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COLLECTION Identifier: SC 140

Papers of Alice Blackmer Skinner, 1961-1972


Correspondence, minutes, reports, notes, etc., of Alice Blackmer Skinner, Radcliffe College Class of 1945, who was active in Radcliffe alumnae affairs.


  • Creation: 1961-1972

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Alice Blackmer Skinner 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.


.83 linear feet (2 file boxes)

This collection contains minutes, notes, reports, and correspondence of Radcliffe College Alumnae Association committees in the 1960s and early 1970s. Included are the Think Committee (1961-1963), information about The Next Step, the New Opportunities For Women (NOW) Committee (1963-1964); and notes and reading lists of the Urban-Suburban Problems study group. Correspondence, reports, minutes, and printed articles on coeducation attest to the thorough research of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association Study Committee on Merger which investigated the status and position of women on the Harvard faculty as well as the coeducational experience at other Ivy league colleges. Their conclusion that corporate merger with Harvard and the consequent submergence of Radcliffe would be detrimental to the position of women at Harvard, is amply documented. Additionally there are programs, correspondence, and reports about the Alumnae Councils (biennial programs for returning alumnae), 1962-1970.


Alice Blackmer Skinner received her A.B. from Radcliffe (1945), M.S.W. from the University of Minnesota (1951), and Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University (1977). She was married in 1946 to Wickham Skinner, professor at Harvard Business School and in the Harvard Radcliffe Program for Business Administration. They lived in Minneapolis, Florida, Concord and Weston (Massachusetts), and since retirement have settled in Maine. Alice Skinner is president of the Swedenborgian Foundation, and is at work on a longitudinal study of decision-making in a cohort of thirty college-educated women.

In the 1960s Alice Skinner was active in Radcliffe alumnae affairs. She was chair of the/a Think Committee (1962) which studied continuing education for the college educated woman and published The Next Step a guide to volunteer opportunities in the Boston area (1963). She was a member of the New Opportunities for Women (NOW) committee and participated in its Urban Suburban Problems study group. She was vice-chair of Alumnae Council (1962), chair (1964) and served on the planning committee (1966). She attended the Alumnae Councils (1968, 1970) and Back To Radcliffe Day (1969). Her most important role was serving as co-chair with Barbara Voss of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association Study Committee on Merger (1969-1971). Their report recommended that corporate merger of Harvard and Radcliffe be shelved and a partial merger take place. As a result, in 1971, Radcliffe remained a separate corporation with its own students, endowment, and programs, while merging some functions and delegating responsibility for housing, academics, and extracurricular activities to Harvard. This arrangement was formalized by the Agreement of 1977.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: R98-14

This collection was given to the Radcliffe College Archives by Alice Blackmer Skinner in June 1998.


  1. Box 1: 1-14
  2. Box 2: 15-26

Processing Information

Processed: June 1998

By: Jane S. Knowles

Skinner, Alice Blackmer. Papers of Alice Blackmer Skinner, 1961-1972: 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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