Grace Hoadley Dodge papers
Scope and Contents
Two types of material make up the bulk of the papers: biographical writings about Grace Dodge (1910-80), and clippings scrapbooks containing articles by Grace Dodge and about her activities and concerns (1882-1914). The biographical writings include many memorial tributes from 1915; Abbie Graham's 1926 biography, Grace H. Dodge: Merchant of Dreams; and Ester Katz' 1980 Ph.D. thesis, "Grace Hoadley Dodge: Women and the Emerging Metropolis, 1856-1914." In addition to these there are general biographical materials and memorabilia, small files on three organizations Dodge was involved with (Irene Club, Three P's Circle, and YWCA), photographs of Dodge, and a few of her other writings. The clippings scrapbooks focus on Dodge's efforts on behalf of "working girls" in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century urban areas. They include articles from a wide variety of newspapers and other periodicals.
Dates of Materials
- Majority of material found within 1882-1915
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
On her return to New York City, she began teaching Sunday School at the Madison Square Chapel and later in industrial schools for the Children's Aid Society. Dodge's interactions with the evangelist Dwight L. Moody, who stayed with the Dodges during his 1876 campaign in New York City, had a profound effect on Grace's decision to dedicate her life to social service work. Her approach was committed and businesslike. She came to regard her work for a wide variety of causes and organizations as full-time employment, with a salary that had been "paid in advance" through her family's business successes.
Drawn to ventures that allowed for close personal association, Dodge often acted as a facilitator, but not a leader of informal clubs. In 1881 she formed a club with factory girls around her own age. Their weekly meetings for "fellowship and discussion" gradually came to include a headquarters, library, recreation rooms, and classes. Within a decade, the concept grew into a national Association of Working Girls' Societies. Her mantra was always to work with, rather than for, working women. Some of the friendships formed in this first club lasted throughout Dodge's life.
Dodge also worked to promote vocational education and practical training as a means of combating poverty. She founded the Kitchen Garden Association in 1880 which was reorganized into the Industrial Education Association in 1884. These groups offered classes in "household arts," manual training, and later, teacher training. The Industrial Education Association was eventually reorganized into Teachers College in 1889 with Dodge as its first Treasurer.
Dodge developed somewhat of a specialty of encouraging organizations with similar missions to join forces in order to increase their effectiveness. In 1906 she brought together two warring national associations of YWCAs to form a single national association. Grace Dodge served as the new Association's first president until her death.
Other organizations benefiting from these talents included the New York Travelers Aid Society, formed in 1907, and the American Social Hygiene Association in 1912.
Grace Dodge died suddenly in her home on December 27, 1914.
3 boxes (1.25 linear feet)
- SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, MEMORABILIA, AND PHOTOGRAPHS
- SERIES II. ORGANIZATIONS
- SERIES III. WRITINGS
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Biographical sketches
- Civic improvement -- New York (State) -- New York
- Dodge, Grace H. (Grace Hoadley), 1856-1914
- Kitchen-Garden Association
- Labor movement
- Manual training -- United States
- Memorial works
- Moral education -- United States
- New York Association of Working Girls Societies
- Occupational training for women
- Philanthropists -- United States
- Social service
- Teachers College (New York, NY)
- Women -- Employment
- Women -- Societies and clubs
- Women domestics -- United States
- Women in charitable work -- United States
- Women philanthropists -- United States
- Working class women -- United States
- Working-women's clubs -- United States
- Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A.
- Young Women's Christian associations
- Young Women’s Christian Association of the U.S.A.
- Grace Hoadley Dodge papers
- Finding Aid
- Finding aid prepared by Maida Goodwin.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Processing of the Grace Hoadley Dodge Papers was made possible by the generous support of the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:15-04:00: 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