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Anna H. Askanasy papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00007

Scope and Contents

The Anna H. Askanasy papers consist of one linear foot of correspondence, travel journals, and writings. The letters and cards exchanged by Askanasy and Margaret Grierson provide an engaging and insightful commentary on the social, economic, and political situation in the U.S. and Canada between 1950 and 1970. Askanasy's journals, like her letters, are not only colorful, vivid accounts of her travels around the world but powerful and historically contingent commentaries on her lived experience. Her writings reveal that she was a fiery, articulate and opinionated woman of the world.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1931-1970


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright ownership of Anna H. Askanasy's writings is unknown. 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

Anna H. Askanasy was a Viennese woman who emigrated from Nazi Austria to Canada in 1938. Askanasy was involved in the women's movement and part of a circle of feminists which included Mary Beard and Rosika Schwimmer. She also appears to have been active in the movement for peace which emerged in response to the beginnings of the First World War. Askanasy's letters to Margaret Grierson, founder of the Sophia Smith Collection, reveal that she was deeply passionate about women's history and very interested in the potential of the Collection. Askanasy was an amateur women's historian herself and published a historical novel Empress of Byzantium (1952) under the pseudonym Helen A. Mahler. Her unpublished book, "The Catastrophe of Patriarchy," also reflects her interest in the subject.


0.875 linear feet (2 containers)


Author, Feminist. Correspondence, travel journals, and writings. Letters between Askanasy and archivist Margaret Grierson discuss social, economic, and political situation in the U.S. and Canada, 1950-70. Her journals and letters provide accounts of travels. Writings include her unpublished book, "The Catastrophe of Patriarchy."


This collection is organized into three series:


Other Finding Aids

OCLC Number: 45605358

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Anna H. Askanasy papers donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection from 1949 to 1970.

Related Material

Additional papers of Askanasy are located at the Women's Library of the London Metropolitan University. Correspondence with Robert Briffault is kept with his collection at the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections at McMaster University Library Ontario, Canada. Letters to Mary Beard are held with the Charles and Mary Beard Papers in the Archives of Depauw University.

Processing Information

Processed by Indus Chadha, SSC intern, 2006.



Anna H. Askanasy papers
Finding Aid
Indus Chadha, SSC intern
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:13-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063