Van Kleeck, Mary, 1883-1972

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Mary Abby Van Kleeck was born on June 26, 1883, in Glenham, New York, to Eliza Mayer and Episcopalian minister Robert Boyd Van Kleeck. (Mary van Kleeck changed the capitalization of her last name in the 1920s.) Following her father''s death in 1892, her family moved to Flushing, New York, where she attended Flushing High School. She earned an A.B. from Smith College in 1904. In the fall of 1905 she began working as a fellow for the College Settlement Association on New York''s Lower East Side, where she worked with several women reformers and researched factory women and child labor. In 1910, the Russell Sage Foundation began supporting her research and hired her as the head of its Committee on Women''s Work, which in 1916 was expanded to create the Division of Industrial Studies, later renamed Department of Industrial Studies (DIS). She served as its director into the late 1950''s. Beginning in 1914, she taught at the New York School of Philanthropy and at Smith College''s School for Social Work. She joined the Army''s Ordinances Department in early 1918, creating standards for the employment of women in war industries. She served on the War Labor Policies Board, and with strong backing from the Women''s Trade Union League, she was named the director of the Department of Labor''s Woman-In-Industry Service, the predecessor of the Women''s Bureau. She held the position only briefly, before handing it over to the assistant director, Mary Anderson. In 1921 Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover appointed her to President Harding''s Conference on Unemployment and she later served as a member of the Standing Committee of the Conference and Sub-Committee on the Business Cycle. In 1929, she accepted an appointment to President Hoover''s Law Enforcement and Observance Commission. She also promoted social and economic planning, serving from 1928 to 1948 as associate director of the International Industrial Relations Institute. She resigned from the Labor Department''s Federal Advisory Committee of the United States Employment Service in August 1933 after one day, citing her objections to New Deal policies that she believed interfered with workers'' right to strike. In addition to working through government to promote social change, she served on the committees and boards of secular and religious humanitarian organizations such as the Church League for Industrial Democracy; the Episcopal League for Social Action; and Hospites, a refugee relocation organization that provided employment and financial assistance for social workers fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s. She remained dedicated to the rights of workers in the mid-to-late 1930s. Concern for workers'' liberties led her to leadership roles in the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she served on the Board of Directors and several committees from 1935 until 1940 when a conflict with the board over membership requirements prompted her to resign. In 1948, after her retirement, she supported Henry A. Wallace''s campaign for president and unsuccessfully ran for the New York State Senate as the American Labor Party candidate. Because of her interactions with various organizations that had been declared subversive by the Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., she was subpoenaed by Joseph McCarthy''s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations in 1953 and was denied a visa several times in the 1950s. She spent the last few decades of her life out of the public sphere with her close friend and colleague, Mary L. Fleddérus. She died on June 8, 1972, in Kingston, New York.

From the description of Van Kleeck, Mary A., 1883-1972 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10679491

