Mary Emily Foy Papers mssFoy

Gina C Giang
The Huntington Library
April 2020
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Mary Emily Foy papers
Creator: Foy, Mary Emily, 1862-1962
Identifier/Call Number: mssFoy
Physical Description: 1.30 Linear Feet (3 boxes, 1 envelope, 1 volume)
Date (inclusive): 1879-1966
Abstract: Mary Emily Foy was the first woman to become head librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library. This collection consists of Foy's personal correspondence and papers from 1879 to 1957.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Conditions Governing Use

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Mary Emily Foy papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Estate of Mary E. Foy, 1959.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Emily Foy (1862-1958), Los Angeles community and education leader, and first woman to become head librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library from 1880 to 1884, was a pioneer Los Angeles resident and the daughter of Los Angeles businessman Samuel Calvert Foy (1830-1901). She was a member of Los Angeles cultural and historical organizations such as Ina Coolbrith Circle, First Century Families (descendants of California pioneers), the Women's Democratic League, and the Ladies' Adams Street Women's Investment Company.

Scope and Contents

The Mary Emily Foy papers consist of personal correspondence and papers from 1879 to 1966. It contains a significant amount of material on the Foy family (including her father, Samuel Calvert Foy), and there is also correspondence from her sister, Cora Foy. The collection also contains papers related to various organizations in which Mary Emily Foy was active, including: the Democratic Party, First Century Families, Ina Coolbrith Circle, Ladies' Adams Street Women's Investment Company, Los Angeles Women's Symphony Orchestra, and the Women's Democratic League. Of note in the collection is some correspondence and manuscripts, including four poems by poet Ina Donna Coolbrith (1841-1928). There are also family photographs, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and a financial volume belonging to Mary Foy.

Processing Information

Processed by Gertrude Ruhnka, August 1, 1969. In 2020, Gina C Giang created a finding aid derived from a legacy summary report.


Arranged in the following series: 1. Personal and family papers, 2. Business papers, 3. Ina Coolbrith papers, 4. Correspondence, 5. Los Angeles Women's Orchestra, 6. Manuscripts and notes, 7. Photographs, 8. Political papers, 9. Ephemera, 10. Newspaper clippings, 11. Postcards, 12. Financial volume.


Former call number: mssFoy papers.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Women -- California
Women -- Societies and clubs -- California -- Los Angeles
California -- Politics and Government -- 1850-1950
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History
Family papers -- California -- 19th century
Family papers -- California -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century
Manuscripts -- 19th century
Manuscripts -- 20th century
Coolbrith, Ina D. (Ina Donna), 1841-1928
Foy, Cora
Foy, Samuel Calvert, 1830-1901
Democratic Party (U.S.)
First Century Families (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Ina Coolbrith Circle
Ladies' Adams Street Women's Investment Company (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles Women's Symphony Orchestra (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Women's Democratic League

Box 1

Personal and family papers 1879-1957

Box 2, Folder 1

Business papers 1887-1898

Box 2, Folder 2

Ina Coolbrith papers 1880-1952

Box 2, Folder 3-4

Correspondence 1880-1952

Box 2, Folder 5

Los Angeles Women's Orchestra 1907-1910

Box 2, Folder 6-9

Manuscripts and notes 1859-1880

Box 3, Folder 1

Photographs 1896-1955

Box 3, Folder 2

Political papers 1911-1957

Box 3, Folder 3

Ephemera 1907-1957

Box 3, Folder 4

Newspaper clippings 1952-1966

Box 3, Folder 5

Postcards 1938-1951

Folder Oversize 1

Financial volume 1922-1924