Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon, 89, retired chief of the research division of the Women's Bureau at the Labor Department, died Saturday at Friends House in Sandy Spring, Md., after a heart attack.

A resident of Washington for many years, she had moved to the Quaker retirement center in 1967.

Miss Pidgeon retired from the Women's Bureau in 1955 after 27 years of service during which she authored or contributed to all of the major studies done there. This included three editions of the standard reference, "Handbook of Women Workers."

She was born in Clarke County near Winchester, Va., of Quaker parents, attended several Friends schools and graduated from Swarthmore College. She earned a master's degree in political science from the University of Virginia in 1924. She also studied in geneva, Switzerland, and at the Unversity of Chicago.

While a student Miss Pidgeon marched in her first suffrage parade in New York City in 1911. Later she was a field secretary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

In 1920, after women gained the vote, she became director of the bureau of citizenship and government in the extension division of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

She also helped change the Virginia Equal Suffrage League into the Virginia League of Women Voters, was a founder and officer of the Virginia Women's Legislative Council and the Virginia Council of Women and was active in the Council of Administrative Women.

She was a chairman of the executive committee of the Virginia Governor's Conference on Governmental Efficiency in 1921.

Miss Pidgeon was a member of Hopewell Friends Meeting near Winchester. She helped organize the Friends Meeting near Winchester. She helped organize the Friends Meeting of Washington in 1930 and was its recording clerk for five years in the 1950s.

Survivors include a sister, Dorothy Berry of LaGrange, Ky.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Friends Service Committee, the Friends Nursing Home in Sandy Springs, or to the Friends Meeting of Washington.