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Gruenberg, Bertha Sanford. Additional papers of Bertha Sanford Gruenberg, 1907-1985: 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

The collection was processed with a grant from Clara Goldberg Schiffer.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: 83-M196--86-M227
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Bertha Sanford Gruenberg
Title: Additional papers of Bertha Sanford Gruenberg, 1907-1985
Date(s): 1907-1985
Quantity: 3.21 linear feet (3 cartons, 1/2 file box) plus 3 photograph folders, 1 folio folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Addenda to the papers (837--69-31) of Bertha Sanford Gruenberg, journalist, lecturer, and camp director.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 83-M196, 85-M67, 85-M234, 86-M75, 86-M227
These addenda were given to the Schlesinger Library by Bertha Sanford Gruenberg between September 1983 and November 1986.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: June 1996
By: Anne Engelhart

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Bertha Sanford Gruenberg 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:

Bertha Sanford Gruenberg Additional papers, 1907-1985; item description, dates. 83-M196--86-M227, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Bertha Sanford Gruenberg Papers, 1898-1985 (837--69-31).


Bertha Sanford Gruenberg, lecturer, journalist and camp director was born in Central Europe, emigrated to the United States at the age of five and settled in Minneapolis. She graduated from high school in 1906, and was Society reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune, 1906-1910. She married Frederick P. Gruenberg in 1909; they had two children, Edith and John. In 1911, the Gruenberg's moved to Philadelphia, where they served as resident directors at the Ethical Society's Southwark Settlement House, and Bertha Gruenberg continued to write freelance features for magazines and newspapers. From 1917-1920, Bertha Gruenberg was Executive Secretary of the Equal Franchise Society of Philadelphia and thereafter, gave lectures on child psychology and education to educational, civic and religious groups.
From 1926-1953, Gruenberg co-directed Camp Waziyatah, at Harrison, Maine, with Amy Faulkner. This was a summer camp, originally for boys and girls and later for girls alone, which applied John Dewey's educational principles in a non-competitive atmosphere. After retiring as co-director of Camp Waziyatah in 1953, Bertha Gruenberg continued to lecture on a number of topics, including aging and education. She also continued to write articles and to work on two books: one on camps in general, the other entitled "Children's Summer Camps and State Laws." Neither was ever published. Frederick Gruenberg had a successful career in banking and served in a number of capacities in state and local government. He died in 1976. His papers are at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Bertha Gruenberg had two brothers, Harry and Art, and a sister, Esther. A successful businessman in Sioux City, Iowa, Art Sanford, and his wife Stella, had a daughter Gloria. The Gruenbergs kept in close touch with them and other family members, and Art Sanford was especially helpful in providing advice and financial assistance to family members during the Great Depression.


Personal papers include the Gruenbergs's courtship correspondence while she was in Minneapolis and he in New York, and correspondence between Bertha Sanford Gruenberg and her brother and sister-in-law, Art and Stella Sanford. The latter deals with a number of family concerns, including child-rearing, learning disabilities, and financial matters during the Great Depression. Also included is correspondence concerning Bertha Sanford Gruenberg's association with the Women's University Club in Philadelphia, and especially its survey of women and part-time employment, 1950-1952; and speeches, correspondence, drafts, and notes on a range of topics including aging, education, prejudice, women, mental health, and her own family.
Photographs, reunion lists, lists of meals and seating arrangements, etc. document her work at Camp Waziyatah, as do Bertha Sanford Gruenberg's notes on her working relationship with Amy Faulkner, her co-director. The rest of the collection consists of drafts of her book on camps, and correspondence, drafts, and research material for "Children's Summer Camps and State Laws."
Clippings, pamphlets, reprints, and other printed material from organizations such as the Age Center of New England, the American Ethical Union, the Center for the Study of Aging (University of Pennsylvania), and the National Council of Jewish Women, and from publications such as The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer , Readers' Digest, Newsweek, and Time were discarded. Such material usually concerned topics of interest to Bertha Sanford Gruenberg: aging, retirement, women and employment, mental health, recipes, anti-Semitism, competition, juvenile delinquency, etc.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Aging--United States
Brothers and sisters--United States
Camps--United States--Safety measures
Child rearing--United States
Courtship--United States
Depressions--1929--United States
Families--Economic aspects--United States
Jewish women--United States
Learning disabilities--United States
Lecturers--United States
Manuscripts for publication
Marriage--United States
Minneapolis (Minn.)--Social life and customs--20th century
Women--Employment--United States
Women journalists--United States
Age Center of New England
American Society for the Aged
Cabot, Hugh, 1905-1967
Cabot, Natalie Harris
Camp Waziyatah
Faulkner, Amy
Gruenberg, Frederick P., 1884-1976
Women's University Club (Philadelphia, Pa.)