Professional and personal correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts of Meyer's plays, her books "Barnard Beginnings" and "The Gallery-Goer's Book," essays, and other writings, 1920s-1940s; playbills from performances of her plays, clippings of reviews of her books and plays, book jackets, clippings of her magazine articles, and other literary ephemera including the copperplate engraving used to print her personal bookplates. Professional correspondence relates to her work for Barnard and her literary career; Barnard correspondents (1890's-1940's) include Dr. Cornelius Agnew, Rev. Arthur Brooks, Helen Erskine, Pierre Jay, Jacob H. Schiff, Ella Weed, and Barnard Deans Emily James Smith Putnam, Virginia C. Gildersleeve, and Millicent McIntosh. Literary correspondents include Mary Beard and editors, theater managers and others connected with her dramatic and literary works. Personal correspondence is with her family members (1920's-1940's) and includes several folders of letters from her first cousin, Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo, (1920s-1930s), on personal matters.
Biographical / Historical Note
Meyer was a founder of Barnard College and served on the Board of Trustees from 1889 through 1951. The idea for the establishment of New York City's first four-year woman's college was first promoted in "A Memorial Resolution to the Columbia Board of Trustees" written in 1887 by Meyer with the help of Melvil Dewey and Mary Mapes Dodge. This was followed by an article in "The Nation" (Jan. 26, 1888). It was Meyer's idea to name the new school after the late Columbia president, Frederick A. P. Barnard. She was instrumental in maintaining a Jewish presence at Barnard and in recruiting African-American students, e.g. Zora Neale Hurston. Meyer was an anti-suffragist, in contrast to her sister Maude Nathan who was prominent in the movement. As a writer, she produced three novels, a number of non-fiction works, articles, short stories and twenty-six plays.