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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 660

Additional papers of Julia Child, 1890-2004 (inclusive), 1950-2001 (bulk)


Correspondence, appointment books, address books, writings, photographs, etc., of Julia Child, cookbook author, teacher, and television personality.


  • Creation: 1890-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950-2001


Language of Materials

Most materials in English or French, some in Norwegian.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. Folders #1.1, 61.7-61.10, 61.15, 62.1, 62.4-62.13, 62.16-62.18, 63.2, and 139.5-139.9 are closed for digitization.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Julia Child is held by the Julia Child Foundation. Copyright in Paul Child's photographs published in any of Julia Child's books during her lifetime is also held by the Julia Child Foundation. Copyright in all other Paul Child photographs 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.


74.06 linear feet ((137 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 folio box, 9 folio+ boxes, 1 oversize box, 4 card boxes) plus 6 folio folders, 7 folio+ folders, 8 oversize folders, 3 supersize folders, 23 photograph card boxes, 298 photograph folders, 6 folio photograph folders, 3 folio+ photograph folders, 1 oversize photograph folder, 1 object)

These additional papers of Julia Child consist of biographical and financial material; drafts and published writings; material related to appearances, cooking demonstrations, etc.; recipes; correspondence; reference files; clippings; documentation of her television cooking programs; photographs and photograph log books of Paul Child; etc. Original file indexes were also received with this grouping of papers and reflect the papers' original arrangement at several past dates. Although many of these papers retain their original arrangement (and filing "section keys" are included in such instances), these indexes do not necessarily reflect the current arrangement of the papers, nor the condition in which they were received. There is considerable overlap between this grouping of her papers and those received between 1976 and 1993 (See MC 644). Audiovisual material has been removed from the collection and been processed separately. See Julia Child Videotape Collection (Vt-23) and Julia Child Audio collection (T-139). Additional material received on floppy disks will be reformatted at some future date for inclusion in relevant series. Additional material received in 2013 (accession number 2013-M156) was added to the collection in November 2013. These materials are housed in #139.1-142.12, FD.5, PD.320-PD.328. Material received in 2014 (accession number 2014-M46) was added to the collection in May 2014. These materials are housed in #143.1-144.2, 145F+B.1-146F+B.3, FD.6, F+D.6-F+D.7, OD.8, and PD.329f+. Materials received in July 2014 (accession number 2014-M117) were added to the collection in April 2018 and are housed in 149F+B.1v. Material received in February 2020 (accession number 2020-M16) was added to the collection in July 2020 and is housed in #25.11 and PD.330sl.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL, PERSONAL, AND FINANCIAL, 1933-2004 (#1.1-14.3, 129.9-129.10, 151.1-151.23, 130F+B.1m-132.1m, 136F+B.1v-137F+B.1v, 138.1-138.2, 139.1-140.14, 143.1-144FB.2m, 145F+B.1m-147F+B.3m, 148CB.1m-148CB.2m, 149F+B.1v-150F+B.1m, FD.6, F+D.6-F+D.7, OD.1-OD.4, SD.3, OD.8, PD.1, Mem.1), includes address and appointment books; awards, honorary degrees, and memorabilia; biographical material; military records (both originals and copies); scrapbooks, photograph albums, and loose photographs; and other material, regarding Julia Child, as well as additional material regarding Paul Child and Simone Beck.

Subseries A, Biographical and personal, 1933-2004 (#1.1-11.22, 129.9-129.10, 151.1-151.23, 130F+B.1m-132.1m, 136F+B.1v-137F+B.1v, 138.1-138.2, 139.1-140.14, 143.1-144FB.2m, 145F+B.1m-147F+B.3m, 148CB.1m-148CB.2m, 149F+B.1v-150F+B.1m, FD.6, F+D.6-F+D.7, OD.1-OD.4, OD.8, SD.3, PD.1, Mem.1), consists of address books and card files of contacts; an appointment book; awards, honorary degrees, and memorabilia; government service records; obituaries; scrapbooks, photograph albums, and loose photographs; and a number of papers and photographs documenting the history of the Childs' former home at 103 Irving Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Child's address books and card files of contacts contain both personal and business contacts from around the world. A number of appointment books document meeting s and dinners with family and friends, commentaries on restaurants and wine, work on her first two cookbooks, etc.. She also often used weekly or monthly itineraries as schedules for her many appearances. A number of these, as well as annotated desk calendar sheets, are located in Series IV.

