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© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: SC 75
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Helen Homans Gilbert, 1913-1989
Title: Papers of Helen Homans Gilbert, 1942-1986
Quantity: .63 linear feet (1+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 folio+ volume, 1 folio+ photograph folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches, minutes, clippings, etc., of Helen Homans Gilbert, Radcliffe College Class of 1936.
Helen Homans Gilbert was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, October 29, 1913, the third child of Robert Homans, a Boston lawyer, and Abigail Adams Homans. She attended Winsor School, Westover School and was graduated from Radcliffe College (AB, 1936). She married Carl J. Gilbert, Harvard JD'31, Chairman of the Gillette Corporation, immediately after college. When he joined the National Guard and went abroad, Helen was active in medical research at the Harvard School of Public Health, 1942-1944, The Massachusetts General Hospital, 1942-1944, and the Vincent Memorial Hospital, 1945-1947.Gilber carried on her family's tradition of public service. She was closely associated with Radcliffe as Trustee, 1950-1972, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, 1955-1972, and member of the Council. She was acting President of Radcliffe, 1964-1965, and took part in two presidential searches.She served on the boards of Westover School (1968-1970), the Permanent Charity Fund of Boston, and the Boston Fenway Program, Inc. She was a member of the Harvard Campaign Committee, and first woman member (1970-1976), then President (1975-1976), of Harvard's Board of Overseers.In 1965 Gilbert received the Radcliffe Alumnae Recognition Award and in 1969 part of Currier House was named Gilbert Hall in her honor.In 1978, Radcliffe established the Helen Homans Gilbert Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service and named her the first recipient of the award. She received honorary degrees from Tufts University (1976) and Harvard University (1978).In 1981, Gilbert joined volunteers at the Radcliffe College Archives where she was cataloguer of Radcliffe presidential papers and did oral history interviews. She served as the Chair of the Schlesinger Library Advisory Committee from 1981 to 1986.
This collection consists of speeches, clippings, minutes and correspondence pertaining to Radcliffe and the Harvard/Radcliffe merger negotiations; minutes and correspondence re the Mary I. Bunting Scholarship Fund, appointment book when Helen Homans Gilbert was Acting President, 1964-1965, honorary degree from Tufts and Harvard Medal; the Helen Homans Gilbert Prize Lectureship, oral history interviews with Jane S. Knowles and Anne Meyer, and photographs.
- Abley, J.F., Treasurer of General Foods Corp, 8
- Beal, Thaddeus, 11
- Browne, Alice Billings '15, 13
- Bunting, Mary Ingraham, 2,5,8,9,18
- Commencement, 5,9,11
- Cronkhite, Bernice Brown '16, 11
- Dry, Isabelle Bland '35, 11
- Gilbert, Helen Homans '36, passim
- Harvard Board of Overseers, 15-24
- Hurley, Miriam Greene '31, 1
- Luncheon, 4,13,18
- Lyman, Susan Storey '49, 9
- Memorial Hall, 9
- Moors Hall (Quad), 1
- Sherman, Mildred AM '32, 4