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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2013

Berenson family papers


Correspondence, diaries, family photographs, books, and other material of the family of the Russian-American art historian Bernard Berenson.


  • 1894-1941

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


7 linear feet (14 boxes)
Collection contains seven boxes of correspondence between family members, much of it from the grown children to their mother or between siblings. Includes three boxes of letters from Mary Berenson to her mother-in-law describing life with Bernard Berenson at the Villa I Tatti in Florence, Italy, and Mary's manuscript "On meeting Bernard Berenson." Many of the letters or postcards from non-family members are addressed to Elizabeth Berenson. Also contains three diaries, 1925, 1927, and 1932, an address book, a postcard collection, and some books of Elizabeth; 213 family photographs; a few other manuscripts by family members; two boxes of plaster angels; and other miscellaneous material.

Biographical / Historical

Bernard Berenson (1864-1969) was an art historian. Included in the collection are materials by his parents, Albert and Julia (or Judith), his siblings, Senda, Abram, Elizabeth, and Rachel, some of their spouses, and his own wife Mary. The family emigrated from Vilna, Russia to Boston, Mass. in 1876.


Arranged alphabetically by author.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

*83M-9. Gift of Richard Arthur Berenson; received: 1983.
Berenson family. Berenson family papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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