Government service records consist of copies of her personnel files from the Office of Strategic Services held by the National Archives as well as original travel orders regarding her reassignment to China. Also included is a letter mentioning her Emblem for Civilian Service award (see #4.3m). For additional information regarding Child's government service see her Foreign Service Spouse Oral History (#68.26) and her interview with Katherine Breaks regarding her service for the Office of Strategic Services (#67.7). Most notable of her awards include the "Commanderie des Cordon Bleus," the James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence for best national television cooking show (1996), and the Auguste Escoffier Medal of Honor.

Most scrapbook and photograph albums were created by friends or fans on occasions such as her birthday, following a group trip, or an appearance at a particular event. Also included are Child's original file indexes for her filing system (which do not necessarily reflect the current arrangement of the papers, nor the condition in which they were received). Materials related to Paul Child include photographic log books that record film type, camera settings, date, and location of many of his photographs, and a number of photographic contact sheets, many of which document his work as a photographer on the set of The French Chef and Child's subsequent cooking shows. (With the exception of contact sheets, all photographs from The French Chef were transferred to MC 644). Other log books and contact sheets document travel, family, and artistic photographs. Additional material related to Paul Child includes letters written to his brother Charles while stationed in China, a small amount of biographical material, and a number of original Valentine's Day cards sent to friends and family. Also included is a small amount of biographical material regarding Simone Beck, as well as a number of her schedules for cooking classes (likely for L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes). The series is arranged alphabetically. Most original folder titles were retained.

Subseries B, Financial, 1961-2001 (#11.7-14.13), consists of tax returns, receipts, royalty statements, etc., mainly from Julia Child's cooking endeavors and Paul Child's photography and artwork. Also included are receipts, accounts, etc., for repairs and decorating expenses for both their house in Cambridge and their house in Santa Barbara; loans arranged for friends and family; and funds set up to aid in the support of certain family members. Much of the material Child retained to prove expenses consists of receipts for equipment, food for testing recipes, dinner for entertaining colleagues, editors, etc. She often made notes on these receipts regarding the quality and cost of food and equipment, as well as writing commentary about the service and food in various restaurants. Original folder titles were retained. The series has been left as originally arranged by Child; see #11.7 for Child's "Section XIII key," the index to this portion of her original filing system.

Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, 1944-2004 (#15.1-34.8, 140.15-141.13, 143.6, PD.2-PD.3), includes both personal and business correspondence, for which Child generally maintained carbon copies. A large amount regards her work on various cookbooks and television shows with her lawyers, publishers, editors, producers, co-authors, etc. Also included are form letters that were sent to fans to answer specific questions about recipes, cooking techniques, and nutrition (many of these are copies sent out to individuals and retained for future use); requests for advice on entering cooking schools and publishing culinary books and articles; responses to animal rights activists' complaints about the use and treatment of veal calves, rabbits, lobsters, etc.; requests for sources for equipment and food items; requests for appearances, cooking demonstrations, endorsements, fundraisers, etc. Although Child often happily accepted invitations to appear at fundraisers, she was firm in her conviction to refuse product endorsements, although many businesses continued to approach her. Child had developed friendships with a number of her colleagues as well as entering into business arrangements with a number of friends, and, as a result, much of her correspondence with individuals including Simone Beck (Simca), Raymond Calvel, Avis DeVoto, Anne Willan, et al., are both personal and professional in nature. Additional correspondence of these individuals and others is located in previous accessions (MC 644); and with Avis DeVoto in her papers (A-167). Child and her husband were often invited to dinner parties in Cambridge and California by both friends and complete strangers, and they often seemed willing to accept when their busy schedules allowed. Other correspondence regards the various culinary professionals, organizations and schools with whom/which she was involved; magazines, newspapers, etc., in which she published; and other organizations to which she lent her support, including the Schlesinger Library and Smith College. Correspondence regarding her several visits to the White House is also included. Correspondence is in English or French, with a small amount of Norwegian. Two separate groupings of correspondence, maintained by Child in similar arrangements, were combined to form this series; see #15.1 for Child's correspondence key for the original arrangement. A small amount of correspondence, including letters from her husband Paul, was received in 2013 and added to the series. The series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent, organization/business, or topic, as originally maintained by Child; most original folder titles were also retained. See also Series III, IV, V, and VI for additional correspondence.

