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COLLECTION Identifier: SC 122

Papers of the Bunker family, 1889-1976


Papers of the Bunker family, including Radcliffe alumnae Mary Hawthorne White Bunker '94, Helen Cordelia Bunker '02, and Miriam Hawthorne Bunker '26.


  • 1889-1976

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Radcliffe Archives. 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.


2.42 linear feet ((3 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 folio box) plus 1 folio folders, 2 folio+ folders, 2 oversize folders, 1 supersize folder)

This collection contains the papers of three Radcliffe alumnae: Mary Hawthorne White Bunker '94, her sister-in-law, Helen Cordelia Bunker '02, and Mary Hawthorne White Bunker's daughter, Miriam Hawthorne Bunker '26, and miscellaneous papers of her son, Laurence Bunker, Harvard 1926.

Series I, Mary Hawthorne White Bunker '94 (folders 1-33), includes scrapbooks, photographs, programs, clippings, financial records and other class memorabilia, as well as correspondence with and biographical information about members of the class of 1894.

Series II, Helen Cordelia Bunker '02 (folders 34v-41), consists of a scrapbook, diplomas, journals, photographs, correspondence, and records of the Helen Cordelia Bunker '02 Fund.

Series III, Miriam Hawthorne Bunker '26 and other family (folders 42-53+), contains programs, journals, reunion reports, correspondence (including official army correspondence drafted by her brother Laurence Bunker while an aide de camp to General Douglas MacArthur in Japan), a map of Harvard and Radcliffe, and copies of various Harvard publications.


Mary Hawthorne White was born on October 26, 1869 in Needham, Massachusetts, the only daughter of Judge George White and Frances Mary Edwena Noyes. She attended Newton High School for one year and then was tutored for several years by the author, Gamaliel Bradford. Mary Hawthorne White graduated from Radcliffe, magna cum laude in English and Greek with the first class to receive Radcliffe degrees in 1894. In June 1897, she married Clarence Alfred Bunker, a lawyer, and they had three children, all of whom attended Harvard or Radcliffe.

Mary Hawthorne White Bunker was a member of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association, serving as her class secretary from 1929. She prepared and published a history of the class of 1894 in 1952. She was involved in the College Club (Boston, Mass.), and was active in the Wellesley Women's Club, Wellesley Council, and was one of the organizers of the Wellesley Historical Society (Wellesley, Mass.). In addition, she was involved in the Wellesley Society of Artists, the Wellesley Red Cross, the Consumer's League of Massachusetts, the Nantucket Historical Association, and the American Unitarian Association. She was also the organizer of the first Girl Scout troop in Wellesley, and in 1948 the Wellesley Girl Scout Day Camp was named after her in honor of her work. At the time of her death in 1960, Mary Hawthorne White Bunker was assistant registrar of the Council and a Golden Eagle of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

Helen Cordelia Bunker, sister-in-law of Mary Hawthorne White, was born on August 6, 1880 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. She attended Girls' Latin School (Boston, Mass.) and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1902. After graduation, she took courses in stenography and typewriting at the Boston Commercial School, receiving her diploma in April 1903. From there she went on to work as a secretary for LeBaron Russell Briggs. Just a year later, however, Helen Cordelia Bunker was taken suddenly ill, and died in 1904. In 1926, the Helen Cordelia Bunker Fund was established from her estate by her brother, Clarence Alfred Bunker, to be jointly administered by the Dean of Radcliffe, and by the Radcliffe College Mothers and Daughters Club. The money was used to make small contributions to Radcliffe women who were struggling financially.

Miriam Hawthorne Bunker was born in Wellesley Hills (Massachusetts). She was the only daughter of Mary Hawthorne White Bunker '94 and Clarence Alfred Bunker '89. She attended Walnut Hill School (Natick, Massachusetts), and Girls' Latin School (Boston, Massachusetts) before attending Radcliffe in 1922.

After her graduation from Radcliffe in 1926, Miriam Hawthorne Bunker joined the staff of Massachusetts General Hospital as a volunteer tutor in the children's cardiac clinic. In 1929 she obtained a certificate from Bragart and Stratton Commercial School and in 1930, joined the social service department of the hospital. She retired from Massachusetts General Hospital in 1976, after 50 years there.

Miriam Hawthorne Bunker was a member of the Wellesley Historical Society (Wellesley, Massachusetts) and was also active in Girl Scouting.


The collection consists of three series:

  1. Series I. Mary Hawthorne White Bunker
  2. Series II. Helen Cordelia Bunker
  3. Series III. Miriam Hawthorne Bunker

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: R93-9

This collection was given to the Radcliffe College Archives from the estate of Mary Hawthorne White Bunker, class of 1894, in May 1993.


  1. Box 1: 2v-4, 6, 9, 12
  2. Box 2: 13v-29
  3. Box 3: 30-33, 36v-45
  4. Box 4: 46-52
  5. Folio box 5: 34v

Processing Information

Processed: February 1994 and November 2006

By: Isabelle Bland Dry '35 and Michael Thompson

Bunker Family. Papers of the Bunker family, 1889-1976: A Finding Aid
Radcliffe College Archives, Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

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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