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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 983

Records of the Association of American Women in Europe, 1961-2018


Records, primarily newsletters, of the Association of American Women in Europe, an organization focused on bilingual education, citizenship rights, and social support.


  • Creation: 1961-2018

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Association of American Women in Europe in order to access issues of the AAWE Newsletters during the first 20 years after publication. Should the AAWE cease to exist, these newsletters will remain closed for 20 years from date of publication.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the Association of American Women in Europe is held by the Association of American Women in Europe for as long as the organization remains in operation. Should the Association of American Women in Europe cease to exist, copyright will transfer to 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. Open material may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures. Copying of significant portions of the open material (10+ consecutive pages) requires the written permission of an Association of American Women in Europe officer. Permission to use restricted portions of the collection does not include permission to copy, which must be sought separately.

No parts of the collection may be digitized for inclusion on the internet or any other methods of electronic distribution.


3.34 linear feet ((8 file boxes) plus 1 archived web site.)

The records of the Association of American Women in Europe include some founding documents, a few histories of the organization, and an almost complete run of the AAWE Newsletter and AAWE News. The Newsletter includes profiles of members, event listings, as well as informal member polls, articles about education, citizenship, and other topics of interest to members.

The collection is arranged with records filed chronologically, followed by a chronological run of the AAWE Newsletter.

AAWE's web site is being captured periodically as part of Schlesinger Library's web archiving program.


The Association of American Wives of Europeans (AAWE) was born out of a need for shared community among American women living in Paris, specifically linked to questions around their children's citizenship. Phyllis Michaux (1922-2015), an American woman married to a Frenchman, became concerned after the passage of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act of 1960, which stated that children born overseas of one American parent would lose their American citizenship unless they lived five consecutive years in the United States between the ages of fourteen and twenty-eight. Michaux put an ad in the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune that invited American women with French-born children to meet together and discuss their citizenship concerns. Twelve women attended the first meeting in 1961, and together began focusing on how to educate and lobby the United States government to change this citizenship law.

The AAWE quickly became a social support network as well as concerned with legal issues. In 1962, the group filed with the French government to obtain official status. AAWE began to function as a membership organization, and organized social gatherings as well as events focused on topics like bilingual education. Beginning in 1980, the organization published a number of titles relating to education, ranging from pamphlets on pedagogy of bilingual education to a series of guides to education in France for Americans. AAWE has published a newsletter for members since 1961; it has ranged in periodicity from monthly to quarterly.

The Association of American Wives of Europeans changed its name to the Association of American Women in Europe in 2016. The organization's website states it is a "non-profit volunteer association of American women who, as permanent residents of France, share interests specific to bicultural living."

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2019-M21

The records of the Association of American Women in Europe were given to the Schlesinger Library in February 2019.

Processing Information

Processed: February 2019

By: Jenny Gotwals, with assistance from Ashley Thomas.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Alice Jeanette Ward Fund.

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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