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Historian Nancy Cott Chosen to Lead Radcliffe's Schlesinger Library

Nancy Cott, distinguished historian of American women, has been appointed the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She will begin at Harvard on January 1, 2002.

"I cannot imagine a better person to lead the Schlesinger Library than Nancy Cott," said Drew Gilpin Faust, the dean of the Radcliffe Institute. "This is a wonderful moment for Radcliffe."

A member of the Yale history faculty since 1975, Cott has chaired the women's studies and American studies programs and currently holds a Sterling Professorship, Yale's highest honor.

The author or editor of seven books and dozens of articles, Cott helped establish the field of women's history with the publication of her book The Bonds of Womanhood in 1977. Her most recent work, Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation, appeared last winter.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Cornell University, Cott earned her doctorate from Brandeis University. She has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Charles Warren Center, and Harvard Law School. A former Schlesinger Library Visiting Scholar, Cott was also the recipient of a Graduate Society Medal from the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association, now known as the Radcliffe Association.

Located at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the Schlesinger Library is a national resource open to all. Its holdings of published and unpublished sources document the range of issues, organizations, and activities in which women have been central since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Especially well represented are movements of social reform; race, ethnicity, and gender issues; family history; health and sexuality; work and the professions; and culinary history. The library offers research grants for faculty, scholars, and students who make use of the collections.

"The Schlesinger Library is one of the finest libraries in the world on the history of women," stated Sidney Verba, the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library. "Nancy Cott is one of the world's finest historians on the history of women. With Nancy Cott at its head, the Schlesinger will have a future even more distinguished than its distinguished past."

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Last modified on Thursday, April 18, 2002.