[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:sch00461View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement

Bohlen, Avis Howard Thayer, 1912-1981. Papers of Avis Howard Thayer Bohlen, 1929-1981: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.
June, 1982

© 1982 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: 82-M28
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Avis Howard Thayer Bohlen, 1912-1981
Title: Papers of Avis Howard Thayer Bohlen, 1929-1981
Quantity: 6 linear feet (6 cartons) plus 2 folio folders
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, travel diaries, photographs, etc., of Avis Howard Thayer Bohlen, member of the Association of American Foreign Service Women.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: June, 1982
By: Jane S. Knowles

Acquisition Information:

Accession number: 82-M28
This collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by Avis T. Bohlen daughter of Avis Thayer Bohlen, in March 1982.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Avis Howard Thayer Bohlen 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 for publication:

Avis Howard Thayer Bohlen Papers, 1929-1981; item description, dates. 82-M28, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


Avis (Thayer) Bohlen was born in Philadelphia, September 18, 1912, the daughter of George and Gertrude (Wheeler) Thayer, the eldest of six children. She attended Bryn Mawr, but did not graduate, spent a year studying abroad, 1932-1933, and on a visit to her brother in the U.S. embassy in Moscow, 1934, met Charles Eustis Bohlen, whom she married in 1935. They had three children: Avis Thayer (born April 20, 1940), Charles Eustis (April 11, 1947), and Celestine Ellen (December 17, 1950). Their tours of duty included the Soviet Union, 1938, Japan, Soviet Union 1953-1958, the Philippines, and France 1962-1967. Charles Bohlen was ambassador to the Soviet Union, the Philippines, and France. He died in 1974. Bohlen was active in the American Association of Foreign Service Wives and, after her return to Washington, in the 1970s, she was a freelance landscape designer. The Avis Bohlen award administered by the American Foreign Service Association, was established in her honor in 1982 to give credit to the wives of Foreign Service officers.


This collection consists of Avis Howard Thayer Bohlen's correspondence with family (brothers, sisters and children) and friends, business papers pertaining to her work in the embassies (such as menus, guest lists, correspondence and accounts), speeches, travel diaries and photographs.

Container List


Additional catalog entries

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
Ambassadors' wives
Alsop, Susan Mary
Association of American Foreign Service Women
Association of American Wives in Europe
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959
Berlin, Isaiah, 1909-1997
Bohlen, Charles E. (Charles Eustis), 1904-1974
Bundy, McGeorge
Diplomatic and consular service
Diplomatic and consular service, American
France--Social life and customs
Japan--Social life and customs
Philippines--Social life and customs
Soviet Union--Social life and customs
Sulzberger, Marina
Thayer family
United States. Foreign Service.
Ustinov, Peter