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Cronkhite, Bernice Brown, 1893-1983. Papers of Bernice Brown Cronkhite, 1915-1970: 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

Call No.: 173
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Bernice Brown Cronkhite, 1893-1983
Title: Papers of Bernice Brown Cronkhite, 1915-1970
Date(s): 1915-1970
Quantity: 1.25 linear feet (3 file boxes) plus 1 oversize volume, 1 folio+ folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches, clippings, etc., of Bernice Brown Cronkhite, dean at Radcliffe College.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 70-109, 71-8, 71-90, 81-M56, 2014-M162
The papers of Bernice Brown Cronkhite were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in September 1970, and January and August 1971, by Mrs. Cronkhite, and also in February 1981. The drawings by Kenneth John Conant (#35f+) were given by Charles A. Hammond (who had inherited them from the estate of Cronkhite) and added to the collection in October 2014.

Processing Information:

Processed: December 1971
Updated: October 2014
By: Anne Engelhart

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Bernice Brown Cronkhite as well as 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:

Bernice Brown Cronkhite Papers, 1915-1970; item description, dates. 173, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Bernice Brown Cronkhite, 1921-1981 (SC 67).


Bernice Veazey Brown was born on July 23, 1893, in Calais, Maine. She grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, attending the Peace Street School and Classical High School. After teaching for one year, she entered Radcliffe in 1912 and received her B.A. in 1916, her M.A. in 1918, and her Ph.D. in 1920, specializing in government and international law. In 1915 and again in 1916 she won the Baldwin Prize for essays on subjects pertaining to municipal government. From 1918 to 1920 she held a Carnegie Endowment International Law Fellowship, the first year at Yale and the second at Harvard. For the academic year 1920-1921, Miss Brown was awarded a fellowship by the Commission for Relief in Belgium for advanced study in Brussels. She also visited several other European countries, as well as the League of Nations, and used what she learned in reports and speeches, some included in this collection.
Upon her return to the United States, she was active in the School of Citizenship and Politics at Radcliffe. She became director of the Training School for Public Service, which was organized by the Women's Municipal League in October 1921 to train women for civil service posts newly open to them. Miss Brown was appointed Dean of Radcliffe College in 1923, when Ada Comstock became President. In 1934 she became Dean of the Radcliffe Graduate School, a post she held until 1959. She was also Vice-President of Radcliffe from 1923 to 1960.
On July 21, 1933, Bernice Veazey Brown married Leonard Wolsey Cronkhite.
As Graduate Dean, Mrs. Cronkhite worked hard to improve the status of women graduate students at Radcliffe. A major project was to provide a place where graduate women and visiting scholars could live and share the hours not spent in lectures and laboratories. Ground was broken in 1955, and the Graduate Center was opened in the fall of 1956. The refectory, Bernice Brown Cronkhite Hall, was opened in 1960.
In 1953, Mrs. Cronkhite was elected a trustee of Barnard College. She edited the Handbook for College Teachers (1950) and was co-author of Graduate Education for Women (1956). As a member of the U.S. Board of Foreign Scholarships, she went on a world tour in 1957, visiting Radcliffe alumnae and reporting on educational exchange programs in thirteen countries. In 1962 and 1963, she served on the Advisory Committee for the Mundelein College self-study project. She has been trustee of several schools and foundations and an active member of various professional and other organizations, as well as an elector for the Hall of Fame. She holds honorary degrees from Wheaton College, Brown University, Keuka College, Mundelein College, and Acadia University. Mrs. Cronkhite died in 1983.


Correspondence, speeches, clippings, awards, and photos pertain to her early career, her work at Radcliffe, and organizations in which she participated, such as the United States Board of Foreign Scholarships, the Training School for Public Service, the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, and Mundelein College advisory committee. Included is the draft of her 1965 article "Grave Alice" published in the Radcliffe Quarterly.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Belgium--Description and travel
College administrators
Deans (in schools)
Deans of women
Education, Higher
Women educators
Women--Education (Higher)
Comstock, Ada Louise
Conant, Kenneth John, 1894-1984
Hoover, Lou Henry, 1874-1944
Keller, Helen, 1880-1968
Longfellow, Alice M. (Alice Mary), 1850-1928
Mundelein College
New York University. Hall of Fame for Great Americans
Radcliffe College
Radcliffe College--Alumni and alumnae
Speare, Florence Lewis, 1886-1965
Training School for Public Service
United States. Board of Foreign Scholarships