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

Meloney, Marie Mattingly, 1883-1943 [Browse]
  • Multiple languages
  • English
  • French
  • Polish
3.5 linear feet (8 manuscript boxes)


Getty AAT genre
circa 1890-1962 bulk circa 1920-1934
Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged by category. This collection is arranged into five series.
Restrictions note
  • This collection is located on-site.
  • This collection has no restrictions.
Biographical/​Historical 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.
Summary note
  • 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.
Location of originals
Selected components of the collection are also available on microfilm.
Location of other archival materials
Marie Mattingly Meloney Papers, 1891-1943: Personal papers of Marie Mattingly Meloney, primarily documenting her career as a magazine editor. Includes extensive correspondence with prominent writers, political figures, and academics.
Action note
  • Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 08/--/1989.
  • This collection was formerly known as the Meloney, William Brown - Curie Papers, or the Meloney - Curie Papers. The collection title was changed in October 2019 to better reflect the identity of its creator, and to comply with DACS rules. At the same time, an EAD finding aid with a full collection inventory was created, and other descriptive notes were added or revised for DACS compliance.
  • Columbia University radiation safety officers tested the pocket watch, academic cap, and "Impressions of America" manuscript for residual radiation on October 23, 2019 and confirmed that handling the items does not pose any risk.
Accumulation and frequency of use
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact for more information.
Rights and reproductions note
Reproductions may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Language note
Material is primarily in English and French, with a few publications in Polish.
Source acquisition
Source of acquisition--Meloney, William Brown. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/27/1956. Accession number--M-56-12-27.
Cite as
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Marie Mattingly Meloney Collection on Marie Curie; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
C - S
Statement on language in description
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Supplementary Information