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Mary Ritter Beard

(1876–1958) In History and Feminism: A Glass Half Full (1993), Judith Zinsser argues that beginning in the 1930s, Mary Beard was the most well-known authority and advocate for women's history in the Unites States. Mary's writings and the actions she took during her life on behalf of women's suffrage, labor issues, and establishment of women's archives also helped to illuminate the contributions that women made throughout history.

Mary became involved in the suffrage movement through her activism in women’s labor organizations, and became a leader within the New York City Suffrage Party. She left the NYCSP in 1913 to join the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, where she became an executive member of its board and editor of its weekly magazine The Suffragist. Mary and Charles Beard published a number of books together, starting in 1914. In 1915 Mary published the first of six books that she would publish alone.

Mary helped found the World Center for Women's Archives in 1935. As director of the Center, Mary worked to collect all manner of women's published and unpublished records, and to establish an educational institution that would aid in the writing of history and the education of women. She directed the Center for five years before resigning in 1940. Mary's next project was to work with a team of female scholars to write an analysis of Encyclopedia Britannica's representation of women.

Despite their work, the recommendations of the report were ignored. Mary was disappointed with the effort and later suggested that women no longer write for the Britannica. Despite her extensive work in acquiring the personal papers of women throughout the world, she, along with her husband, destroyed nearly all of their papers and manuscripts before their deaths. Bio by: Pete Mohney


Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum

280-284 Secor Road, Hartsdale, NY 10530-1201

Westchester County

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