The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America is the primary repository for the papers of early 20th-century American feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935). To celebrate the sesquicentennial of Gilman's birth, the Schlesinger Library digitized Gilman's papers, with the generous help of the Cynthia Green Colin '54 Fund.
The bulk of the Gilman papers are divided among the following two collections:
Correspondence, diaries, journals, manuscripts, articles, reviews, photos, and drawings provide information about Gilman's personal and public life. Largest group of letters, 1897-1900, is to her future second husband, George Houghton Gilman. Other correspondence includes a sizable group to her daughter Katharine between 1895 and 1934; letters from William Dean Howells, Jane Addams, Edward Bellamy, Susan B. Anthony, James Keir Hardie, and Florence Kelley; and items pertaining to her books and articles. Literary material includes manuscripts and typescripts of chapters for Sex in Civilization (1929) and Woman's Coming of Age (1930); the plays A Pretty Idiot (1889), Changing Hands (ca. 1890), and Three Women; the books Social Ethics, A Study in Ethics (1933), and "A Winter in California.
Addenda to the papers of Charlotte Perkins Gilman consist mainly of family correspondence, photographs, poems, and printed material. Correspondence includes love poems and courtship letters to and from Charles Walter Stetson, her first husband, and letters to and from her daughter Katharine, who was raised by Stetson and his second wife, Grace Ellery Channing. Also included are genealogies, Gilman's 1894 divorce decree from Stetson, and clippings and ephemera from Gilman's lectures.
Smaller collections of Gilman papers have also digitized:
Not included in the digital collection:
If you have any questions about the Gilman Digital Collections, don't hesitate to Ask a Schlesinger Librarian.
For the two largest Gilman collections, you can access the digital content through the finding aid. For the smaller collections, just click on the links provided above to go to the catalog record which includes a link the content.
3. In the inventory section of the finding aid, click on "See digital image."
4. Digital content is delivered through Harvard's page delivery service (PDS).