Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
The Ruth Cranston Papers, 1908-1957

Accession Number: HC 48
The Ruth Cranston Papers, 1908-1957
Dates: 1908-1957
.5 linear feet
Online Catalog Record (BANC) Not Yet Available


This small collection contains several manuscripts as well as some biographical material related to writer Ruth Cranston (c1888 -1956).

Access and Use

There are no restrictions on the collection other than federal copyright regulations; permission to publish/reproduce must be requested; cite all references to the material in this collection.

Preferred Citation: The Ruth Cranston Papers, 1908-1957, Special Collections & Archives, Berea College, Berea, KY.


The Papers of Ruth Cranston were transferred to the Berea College Library in November 1957 by the New York company settling her estate. Mrs. Cranston's executors had suggested that her papers be deposited either at Goucher College, her alma mater, or Berea College, a place "in which Mrs. Cranston was interested." Three cartons, each containing 4 cubic feet of research cards and notes, were accepted, then purged and condensed at some point prior to the 1970s by Berea's librarian(s). (see Correspondence in Folder 1.)

During 1994-1995, student Archives Assistant Matthew Ropke conducted additional work on the remaining manuscripts and papers under the supervision of then College Archivist Shannon Wilson. Following this the collection was given a temporary processing label and shelved. In May 2011, the collection was housed in acid-free folders and assigned a Collection/Accession#; a finding aid was created and placed online by then College Archivist Jaime M. Bradley. The Collection opened for research at the end of May 2011.

Biographical Background

Ruth Cranston, author, lecturer, and biographer of Woodrow Wilson, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but due to her father's ministry and missionary work spent much of her childhood abroad. She attended Goucher College (where she became acquainted with Woodrow Wilson's daughters), earning a B.A. degree in 1908. After college she spent many years working and studying in Geneva were she voluntarily participated in conferences, councils and assemblies sponsored by the League of Nations, during which time she organized a Commission on "The Causes of War" under the World Conference on Religion for the League. She served with the American Red Cross in France during WWII.

A self-proclaimed "world citizen" and internationalist, Mrs. Cranston travelled extensively and pursued wide-ranging research interests including religion and world faiths, international relations, the League of Nations, Asian culture, and history, while publishing articles (both fiction and non-fiction) in Harper's, Century, Christian Science Monitor, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, and others. She occasionally published under the pseudonym "Anne Warwick." Her biographical work "The Story of Woodrow Wilson" was published in 1937, and in 1946 she organized a World Faiths Roundtable at Town Hall Auditorium in New York, subsequently publishing "World Faith: The Story of the Religions of the United Nations" (1946). She received an award for her work "The Miracle of Lourdes" in 1955.

During a lecture tour in the United States in 1956 Mrs. Cranston fell ill quite suddenly and died at a hospital in New York City on the 2nd of April.

As of 2011, multiple websites and blog posts referred to Mrs. Cranston's work on interfaith cooperation and understanding. A rebroadcast and transcript of a 1950s radio interview with Ruth Cranston appeared at this web address:

Box List
1 Manuscript Box

Ruth Cranston Papers, 1908-1957
Box 1
  1. Correspondence between Goucher College Librarian and Berea College Library, 1957 (4 items)
  2. Obituary, New York Times, 4 April 1956
  3. Biographical - "Personal Experience and Background" by Ruth Cranston, n.d. (typed manuscript)
  4. World Faith Conference, New York, 1946
  5. "The Great Man, a Day in the Life of an International Diplomat," 1933 (typed manuscript)
  6. "Human Needs and Institutions for Today," Lectures 2, 3 and 4 (typed manuscripts)
  7. Woodrow Wilson (typed manuscript)
  8. "The World We Want" (typed manuscript carbon copies)
  9. Journal, 1913- (handwritten, bound)
  10. Journal, 1908- (handwritten, bound, fragile)
  11. Script by Williams/Lasswell and Text/Manuscript by William Hung, n.d. (collected research items)

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