Wygal, Winnifred Diaries and Other Materials

Span Dates: 1916-1972
Bulk Dates:
Volume: .5 linear ft.


The papers consist primarily of fourteen diaries (1916-1942) by Wygal, with additional pamphlets, essays, photographs, clippings, and the program of her memorial service. In her diaries, Wygal discussed race relations, current events, social justice, peace, philosophy and theology, including Marxism and the beliefs of Gandhi, Tillich, and Niebuhr. She chronicled her travels, work, and several intense friendships, including a long-term love relationship with Frances Perry. A diary (1932) by Helen Elizabeth Price, apparently a lover of Wygal, is also included.

Hist/Bio Note

Author, theologian, and lecturer Winnifred Wygal (1884-1972) graduated from Drury College (1906) and did graduate work at Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and Union Theological Seminary, where she studied with Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich. She began working for the Young Women’s Christian Association in 1911 and was part of its professional staff from 1919 until 1944. She traveled widely, meeting Mahatma Gandhi in 1928. Wygal was a founding member of the Fellowship of Socialist Christians and active with the worldwide Student Christian Movement. She had a romantic relationship with Frances Perry that began in the 1910s and lasted at least into the 1940s. See the Full Catalog record in the Hollis online catalog for more biographical details.

Finding Aid

This collection is unprocessed, but open for research. A description of the collection is available on the Harvard University Libraries' online Hollis Catalog


The Winnifred Wygal Papers are housed at the Schlesinger Library of Radcliffe College in Boston, Massachusetts.


Student Christian Movement (UK) | Feminism | Theology | Women and Religion