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Eldri Louise Dieson papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00602

Scope and Contents

The Eldri Dieson Papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, diaries, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, photographs, research notes, and scrapbooks primarily related to Dieson's work for the YWCA of the U.S.A. The bulk of the papers date from 1948 to 1964 and focus on Dieson's work for the YWCA's Foreign Division in Japan and in Chile. A small portion of the contents are in Japanese and Spanish.

Dates of Materials

  • 1905-1994

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. 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

Eldri Louise Dieson was born March 31, 1905, in Dell Rapids, South Dakota. After earning a B.A. from St. Olaf College in 1927, Dieson briefly studied sociology at the University of Minnesota and worked for the Lutheran Welfare Association in Minneapolis before joining the staff of the YWCA.

In the summer of 1927 Dieson participated in the YWCA National Student Council's Students in Industry Project, known as "a summer course in reality." College graduates spent six weeks working in factories "as part of an experiment and to gain first hand information for social work."

Between 1927 and 1942 Dieson worked as an Industrial or Business and Industry Secretary in YWCAs in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1927-30, 1936-42); Canton, Ohio (1930-32); and Allentown, Pennsylvania (1932). Dieson attended the New School of Social Work in 1935-36.

During World War II Dieson moved to the national YWCA staff, working in the Community Division in the fall of 1942, then becoming an Industrial Secretary, 1943-48. During the summer of 1944 she worked in Maine with the Women's Emergency Farm Service of the Women's Land Army.

After the war Dieson moved to the staff of the Foreign Division as a Program Consultant in Japan from 1948 to 1951. On her return to the U.S., she joined the staff of the United Community Defense Services staff of the YWCA helping new residents in rapidly growing cities and towns adjacent to defense industries. The aim of this work was to fill gaps in services for a relatively brief period until the cities and towns were able to do so.

In 1955 Dieson went to the YWCA of Chile. She returned to the States in 1960 to help develop YWCA's Latin America United States Exchange Project. The Project provided opportunities for women from YWCAs in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and the United States to share inter-American concerns and resources. In 1960 she received St. Olaf College's Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dieson went back to Chile the following year as director of the Latin America United States Exchange Project. From 1962 she also worked closely with the YWCA-Peace Corps project in community development in Valparaiso and Santiago.

In the fall of 1965 Dieson took the post of Field Consultant for the Southern Region for the YWCA of the U.S.A. In this capacity she advised YWCAs in thirteen southern states on all aspects of program and administration. Dieson retired from the YWCA circa 1971.

Eldri Dieson died in Hennepin, Minnesota in 1994.

Extent

5 boxes (2.5 linear feet)

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian

Japanese

English

Overview

YWCA executive and overseas official. The Eldri Dieson Papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, diaries, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, photographs, research notes, and scrapbooks primarily related to Dieson's work for the YWCA of the U.S.A. The bulk of the papers focus on Dieson's work for the YWCA's Foreign Division in Japan and in Chile.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into four series:
  1. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE
  2. ORGANIZATIONS
  3. PHOTOGRAPHS
  4. SCRAPBOOKS

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Eldri Dieson 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 Dieson's niece Tonia Jauch in 1993.

Additional material was donated by Aletha Solter, Dieson's grand-niece in 2019.

Related Materials

Related materials are in the YWCA of the U.S.A. Records

A scrapbook created by Eldri Dieson during her college years is housed in the St. Olaf College Archives, Northfield, Minnesota.

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin, 2009. Scrapbook additions were accessioned by Althea Topek in 2020 and a new series, SERIES IV: SCRAPBOOKS, was added to the finding aid.
Title
Finding Aid to the Eldri Louise Dieson papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Finding aid prepared by Maida Goodwin.
Date
2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Processing of the Eldri Dieson Papers was made possible by the generous support of the National Historical Records and Publications Commission.

Revision Statements

  • 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.
  • 2020-10-08: Added Series IV: SCRAPBOOKS, Accession 2020-S-0051; updated finding aid dates, extent, and notes

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063