Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> Ida Tarbell Papers, 1896-1943
Smith College seal
Ida Tarbell Papers, 1896-1943
2 boxes (1 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 159

Abstract:
Journalist; Historian; Biographer; and Anti-suffragist. Papers are primarily related to her professional life, focusing on her time as assistant editor at McClure's and on her writings about Abraham Lincoln. There is also a small amount of material regarding her anti-suffrage views. Types of material include correspondence, memorabilia, journal and newspaper articles, published and unpublished writings, and a photograph.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The copyright owner of this collection is unknown. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Ida Minerva Tarbell was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania on 5 November 1857, the daughter of Esther Ann McCullough and Franklin Sumner Tarbell. She attended local public schools and graduated from Allegheny College in 1880, the sole woman of her class.

Ida M. Tarbell, undated

Ida M. Tarbell, undated

She taught for a few years at Poland Union Seminary, in Poland, Ohio, and worked for The Chatauquan, a home-study teaching guide based in Meadville, Pennsylvania from 1883 to 1891. She left her job, traveling to Paris to study the role of women in the French Revolution. While there, she supported herself by writing occasional articles for Scribner's magazine and by 1892, McClure's, including a series of articles on Napoleon Bonaparte that was published in book form in 1895. She also wrote biographies of Madame Roland (1896) and Abraham Lincoln (1900), but remains best known for her scathing expose, The History of Standard Oil (1904). She was an assistant editor of McClure's from 1894 to 1906. She was one of a group of investigative journalists (dubbed "muckrakers" by Theodore Roosevelt) who owned and edited the American Magazine from 1906 to 1915. She then lectured on the Chautauqua circuit until 1932, speaking on a variety of topics and occasionally writing articles for magazines.

Though a supporter of women's rights early in her career, she did not support women's suffrage, a position that caused friction between her and those she worked with on a variety of causes. She suffered from Parkinson's disease in her later years and died in Bridgeport, Connecticut on 6 January 1944

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ida Tarbell Papers consist of 1 linear foot and are primarily related to her professional life, dating from 1896 to 1943. The bulk of the papers date from 1896 to 1912, and focus on her time as assistant editor at McClure's and on her writings about Abraham Lincoln. There is also a small amount of material regarding her anti-suffrage views. Types of material include correspondence, memorabilia, journal and newspaper articles, published and unpublished writings, and a photograph.

This collection is organized into three series:


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The copyright owner of this collection is unknown. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Ida Tarbell Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Dorothy P. Huntington and the heirs of John Sanborn Phillips donated his materials related to Ida Tarbell to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1958. All in the Day's Work, Tarbell's autobiography, was purchased in 1996.

Processing Information

Processed by Kara M. McClurken, 2002.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/

Language
English.