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Boston Authors Club Records

 Collection — Container: MS BAC
Call Number: MS BAC

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence which document the activities of the Boston Authors Club from 1907-1947. Official records consist of annual reports (1940-1944), election ballots (1921-1932), editorial and membership committees (1224-1938), meeting minutes (1919-1947) and statement of agreement of association (1907; 1958). The responses from Boston authors to Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s idea in 1887 of forming a club and tributes to Harriet Beecher Stowe are included as are brochures, newspaper clippings and photographs.


  • Majority of material found in 1887-1972
  • Other: Date acquired: 06/00/1966


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The Boston Authors Club was founded in 1899 by journalist Helen Winslow and held its first meeting on January 6, 1900. Founding members included Julia Ward Howe, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and Charles Follen Adams. It began as a social club, but as time went on, literary discussions began to be held. Once the club had its own rooms, meetings took place in which manuscripts could be read and criticized and where leading Boston publishers gave talks expressing the publishers’ point of view. Since 1997, the Club presents the annual Julia Ward Howe Award in honor of its first president to two books (one for young readers).  It is the oldest continuous authors group in the United States.


2.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Boston Authors Club

Method of Acquisition



Second accrual. R. Newton Mayall,  1968.

Thrid accrual. Frances M. Howard, 1971.

Fourth accrual. Ester E. Carlson, 1986.

Laura D. Richards.

Related Materials

Boston Authors Club Ephemera. BAC E.1-BAC E.95.88

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Rare Books and Manuscripts Department staff.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

Archival description reflects the biases of time periods and cultures in which it was created and may include direct quotations or descriptions that use inappropriate or harmful language. Creator provided descriptions may be maintained in order to preserve the context in which the collection was created and/or used. Legacy description and potentially offensive content may be made available online until a collection can be reprocessed because the access that they provide to primary source materials is uniquely valuable to the research community at large. Our efforts to repair outdated descriptions and to describe our collections more equitably are iterative and ongoing.

Boston Authors Club Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2014-11: Updated by Kimberly Reynolds, November 2014.

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

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