Rare Book & Manuscript Library

L. Hollingsworth Wood papers, 1910-1953

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1373
Bib ID 4079496 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Wood, L. Hollingsworth (Levi Hollingsworth), 1874-1956
Title L. Hollingsworth Wood papers, 1910-1953
Physical Description 5 boxes (5 boxes)
Language(s) English .
Other Finding Aids

Legacy Finding aid


The following boxes are located off-site: 2-5. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



Cataloged and arranged. Collection is arranged in 2 series.


Scope and Contents

There are substantial gaps for the years 1921-1939.

Correspondence, memoranda, and financial and legal papers of Wood. The papers chronicle Wood's role in the early history of the National Urban League. Among the major correspondents are Mary McLeod Bethune, Chester Bowles, Pearl S. Buck, Anna Lord Strauss, and Booker T. Washington.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Other Finding Aids

Legacy Finding aid

Restrictions on Access

The following boxes are located off-site: 2-5. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

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.

Readers must use microfilm of materials specified above.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); L. Hollingsworth Wood papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

Schomburg Committee of the Trustees of New York Public Library collection, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

L. Hollingsworth Wood papers, Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections

L. Hollingsworth Wood correspondence, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

L. Hollingsworth Wood Prison Reform Papers, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

National Urban League records, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Alternate Form Available

Pearl S. Buck letters are on: microfilm.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 09/--/89.

Revision Description

April 2020 PDF replaced with full finding aid, YH

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:"
African Americans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
African Americans -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Buck, Pearl S (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Civil rights Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
National Urban League Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sociology, Urban Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Strauss, Anna Lord Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Levi Hollingsworth Wood was born into a Quaker family in Westchester County, New York, 1873. He was the son of James and Emily (Hollingsworth) Wood, and the brother of Carolena Morris Wood and Ellen Morris Wood. He graduated from Haverford College in 1896 and Columbia University Law School in 1899. He formed the Kirby and Wood law firm in New York. Wood was active in area of peace, social reforms, racial justice, and humanitarian causes. He served on the Trustee of Fisk University from 1917 to 1956. He was one of the founder and President of the National Urban League (NUL) for 26 years. He also supported the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Civil Liberties Bureau, later became the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1920. He was involved in the joint Peace Committee of the Hicksite and Orthodox New York Yearly Meetings, Peace Association of Friends and the Peace Committee of Associated Yearly Meetings, Haverford's Board of Managers, the American League to Limit Armaments (also known as the American Union Against Militarism), the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland (1920-1923), Board of International Rescue Committee (chairman, 1940s-1950s), Fellowship of Reconciliation, and so on. He died in 1956 at the Mount Kisco, New York. A more detailed biography about the Woods can be found in Barbour, Hugh. "The Woods of Mt. Kisco." Quaker History, vol. 87, no. 1, 1998, pp. 1–34.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only CU affiliates may view materials on-site. YOU MUST REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT BEFORE PLACING REQUESTS. Email rbml@library.columbia.edu to request an appointment. You may submit a request for materials once your appointment is confirmed. Affiliates will login with their uni and password, and need to register the first time they make a request.

Series I: Catalogued Correspondence

Box 1 Adams, Elbridge L.

Box 1 Alsop, Joseph W.

Box 1 Baldwin, Roger Nash

Box 1 Baldwin, Ruth Standish

Box 1 Bethune, Mary McLeod

Box 1 Bowles, Chester

Box 1 Buck, Pearl Sydenstricker

Box 1 Cravath, Paul D.

Box 1 Garrison, Lloyd K.

Box 1 Kellogg, Paul U.

Box 1 Keppell, Frederick Paul

Box 1 Myrdal, Gunnar

Box 1 Ovington, Mary White

Box 1 Peabody, George Foster

Box 1 Poletti, Charles

Box 1 Powell, Adam Clayton, Sr.

Box 1 Rousseau, Theodore

Box 1 Seligman, Edwin R. A.

Box 1 Spingarn, Joel Elias

Box 1 Stokes, Anson Phelps

Box 1 Strauss, Anna Lord

Box 1 Warburg, Felix M.

Box 1 Warren, Schuyler N.

Box 1 Washington, Booker T.

Box 1 White, Alfred T.

Box 1 Williams, Talcott

Series II: National Urban League Files

Box 2 National Urban League Files, 1910-1939

Box 3 National Urban League Files, 1939-1953

Box 4 Incorporation and By-laws

Box 4 Estate Files

Box 4 Miscellaneous Administrative Files

Box 5 Miscellaneous Administrative Files