Skip to main content

Mary Boyle O’Reilly Papers

 Collection — Container: MS Acc 624
Call Number: MS 5087

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence sent to Mary Boyle O’Reilly from national and international political figures, publishers, fellow journalists and authors, including Laura Elizabeth Howe, Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton, George Bernard Shaw, Frances Parker and Margaret MacGill. O’Reilly also frequently wrote to foreign relation officials, such as Henry Cabot Lodge, chairman of United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who explained why American should avoid participating in the League of Nations.

While the majority of the letters are concerning business matters, such as requests for interviews, they are also personal responses to O’Reilly’s intelligence and character. President Theodore Roosevelt remarked that O’Reilly was a unique entity in spite of her father’s notoriety.

Many letters thank O’Reilly for newspaper clippings; however these clippings are not included in the collection.


  • 1879-1937
  • Majority of material found in 1910-1930


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. The Boston Public Library does not hold copyright on the material in this collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

When reproducing material from this collection please include the credit line "Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/ Rare Books."


57.00 Items (57 letters)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of fifty-seven letters documenting the career of philanthropist and World War I correspondent Mary Boyle O’Reilly (1873-1939), daughter of Irish author and Fenian John Boyle O’Reilly. Mary Boyle O’Reilly was a foreign correspondent for the Newspaper Enterprise Association and was at one time a resident of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. The collection’s correspondence, written by such political figures as Henry Cabot Lodge, Thomas Power O'Connor, Hugh Gibson, and Theodore Roosevelt, offers perspectives on foreign affairs during and after World War I. Topics discussed are foreign diplomacy, America’s involvement with the League of Nations, O’Reilly’s publications and commissions, and her father, John Boyle O’Reilly.

Arrangement Note

Arranged alphabetically.

Method of Acquisition

Donated to the Boston Public Library by Mary Boyle O’Reilly in 1938.

Related Materials

O’Donnell, [James E.], 190?, MS Am. 2222

20th Regiment Collection.

O’Reilly, John Boyle, Correspondence.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Heather Mumford, April 2010.
Mary Boyle O’Reilly Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

700 Boylston Street
Boston MA 02116 United States