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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 Types of material include correspondence, memorabilia, journal and newspaper articles, published and unpublished writings, and a photograph.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.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS



Newspaper clippings,
1912-42, n.d.

Box 1: folder 1
Memorabilia and photograph,
1913-24, 1937, 1942, n.d.

Box 1: folder 2
All in the Day's Work: An Autobiography,
1939

Box 1: folder 3
SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE



General, A-Z,
1896-1901, n.d.

Box 1: folder 4-11
Individuals



Boyden, Albert,
1905-12, n.d.

Box 1: folder 12
Davis, J. McCan,
1898-1900

Box 1: folder 13
Phillips, John S.,
1910-43

Box 1: folder 14
Business letters,
1896-97

Box 2: folder 1-9
SERIES III. WRITINGS



Published



"The Irresponsible Woman and the Friendless Child," The American Magazine,
May 1912

Box 2: folder 10
"Is Women's Suffrage a Failure?" Good Housekeeping,
October 1924

Box 2
"Ten Years of Woman Suffrage," The Literary Digest,[Includes excerpts from an interview with Tarbell; author unknown]
1930

Box 2
"The American Woman: How She Met the Experience of War," The American Magazine (in two parts),
n.d.

Box 2
Unpublished



"Account of whalers caught in arctic ice and the heroism of their rescuer, Charles D. Brower," [author unknown],
n.d.

Box 2: folder 11

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • American Magazine--History
  • Boyden, Albert Augustus, 1875-1925--Correspondence
  • Brower, Charles D., 1863-1945
  • Davis, J. McCan (John McCan), 1866-1916--Correspondence
  • Journalism--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Biography--Sources
  • McClure's magazine--History
  • Phillips, John Sanborn, 1861-1949--Correspondence
  • Tarbell, Ida M. (Ida Minerva), 1857-1944
  • Women and war--United States--History
  • Women journalists--United States--History--Sources
  • Women--Suffrage--United States--History


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