Jeannette Mirsky Papers
Collection Scope and Content Summary
Mirsky’s original writings are contained in manuscripts, notes, and drafts related to her publications. Complete manuscripts of To the North!,The Westward Crossing, Houses of God, The World of Eli Whitney, andSir Aurel Stein are included in this collection, and feature extensive notes and edits by Mirsky and outside editors.
The photographs in this collection are often unlabeled, and include images collected for various publications, images of Mirsky’s travels, and personal and family photos. Mirsky also held on to many newspaper clippings of her book reviews. The collection also contains additional clippings that she gathered for research purposes. There is a large collection of clippings from German language newspapers as well.
Of special interest are materials related to a speaking engagement at the University of Alaska where Mirsky traveled north of the Arctic Circle, and received a lithograph noting this accomplishment. Of additional interest are a series of letters in which Mirsky was recommended for an honorary doctorate at Columbia University.
- 1892 - 1987
- Majority of material found within 1921 - 1986
- Mirsky, Jeannette (Person)
Language of Collection Materials
Mirsky was married twice, first to Arthur J. Barsky, who she divorced in 1940, and then to Edward Ginsburg, an industrial engineer, who she married in 1942. Mirsky lived briefly in South Carolina with Ginsburg, but ultimately moved to Princeton, NJ in 1950, where Mirsky would reside for the rest of her life. Edward Ginsburg died in 1959, and Mirsky did not remarry again. Throughout her career she continued to publish under the name Mirsky, although she did change her last name to Ginsburg after her marriage to Edward.
In 1934 Mirsky published her first book,To the North!, which recounts the history of Arctic exploration. Her book largely discredited Frederick Cook's claims to discovering the North Pole, and went out of print for a number of years due to a lawsuit by Cook. The book was re-released in 1946 by Alfred A. Knopf under the new title, To the Arctic!: The Story of Northern Exploration from the Earliest Times to the Present. In addition to English, the book was published in German, Spanish, and French.
Jeannette Mirsky continued to publish books until 1977. Her books include, The Westward Crossings (1946),The World of Eli Whitney (1952),Elisha Kent Kane and the Seafaring Frontier(1954),The Great Chinese Travelers: An Anthology (1964),Houses of God (1965), andSir Aurel Stein, Archaeological Explorer (1977). During this time she also wrote book reviews, was a contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica, edited The Lady, a book by Barnard Professor Emily James Putnam, was a visiting fellow in the department of East Asian Studies at Princeton University, and spent much of her time travelling.
Jeannette Mirsky died in Princeton, NJ on March 10, 1987 at the age of 83.
12.35 Linear Feet (27 document boxes, 1 oversize box)
Series 1, Academic Records, 1921-1948
Series 2, Correspondence, 1892-1987
Subseries 2.1, Personal Correspondence, 1921-1986
Subseries 2.2, Business Correspondence, 1937-1984
Subseries 2.3, Michael Mirsky Papers, 1892-1924
Series 3, Manuscripts, Drafts, and Publications, 1921-1986
Subseries 3.1, Maps and Illustrations, 1940-1980
Subseries 3.2, To the North
Subseries 3.3,The Westward Crossing, 1965-1978
Subseries 3.4, Houses of God, 1940-1969
Subseries 3.5,The World of Eli Whitney, 1939-1984
Subseries 3.6,Sir Aurel Stein. 1970-1978
Series 4, Newspaper Clippings, 1921-1987
Series 5, Photographs, 1921-1986
Series 6, Travel Expenses and Receipts, 1970-1982
Series 7, Financial Documents and Taxes, 1921-1986 (Restricted)
Descriptive Rules Used: Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Encoding: Machine readable finding aid encoded in EAD 2002.
Finding aid written in English.
- Guide to the Jeannette Mirsky Papers
- Heather Lember
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description