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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1150

Papers of Bette Nowak, 1959-2013


Biographical information, correspondence, and diary of Bette Nowak.


  • 1959-2013

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Bette Nowak is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.21 linear feet (1/2 file box)

The papers of Bette Nowak contain one diary from 1959 documenting her daily activities, events in her children's lives, and local gossip. Also included is a biography of Nowak by her grandson, David James Rutherford; a reminiscence of Nowak written by her grandson, Zachary Nowak, for her memorial service; correspondence between Nowak and Zachary Nowak; clippings about Nowak; and a transcript of a conversation Zachary Nowak had with her and her husband Joe, 1997. Folders are arranged alphabetically.


Elizabeth "Bette" Bostwick Nowak, was born in Rochester, New York. After graduating from Irondequoit High School, she attended Miss McCarthy's School of Stenographers, then worked as a secretary for the University of Rochester, Bausch & Lomb, and Eastman Kodak. In 1948, she married Joseph Nowak; they had four children, Nancy (born 1949), James (born 1951), Paul (born 1954), and Caroline (born 1958). Nowak died of cancer in Rochester, New York, in 2013.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2015-M125, 2021-M150

The papers of Bette Nowak were given to the Schlesinger Library by her grandson, Zachary Nowak, in July 2015 and September 2021.

Processing Information

Processed: October 2021

By: Johanna Carll

This collection was previously cataloged as A/N946.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library, Sybil Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library, and Jeannette Ward Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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