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COLLECTION Identifier: 83-M136--86-M15

Papers of Dorothy Dunbar Bromley, 1897-1986


Photographs, correspondence, articles, etc., of Dorothy Dunbar Bromley, journalist and writer.


  • Creation: 1897-1986

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Dorothy Dunbar Bromley 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.


.42 linear feet ((1 file box) plus 1 folio folder)

The collection consists of photographs, correspondence, published articles by and about Dorothy Dunbar Bromley, background material for Bromley's articles, and her book, Washington and Vietnam. The correspondence files contain a series of letters (photocopies) from Robert and Elinor Frost (see #9), as well as correspondence documenting a dispute with Eleanor Roosevelt over Roosevelt's contention-apparently unfounded-that Bromley had misquoted her in a published interview (see #10). Fragile letters have been photocopied; originals are closed to research. Only some of the articles have been retained: those that are in the collection are arranged chronologically by date of publication. Articles returned to the donor are listed in #18. Several issues of "The Kendal Reporter" appear in #19.


Dorothy (Dunbar) Bromley, journalist and writer, was born on December 25, 1896, on a farm near Ottawa, Illinois, daughter of Helen (Ewing) Dunbar and Charles E. Dunbar. She graduated from Northwestern University magna cum laude in 1918; during her college years she served as a member of the Signal Corps. She moved to New York City, where she became a widely published journalist; she did publicity and editorial work for Henry Holt and Company (1921-1924), wrote free-lance for magazines (1925-1934), and was a columnist and writer for the New York World Telegram (1935-1937), the New York Post (1938-1940), and the New York Herald Tribune (1942-1952), while continuing to write for various magazines: The Nation, The New Leader, Good Housekeeping, Harper's and McCall's.

As a free lance writer, Bromley wrote extensively on such issues as divorce, voting, and criminal law and educational legislation in Britain and France for the The New York Times Magazine. Her regular column at the New York World Telegram dealt with topics pertaining to women, such as marriage and divorce, birth control, sexual stereotyping, women and work, and women and the legal system. A column in the New York Post entitled "Strike a Balance" addressed the political climate in Europe during the rise of Nazism and fascism. Bromley was the editor of the Sunday women's page of the New York Herald Tribune and also wrote regularly on Depression era social welfare programs, child and domestic labor, juvenile delinquency, and criminal rehabilitation.

In addition to her work as a journalist, Dorothy Dunbar Bromley published four books: Birth Control, Its Use and Misuse (New York: Harper, 1934); (with Florence H. Britten) Youth and Sex (New York: Harper and Row, 1938); Catholics and Birth Control (New York: Devin Adair, 1965); and Washington and Vietnam (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana, 1966). From 1952 to 1958, Dorothy Dunbar Bromley was "conductor" for "Report to the People," a program on radio station WMCA. She served as secretary of the New York State Committee for the White House Conference on Children and Youth (1959-1960), and for many years, beginning in 1937, was on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union. A member of Americans for Democracy and Phi Beta Kappa, Dorothy Dunbar Bromley was also the recipient of prizes from the New York Newspaper Women's Club in 1936 and 1944.

Bromley's first marriage to Donald C. Bromley ended in divorce in 1924 and she married Stanley Ward Walker, an insurance salesman, in 1947. Walker died in 1964. Bromley continued to live in New York City until about 1976, when she moved to a retirement community in Pennsylvania; there she served as co-editor of the community newsletter, "The Kendal Reporter." Bromley died of pneumonia on January 3, 1986.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 83-M136, 83-M225, 86-M15

The papers of Dorothy Dunbar Bromley were given to the Schlesinger Library in June and October 1983 by Dorothy Dunbar Bromley, and in January 1986 by Bruce Gregory, Bromley's nephew.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Dorothy Dunbar Bromley Additional papers, 1904-1986 (inclusive), 1931-1986 (bulk) (86-M159--86-M203).


The following items have been removed from the collection:

  1. Catholics and Birth Control: Contemporary Views on Doctrine (New York: Devin Adair, 1965)
  2. Youth and Sex: A Study of 1300 College Students (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1938)
  3. "Education for College or for Life?" (Harper's, March 1941)
  4. Fragile articles; for list, see #18.

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: January 1986

By: Anne Engelhart, Krystyna von Henneberg, Mary Hilderbrand

Bromley, Dorothy Dunbar, 1896-1986. Papers of Dorothy Dunbar Bromley, 1897-1986: 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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