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COLLECTION Identifier: 173

Papers of Bernice Brown Cronkhite, 1915-1970


Correspondence, speeches, clippings, etc., of Bernice Brown Cronkhite, dean at Radcliffe College.


  • Creation: 1915-1970


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Bernice Brown Cronkhite as well as 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.


1.25 linear feet ((3 file boxes) plus 1 oversize volume, 1 folio+ folder)

Correspondence, speeches, clippings, awards, and photos pertain to her early career, her work at Radcliffe, and organizations in which she participated, such as the United States Board of Foreign Scholarships, the Training School for Public Service, the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, and Mundelein College advisory committee. Included is the draft of her 1965 article "Grave Alice" published in the Radcliffe Quarterly.


Bernice Veazey Brown was born on July 23, 1893, in Calais, Maine. She grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, attending the Peace Street School and Classical High School. After teaching for one year, she entered Radcliffe in 1912 and received her B.A. in 1916, her M.A. in 1918, and her Ph.D. in 1920, specializing in government and international law. In 1915 and again in 1916 she won the Baldwin Prize for essays on subjects pertaining to municipal government. From 1918 to 1920 she held a Carnegie Endowment International Law Fellowship, the first year at Yale and the second at Harvard. For the academic year 1920-1921, Miss Brown was awarded a fellowship by the Commission for Relief in Belgium for advanced study in Brussels. She also visited several other European countries, as well as the League of Nations, and used what she learned in reports and speeches, some included in this collection.

Upon her return to the United States, she was active in the School of Citizenship and Politics at Radcliffe. She became director of the Training School for Public Service, which was organized by the Women's Municipal League in October 1921 to train women for civil service posts newly open to them. Miss Brown was appointed Dean of Radcliffe College in 1923, when Ada Comstock became President. In 1934 she became Dean of the Radcliffe Graduate School, a post she held until 1959. She was also Vice-President of Radcliffe from 1923 to 1960.

On July 21, 1933, Bernice Veazey Brown married Leonard Wolsey Cronkhite.

As Graduate Dean, Mrs. Cronkhite worked hard to improve the status of women graduate students at Radcliffe. A major project was to provide a place where graduate women and visiting scholars could live and share the hours not spent in lectures and laboratories. Ground was broken in 1955, and the Graduate Center was opened in the fall of 1956. The refectory, Bernice Brown Cronkhite Hall, was opened in 1960.

In 1953, Mrs. Cronkhite was elected a trustee of Barnard College. She edited the Handbook for College Teachers (1950) and was co-author of Graduate Education for Women (1956). As a member of the U.S. Board of Foreign Scholarships, she went on a world tour in 1957, visiting Radcliffe alumnae and reporting on educational exchange programs in thirteen countries. In 1962 and 1963, she served on the Advisory Committee for the Mundelein College self-study project. She has been trustee of several schools and foundations and an active member of various professional and other organizations, as well as an elector for the Hall of Fame. She holds honorary degrees from Wheaton College, Brown University, Keuka College, Mundelein College, and Acadia University. Mrs. Cronkhite died in 1983.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 70-109, 71-8, 71-90, 81-M56, 2014-M162

The papers of Bernice Brown Cronkhite were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in September 1970, and January and August 1971, by Mrs. Cronkhite, and also in February 1981. The drawings by Kenneth John Conant (#35f+) were given by Charles A. Hammond (who had inherited them from the estate of Cronkhite) and added to the collection in October 2014.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Bernice Brown Cronkhite, 1921-1981 (SC 67).


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-11.
  2. Box 2: Folders 12-21.
  3. Box 3: Folders 22-33.

Processing Information

Processed: December 1971

Updated: October 2014

By: Anne Engelhart

Cronkhite, Bernice Brown, 1893-1983. Papers of Bernice Brown Cronkhite, 1915-1970: 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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