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COLLECTION Identifier: A-17

Papers of Vera Micheles Dean, 1929-1973


Correspondence, manuscripts, speeches, etc., of Vera Micheles Dean, international affairs specialist, author, and editor.


  • Creation: 1929-1973

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Vera Micheles Dean 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.


2.09 linear feet (5 file boxes)

The papers of Vera Micheles Dean consist of biographical material, articles, travel and research notes. speeches, and typescript drafts of books and articles. The papers provide a comprehensive account of her public career beginning in 1929; some information on her early years and family life are found in the autobiographical notes and an unpublished, typescript autobiography by her mother, Nadine Micheles. Most of the collection's correspondence concerns Dean's projected articles and books or with speaking engagements. The general correspondence (see #8) includes one letter from Ada Louise Comstock regarding the Radcliffe presidency.

The subjects of Dean's writings and speeches reflect her concern, in the 30s and 40s, with European fascism and Soviet foreign policy, and, from the 50s onward, with the developmental problems of non-Western nations. Much of the latter writings deal with India as an example of the developing nations' problems. In at least one instance (see #24), the collection also documents how the commitment of Dean and the Foreign Policy Association to the disseminating of non-ideological information, at the height of the Cold War, provoked charges by conservative groups that its literature was left-wing and subversive.

Most of Dean's published work for the Foreign Policy Association, 1928-1961, can be found in Foreign Policy Reports and Foreign Policy Bulletin. Some of it is also available in the pamphlet collection of the Radcliffe College Archives.


Vera Micheles Dean was born in Russia to parents who later fled from the Bolshevik revolution. Educated at Radcliffe College (AB '25, Ph.D. '28), she joined the staff of the Foreign Policy Association, where she spent most of her professional life. The Association, founded in 1918, provided unbiased, factual information on foreign affairs to the American public. In 1933 she became Editor of Research Publications; from 1938 to 1961 she was Research Director and, from 1951 to 1961, she also served as Editor of Foreign Policy Bulletin.

Dean's reputation as an author, editor, and specialist in international relations enabled her to find additional work as a consultant and teacher. In 1943 and 1945 she served on the U.S. delegations to the founding conferences of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and the United Nations. In 1954-1962, Dean directed the Non-Western Civilization Program at the University of Rochester. After her retirement from the Foreign Policy Association she served as Professor of International Development at New York University's Graduate School of Public Administration from 1962 to 1971. For further biographical information, see Notable American Women: The Modern Period, the Schlesinger Library's Biography File, and the card catalogue of the Radcliffe College Archives.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 53-6, 54-1, 400, 960, 73-52

The papers of Vera (Micheles) Dean were given to the Schlesinger Library by Vera Micheles Dean and her children, William J. Dean and Elinor (Dean) Wilder, between 1953 and 1973.


  1. Box 1: 1-16
  2. Box 2: 17-28
  3. Box 3: 29-46
  4. Box 4: 47-62
  5. Box 5: 63-74

Processing Information

Reprocessed: July 1983

By: David Nathan


Dean, Vera Micheles, 1903-1972. Papers of Vera Micheles Dean, 1929-1973: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
The collection was processed with help from the donors.

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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