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1965. Papers, 1797-1968 (bulk 1897-1968) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952. Correspondence, 1928-1929. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Yerkes, Robert Mearns, 1876-1956. Papers, 1822-1985 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Sophia Smith Collection. Biography collection, 1771-1995 (bulk 1920s-70s). Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Eddy, Harriet G. (Harriet Gertrude), 1876?-1966. Harriet G. Eddy papers, 1918-1967. California State Library
referencedIn Woman's rights collection, 1853-1958 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Van Kleeck, Mary, 1883-1972. Papers, 1883-1972 Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Woman's rights collection, 1853-1958 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Tamiment Library Manuscript Files, 1749-1988 (bulk: 1910-1965) Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Women in war work (World War I) papers, circa 1920. U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center
referencedIn Ames, Blanche, 1878-1969. Papers, 1860-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Glueck, Sheldon, 1896-1990. Papers, 1916-1972 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Records on Microfilm, 1905-1910 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
creatorOf Van Kleeck, Mary, 1883-1972. Papers, 1849-1998 Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Newman, Pauline, ca. 1890-1986. Papers, 1900-1980 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Stone, Olive M. (Olive Matthews), 1897-1977. Papers, 1838-1977 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969. Papers, 1925-1969 (bulk: 1937-1969) Houghton Library
referencedIn Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers, 1893-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Van Kleeck, Mary, 1883-1972. Correspondence with Members of the War Labor Policies Board, 1918 National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Department of Labor. Women's Bureau. Correspondence of the Director, 1918-1920 National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Pinchot, Cornelia Bryce, 1881-1960. Papers, 1923-1926 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Bureau of Vocational Information. Records, 1908-1932 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964. Papers, 1918-1960 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965. Papers, 1903-2005 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
referencedIn Brookwood Labor College (Katonah, N.Y.). Brookwood Labor College records, 1921-1937. Wayne State University. Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs
referencedIn Simkhovitch, Mary K. (Mary Kingsbury), 1867-1951. Papers, 1852-1960 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn National Council of American-Soviet Friendship Records, 1919-1990 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Association for Labor Legislation. corporateBody
associatedWith American Association of Social Workers corporateBody
associatedWith American Association of University Women corporateBody
associatedWith American Civil Liberties Union corporateBody
associatedWith Ames, Blanche Ames, 1878-1969 person
associatedWith Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964. person
correspondedWith Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958 person
correspondedWith Brookwood Labor College (Katonah, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Bryn Mawr College. Summer School for Women Workers in Industry corporateBody
associatedWith Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry. corporateBody
associatedWith Bureau of Vocational Information (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Coit, Eleanor G. person
associatedWith Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. person
correspondedWith Douglas, Dorothy W. (Dorothy Wolff), 1890-1968 person
associatedWith Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952. person
associatedWith Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1963. person
associatedWith Eddy, Harriet G. (Harriet Gertrude), 1876?-1966. person
correspondedWith Fledderus, Mary L. (Mary Lambertine), 1886- person
associatedWith Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965 person
associatedWith Glueck, Sheldon, 1896- person
correspondedWith Goldmark, Pauline Dorothea person
correspondedWith Grierson, Margaret person
correspondedWith Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969 person
correspondedWith Hamilton, Alice, 1869-1970 person
associatedWith Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886- person
associatedWith International Industrial Relations Institute corporateBody
correspondedWith Leslie, Mabel person
correspondedWith Lewis, John Llewellyn, 1880-1969 person
associatedWith National Council of American-Soviet Friendship (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Research Council (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Woman's Party corporateBody
associatedWith National Women's Trade Union League of America corporateBody
correspondedWith Neilson, William Allan, 1869-1946 person
associatedWith Newman, Pauline, ca. 1890- person
associatedWith Pinchot, Cornelia Bryce, 1881-1960. person
associatedWith Rocky Mountain Fuel Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962 person
correspondedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 person
associatedWith Russell Sage Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Sachs, Paul J., 1878-1965 person
correspondedWith Schneiderman, Rose, 1882-1972 person
associatedWith Simkhovitch, Mary K. (Mary Kingsbury), 1867-1951. person
associatedWith Simms, Florence, 1873-1923 person
associatedWith Smith College corporateBody
associatedWith Smith College. School for Social Work corporateBody
associatedWith Stone, Olive M. (Olive Matthews), 1897-1977 person
correspondedWith Thomas, M. Carey (Martha Carey), 1857-1935 person
associatedWith United Mine Workers of America corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Women's Bureau. corporateBody
correspondedWith Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940 person
correspondedWith Yergan, Max person
associatedWith Yerkes, Robert Mearns, 1876-1956. person
associatedWith Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Washington, D. C. DC US
Smith College MA US
Glenham NY US
Kingston NY US
Queens NY US
Lower East Side NY US
Subject
Civil rights--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Labor--Research--United States
Coal industry and trade--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Insurance, Unemployment--Law and legislation--United States--History--Sources
Social settlements--History--sources
Unemployment--History--Sources
Labor laws and legislation--History--Sources
Labor--Research
Women--Congresses--History
Social settlements--New York (N.Y.)--History--Sources
Management--Employee participation--United States--History--Sources
Equal rights amendments--United States--History--Sources
World War, 1939-1945--Women--United States
Industrial relations--History--20th century--Sources
Social work administration--History--Sources
Social work administration--United States--History--Sources
Industrial relations--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Refugees, Jewish--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--History--20th century--Sources
New Deal, 1933-1939
Coal miners--History--Sources
World War, 1914-1918--Women--United States
Women--Employment--History--20th century--Sources
Cost and standard of living--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Labor--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Industrial hygiene--History--20th century--Sources
Female friendship--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Social reformers--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Coal miners--United States--History--Sources
Jewish refugees--History--20th century--Sources
Women--Economic conditions--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Labor laws and legislation--United States--History--Sources
Industrial hygiene--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Equal rights amendments--History--20th century--Sources
Female friendship--History--20th century--Sources
Women--Employment--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Socialism, Christian--United States--History--Sources
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1883

Death 1972

Americans

English

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Ark ID: w6sz748h

SNAC ID: 85053842