Mrs. Harlan Ward Cooley Papers

Dates: 1932-1934
Size: 0.5 linear feet in 1 box
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: spe.mhwc
Immediate Source of Acquisition: Transferred from Chicago Public Library’s Social Science and History Department in 1976.
Custodial History: Donated to Chicago Public Library by Mrs. Harlan Ward Cooley and her daughter, April 1954.
Conditions Governing Access: Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use: Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Preferred Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Mrs. Harlan Ward Cooley Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library
Finding Aid Author: Original author unknown. Summer, 1983. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2021.


Mrs. Harlan Ward Cooley served as head of the Chicago Women's Club's Century of Progress Committee, which sponsored a series of lectures during the Century of Progress Exposition entitled, "Women in Civilization." This collection includes correspondence between Mrs. Cooley and speakers, as well as copies of speeches delivered at the Exposition.


A Century of Progress was the name given to the 1933 World's Fair, held along Chicago’s lakefront, in what is now Burnham Park, from June 1 to November 1, 1933, and May 26 to October 31, 1934. This was the second international exposition held in Chicago during a 40 year period; the first was the World's Columbian Exposition, which in 1893 played host to over 27 million people in Jackson Park on the city's South Side. A Century of Progress—held to celebrate 100 years since the 1833 incorporation of Chicago as a town, and to boost spirits and the economy during the Great Depression—was equally as popular, with 40 million visitors over its two seasons.

When the Century of Progress Exposition was announced, the Chicago Women’s Club formed a Century of Progress Committee to sponsor a series of lectures entitled, “Women in Civilization.” Mrs. Harlan Ward 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 Hull House founder Jane Addams, author and historian Mary B. Beard, Amelia Earhart and Lena M. Phillips, president of the National Council of women.

Scope and Contents

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.


The collection is arranged alphabetically, first by topic (Correspondence, Lecture Series, Speeches), and then alphabetically within topics.


  • Addams, Jane, 1860-1935
  • Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939
  • Allen, Florence Ellinwood, 1884-1966
  • Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958
  • Cannon, Annie Jump, 1863-1941
  • Cooley, Harlan Ward, Mrs.
  • Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-1934 : Chicago, Ill.)
  • Phillips, Lena Madesin, 1881-1955

Related Materials

Collection Inventory

Box 1 Folder 1 Correspondence - Abbott, Grace, U.S. Department of Labor, Children’s Bureau, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 2 Correspondence - Addams, Jane, Founder of Hull House, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 3 Correspondence - Allen, Florence E., Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 4 Correspondence - Bartelme, Mary M., Judge, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 5 Correspondence - Beard, Mary R., Author and historian, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 6 Correspondence - Breckinridge, Dr. Sophonisba Preston, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 7 Correspondence - Cannon, Annie J., Scientist, Harvard College Observatory, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 8 Correspondence - Carroll, Molly Ray, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 9 Correspondence - Century of Progress - Administration, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 10 Correspondence - Earhart, Amelia (Secretary), 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 11 Correspondence - Havener, Helen, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 12 Correspondence - Herrick, Genevieve Forbes, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 13 Correspondence - Hobson, Sarah M., M.D., 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 14 Correspondence - Owen, Ruth Bryan, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 15 Correspondence - Phillips, Lena Madesin, president, National Council of Women, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 16 Correspondence - Prospective speakers (general), 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 17 Correspondence - Rejection letters, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 18 Correspondence - White, Edna N., 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 19 Correspondence - Winter, Alice Ames, 1932-1934
Box 1 Folder 20 Lecture Series - The Chicago Women’s Club & The Century of Progress: background material, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 21 Lecture Series - Program Committee: miscellaneous notes, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 22 Lecture Series - Program Schedules: “Contribution of Women to Civilization, 1833-1933,” 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 23 Lecture Series - Program Schedules: “Public Lecture Series,” 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 24 Lecture Series - Program Speakers: news clippings on, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 25 Speeches - “A Century of Progress in Nursing,” Edna L. Foley, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 26 Speeches - “A Century of Women in Music,” Anne Faulkner Oberndorfer, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 27 Speeches - “Childhood Education,” Flora J. Cooke, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 28 Speeches - “Growth of Woman’s Work Through Organization,” Hannah G. Solomon, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 29 Speeches - “The Larger Neighborliness – Internationalism,” Jane Addams, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 30 Speeches - “Nursery School Education- Its Development and Influence,” Rose H. Alschuler, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 31 Speeches - “The Progress of Women in the University World,” Dr. Marion Talbot, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 32 Speeches - “The Recreation Movement and Its Bearing on the Social Life of Our Country,” Amalie Hofer Jerome, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 33 Speeches - “Review and Anticipation,” Dr. Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 34 Speeches - “The Social Role of Women in History,” Mary R. Beard, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 35 Speeches - “What Woman Has Done in Literature in the Last Century,” Katherine Peabody Girling, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 36 Speeches - “Woman in the Home," Edna Noble White, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 37 Speeches - “Woman’s Contribution to Civilization Through Motion Pictures,” Mrs. Thomas G. Winter, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 38 Speeches - “Women in the Fine Arts,” Eve Watson Schutze, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 39 Speeches - “Women in Government,” Florence Tifes Bohrer, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 40 Speeches - “Women in Industry,” Mollie Ray Carroll, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 41 Speeches - “Women in Journalism,” Genevieve Forbes Herrick, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 42 Speeches - “Women in Law,” Justice Florence E. Allen, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 43 Speeches - “Women in the Legal Profession and Allied Activities,” Judge Mary M. Bartelme, 1933-1934
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., 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 45 Speeches - “Women in Science,” Annie J. Cannon, 1933-1934
Box 1 Folder 46 Speeches - “Women’s Contribution Through Religion,” Geraldine Brawn Gilkey, past president of National YWCA, 1933-1934
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