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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Luscomb, Florence. Additional papers

Repository: Harvard University. Radcliffe Institute. Schlesinger Library

Collection Description (Extant): Additional papers including photographs, correspondence, statements, flyers, datebooks, etc., of social and political activist Florence Luscomb . . . . Florence Hope Luscomb, social and political activist, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on February 6, 1887, the daughter of Otis and Hannah Skinner (Knox) Luscomb. With an S.B. in architecture (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1909), she worked as an architect until 1917, when she became executive secretary for the Boston Equal Suffrage Association. She held positions in the Massachusetts Civic League and other organizations and agencies until 1933, when she became a full-time social and political activist. In the early 1920s Luscomb began to serve on the boards of civil rights, civil liberties, and other organizations; over the next 50 years these included the NAACP (Boston), the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the American League for Peace and Democracy, and many others. She helped organize and was president of a Boston local of the United Office and Professional Workers of America. Luscomb ran unsuccessfully for the Boston City Council, U.S. House of Representatives, and governor of Massachusetts. Never a communist, she opposed anti-communist investigations as attempts to curtail dissent and in the 1950s worked to stop them. In 1955 she was investigated as a subversive by government committees in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Luscomb travelled to the Soviet Union in 1935 and illegally to China in 1962 and attended several international peace and women's conferences. In the 1960s she worked against the Vietnam War and in the 1970s frequently spoke to women's groups and conferences. From the 1950s to the mid 1970s, Luscomb lived in cooperative houses, usually with much younger people. She died in Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1985 at 98.

Access Copy Note: Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Date(s): 1888-1988

Digital Status: No

Extent: 3.13 linear ft. (7+1/2 file boxes) plus 6 folders of photographs, 1 folio+ folder, 1 supersize folder, 9 audiotapes

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Rights (Extant): Copyright in the papers created by Florence Luscomb is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.


American Civil Liberties Union
Anti-communist movements
Civil rights movements--Massachusetts
Labor movement
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Peace movements
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Women's rights


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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