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Elizabeth C. Mooney Papers, 1977-1986
1 box (1 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 401

Abstract:
Author and journalist. Papers consist mainly of her letters to Alice Ridenour Wareham, a fellow graduate of Smith College, which relate to Mooney's writing, her family, her illness and her education at Smith College. Also included are letters written by Wareham about Mooney and two of Mooney's published works: Men and Marriage: The Changing Role of Husbands and Alone, Surviving as a Widow.

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 for 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

Elizabeth Comstock Mooney was born February 8, 1918, in Rome, New York. Mooney graduated from Smith College with the class of 1939, and soon after took work as a civilian secretary for the war effort. In 1943 she became a reporter for the Utica Press and Observer-Dispatch in western New York State. She was made bureau chief in 1945, but left in 1946 after her marriage to Booth Mooney, biographer of President Lyndon Johnson. She then became a free-lance writer, working out of Texas and then Washington, D.C., where she was a member of the Washington Independent Writers.

While raising her two children, Edward (Ted) and Joan, Mooney wrote children's books, including: Jane Addams (Chicago: Follett Pub. Co., 1968), part of the Library of American Heroes Series; The Mystery of the Narrow Land, (Chicago: Follett Pub. Co., 1969), illustrated by Winnie Fitch; and The Sandy Shoes Mystery (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1970), illustrated by Gustave E. Nebel.

When the children had grown, Mooney went back to non-fiction. She did a number of travel articles for magazines and newspapers including Smithsonian, Ladies' Home Journal, Yankee, Washingtonian, Maryland, Redbook, Newsday, and the Boston Globe. For several years she also did a regular column for the Washington Post called "The Weekend Traveler."

She also produced several books, including In the Shadow of the White Plague: A Memoir (New York: Crowell, 1979), about her mother's struggle with tuberculosis; and Alone, Surviving as a Widow (New York: Putnam, 1981), about life after the sudden death of her husband in 1977. Mooney's other full-length works are: Men and Marriage: The Changing Role of Husbands (New York: F. Watts, 1985); Not My Daughter: Facing up to Adolescent Pregnancy, with Katherine Brownell Oettinger, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1979); and Country Adventures in Maryland, Virginia & West Virginia (Arlington, VA: Washington Book Trading, 1984), a collection of previously released travel essays.

While doing research for In the Shadow of the White Plague, Mooney became acquainted with Alice Ridenour Wareham, a fellow graduate of Smith College, then residing in Saranac Lake, New York. The two began a correspondence that was to last for nearly seven years, until the effects of an undiagnosed brain tumor limited Mooney's activity. Mooney died on May 20, 1986, in Washington, DC.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Elizabeth C. Mooney Papers consist of 2.5 linear inches of correspondence and published works. The correspondence, sent from Mooney to Alice Ridenour Wareham from 1977-1984, relates to Mooney's writing, her family, her illness and occasionally to her education at Smith College. There are also two items from Alice Ridenour Wareham. One is an note Wareham wrote to herself on August 12, 1986, upon learning of the death of Mooney three months earlier. The other is a letter sent to Margery Sly, Smith College Archivist, including a description of how Wareham and Mooney met and began to exchange letters.

The collection also includes two of Mooney's published works: Men and Marriage: The Changing Role of Husbands (New York: F. Watts, 1985) and Alone, Surviving as a Widow (New York: Putnam, 1981).

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 for 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:

Elizabeth C. Mooney Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Elizabeth C. Mooney Papers were given to the Smith College Archives in 1995 by Alice Ridenour Wareham (Class of 1944). They were transferred to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2000.

Processing Information

Processed by Laura Finkel, 2000.


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



Alice Ridenour Wareham Letters,
1986-95

Box 1: folder 1
SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE



Elizabeth Mooney to Alice Ridenour Wareham,
1977-84

Box 1: folder 3-4
SERIES III. WRITINGS



Alone, Surviving as a Widow New York: Putnam,
1981

Box 1: folder 5
Men and Marriage: The Changing Role of Husbands: New York: F. Watts,
1985

Box 1: folder 6

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
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Cancer--Patients--Correspondence
  • Mooney, Elizabeth Comstock
  • Smith College--Students--History--Sources


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