|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is organized in one series arranged by material type.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains a manuscript autobiography that includes correspondence and photographs, and manuscripts of a number of published and unpublished works by Pinkham. Pinkham's "Victorian Echoes: An Autobiography" manuscript includes transcribed diary entries contemporary to the period of her life that she is describing, as well as photographs of Pinkham, her immediate family, family pets, and locations. The earliest identified item in the collection is a photograph of Susan Emeline Thorn dated 1867. The manuscript also contains correspondence between Pinkham and her eventual husband while he was working abroad in Calcutta, India for Standard Oil and a set of letters from Pinkham in India to her parents following her marriage, detailing the day-to-day life of Americans living in colonial India and often touching upon political matters, such as the release of Gandhi in 1924 or the likelihood of home rule. Finally, the manuscript also includes other letters, newspaper clippings, business cards, postcards, cancelled stamps, greeting cards, programs, currency, cablegrams, a Sunday school student's drawing, a receipt for purchase of a car in India, a household budget, and sample scraps of knitting wool.
Burke Library record group:
Union Theological Seminary Archives: UTS 1, papers of faculty and students
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
The following boxes are located offsite: Box 1-6. Please note that requests for use of boxes held in offsite storage must be made three business days in advance.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, UTS1: Caroline Worth Pinkham papers, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The exact provenance of this collection is unknown.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. In some cases, acidic items were separated from one another by placing into acid-free envelopes or interleaving with acid-free paper as needed and metal clips were removed. The finding aid was created by Katherine Palm in 2015 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2022.
2022-05-05 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Caroline Mildreth Pinkham (née Worth) was born on June 20, 1897 at 287 Amity Street, Flushing, New York. A writer throughout her life, Pinkham was a published author and also the first woman to get the Ph.D. from Columbia and Union Theological Seminary in the History and Comparative Study of Religion in 1941. Her father, George W. Worth, had a real estate and insurance office. Her mother, Caroline Amelia Thorn, graduated from a Normal school as a teacher, but was a homemaker during Pinkham's life. Known as "Mildreth," Pinkham was educated at the Packer Collegiate Institute, a private school in Brooklyn from which she graduated in 1917. While at school, Pinkham had a number of original writings published in "Packer Current Items," the school's literary magazine. During this time, she and her mother chose to leave the Episcopal church to follow the Presbyterian faith and eventually joined the Lafayette Presbyterian Church. n 1917, Pinkham enrolled at Young's School of Stenography and Typewriting at 148 Montague Street in Brooklyn, New York, writing in her diary: "I do not intend to be a stenographer all the days of my life, but I believe the knowledge of shorthand will be of value." Soon after, the family moved from 498 Clinton Avenue for a new residence at 421 4th Street, Brooklyn, New York. During her early twenties, Pinkham worked in various offices in a secretarial capacity, such as The Brooklyn Bureau of Charities and at Town and Country magazine. In July 1917 she began work at Sperry Gyroscope Company, which she describes as then "doing war work in the aeroplane." In the early 1920s, she assisted at the Brooklyn Children's Museum at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences and contributed to its publications. Pinkham married Lloyd Francis Pinkham, a graduate of the University of Maine and former Lieutenant in the United States Air Service, on September 9, 1922. Their courtship is reflected in a series of letters between them in 1920-1922 while Pinkham was posted in India as an employee of Standard Oil. Pinkham spent much of the next three years based in Lucknow, United Province, India with her husband. After returning to the United States in 1925, Pinkham and her husband joined the West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Her husband began a long career at The Remington Cash Register Co. (the business of which was eventually sold to the National Cash Register Company) and the couple settled in New Jersey. Pinkham's book, A Bungalow in India, was published in 1928 and in 1929 Pinkham enrolled as an undergraduate at Columbia University. Pinkham received bachelor of science and master of arts degrees from Columbia University in 1933 and 1935, respectively. She graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1935. Her progress towards her advanced degrees slowed during various periods when she and her husband relocated to South Bend, Indiana and Portland, Maine for reasons related to his career. She eventually received the degree of doctor of philosophy from Columbia University in 1941 in connection with her dissertation entitled "The Status of Woman in Hinduism as Reflected in the Puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana." Pinkham's writings include A Bungalow in India: Intimate Glimpses of Indian Life and People (1928), The Status of Woman as Reflected in the Puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana (1941), The Common Heritage (1985), Confucius Says, Woman and the Family in World Scriptures, as well as a variety of articles printed in publications such as Childhood, a magazine published by the Old Stone Press. Pinkham and her husband spent much of their later years, following his retirement, traveling the world. Pinkham died in 1984 at age 87 in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, having survived her parents and husband. The Worth-Pinkham Memorial Library, the current building of which was a gift of Pinkham, in Ho-Ho-Kus bears her name.