Series III, TELEVISION AND WRITING, 1935-2001 (#34.9-61.3, 141.14-142.4, 133F+B.1v-134.12v, FD.3-FD.4, F+D.3-F+D.4, OD.6, PD.327), includes scripts, drafts, contracts, royalty statements, recipes and test recipes, galley proofs, correspondence, photographs and illustrations, shooting schedules, publicity, annotated cookbooks, etc., for a number of Child's television cooking shows and companion cookbooks, including The French Chef and The French Chef Cookbook; Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I and Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume II; Julia Child and Company and Julia Child and More Company; Dinner at Julia's; Baking with Julia; Cooking with Master Chefs; From Julia Child's Kitchen; In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home; Julia's Kitchen Wisdom; and The Way to Cook. Also included is similar material for special shows such as A Taste of Norway and Julia Child's France, as well as a few other book projects such as Julia Child's Menu Cookbook and Julia Child: Home Cooking with Master Chefs CD-ROM. Many of these shows and companion cookbooks featured a number of other chefs, including Jean-Louis Palladin, Sarah Moulton, Jeremiah Tower, Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Silverton, Lydia Bastianich, and Jody Adams, among others. Correspondence in this series regards scheduling for drafts, filming, and publicity tours; corrections and revisions to scripts and recipes; contract negotiations, etc. Many of the photographs in this series were taken by Paul Child and feature Julia Child's hands demonstrating a number of cooking techniques that were used to create illustrations for several of her cookbooks. Other photographs taken by Paul Child include scenes from The French Chef and were included as potential illustrations for her cookbooks, although few were used. Also included is advertising copy written by Child while working for W. & J. Sloane in New York City during the 1930s. Material for several of Child's cookbooks were part of an earlier arrangement (maintained by Child). These filing "keys" (#52.6, 57.7) were maintained as part of this series in order to provide evidence of the earlier arrangement. Materials are arranged alphabetically by book and/or show title. Original folder titles were retained.

Series IV, ENGAGEMENTS AND DEMONSTRATIONS, 1958-2001 (#61.4-82.18, 142.5-142.12, PD.50-PD.91, PD.328), includes itineraries and desk calendar sheets, posters, flyers, correspondence, programs, advertisements, recipes and menus, contact lists, kitchen plans, scripts, notes, photographs, business cards, clippings, etc., for various events, cooking demonstrations, and classes at which Child appeared throughout her career. Child made many of her appearances in support of some organization or charity or as part of a promotional tour for a new book and/or cooking show. She regularly made appearances and/or gave cooking demonstrations for the benefit of the Branson School and Smith College (both of which she attended); Planned Parenthood; Boston University (in support of their culinary program); the American Institute of Wine and Food (of which she was a founding member); the International Association of Culinary Professionals; WGBH and other public television stations across the country; the James Beard Foundation; Ecole Bilingue; Les Dames d'Escoffier; and Radcliffe College and the Schlesinger Library (in support of their culinary collection), among others. She appeared annually at a number of events including the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado; the Workshop for Professional Food Writers and La Varenne at the Greenbrier; annual cooking classes at the Cipriani Hotel in Venice; and "Great Chefs at the Mondavi Vineyards." Child also made appearances at a number of colleges and universities, including Harvard University, Rutgers University, Boston College, Bates College, and Smith College, among others, to receive honorary degrees. Also included are general demonstration materials such as scripts, equipment and ingredient lists, recipes, kitchen floor plans, etc., as well as folders of correspondence regarding declined engagements. This series was originally arranged alphabetically, but was rearranged in its current chronological order (following general demonstration material) by the processor for more coherent access. Original folder titles were retained.

Series V, RECIPES, 1954-1997 (#82.19-87cb), includes draft and published recipes (and variations and adaptations of recipes), lists and menus, measures, recipe clippings, and ring-bound kitchen notebooks containing recipes and cooking notes from four different groupings, one in binders, the others in folders. There is much overlap between the four groups, but the original categories of each were maintained. A small amount of correspondence is included. The kitchen notebooks refer to recipes received from Simone Beck in 1959 and include handwritten recipes, tests, comments, etc. Many other recipes also contain notes as to their success or failure (often over multiple attempts), changes to measurements and/or addition or subtraction of ingredients, etc. Original order and folder titles or binder section titles were retained. See also Series VI, which contains recipes and recipe test notes.

