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Elisabeth Luce Moore papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00225

Scope and Contents

The Elisabeth Luce Moore Papers include an oral history (1989); scrapbooks (1944-68, 1965); correspondence (1928-85); photographs and clippings (1938-59, 1964-86); awards; travel files from trips to Asia, Europe, Australia, and China(including correspondence, photographs, clippings and notes, all dating from 1950-72); speeches and writings (1920s, 1949-83); organization files, among them the Young Women's Christion Association (YWCA) and SUNY (1944-84); and subject files (1944, 1961-75). Strengths of the collection include Luce/Moore family correspondence, and material pertaining to organizations concerned with international relations, education, and development.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1928 - 1989


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

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works by the creator of this collection. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Elisabeth Luce was born in China to Presbyterian Board missionaries, April 4, 1903. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1924, where she later served on the Board of Trustees. She married Maurice T. Moore in 1926; they had two sons, Thompson and Michael.

She is the sister of Henry R. Luce, founder of Time Magazine, and early in her career she worked as editor and writer for his periodicals. She was also active in volunteer social work, working with such agencies as the New York Junior League and the National and International YWCA, serving as chair of the YWCA's foreign division in 1944. She was chair of the Nation Council of the USO during World War II, and she served on the advisory committee of the Economic Cooperation Administration, which administered the Marshall Plan. She was a delegate to the International Conference of Women in 1951. Luce Moore served as board chair of the Institute of International Education, which administers such exchange programs as the Fulbright Scholar Program. She has also served as vice-president of United Services to China, and as trustee of the China Institute of America, the Asia Foundation, and the United Board for Christian Higher Education. In 1968 she was appointed by Governor Nelson Rockefeller as chair of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, the first woman to hold that job.

She holds honorary degrees from Columbia University, Duke University, Princeton University, Trinity University, the State University of New York, Claremont Graduate Center, Wellesley College, Hamilton College, Adelphi College, Western College, and Silliman University in the Philippines. She has also received numerous awards for her work, among them the Elisabeth Blackwell Medal from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the National Institute of Social Sciences Medal, the Readers' Digest Award, and the Order of the Brilliant Star from the People's Republic of China. Elisabeth Luce Moore died on February 9, 2002.


15.583 linear feet (15 containers)

Language of Materials



Journalist; Editor; Trustee, State University of New York; YWCA official; and International relations specialist. Papers include an scrapbooks; oral history; correspondence; photographs and clippings; travel files from trips to Asia, Europe, Australia, and China; speeches and writings; and files pertaining to organizations concerned with international relations, education, and international development, among them the Young Women's Christion Association and SUNY.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Elisabeth Luce Moore in 1988 and 1991.

An oral history conducted by Terry E. Lautz was donated by Lautz in 2011.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. The following changes were made in this collection: Accession 2011-S-0033, Box 1 renumbered as Box 15

Finding aid to the Elisabeth Luce Moore papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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 (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:15-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-10-25: Updated to conform to DACS
  • 2021-07-07: Inventory added for accession 1988-S-0024

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063