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Radcliffe College Governing Board Records, 1878-1999


Minutes, correspondence, and other records concerning the founding of Radcliffe College, and of the governing boards of Radcliffe College.


  • Creation: 1878-1999

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Series 5, 6, 16, and 17 are closed for 50 years except with the written permission of the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Records in Series 5, 6, 16, and 17 must be screened by archivist before research use. Appointment may be required. Contact public services. Series 7 is closed for 80 years from the time of student's separation. Appointment may be required. Contact public services. Series 12, box 2 is closed until January 1, 2021. Series 15 is open except where noted. Microfilmed originals closed; use microfilm.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the Radcliffe College Governing Board Records 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. Records may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


39.4 linear feet

Council and Executive Committee records contain minutes, 1882-1999; correspondence, 1897-1914, including that of Chairman Frederick Cabot of the Finance Committee; and other materials relating to college fundraising, appointments, buildings and grounds, and student activities. Records of the Council’s Committee on Higher Education of Women include minutes, correspondence, memoranda and questionnaires, 1944-1945. Questionnaires (from classes of 1888-1944) pertain to family, marriage and career patterns of Radcliffe students. Board of Trustees, Corporation and Associates records contain minutes, 1882-1999; correspondence, 1942-1980; and sub-committee materials. Administrative Board records include minutes concerning academic affairs, correspondence, and Standing Committee in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ recommendations for degrees, 1889-1914.


Radcliffe College governing boards include the Council (former name: Executive Committee, 1882-1894) and the Board of Trustees (former names: Corporation, 1882-1894, and Associates, 1894-1930). Radcliffe’s Administrative Board (formerly the Academic Board, 1882-1943) merged with the Administrative Board of Harvard University under the agreement of 1971.


Series or item arrangement, inclusive dates, physical description, volume:

  1. Series 1. Correspondence, papers, publications and minutes, 1878-1896, of Arthur Gilman, and Harvard Professors which document the foundation of Radcliffe College. 4 vols.
  2. Series 2. Correspondence and papers of Council (Associates), 1897-1914, arranged chronologically in three periods, and by subject within each period. 1.5 linear feet.
  3. Series 3. Correspondence and papers of the Administrative Board (formerly Academic Board), 1893-1926, arranged by year. c. .7 linear feet.
  4. Series 4. Correspondence and papers of Judge Frederick Pickering Cabot, Chairman of Finance Committee, 1904-1931; arranged by subject and chronologically within subjects. 1.5 linear feet.
  5. Series 5. Minute Books of Council, 1882 - June 1972, and Executive Committee, September 1972 - August 1999. 5 linear feet.
  6. Series 6. Minute Books of the Board of Trustees, 1882 - September 1999. 1.4 linear feet.
  7. Series 7. Minute Books of the Administrative Board (formerly Academic Board), 1882-1970. 2 linear feet.
  8. Series 8. Minute Books of Standing Committee to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Instructions and Degrees in Radcliffe College, 1889-1914. .4 linear feet.
  9. Series 9. Committee on Admissions from other colleges, 1893-1913, 1 vol. Removed to Record Group XI, Series 3.
  10. Series 10. Administrative documents of the Committee on Reorganization, 1882-1953. .5 linear feet.
  11. Series 11. "Incorporation of Radcliffe": description of Radcliffe's early history by Arthur Gilman, 1894. 1 folder.
  12. Series 12. Documents bearing on the Harvard-Radcliffe relationship, 1882-1999, including correspondence between Presidents Briggs, Lowell, and Comstock, .75 linear feet. Also, 1 proclamation, September 26, 1999 (in WTBD drawer).
  13. Series 13. Record of gifts, 1881-1906. 1 vol.
  14. Series 14. Committee on Higher Education of Women, 1944-1945. 1 linear foot.
  15. Series 15. Miscellaneous committees of the Trustees, and other organizations, 1916-1980. .7 linear feet.
  16. Series 15.1 Property file
  17. Series 16. Trustee correspondence and related records. 14.8 linear feet.
  18. Series 16.1 General Trustee records
  19. Series 16.2 Records of the Chairman of the Board
  20. Series 16.3 Trustees from President Wilson's files, 1989-1998. 10 linear feet.
  21. Series 17. Secretary of the College. 1.8 linear feet.

Physical Location

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

Processing Information

Reprocessed: November 1979

By: Jane S. Knowles

Radcliffe College Governing Boards Records, 1878-1999: 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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