Ida Tarbell papers
Scope and Contents
The Ida Tarbell Papers consist of 1 linear foot and are primarily related to her professional life, dating from 1896 to 1943. The bulk of the papers date from 1896 to 1912, and focus on her time as assistant editor at McClure's and on her writings about Abraham Lincoln. There is also a small amount of material regarding her anti-suffrage views. Types of material include correspondence, memorabilia, journal and newspaper articles, published and unpublished writings, and a photograph. The papers are arranged in three series:
Dates of Materials
- Tarbell, Ida (Person)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.
Conditions Governing Use
Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. 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. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.
Biographical / Historical
Ida Minerva Tarbell was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania on 5 November 1857, the daughter of Esther Ann McCullough and Franklin Sumner Tarbell. She attended local public schools and graduated from Allegheny College in 1880, the sole woman of her class.
She taught for a few years at Poland Union Seminary, in Poland, Ohio, and worked for The Chatauquan, a home-study teaching guide based in Meadville, Pennsylvania from 1883 to 1891. She left her job, traveling to Paris to study the role of women in the French Revolution. While there, she supported herself by writing occasional articles for Scribner's magazine and by 1892, McClure's, including a series of articles on Napoleon Bonaparte that was published in book form in 1895. She also wrote biographies of Madame Roland (1896) and Abraham Lincoln (1900), but remains best known for her scathing expose, The History of Standard Oil (1904). She was an assistant editor of McClure's from 1894 to 1906. She was one of a group of investigative journalists (dubbed "muckrakers" by Theodore Roosevelt) who owned and edited the American Magazine from 1906 to 1915. She then lectured on the Chautauqua circuit until 1932, speaking on a variety of topics and occasionally writing articles for magazines.
Though a supporter of women's rights early in her career, she did not support women's suffrage, a position that caused friction between her and those she worked with on a variety of causes. She suffered from Parkinson's disease in her later years and died in Bridgeport, Connecticut on 6 January 1944.
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Journalist; Historian; Biographer; and Anti-suffragist. Papers are primarily related to her professional life, focusing on her time as assistant editor at McClure's and on her writings about Abraham Lincoln. There is also a small amount of material regarding her anti-suffrage views. Types of material include correspondence, memorabilia, journal and newspaper articles, published and unpublished writings, and a photograph.
This collection is organized into three series:
- I. Biographical Materials
- II. Correspondence
- III. Writings
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Dorothy P. Huntington and the heirs of John Sanborn Phillips donated his materials related to Ida Tarbell to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1958. All in the Day's Work, Tarbell's autobiography, was purchased in 1996.
Tarbell gave her own papers to her alma mater, Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and the Ida M. Tarbell Collection may be found in their Special Collections.
Processed by Kara M. McClurken, 2002.
- American Magazine
- Boyden, Albert Augustus, 1875-1925--Correspondence
- Brower, Charles D., 1863-1945
- Davis, J. McCan (John McCan), 1866-1916--Correspondence
- Huntington, Dorothy P.
- Journalism -- United States -- 20th century
- Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
- McClure's magazine
- Phillips, John Sanborn, 1861-1949--Correspondence
- Tarbell, Ida
- Women -- Suffrage -- United States
- Women and war -- United States
- Women authors
- Women journalists -- United States
- Ida Tarbell papers
- Finding Aid
- Kara M. McClurken
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2005-09-23: mnsss114 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
- 2017-07-26T17:48:10-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063