Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> Mabel Cratty Papers 1904-1928 (bulk 1913-28)
Smith College seal
Mabel Cratty Papers, 1904-1928 (Bulk: 1913-1928)
2 boxes (.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 600

Abstract:
Administrator, Teacher, YWCA executive. Papers primarily relate to her work as General Secretary of the YWCA of the U.S.A., 1906 to 1928. Types of materials include biographical materials, notebooks, "daily reminder" diaries, and a small amount of correspondence. Topics include leadership, women and finance, women and religion, and the Association concept. They provide fascinating insight into her view of her job and the role of the YWCA.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership of Mabel Cratty's writings is unknown. Copyright to materials authored by persons other than Mabel Cratty may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. 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

Mabel Cratty was born June 30, 1868 in Bellaire, Ohio, to Mary (Thoburn) and Charles Campbell Cratty. Her father was a merchant and later an insurance agent. She attended Bellaire public schools, then spent one year at Lake Erie Seminary (1884-85), eventually finishing an undergraduate degree at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1890.

After college, she taught in public schools in Ohio and Delaware, and at the Wheeling (West Virginia) Seminary. She entered administrative work in 1900 when she was made principal of the Delaware (Ohio) High School.

Cratty's involvement with the YWCA, an organization she came to call "the home of her spirit," came through college friends who convinced her to join the Ohio State Committee of the American Committee of Young Women's Christian Associations in 1902. In 1904 she resigned from the Delaware High School and moved to Chicago to become Associate General Secretary of the American Committee.

When the American Committee merged with the International Board of Women's and Young Women's Christian Associations to form the YWCA of the U.S.A. in 1906, Cratty moved to New York City to take charge of the new organization's Home Department. After a year or so working out administrative structure, by-laws, motto, seal, and articles of incorporation, the YWCA of the U.S.A. appointed Cratty General Secretary, the chief executive staff member. She held this position until her death from pneumonia in 1928.

Cratty credited her Scots-Irish Thoburn relatives with a singular determination to "transcend a narrow point of view." As an administrator, she quietly worked to shape the YWCA into an organization with "prophetic vision and courage." A New York Times editorial following her death in 1928 called her a "seer among her sisters" citing her "exceptional foresight in anticipating the direction which social and economic development of womanhood would take" in the first two and a half decades of the twentieth century.

Mabel Cratty died of pneumonia on February 27th, 1928, in New York City. She was buried in the family plot in Bellaire, Ohio.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mabel Cratty Papers consist of .75 linear ft. and are primarily related to her work as General Secretary of the YWCA of the U.S.A. between 1906 and her death in 1928. Types of materials include biographical materials, notebooks, "daily reminder" diaries, and a small amount of correspondence. Included also is Margaret Burton's book Mabel Cratty: Leader in the Art of Leadership (1929), a compilation of Cratty's speeches and writings with a biographical sketch by Burton.

The small amount of correspondence consists mainly of typed excerpts of letters by Mabel Cratty which appear to have been collected as part of memorial acitivities after her death.

Cratty's notebooks contain a wide variety of handwritten and typewritten notes, speech drafts, and ideas. They also contain quotes, prayers, statistics, and excerpts from newspaper articles and other reading which relate in some way to the YWCA and its "field." Topics include leadership, women and finance, women and religion, and the Association concept. They provide fascinating insight into her view of her job and the role of the YWCA.

The "daily reminder" diaries include volumes kept by Cratty and by her secretaries, Isabel Norton (1913-18), Lois Clark (1919-21), and Helen A. Davis (1921-23). The brief entries give a sense of Cratty's daily schedule of appointments, meetings, conferences.


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 without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership of Mabel Cratty's writings is unknown. Copyright to materials authored by persons other than Mabel Cratty may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. 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:

Mabel Cratty Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Mabel Cratty Papers came to the Sophia Smith Collection with the YWCA of the U.S.A. Records in 2002. The YWCA received them from the estate of Margaret Burton in 1967.

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin, 2008


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
Processing of the Mabel Cratty Papers was made possible by the generous support of the National Historical Records and Publications Commission

Contents List
General
1927-28, n.d.

Box 1: folder 1
Mabel Cratty: Leader in the Art of Leadership by Margaret Burton (NY: The Woman's Press)
1929

Box 1: folder 2
Correspondence
1904-28, n.d.

Box 1: folder 3
Course materials for "The Nature of Leadership," National Training School
1927

Box 1: folder 4
Notes, miscellaneous
n.d.

Box 1: folder 5
Notebooks
circa 1916-26

Box 1: folder 6-9
"Daily Reminder" diaries



1913-18

Box 1: folder 10-12
1919-28

Box 2
"Daily Reminder" diaries kept by Mabel Cratty's secretaries
1913-23

Box 2

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
  • Cratty, Mabel, 1868-1928
  • Leadership in women-Study and teaching-History--Sources
  • Young Women's Christian Association of the United States of America-History--Sources


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search