Rare Book & Manuscript Library

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

Summary Information


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.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0865
Bib ID 4079097 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Meloney, Marie Mattingly, 1883-1943
Title Marie Mattingly Meloney Collection on Marie Curie, circa 1890-1962, bulk circa 1920-1934
Physical Description 3.5 linear feet (8 manuscript boxes)
Language(s) Material is primarily in English and French, with a few publications in Polish.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged by category. This collection is arranged into five series.



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.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies 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.

Preferred Citation

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.

Related 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.

Existence and Location of Copies

Selected components of the collection are also available on microfilm.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

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.

Revision Description

2019-10-15 Collection record revised to comply with DACS rules, and EAD finding aid generated. CLB

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Agreements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Biographies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Essays Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Interviews Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Invitations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Memorandums Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Postage stamps Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Programs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Receipts Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Speeches Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Visiting cards Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Brisbane, Arthur, 1864-1936 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chemistry -- Research -- France Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chemists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Curie, Eve, 1904-2007 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Curie, Marie, 1867-1934 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fund raising -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Joliot-Curie, Frédéric Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Joliot-Curie, Irène, 1897-1956 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Journalists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Jusserand, J. J (Jean Jules), 1855-1932 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Meloney, Marie Mattingly, 1883-1943 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Physicists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scientists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Woman chemists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Woman journalists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Woman physicists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women scientists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

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.