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Carol Waldron diaries and legal documents

Identifier: SSC-MS-00483

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of Carol Waldron's diaries, which are extraordinary both in providing an almost-complete, factual life history and in offering rich documentation of Waldron's inner life. Entries are profoundly reflective and analytical, and unflinchingly honest regarding self and others. Among other deeply personal topics, Waldron writes at length about her unhappy marriage and its gradual demise, and about the process of aging. The diaries begin during her teenage years in the 1930's and continue into her 70's. Also included are correspondence, her family tree, a photograph, bible, scrapbook, memrabilia, and legal documents pertaining to Waldron's divorce and to a suit filed by Waldron against the John Hancock Life Insurance Co.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1915 - 2002


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

All property rights, including copyright, to materials in this collection created by Carol Waldron are owned by Smith College Special Collections. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Carol Waldron, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical Note

Carol Willis Talmage was born November 10, 1925 to Ila Hoag Talmage and Harry Talmage. She married Steven Waldron and with him had four children: Christopher (1945), Nicholas (1949), Deborah (1953), and Abigail (1956). She divorced Steven Waldron in 1971, became financially self-sufficient by learning to repair cars and taking in lodgers, among other things, and served as chair of the Lexington, Massachusetts branch of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in the 1970s. According to a 1977 legal document, Waldron was a "blood recruiter" at that time. Waldron was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis around 1966; her daughter, Deborah, has the same disease. Carol Waldron died on March 8, 2007 in Lexington, Massachusetts.


5.417 linear feet (5 containers)

Language of Materials



Carol Waldron (1925-2007) was a mother of four who divorced her husband, became self-sufficient, and was active in the Lexington, Massachusetts branch of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in the 1970s. She was also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1966. This collection consists primarily of her personal diaries, which are extraordinary both for their completeness and their candor about Waldron's life and feelings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Carol Waldron on September 11, 2003 (accession number 2003-S-78). The materials in the collection have not been rearranged or physically processed since they were acquired.



Finding aid to the Carol Waldron diaries and legal documents
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Madison White
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-10-12: Updated to conform to DACS
  • 2018-12-20: Finding aid updated to current standards and published
  • 2020-03-17: Added boxes 1-5, updated dates

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063