
  • Allen, Florence E.: Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio
  • Beard, Mary R.: Author and Historian
  • Cannon, Annie J.: Scientist, Harvard College Observatory
  • Gilkey, Geraldine Brawn: past president of National YWCA
  • Phillips, Lena M.: president, National Council of Women

Arrangement/Series Description

The collection is arranged in two series.

Series 1: Correspondence Files, 1932-1934

This series contains correspondence between Mrs. Cooley, representing the Chicago Women’s Club, and the many persons asked to speak at the lecture series on “Women in Civilization.” The series is arranged in alphabetical order by person’s last name. Also included are some letters of rejection under “R.”

Series 2: Women in Civilization Lecture Series, 1933-1934

This series contains typescripts of speeches and lectures given during the Century of Progress Exposition, program schedules, Mrs. Cooley’s Program notes and expenses, and a small number of newsclippings on lecture personalities. The series is arranged by title of lecture rather than name of speaker.

Related Materials

  • Century of Progress Records
  • During the period of the Century of Progress Exposition, the University of Illinois at Chicago was designated as the "official repository" for the exposition. Please consult U. of I. Special Collections Division.
  • The Chicago History Museum also maintains research materials and film on this Chicago Exposition. Please consult CHM Manuscript Curator.

Container List

Series 1: Correspondence Files, 1933-1934

Box 1 Folder 1 Abbott, Grace
Box 1 Folder 2 Addams, Jane
Box 1 Folder 3 Allen, Florence E.
Box 1 Folder 4 Bartelme, Judge Mary M.
Box 1 Folder 5 Beard, Mary R.
Box 1 Folder 6 Breckinridge, Dr. Sophonisba Preston
Box 1 Folder 7 Cannon, Annie J.
Box 1 Folder 8 Carroll, Molly Ray
Box 1 Folder 9 Century of Progress - Administration
Box 1 Folder 10 Earhart, Amelia (Secretary)
Box 1 Folder 11 Havener, Helen
Box 1 Folder 12 Herrick, Genevieve Forbes
Box 1 Folder 13 Hobson, Sarah M., M.D.
Box 1 Folder 14 Owen, Ruth Bryan
Box 1 Folder 15 Phillips, Lena Madesin
Box 1 Folder 16 Prospective speakers (general)
Box 1 Folder 17 Rejection letters
Box 1 Folder 18 White, Edna N
Box 1 Folder 19 Winter, Alice Ames

Series 2: Women in Civilization Lecture Series

Box 1 Folder 20 The Chicago Women’s Club & The Century of Progress: background material.
Box 1 Folder 21 Program Committee: miscellaneous notes
Box 1 Folder 22 Program Schedules: “Contribution of Women to Civilization, 1833-1933.”
Box 1 Folder 23 Program Schedules: “Public Lecture Series.”
Box 1 Folder 24 Program Speakers: newsclippings on,
Box 1 Folder 25 Speeches: “A Century of Progress in Nursing,” Edna L. Foley.
Box 1 Folder 26 Speeches: “A Century of Women in Music,” Anne Faulkner Oberndorfer.
Box 1 Folder 27 Speeches: “Childhood Education,” Flora J. Cooke.
Box 1 Folder 28 Speeches: “Growth of Woman’s Work Through Organization,” Hannah G. Solomon.
Box 1 Folder 29 Speeches: “The Larger Neighborliness – Internationalism,” Jane Addams.
Box 1 Folder 30 Speeches: “Nursery School Education- Its Development and Influence,” Rose H. Alschuler.
Box 1 Folder 31 Speeches: “The Progress of Women in the University World,” Dr. Marion Talbot.
Box 1 Folder 32 Speeches: “The Recreation Movement and Its Bearing on the Social Life of Our Country,” Amalie Hofer Jerome.
Box 1 Folder 33 Speeches: “Review and Anticipation,” Dr. Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge.
Box 1 Folder 34 Speeches: “The Social Role of Women in History,” Mary R. Beard.
Box 1 Folder 35 Speeches: “What Woman Has Done in Literature in the Last Century,” Katherine Peabody Girling.
Box 1 Folder 36 Speeches: “Woman in the Home," Edna Noble White.
Box 1 Folder 37 Speeches: “Woman’s Contribution to Civilization Through Motion Pictures,” Mrs. Thomas G. Winter.
Box 1 Folder 38 Speeches: “Women in the Fine Arts,” Eve Watson Schutze.
Box 1 Folder 39 Speeches: “Women in Government,” Florence Tifes Bohrer.
Box 1 Folder 40 Speeches: “Women in Industry,” Mollie Ray Carroll.
Box 1 Folder 41 Speeches: “Women in Journalism,” Genevieve Forbes Herrick.
Box 1 Folder 42 Speeches: “Women in Law,” Justice Florence E. Allen.
Box 1 Folder 43 Speeches: “Women in the Legal Profession and Allied Activities,” Judge Mary M. Bartelme.
Box 1 Folder 44 Speeches: “Women in Medicine - The Contribution of Women to Human Welfare through the Science and Art of Medicine,” Sarah M. Hobson, Ph.B., M.D.
Box 1 Folder 45 Speeches: “Women in Science,” Annie J. Cannon.
Box 1 Folder 46 Speeches: “Women’s Contribution Through Religion,” Geraldine Brawn Gilkey.
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