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Lou Henry Hoover

A guide to collections at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives featuring Lou Henry Hoover.

Introduction to the Collections

Black and white photograph of Lou Henry Hoover circa 1928. Berton W. Crandall Photographs, Hoover Institution ArchivesWhile many people may know her as the First Lady of President Herbert Hoover, Lou Henry Hoover was a force in her own right. An accomplished woman, known for her intelligence, kindness, and diplomacy, Lou Henry Hoover was a geology scholar and a philanthropist with an impressive career.


Lou Henry Hoover was the first woman at Stanford University to graduate with a degree in geology in 1898. She had a gift for languages, studying Mandarin Chinese, Latin, Spanish, German, Italian and French. Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover married in Monterey, California on February 10, 1899, and left the next day for China, where he had secured work as a mining engineer. 


The resources in this guide document a woman who carved her own path and career alongside that of her husband, leaving a lasting impact on the world.

Archival Collections

Many of the archival materials below document Lou Henry Hoover’s life, including correspondence relating to relief work, work with the Girl Scouts, and activities at Stanford University.


CONWAY (ALICE) LETTERS RECEIVED 1934-1941 - Conway was an acquaintance of Lou Henry Hoover, this collection consists of a single folder of letters from Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover, relating to Girl Scouting and personal matters.


COMMISSION FOR RELIEF IN BELGIUM RECORDS Founded and chaired by Herbert Hoover, Lou Henry Hoover was also an active leader in relief work during the first world war, particularly supporting the Belgian lace industry by encouraging the sale of lace in the United States. 


CRANDALL (BERTON W.) PHOTOGRAPHS - Crandall was an American architect, photographer, and graduate of Stanford University. This collection is composed of photographs and negatives depicting Stanford University campus and buildings, Herbert Hoover, Lou Henry Hoover, the Hoover family, Leland Stanford, and Jane Lathrop Stanford. 


DYER (SUSAN LOUISE) PAPERS - The Susan Louise Dyer papers contain materials that reflect Dyer's personal ties to Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover, her association with Stanford University, and her service with the American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts of the United States. The papers largely consist of correspondence, clippings, diaries, photographs, and printed matter.


FULLER (WILLIAM PARMER) PAPERS - Correspondence, reports, memoranda, clippings, telegrams, photographs, and memorabilia, relating to American Relief Administration work in Poland at the end of World War I, and to Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover. 


HOOVER (LOU HENRY) MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS - The Lou Henry Hoover collection preserves selected items associated with the life of Lou Henry Hoover, including certificates, diplomas, correspondence; clippings; invitations; and war zone passes, all arranged alphabetically by physical form. The collection also contains photographs, art works, clothing, and handicrafts. 


HOOVER (HERBERT) SUBJECT COLLECTION -  Correspondence, writings, printed matter, photographs, motion picture film, and sound recordings, relating to the career of Herbert Hoover as president of the United States and as relief administrator during World Wars I and II. Material relating to Lou Henry Hoover includes biographies (1928), correspondence (1915-1927), Lou Henry Hoover’s translations, footage of her work with the Girl Scouts and with her husband. 


LARGE (JEAN HENRY) MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS  - Jean Henry Large was the younger sister of Lou Henry Hoover. This collection documents the genealogy of the Henry family and personal affairs of Jean Henry Large and Lou Henry Hoover. The papers are comprised of writings, a diary, correspondence, photographs, and printed matter.


LEAVITT (MAY HOOVER) LETTERS - This collection consists of one folder of letters from Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Hoover to M. H. Leavitt, relating to personal and family matters, and undated letters from the grandmother of Herbert Hoover to her grandchildren. 


MILLER (BERNICE) PAPERS - Bernice Miller was the personal secretary to President Herbert Hoover. The Miller papers contain photographs, letters, pamphlets, and clippings relating primarily to the political and other public activities of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover.

MOSHER (CLELIA DUEL) PAPERS - Mosher was Medical Investigator for the American Red Cross Children's Bureau, which provided medical care for children whose lives were disrupted by World War I. This collection consists of correspondence, writings, office files, photographs, and postcards, relating to relief work of the Red Cross in France from 1917 to 1919, and to the promotion of health education for women in the United States. Includes correspondence with Lou Henry Hoover.

Library Materials

Digital Materials