Frances Perkins Papers

Frances Perkins (1880-1965) was Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor for the duration of his presidency, serving as the first female member of the U.S. Cabinet. She was directly involved with crafting many of the most significant policies of the New Deal, including the Public Works Administration, the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Social Security Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Frances Perkins Collection is comprised of two parts, each of approximately six linear feet. The first part was given by Perkins herself in 1945, shortly after she resigned from the cabinet. The gift came in response to a request from College president Dorothy Schaffter who was seeking to build an American's Women's Collection and is comprised mostly of committee reports. The second part is drawn from the research notes, documents, and photocopies assembled by historian George Martin for his biography, Madam Secretary: Frances Perkins (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976).