Elizabeth Dickerson papers
Scope and Contents
The Elizabeth Dickerson Papers consist of .25 linear ft. and are primarily related to her work in Russia on behalf of the YWCA of the U.S.A. Overseas Committee, 1917-19. Materials from this period include correspondence, travel papers, and memorabilia. There are also texts of speeches Dickerson gave in the 1950s-70s about her experiences in Russia.
Other materials include a "Grange Booster" speech from 1955, an autobiographical speech given on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the University Club in Seattle, a diary of a one month camping trip on Mt. Hood in August and September of 1917, and some general biographical materials.
Dates of Materials
- Majority of material found within 1917-1919
- Dickerson, Elizabeth, 1886-1987 (Person)
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 Elizabeth Dickerson's writings is unknown. Copyright to materials authored by persons other than Elizabeth Dickerson may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. 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
Elizabeth Dickerson was born April 26, 1886 in Woodville (now Shoreham), New York.
A 1907 graduate of the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, she undertook additional study in summer programs at Chicago (1909) and Columbia Universities (1911); and at Wellesley College, 1913-14.
Dickerson taught physical education at Bryn Mawr, 1907-08, and was Director of Physical Education at Milwaukee-Downer College, 1908-14. In 1914 she was appointed as the first Director of Physical Education and Hygiene at the Seattle YWCA.
Dickerson took a two-year leave of absence from that work in 1917 when the National Board of the YWCA recruited her to help organize a YWCA in Russia. Arriving in Moscow during the October Revolution, Dickerson was sent on to Petrograd, then evacuated to Vladivostok. She stayed on the eastern front until 1919. Dickerson and her colleagues helped Russian women establish a YWCA in Petrograd [Leningrad] and participated in the establishment of a Hostess House in Archangel. They also staffed a sort of traveling YWCA on a boat on the Volga River. In each place the boat docked, it sponsored lectures on modern techniques in agriculture.
Upon her return to the U.S., Dickerson resumed work at the Seattle YWCA, 1919-21. The difficult conditions in Russia compromised her health, prompting her to follow a growing interest in beekeeping. With a partner, Nell Pearce, she established the Pearce and Dickerson Bee Farm, Inc. in Woodinville, Washington in 1921. In addition to the honey-producing operation, the partners opened a retail store where they also sold home-made native berry jams and pickles. Dickerson continued in the business after Pearce's death in 1946 and served as the President of the Washington State Beekeepers Association. She was an avid "mountaineer," traveler, and gardener; and was active in her church, garden club, the Women's University Club, and the Orthopedic Association. She retired from the business in 1961 and moved to Bay View Manor in Seattle, Washington.
Elizabeth Dickerson died in 1987.
0.23 linear feet (2 containers)
Physical education teacher. The Elizabeth Dickerson Papers are primarily related to her work in Russia on behalf of the YWCA of the U.S.A. Overseas Committee, 1917-19. Materials from this period include correspondence, travel papers, and memorabilia. There are also texts of speeches Dickerson gave in the 1950s-70s about her experiences in Russia. Other materials include a "Grange Booster" speech from 1955, and an autobiographical speech given on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the University Club in Seattle, a diary of a one month camping trip on Mt. Hood in August and September of 1917, and some general biographical materials.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Elizabeth Dickerson Papers came to the Sophia Smith Collection with the Records of the YWCA of the U.S.A. in 2002. The YWCA received them from Elizabeth Dickerson in 1984.
Processed by Maida Goodwin, 2008
- Biographical sketches
- Dickerson, Elizabeth, 1886-1987
- Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921
- Travelers' writings
- World War, 1914-1918 -- War work -- Young Women's Christian associations
- Young Women's Christian associations
- Young Women's Christian associations -- Russia
- Elizabeth Dickerson 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 Elizabeth Dickerson Papers was made possible by the generous support of the National Historical Records and Publications Commission.
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:18-04:00: 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