Access: There are no restrictions on items in this collection.
Permission to Publish: Requests for permission to publish from the collection should be made to the Executive Director.
Copyright: Copyright in the papers created by Sylvia Wright Mitarachi is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library.
Sylvia Wright Mitarachi was born Sylvia Wright on January 21, 1917, to Austin Tappan Wright and Margaret “Margot” T. Stone Wright in Berkeley, California. Her father was a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Her mother was the niece of pianist Amy Fay. She was one of four children. She married Paul J. Mitarachi and the couple had one son, John Paul, in 1962.
Mitarachi was a graduate of Bryn Mawr College. Following graduation, Mitarachi edited and prepared for publication her father’s book, Islandia. During World War II, she worked for the Office of War Information and, following the war, for the United States Information Service, known in the United States as the United States Information Agency. During the 1950s, Mitarachi was an editor at Harper’s Bazaar and contributed numerous articles. A collection of her articles was published in 1957 under the title Get Away from Me with Those Christmas Gifts. In 1969, she published the a collection of three novellas, A Shark Infested Rice Pudding.
In 1977, Mitarachi became a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College. During this time she continued research on her biography of her great aunt, Melusina Fay Peirce, an early feminist, author, and founder of the Cambridge Co-operative Housekeeping Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Following her fellowship year, she continued her research for the book. Mitarachi died of cancer on May 9, 1981, leaving the biography of Peirce unfinished.
The Sylvia Mitarachi Papers, 1834-1990 are held by the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study, Harvard University. They include both Fay family papers and papers of the Cambridge Co-operative Housekeeping Society.
The Fay Family Papers, 1800-1953 are held by the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study, Harvard University.
The Sylvia Mitarachi Papers consist of a copy of a draft manuscript for Mitarachi’s unpublished biography, The Life of Melusina Fay Peirce. The manuscript consists of 229 numbered pages and several additional chapters (which may have been written by Mitarachi’s friend Susanna Robbins). The manuscript is a biography of Mitarachi’s great aunt, Melusina Fay Peirce, an early feminist, author, and founder of the Cambridge Co-operative Housekeeping Society, an early scheme to establish a central cooking and laundry service outside of the home to which households would subscribe in order to share the costs of services.
- Cambridge Co-operative Housekeeping Society
- Cambridge (Mass.) – Social life and customs
- Cambridge (Mass.) – Societies etc. – Women
Peirce, Fay, b. 1836
Box|Folder|Series I. Papers, ca. 1978-1980
1|1|The Life of Melusina Fay Peirce, pages 1-138
1|2|The Life of Melusina Fay Peirce, pages 139-229
1|3|The Life of Melusina Fay Peirce, additional chapters