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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1021

Papers of Wilhelmina Batchelder-Brown, 1934-2019 (inclusive), 1939-1985 (bulk)


Letters from Radcliffe College alumnae Wilhelmina Batchelder-Brown to her parents Edward and Alice Van Liere, World War II ration books, report cards, and letters from other family members to Edward and Alice Van Liere.


  • 1934-2019
  • Majority of material found within 1939-1985


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Wilhelmina Batchelder-Brown 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.


2.08 linear feet ((5 file boxes) plus 1 photograph folder)

The collection consists primarily of letters Wilhelmina Batchelder-Brown sent her parents between 1939 and 1985. Topics include her experiences at summer camp and boarding school; while a student at Radcliffe College; and as a participant in the joint Radcliffe-Massachusetts General Hospital nursing program, with many letters describing her active social and dating life. Later letters describe her experience as a wife and mother, and her work as an art teacher and paper conservator, as well as commenting on her sons' activities. The letters also convey Batchelder-Brown's concern for her parents' health and well being and her interest in their activities.

In addition, the collection contains a booklet about the Harvard-Massachusetts General Hospital nursing program; World War II ration books; letters to Alice Van Liere and annual reports of the Service League of Morgantown, West Virginia, of which she was president. Also included is an autobiographical outline written by Batchelder-Brown in 2019.

The collection was received with letters bundled together by date or subject. The archivist has maintained this arrangement and almost all of the folder headings are taken from Batchelder-Brown's categories. Those folder titles created by the archivist appear in square brackets. Most folders from 1952 onward include letters from George Batchelder to the Van Lieres, in addition to the letters from Batchelder-Brown. The collection is arranged chronologically.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.


Wilhelmina "Mimi" Van Liere Batchelder-Brown was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, in 1933, the only child of Edward and Alice (Hartley) Van Liere. Her father was dean of the West Virginia University Medical School and her mother was an active volunteer at local hospitals and with the Red Cross. From 1947 to 1950, Batchelder-Brown attended Westtown School, a Quaker co-educational boarding school in Pennsylvania. In 1950 she began studies at Radcliffe College, majoring in American History and also participating in a joint Radcliffe-Massachusetts General Hospital nursing program. She withdrew from this program in 1952 and the same year married George Batchelder, a Class of 1953 Harvard alumnus. They had three sons: Van, Terry, and Robert Kim (known as Kim). Batchelder-Brown graduated from Radcliffe in 1954.

In 1954, the couple moved to Annapolis, Maryland, where Batchelder-Brown taught sixth grade while George served in the Navy. They then relocated to the West Coast and eventually to Scottsdale, Arizona, where George earned a PhD from Arizona State University. Batchelder-Brown received her teaching certification and, after the family relocated to San Mateo, California, she enrolled at San Francisco State University and earned a Master's Degree. She began managing a cooperative art gallery and also began an apprenticeship in art conservation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, continuing these studies at the Yale Art Conservation Laboratory.

The family relocated to Beverly, Massachusetts, in 1982, and Batchelder-Brown worked at the New England Document Conservation Center and the F.L. Olmsted National Historic site before establishing her own art conservation business. She and George also helped preserve and restore a Frederick Law Olmsted landscape at Moraine Farm, in Beverly. George Batchelder had grown up on this property and after his death in 1999, Batchelder-Brown donated the property to a trust. In 2002 she married Thomas G. Brown, Jr., who died in 2019. As of 2019, Batchelder-Brown is living in Santa Rosa, California.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2019-M147

The papers of Wilhelmina Batchelder-Brown were given to the Schlesinger Library by Wilhelmina Batchelder-Brown in September 2019.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Katharine Batchelder Papers (2017-M158).

Processing Information

Processed: October 2019

By: Susan Earle.

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 Ware Acquisitions Fund at the Schlesinger Library and the Archival Processing 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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