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Manuscript Division



Women's Suffrage
Health and Medicine
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White House Journalists

In 1931, political reporter Ruby A. Black (1896-1957) [catalog record] told a radio audience that she had experienced less sexism from the politicians and government officials who were her sources than from her male counterparts in the profession: “It is years, usually, before a woman is admitted to the fraternity . . ., years before other newspaper men give her tips and ask her for information in the way they trade with their male colleagues.” 23 Historians eager to explore the connections between women, journalism, and politics should turn not only to Black's papers (35,000 items; 1916-61; bulk 1933-45), which cover her career as a part-time United Press correspondent, manager of her own news bureau, and biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt, but to many of the division's other journalism collections as well.

Black's friend and colleague, newspaper columnist May Craig (1889?-1975) [catalog record], assembled a collection of papers (12,000 items; 1929-75) concerning her career as a reporter, radio broadcaster, and foreign war correspondent. As an active member of the Women's National Press Club, Craig shared Black's interest in women's rights and also championed children's education and other reforms.

Like Black and Craig, Bess Furman (1894-1969) [catalog record] also covered the Roosevelt White House and became good friends with the first lady. During her more than forty years with the Associated Press and New York Times, Furman wrote about presidential wives, equal rights for women, and women in politics. Her collection (47,000 items; 1728-1967; bulk 1900-1966) includes correspondence with Grace Abbott, Helen Gahagan Douglas, Oveta Culp Hobby, Ruth Bryan Owen Rohde, Frances Perkins, and several first ladies.

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