Papers of Nona Baldwin Brown, 1908-2001 (inclusive), 1935-1979 (bulk)
- Majority of material found within 1935-1979
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
5.09 linear feet ((9 file boxes, 1 folio+ box) plus 1 folio folder, 2 folio+ folders, 23 photograph folders, and 1 folio+ photograph folder)
Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1908-2001 (#1.1-3.11, 10F+B.1v - 10F+B.4, FD.1, F+D.1 - F+D.2) includes Brown's baby books from 1918; clippings referring to Brown; journalism class papers; college scrapbooks; WAVE military records and oral history re: military service; and White House event invitations/programs. Brown chronicled her travel experiences at the American Friends Service Committee volunteer work camp in Flint, Michigan (1938); trip to Europe during outbreak of World War II (1939); and Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship trip to South America (1940-1941) through correspondence, notes, scrapbooks, and journals. Brown's wartime wedding is documented in a scrapbook, announcements, clippings, and photographs. The correspondence files begin with a letter from Brown's father-in-law Clinton (Brown's husband was also named Clinton) to his grandmother while working in Budapest, Hungary, in 1912. Correspondence continues, arranged generationally by Brown's family members and chronologically within, followed by general correspondence. General correspondence files are often a mixture of personal and professional letters with Brown. Additional correspondence can be found in Series II. Brown's original folder titles appear in quotation marks in the inventory, while all others were designated by the archivist. Series folders are listed in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within.
Series II, PROFESSIONAL, 1936-1998 (#4.1-9.12) includes Brown's work files, correspondence, professional memberships, and speeches. Files related to articles often include the published clipping itself, interview and phone call notes, correspondence between Brown and her editor, research, and drafts. Article topics include political issues and travel in South America (during her Pulitzer Travel Scholarship trip); interviews (with Mrs. Wendell Willkie, Mamie Eisenhower, and Lady Bird Johnson); Jacqueline Kennedy's renovation of the White House; political news; travel (frequently Budapest, Hungary, and Colonial Williamsburg); women in the military; hurricanes; preservation of historical buildings; etc. Articles were written for the New York Times unless otherwise listed in the inventory. Brown contributed to the 1961 Presidential Inaugural Program, writing a history of the White House building. Her file on the entry contains the inaugural program itself and drafts on her section. Folders are arranged chronologically, with original folder titles appearing in quotation marks.
Series III, PHOTOGRAPHS, ca.1925-1968 (#PD.1-PD.24) includes images of Brown in school group portraits, graduating Vassar College, attending White House events, working, on trips, and portraits. Brown's trip to Europe during the outbreak of World War II is illustrated with views of European cities preparing for an invasion, as well as her unscheduled return trip aboard the SS Washington, overloaded with American refugees fleeing Europe, and included some of the Kennedy family and other notable figures. Brown's trip to Brazil during Carnival, sponsored by her Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship (see also Series I and II) is documented with photographs of Brown interviewing King Momo and other celebrants of Carnival. Her career as a journalist in New York City and Washington, DC, is illustrated by photographs of Brown interviewing Mrs. Wendell Willkie with other journalists; of White House parties attended by Brown with President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline; interviews on the campaign plane with Lady Bird Johnson during the Presidential election race in 1964; portraits of Brown in front of the United States Capitol Building; and in the press workroom off the Senate Press Gallery. Folders are arranged in chronological order.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database.
Brown left the military and went back to the New York Times Washington Bureau in 1945, eventually switching to the Sunday Department, at which time her assignments included covering political news; meteorological reporting; economics; interviewing First Ladies Mamie Eisenhower and Lady Bird Johnson; covering President Harry Truman during budget briefings; and attending Presidential press conferences. Brown was also asked to write a section on the White House building for the 1961 Kennedy/Johnson inaugural program. In 1963, she moved to the top Sunday Department slot in Washington (unofficially editor), and was in charge of all filings for the special Sunday sections and Sunday Department. After retiring from the Washington Bureau in 1973, Brown continued to work on freelance projects, mainly related to topics that interested her personally, including her regular trips to Hungary with her husband, preservation of historical homes, Colonial Williamsburg, and Carter's Grove Plantation. She continued writing for publications until the 2000s. At the age of 94, she published a memoir highlighting her work as a female journalist, Through the Opening Door: My Pioneering Journey in Mainstream Journalism (2012). Brown passed away in 2014.
- Series I. Biographical and Personal, 1908-2001 (#1.1-3.11, 10F+B.1v - 10F+B.4, FD.1, F+D.1-F+D.2)
- Series II. Professional, 1936-1998 (#4.1-9.12)
- Series III. Photographs, ca.1925-1968 (#PD.1-PD.24)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of Nona Baldwin Brown were given to the Schlesinger Library by Nona Baldwin Brown between June 1999 and October 2003.
By: Stacey Flatt, with assistance of Emily Underwood.
- Baby books
- Budapest (Hungary)--Description and travel
- Carnival--Brazil--Rio de Janeiro
- Drafts (documents)
- Journalists--United States
- Newspapers--Sections, columns, etc.
- Oral histories
- Photograph albums
- Ration books
- Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)--Description and travel
- Volunteer workers in social service
- Wedding albums
- Weddings--United States
- Women and the military
- Women journalists--United States
- Women journalists--Washington (D.C.)
- Work camps--United States
- World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Female
- World War, 1939-1945--Women
- Brown, Nona Baldwin, 1918-2014. Papers of Nona Baldwin Brown, 1908-2001 (inclusive), 1935-1979 (bulk): A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- EAD ID
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