Series VI, REFERENCE FILES, 1890-2001 (#88.1-123.8, 127.1-129.8), includes correspondence, pamphlets, recipes, notes, clippings, etc., maintained as reference files by Child over a number of years. Recipes appear to come from a number of sources, including Child's disbound notes from Le Cordon Bleu; several of Child's cookbooks; colleagues and friends Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, likely from recipes developed for Mastering the Art of French Cooking, L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes and for publication in Le Cuisine et Vins de France; etc. Recipes often contain notes as to their success or failure (often over multiple attempts), changes to measurements and/or addition or subtraction of ingredients, etc. Much of the correspondence in this series also regards the development of these recipes. For additional recipes, see Series V. Other clippings, correspondence, pamphlets, notes, etc., document Child's interest in keeping abreast of all things related to the culinary field, including nutrition; agriculture; breeding, raising, slaughter, and grading of animals for food; disease and food contamination; diet and eating disorders; trends in commercial and home production of food; cooking methods; etc. The series is arranged as found, with Child's Section index keys numbered I-IX indicating the original file arrangement and location. Original folder titles were retained.

Series VII, PUBLICITY, 1961-2004 (#123.9-126.7, 135OB.1v), includes clippings regarding appearances, cooking demonstrations, newly published cookbooks, newly produced cooking shows, etc. Also included are New York Times bestseller lists that track the progress of a number of Child's cookbooks; interviews with Child and her husband; articles regarding Child's views on controversial issues such as animal rights; public television program guides documenting air times of her cooking programs; and press releases from publishers. A number of clippings also contain recipes featured by Child at cooking demonstrations. Translations are included of several articles in Norwegian. The series is arranged chronologically.

Series VIII, PHOTOGRAPHS, ca.1918-2000 (#PD.92cb-PD.326f, PD.329f+-PD.330sl), consists of photographs, negatives, slides, and transparencies of Child alone and with her husband, with friends and family, at cooking demonstrations, events, and on her cooking shows; etc. Also included are photographs of friends and family; experimental and artistic photographs; travel photographs; photographs of the Childs' homes in Cambridge, Santa Barbara, and France; photographs of Paul and Charles Child's artwork; photographs of food and of cats; etc. The bulk of these photographs were taken by Paul Child, who worked as a professional photographer. Photographs of Child from The French Chef were transferred to MC 644 where the bulk of related photographs were already housed. Materials are arranged alphabetically by format, with negatives and transparencies remaining in the order received, and photographs remaining in their original alphabetical subject arrangement.

A selection of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].

Series IX, OVERSIZED, 1953-2003 (#130F+B.1m, 133F+B.1v, 135OB01v, 136F+B.1v, 137F+B.1v, 144FB.1m-144.2m, 145F+B.1m-147F+B.3m, FD.1-FD.6, F+D.1-F+D.8, OD.1-OD.8, SD.1-SD.3), serves as the shelflist for oversized items listed previously, as well as oversized items removed from preceding series and grouped as listed. Included are posters, calendar pages, draft illustrations, etc.


Julia Child, cookbook writer, cookery teacher, and TV personality, was born Julia Carolyn McWilliams, in Pasadena, California, on August 15, 1912. She attended the Katharine Branson School in Ross, California (1927-1930), and graduated from Smith College in 1934. She worked in public relations in New York City (1934-1941) and served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, 1941-1946). She was stationed in Ceylon, where she met her future husband, and in China.

In 1946, she married Paul Cushing Child (1902-1994). After the war, Paul worked for the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), and, while the Childs were stationed in Paris, Julia studied at the Cordon Bleu and soon opened a cooking school, L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes, with Simone Beck and Louisette Remion Bertholle. Her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, written with Beck and Bertholle, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961; the second volume, by Child and Beck, appeared in 1970. These books gathered together the methods and recipes of classic French cooking and introduced Americans to French cooking that worked.

In 1962 Child launched a television cooking show, The French Chef, on WGBH-TV, the Public Broadcasting System channel in Boston. This was followed by two other series of The French Chef in color (1970, 1972). She resolutely refused all offers to appear on commercial television, preferring the freedom to run the program without interference from sponsors. Two cookbooks based on the series were published: The French Chef Cookbook (Knopf, 1968; Bantam, 1972) and From Julia Child's Kitchen (Knopf, 1975; Jonathan Cape, 1978). In the television programs and the books that accompanied them, Child was able to communicate, with gusto and enthusiasm, classic techniques for cooking, showing the importance of fresh produce and ingredients and of correct kitchen equipment and cooking procedures. She won a national following and launched a revolution in cooking and eating in the United States.

Three more television series followed: Julia Child & Company (1978), Julia Child & More Company (1980), and Dinner with Julia (1982). Knopf brought out companion cookbooks for the first two of these shows. Child's next book, The Way to Cook (Knopf, 1989), was accompanied by a "how-to" video. In addition to cookbooks, she wrote regular columns for the Boston Globe, McCall's, Parade, and many articles on food or cookery in other magazines.

