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COLLECTION Identifier: A/H195

Papers of Jennifer J. Halpern, 1974-1990 (inclusive), 1974-1978 (bulk)


Diary of Jennifer J. Halpern, describing her feelings, relationship with parents, romantic relationships, and other experiences while a high school student in New York City and a college student at Wellesley College. Her resume is also included.


  • Creation: 1974-1990
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1974-1978


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Jennifer J. Halpern is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library.

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


3 folders

The papers of Jennifer J. Halpern consist of her teenage and young adult diary, and a curriculum vitae. The diary is written on looseleaf paper and are in the form of letters addressed to "Dear Amy." Most entries are handwritten. A note at the beginning of the diary states, "Read only if you feel a young adolescent's feelings are something sacred and not to be fooled with." In several entries, her name is given as "Janice" or "Jan," with her full name given as "Janice Ann Halpern." Topics include crushes, dating, ambivalence about kissing and other sexual activity, and the development of a relationship eventually resulting in an "unofficial" engagement; schoolwork and pressure to excel academically; applying to and going to college; conflicts with parents including frustration with their inconsistent observation of Judaism and her own desire to be a more devout Jew; loneliness and feelings of social awkwardness, particularly with her classmates and when on dates. Some of her observations include racial or ethnic stereotypes.


Jennifer J. Halpern was born in 1960. Her father was an assistant principal and her mother a guidance counselor. An only child, she grew up in New York City and at the age of fourteen, began keeping a diary describing her school activities and romantic involvements. She attended Wellesley College (BA 1981), Tufts University (MS 1986), and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD, ca.1991). She is also a licensed certified social worker.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 90-M51

The papers of Jennifer J. Halpern were given to the Schlesinger Library by Jennifer J. Halpern in 1990.

Processing Information

Processed: November 1990

By: Anne Engelhart

Updated and additional description added: November 2022

By: Susan Earle

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 was made possible by Carl & Lily Pforzheimer Fund, Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library, Sybil Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library, Class of 1955 Manuscript Processing Fund, and Eliza Taylor and George W. Ransom Memorial Fund, Robert and Elizabeth Owen Shenton Fund, and the Fleisher Acquisition 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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