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Anna Steese Richardson papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00545

Scope and Contents

Scrapbooks containing articles by Richardson concerning women's issues, clipped from newspapers and magazines. Topics include suffrage and women's rights; courtship, marriage, and divorce; etiquette; citizenship and civic affairs; consumerism; politics; child- rearing; changing cultural and social mores; and women's clubs. Two scrapbooks about the theater are included, one of which contains clippings about Big Hearted Herbert, a play co- authored by Richardson. There are also books and pamphlets by Richardson, biographical information, and a small amount of correspondence.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1905-1949


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

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works by the creator of this collection.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

Anna Steese Richardson was born in Ohio, and raised by her aunts and grandmothers in Philadelphia after the early death of her mother. Around 1883, after acquiring a Normal School diploma, she took a teaching job in Colorado. She married William Richardson, with whom she had three children; they later divorced. Richardson ran their household in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and also reported news for the local daily newspaper. In 1900, Richardson and her family moved to New York where she began writing feature articles for the women's page of the New York World. Richardson went on to write for many newspapers and magazines, often covering theatre. She reported on and helped to shape the evolving themes of the twentieth century, particularly as related to women.

An activist at heart, Richardson founded the Better Babies Bureau to which can be traced much of modern health work for mothers and infants. Richardson worked as a war correspondent for the Companion, McClure's, and the Pictorial Review during World War I in France. She later founded the Good Citizenship Bureau for the purpose of educating women in civic responsibility.

Best known as an editor and columnist of the Woman's Home Companion beginning in 1903, Richardson's career also included newspaper reporting, journalism, and play-writing. She achieved Broadway success with "Big Hearted Herbert," co-authored by Sophie Kerr in 1933, which was made into a movie. In 1936 Richardson, as Associate Editor of the Woman's Home Companion and Director of the Good Citizenship Bureau, was awarded an honorary degree of Master of Science in Business Administration by Bryant College in Providence, Rhode Island. The same year she also received the Advertising & Selling Silver Medal for "distinguished exposition of advertising as a social force," and was one of twenty-four women honored at the Career Women's Dinner. Richardson died at her home in New York City.


12.022 linear feet (11 containers)


Journalist; Editor; Playwright. Collection includes books and pamphlets by Richardson, biographical material, and a small amount of correspondence. Scrapbooks contain newspaper and magazine articles collected by Richardson on suffrage, women's rights, courtship, marriage, divorce, etiquette, citizenship, civic affairs, consumerism, politics, child-rearing, changing cultural and social mores, and women's clubs. Two scrapbooks focus on the theater and contain clippings about plays by Richardson.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Meredith Mayer, 2006.

Finding aid to the Anna Steese Richardson papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
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 (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:18-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-03-17: Added boxes 1-9

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063