The Ellen Swallow Richards Papers

Trained as a chemist, Ellen Swallow Richards (1872-1911) worked in chemistry of water, environmental science, nutritional science, home economics, and many other. Richards aspired to use science to solve the problems of humanity and pave a path for future women scientists.

Black and white photograph of Richards, portrait, with grey hair in bun, glasses, and slight smile.

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Richards frequently corresponded with other scientists and Progressive-era reformers, such as Edward Atkinson, Isabel Bevier, Melvil and Annie Dewey, and Marion Talbot. The correspondence also features less well-known women in science.

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The papers explore topics related to women in chemistry, particularly women’s access to institutions of higher education. Richards sought to open fields for women scientists to work: such as in nutritional science, home economics, and environmental science.

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Read the letters

Get started exploring the transcribed letters! Detailed annotations and subject lists compliment the transcriptions. Coming soon…

Editorial Process

Read more about the editorial decisions that went into selecting documents for the edition. Coming soon…

Data Visualizations

Using data from the transcriptions these visualizations present information from the edition in a multimodal way. Coming soon…