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COLLECTION Identifier: SC 185: RA.T-128

Records of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration Oral History Project, 1945-2015 (inclusive), 1997-2002 (bulk)


Audiotapes of interviews, interview transcripts and summaries, donor agreements, meeting minutes, project notes, and electronic records of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration Oral History Project.


  • Creation: 1945-2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1997-2002

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. The collection is open for research. Researchers must sign a special form for access to #2.12 and RA.T-128.52. An appointment is necessary to use audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration Oral History Project 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. Ann Leven holds copyright for her oral history transcript and tape.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.83 linear feet ((2 file boxes) plus 1 photograph folder, 75 audiotapes, electronic records)

The collection includes tapes of interviews; interview transcripts (for about a third of the interviews); interview summaries; biographical information about interviewees; correspondence; donor agreements; notes on the project; meeting minutes and description of project purpose. Folder titles were created by the archivist.

Series I, AUDIOTAPES, TRANSCRIPTS, AND SUMMARY SHEETS, 1945-1955, 1999-2002 (#1.1-2.29, RA.T-128.1 - RA.T-128.75, E.1-E.25), includes audiocassettes of interviews with graduates of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration (and its predecessors). Topics include business, family, and personal history; reflections on interviewees' experience in corporate, entrepreneurial, non-profit business; volunteer activity; the impact of world events and social change; obstacles and discrimination in their careers; and memories of Radcliffe College and Harvard University, including the interviewees' thoughts on the merger of Radcliffe and Harvard. Also included are interview transcripts (some with edits) and summaries; resumes and other biographical information; correspondence; and a seating chart and certificate. The series is arranged alphabetically by interviewee.

Series II, ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS, 1947-1951, 1997-2001, 2015 (#2.30-2.35, PD.1), includes meeting minutes, descriptions of the project's purpose, donor agreement forms, project notes, articles about the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration and about women in business, and the transcript of a panel discussion and business and entrepreneurs. The series is arranged alphabetically.


The Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration began in March 1937, as the nine-month Training Course in Personnel Administration administered by the Radcliffe Graduate School and Radcliffe College's Appointment Bureau. The first class consisted of five students, but enrollment increased steadily each year, and by 1942, the need for a more elaborate program was apparent. The expanded program was renamed the Management Training Program in the 1944-1945 academic year. The new curriculum included courses taught by members of the faculty of the Harvard Business School which had previously been allowed only to men. By 1951, with enrollment declining and the program's finances suffering from mounting deficits, the program became jointly administered by Radcliffe College and the Harvard Business School. The program offered to women in the Management Training Program remained distinct from the two-year course offered to men in the Business School itself. The program was renamed the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration in 1955-56. It remained a one-year program and despite increasing demand did not result in the awarding of a degree. In 1959 the faculty voted to admit qualified graduates to the second year of the MBA program. The Harvard-Radcliffe program was discontinued in 1963 when women were admitted to the full program at Harvard Business School.

The Statement of Purpose and Intent for the oral history project stated that "The history of women in business has yet to be written. This project will provide raw data on the experience, opinions, insights, and points of view of several generations of women who were educated for business." The project was initiated by Barbara Rimbach, who graduated from the program in 1942, and was sponsored by the Radcliffe College Archives. Fifty-seven women who graduated from the program between 1942 and 1963 were interviewed, as was the widower of one graduate. Interviews took place between 1999 and 2002, with many program graduates serving on the project's committee and conducting interviews. Interviews covered personal background, family history, education, memories of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program, work, and volunteer activities.


The collection is arranged in two series:

  1. Series I. Audiotapes, transcripts, and summary sheets, 1945-1955, 1999-2002 (#1.1-2.29, RA.T-128.1 - RA.T-128.75, E.1-E.25)
  2. Series II. Administrative records, 1947-1951, 1997-2001, 2015 (#2.30-2.35, PD.1)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: R1999-15, R1999-17, R1999-21, R1999-22, R1999-23, R1999-26, R1999-30, R1999-31, R1999-32, R2000-01, R2000-05, R2000-08, R2000-13, R2000-15, R2000-16, R2000-17, R2000-25, R2000-30, R2000-32, R2000-41, R2000-43, R2001-02, R2001-04, R2001-05, R2001-08, R2001-10, R2002-08, R2002-09, R2003-16

The records of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration Oral History Project were donated to the Schlesinger Library by Barbara Rimbach et al. between 1999 and 2003.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Records of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration (RG XIXA) and Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration Records (SC 138).


Donors: Barbara Rimbach

Accession number: R1999-30

Processed by: Susan Earle

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Radcliffe College Archives Photograph Collection:

  1. Photographs of Management Training Program class of 1949 50th reunion, 1999.

Processing Information

Processed: June 2015

By: Susan Earle, with assistance from Dan Bullman.

Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration Oral History Project. Records of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration Oral History Project, 1945-2015 (inclusive), 1997-2002 (bulk): 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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