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Manuscript Division



Women's Suffrage
Health and Medicine
Papers of Presidents and First Ladies
Dolley Madison, Lucretia Garfield, and Edith Wilson
Chronological Highlights
arrow graphicWhite House Observers
Congressional Collections
Legal Collections
Military and Diplomatic Affairs
Literature and Journalism
Artists, Architects, and Designers
Actresses and Actors




White House Observers

Complementing the division's presidential collections are the papers of White House staff members. Edith Benham Helm (1874-1962) [catalog record] served as social secretary to Edith Bolling Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Bess Truman. Her papers (10,000 items; 1918-53) relate mainly to White House social functions and to President Woodrow Wilson's trips to Europe for the Paris Peace Conference.

Victoria Henrietta Kugler Nesbitt (1874-1963) [catalog record] was a housekeeper for Franklin D. Roosevelt's family, and her collection (4,500 items; 1933-49) contains correspondence (including some exchanged with Eleanor Roosevelt about domestic matters), manuscripts of her books White House Diary (1948) and The Presidential Cookbook (1951), and a nearly complete set of White House menus.

Women who wrote about the White House and its occupants include both Ruth Painter Randall (1892-1971), whose book Mary Lincoln: Biography of a Marriage (1953) is represented in the papers of her husband, Civil War historian J. G. Randall (35,000 items; 1779-1970; bulk 1916-70) [catalog record], and Mary S. Logan, wife of John Alexander Logan (see Congressional Collections).

Political correspondents Ruby A. Black (1896-1957), May Craig (1889?-1975), and Bess Furman (1894-1969) covered the White House, reporting particularly on Eleanor Roosevelt and other modern first ladies (see White House Journalists).

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