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Josephine Schain papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00139

Scope and Contents

The Josephine Schain Papers, dating from 1907 to 1960, consist of 5 linear feet and are primarily related to Schain's involvement in a host of women's organizations, the purpose of which was advocacy of international peace through cooperative enterprise among nations. There is also a small amount of material relating to women and the vote, notably the Democratic National Committee, Empire State Campaign Committee, and the League of Women Voters. Types of material include correspondence, broadcasts, speeches and other writings; photographs; and journal and newspaper articles.

The bulk of the papers date from 1930 to 1955 and focus on Schain's work as an officer of numerous women's rights and peace organizations, as well as her role in organizing conferences and other events that they sponsored. Half the collection is comprised of material pertaining to those organizations, of which approximately two thirds is correspondence. The letters (in addition to minutes, agendas, bulletins, memoranda, and reports) provide excellent documentation of the internal workings of the organizations' leadership, and of perceptions of the issues the women involved were attempting to address and remedy, both nationally and internationally. Notable correspondents include Margaret Corbett Ashby, Mary Ritter Beard, Carrie Chapman Catt, Newton Diehl Baker, Helen Gahagan Douglas, India Edwards, Helen Hayes, Lorena Hickok, Stanley Hornbeck, Cordell Hull, Rosa Manus, Alva Reimer Myrdal, Maud Wood Park, Frances Perkins, and Virginia Rishel. The Carrie Chapman Catt correspondence is extensive, both with Schain and with others. The photographs in this collection are also noteworthy and include images of Catt and Schain, as well as group pictures taken at various international peace conferences.

Dates

  • 1907 - 1960

Creator

Language of Materials

English.

Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright owner of this collection is unknown. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Biographical / Historical

Josephine Schain was born in Browns Valley, Minnesota in 1886 to Irene Burdick Schain and Jacob Theodore Schain. She earned her LL.B. from the University of Minnesota in 1908 and was awarded an honorary LL.D. by Smith College in 1937. She began her career as a social worker in Minneapolis, and worked as a settlement house worker on New York's East Side from 1918 to 1924. Schain was also active in the suffrage and peace movements, both as an organizer of conferences and similar events, and as a much sought after speaker. She spoke during the women's suffrage campaign in New York City in 1915 and wrote Women and the Franchise in 1918. She served as director of the Department of International Relations for the National League of Women Voters from 1924 to 1928, and as the national director of the Girl Scouts of America from 1930 to 1935. Schain chaired the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War from 1936 to 1941, the Peace and Disarmament Committee of the Women's International Organizations from 1933 to 1938, the executive committee of the Women's Centennial Congress in 1940 and the Pan-Pacific Women's Association from 1949 to 1955. Schain was also a member of the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship from 1933 to 1938, the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Food and Agriculture in 1943, and of the consultant group to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference in San Francisco in 1945. To quote words spoken at Smith College when Schain was awarded an honorary degree there in 1937, she was "a devoted laborer and a valiant and effective leader in the cause of peace, freedom and justice among the peoples of the world." Josephine Schain died in 1972.

Extent

15 boxes (5.25 linear feet)

Overview

Settlement house worker, suffragist, pacifist, and international relations specialist. Papers focus primarily on Schain's involvement in a host of women's organizations, the purpose of which was advocacy of international peace through cooperative enterprise among nations. Types of material include radio broadcasts scripts, speeches, photographs, articles, and other writings. Notable correspondents include Margaret Corbett Ashby, Mary Ritter Beard, Carrie Chapman Catt (extensive), Newton Diehl Baker, Helen Gahagan Douglas, India Edwards, Helen Hayes, Lorena Hickok, Stanley Hornbeck, Cordell Hull, Rosa Manus, Alva Reimer Myrdal, Maud Wood Park, Frances Perkins, and Virginia Rishel.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into five series:
  1. I. Biographical Materials
  2. II. Correspondence
  3. III. Writings
  4. IV. Organizations
  5. V. Subject Files

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Josephine Schain donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection from 1957 to 1964.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 2002.
Title
Josephine Schain papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Burd Schlessinger
Date
2003
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 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: mnsss124 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.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063