Archival Collections
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Marie Mattingly Meloney Collection on Marie Curie, circa 1890-1962 bulk circa 1920-1934 

Creator: 
Meloney, Marie Mattingly, 1883-1943,.
Phys. Desc: 
3.5 linear feet (8 manuscript boxes)
Call Number: 
MS#0865
Location: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Online information

Biographical Note

Marie Mattingly Meloney (1883-1943) was a journalist and magazine editor who led fundraising campaigns to purchase radium for Marie Curie in the 1920s. She was granted an interview with Curie in 1920, after being appointed editor of The Delineator. Upon learning that Curie's laboratory lacked the financial resources to purchase radium—an element Curie herself had discovered in 1898—which Curie needed to continue her experiments, Meloney promised to help. Meloney traveled to Washington, D.C. with Curie in 1921, where President Harding presented Curie with the gram of radium purchased by the "women of America." She accompanied Curie on her second trip to the United States in 1929, during which President Hoover presented Curie with an additional gram of radium. Meloney also wrote an introduction to the English version of Marie Curie's biography of her husband, Pierre Curie.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection deals with Marie Curie's travels in the United States in 1921 and 1929, as a result of Marie Mattingly Meloney's fundraising campaigns to purchase radium for Curie's experiments. It includes correspondence with, photographs of, and manuscripts and printed material by and about Marie Curie. There is also an academic cap worn by Marie Curie while accepting honorary degrees in the United States, and a watch given to Meloney by Curie. The collection was assembled by the journalist and editor Marie Mattingly Meloney, who led fundraising campaigns in the 1920s to purchase radium for Marie Curie to continue her experiments. The correspondence is largely devoted to Meloney's fundraising campaigns, and details of the arrangements for Curie to visit the United States to solicit funds in person. The collection also includes photographs of Marie Curie and the Curie family, many of which were taken during Curie's 1921 and 1929 visits to the United States, and some of which are signed. There are many documents and manuscripts concerning Marie Curie and her work; printed materials by and about Marie Curie; and one box (with list) of reprints and articles by Curie's daughter and son-in-law Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Finally, the collection includes an academic cap worn by Marie Curie while accepting honorary degrees in the United States, and a watch given to Meloney by Curie.