As a star popular entertainer, Child was much in demand for cooking demonstrations, lectures, and promotions for countless non-profit organizations. She appeared with the Boston Pops Orchestra, took part in television specials (as compère of programs about White House banquets), and appeared on talk shows and as a guest on ABC's Good Morning America.

Child always worked with a team of colleagues. First and foremost was her husband Paul, accomplished photographer, artist, and chronicler of their life together. After his retirement, he was "resident manager" for her TV shows, was responsible for black and white still photography, and contributed some of the line drawings illustrating Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Other colleagues included Ruth Lockwood, producer of her TV series; Avis DeVoto, the friend who, when Houghton Mifflin rejected the manuscript for Mastering the Art of French Cooking, sent it to Knopf, which published it; Peggy Yntema, co-author of Julia Child & Company and Julia Child & More Company; Gladys Christopherson and Stephanie Hersch, secretaries; and a host of others who answered fan letters or helped backstage with the production of her television programs.

Child's many awards include the Peabody (1965) and Emmy (1966) for The French Chef (the first to be given to a PBS program), l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole (1967), l'Ordre National du Mérite (1976), and honorary degrees from Boston College, Bates College, Smith College, and Harvard University, among others. She received the French Legion of Honor in 2000 and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003.

The Childs maintained three homes: in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Santa Barbara, California; and in the south of France, where they built a summer home on the property of Child's colleague, Simone Beck. Paul died in 1994. Julia moved permanently to a retirement community in Santa Barbara, California, in 2001; she died of kidney failure in Montecito, California, on August 13, 2004.


The collection is arranged in nine series:

  1. Series I. Biographical, personal, and financial, 1933-2004
  2. Series II. Correspondence, 1944-2004
  3. Series III. Television and writings, 1935-2001
  4. Series IV. Engagements and demonstrations, 1958-2001
  5. Series V. Recipes, 1954-1997
  6. Series VI. Reference files, 1890-2001
  7. Series VII. Publicity, 1961-2004
  8. Series VIII. Photographs, ca.1918-2000
  9. Series IX. Oversized, 1953-2003

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 93-M178, 94-M63, 94-M79, 95-M20, 95-M68, 95-M86, 96-M66, 96-M146, 96-M179, 97-M11, 97-M103, 97-M134, 98-M16, 98-M64, 99-M161, 2001-M197, 2001-M215, 2001-M217, 2001-M220, 2003-M75, 2004-M119, 2005-M10, 2006-M223, 2007-M84, 2007-M105, 2007-M142, 2007-M183, 2008-M140, 2010-M174, 2011-M192, 2011-M210. Accession number 2013-M156 was added in November 2013. Accession number 2014-M46 was added in May 2014. Accession number 2014-M117 was added in April 2018. Accession number 2020-M16 was added in July 2020.

These additional papers of Julia Child were given to the Schlesinger Library by Julia Child between 1993 and 2001 and her estate in 2005 and 2010. Additional material was given to the Schlesinger Library by Diana Stewert in 2001, Albert Sonnenfeld in 2003, Philadelphia Cousins in 2006, Susan Lewinnek (daughter of Ruth Lockwood) in 2007, the National Archives and Records Administration in 2008 and Katie Pratt in 2011. Additional material identified in the Noel Riley Fitch Papers was transferred to the Schlesinger Library by the Fales Library at New York University in 2013. A collection of awards, honorary degrees, and memorabilia was received from the Julia Child Foundation in March 2014. Paul Child's OSS scrapbook was received from the Julia Child Foundation in July 2014. Material removed from books received from the Julia Child Foundation was added in May 2019. Correspondence between Suzanne L. Murphy and Julia Child and photographs of Julia and Paul Child by Suzanne L. Murphy were added in July 2020.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Julia Child, 1925-1993 (MC 644), Videotape collection of Julia Child,1979-1997 (Vt-23), and Audio collection of Julia Child, 1961-1995 (T-139).


Donors: Julia Child

Accession number: 2001-M197

Processed by: Mark Vassar

The following items have been removed from the collection:

  1. Catalogs concerning cookbooks, food, equipment and clothing, and cooking schools were removed from the collection to form Pr-14, Culinary catalog collection.

Processing Information

Processed: June 2011

By: Mark Vassar

Updated: July 2020

By: Johanna Carll



Child, Julia. Additional papers of Julia Child, 1890-2004 (inclusive), 1950-2001 (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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