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COLLECTION Identifier: 1072--77-M211

Papers of Doris Fleischman Bernays, 1914-1977


Correspondence, writings, photographs, etc., of Doris Fleischman Bernays, author, editor, feminist, and public relations consultant.


  • Creation: 1914-1977

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Doris Fleischman Bernays 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.


1.42 linear feet ((1 carton, 1 file box) plus 2 oversize folders)

This collection consists of Doris Fleischman Bernays's correspondence, writings, source notes for A Wife Is Many Women, and background material on equal pay, household employment, and the status of women. The correspondence is largely professional; the bulk of it covers the genesis and development of A Wife Is Many Women (1949-1955) and Doris Fleischman Bernays's work with the Lucy Stone League (1950-1952), the Woman Pays Club (1956-1973), and Women in Communications (1971-1973). The writings include typescripts of stories and articles, clippings of articles and book reviews, and a portion of an unpublished science fiction novel.

Folder headings are the donor's; information in brackets has been added by the processor.


The daughter of Samuel and Harriet (Rosenthal) Fleischman, Doris Elsa (Fleischman) Bernays was born in New York City on July 18, 1892. She graduated from the Horace Mann School in 1909 and in 1913 received her bachelor's degree from Barnard College. Upon graduation she took a job as a reporter for the New York Tribune, where she served successively as assistant women's page editor and assistant Sunday editor. An ardent feminist, she wrote on many issues of concern to women and was a participant in the first Women's Peace Parade in New York in 1917.

In 1919 Doris Fleischman Bernays left newspaper work to join her future husband, Edward L. Bernays, in his new public relations firm in New York. It was largely through their pioneering efforts that the principles, practices, and ethics of the new profession of public relations were established. The firm went on to advise many important men, women, and organizations, including Dwight Eisenhower, Sigmund Freud, and Henry Ford. Doris Fleischman Bernays and Edward L. Bernays were married in 1922; they had two daughters. Doris Fleischman Bernays set a precedent in 1923, when the United States State Department issued her the first passport to a married woman under her maiden name. She continued to use her maiden name until 1955, when she decided that the continually required explanation was too much of a nuisance.

Doris Fleischman Bernays contributed articles to the Ladies' Home Journal, the American Mercury, the Saturday Reivew of Literature, McCall's, and other periodicals. She was the editor of An Outline of Careers for Women (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1919), and a contributor to America As Americans See It (1932) and to Varied Harvest (1953), an anthology of writings by Barnard College graduates. In 1955 she published her bestselling memoir, A Wife Is Many Women (New York: Crown).

Doris Fleischman Bernays was the vice-president of the Edward L. Bernays Foundation, president of the Woman Pays Club, and vice-president of the Lucy Stone League. A member of Women in Communications (the National Society of Women in Journalism and Communications), she received its highest honor, the National Headliner Award, in 1972. In 1961 Doris Fleischman Bernays and Edward L. Bernays moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Doris Fleischman Bernays died following a stroke on July 11, 1980.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 1072, 1217, 70-10, 74-5, 77-M211

The papers of Doris (Fleischman) Bernays were given to the Schlesinger Library in 1966, October 1967, February 1970, January 1974, and December 1977.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Doris Fleischman Bernays Additional papers, 1915-1978 (86-M79) and the Babson-Bernays Competition Records, 1977-1980 (MC 1035).


The following items have been removed from the collection:

  1. Matrix, summer and fall 1971, summer 1972, winter 1972-1973; deposited in the Schlesinger Library book division, March 1986.
  2. Duplicate printed material re: Doris Fleischman Bernays; deposited in the Schlesinger Library biography file, May 1986.
  3. Clippings, newsletters, and other printed material re: status of women, women in advertisements, equal pay for women, etc., ca. 1945-1972; deposited in the Schlesinger Library subject file, May 1986.
  4. Leather pouch for ration coupons; returned to Edward Bernays, May 1986.


  1. Carton 1: 1-42
  2. Box 2: 43-55

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: March 1986

By: Anne Engelhart

Bernays, Doris Fleischman, 1892-1980. Papers of Doris Fleischman Bernays, 1914-1977: A Finding Aid
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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