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Beyer, Clara M. (Clara Mortenson). Papers of Clara Mortenson Beyer, 1911-1965: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: A-159
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Clara M. (Clara Mortenson) Beyer
Title: Papers of Clara Mortenson Beyer, 1911-1965
Date(s): 1911-1965
Quantity: 9.17 linear feet (22 file boxes) plus 1 oversize folder, 1 folio+ folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, diary, reports, etc., of Clara M. (Clara Mortenson) Beyer, labor law specialist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 913
The papers of Clara Mortenson Beyer were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in July, 1965 by Mrs. Beyer.

Processing Information:

Processed: August 1969

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Clara Mortenson Beyer 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.

Preferred Citation:

Clara M. (Clara Mortenson) Beyer Papers, 1911-1965; item description, dates. A-159, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Clara M. Beyer Additional papers, 1959-1979 (75-192--81-M133).


Clara Mortenson Beyer, connected with the U.S. Department of Labor from 1921-1958 and specialist in labor law, was born April 13, 1892 near Middletown, Lake County, California. She was the sixth daughter of Morten Mortenson and Mary Frederickson. Her parents were Danish immigrants, and when her father died at an early age, her mother worked as an unskilled laborer. It was as a participant in the hard life of the unskilled that Clara Mortenson became interested in the problems of the laboring classes. She received a B.S. from the University of California in 1915 and an M.S. from the same university in 1916. She stayed at California from 1915 to 1917 as an instructor and then moved to Bryn Mawr to become an instructor in labor economics from 1917 to 1918.
Clara Mortenson began her government career in the labor field in 1918. At this time she served as executive assistant on the War Labor Policies Board. From 1919 to 1921 she was executive secretary for the D.C. Minimum Wage Board. On July 30, 1920 she married Otto Sternoff-Beyer. They had three children; Morten, Donald, and Richard.
Mrs. Beyer came to the United States Department of Labor in 1928 where she served as economist for the Children's Bureau until 1931. She then became director of the industrial division from 1931 to 1934, and from 1934 to 1957 she was associate director of the Bureau of Labor Standards. During 1957-1958 Mrs. Beyer was acting director of the Bureau of Labor Standards.
After her retirement from the Department of Labor in 1958, Mrs. Beyer was continually active in labor related government projects. In 1958, she became technical assistance program advisor for the International Cooperation Administration. In 1961, she went to the Agency for International Development as an advisor in labor law administration.
From 1938-1953 Mrs. Beyer attended the International Labor Organization's annual conferences as a United States Government Advisor. Her other interests include, the National Consumers League, National Child Labor Committee, League of Women Voters, Overseas Education Fund, and the McLean Civic League.


The Clara Mortenson Beyer Collection covers the period from 1911 to 1965.
Series I. Personal papers. 1911-1963. Biographical and family. Largely the correspondence of the Beyer sons: Morten, Donald and Richard. Arranged chronologically.
Series II. Professional papers. 1913-1965. Correspondence arranged chronologically. Includes both professional and personal correspondence. The designation "personal" on many letters refers to the file in which they were to be kept, i.e. Mrs. Beyer's personal file of her professional papers as opposed to the file to be sent to the National Archives. It does not refer to the subject of the letters.
Series III. Professional papers. 1917-1964. Correspondence, reports, pamphlets arranged by subject alphabetically. In this section Mrs. Beyer's arrangement has been retained. Includes both professional and personal correspondence. Designation, "personal" - see explanation under Series II.
Series IV. Professional papers. 1918-1964. Speeches, reports, pamphlets, articles, reviews. Miscellaneous: diary, photographs, newsclippings, business records. Reference materials.
Series V. Papers of Otto S. Beyer. 1928-1955. A miscellaneous group of correspondence, articles, speeches by and about Otto S. Beyer.



Container List

Additional Index Terms

Child labor
Child welfare
Developing countries--Economic conditions
Home labor
Industrial hygiene
Labor--Latin America
Labor--Puerto Rico
Labor--United States
Labor laws and legislation
Migrant labor
Minimum wage
Quality of work life
Social security
United States--Officials and employees
Vocational education
Women--Developing countries
Women--Employment--Law and legislation
Working class. LinkWorking class--Asia
Working class--Latin America
Working class--Puerto Rico
Working class--Standards
Working class--United States
Working class women
World War, 1939-1945--War work--United States
Abbott, Edith, 1876-1957
Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939
Altmeyer, Arthur J. (Arthur Joseph), 1891-1972
American Association of University Women
Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964
Beyer, Otto S. (Otto Sternoff), 1886-1948
Brandeis, Louis Dembitz, 1856-1941
Breckinridge, Sophonisba Preston, 1866-1948
Code Authority Organization
Coit, Eleanor G.
Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962
Douglas, Helen Gahagan, 1900-1980
Dubinsky, David, 1892-1982
Edwards, India
Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), 1891-1978
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965
Gildersleeve, Virginia Crocheron, 1877-1965
Goldmark, Josephine Clara, 1877-1950
Goldmark, Pauline Dorothea
Herrick, Elinore Morehouse
Hutchinson, Mary H.
Ickes, Harold L. (Harold LeClair), 1874-1952
International Labour Organisation
Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932
Keyserling, Mary Dublin
Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932
Lee, Percy Maxim, 1906-2002
Lenroot, Katharine F. (Katharine Fredrica), 1891-1982
Lubin, Carol Riegelman
Miller, Frieda S.
Miller, Helen Hill, 1899-1995
National Consumers' League
Perkins, Frances, 1880-1965
Peterson, Esther, 1906-1997
Raushenbush, Elizabeth Brandeis
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
Schneiderman, Rose, 1882-1972
Smith, Hilda Worthington
Strauss, Anna Lord, 1899-1979
Thomas, M. Carey (Martha Carey), 1857-1935
United States. Agency for International Development
United States. Department of Labor
United States. International Cooperation Administration
United States. National Recovery Administration
Van Waters, Miriam
Voteless League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia
Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940