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Jean Struven Harris papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00184

Scope and Contents

The Jean Harris Papers consist of correspondence; clippings; printed material; research material on correctional systems; writings; legal documents; memorabilia; audiotapes; video tapes (of television interviews); and her trial record.

Dates

  • 1973-2005
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1993

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:
  1. Collection is stored offsite; researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
  2. This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works of Jean Harris within this collection. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Jean Struven was born in Chicago, IL, in 1923. She earned an A.B. from Smith College in 1945 and married James Harris in 1946. They had two sons, David and James, Jr. From 1947-50 and 1953- 66 Harris taught at a variety of primary and secondary levels at the Grosse Point (MI) Country Day School. In 1965, Harris completed her M.Ed. and divorced her husband. She moved to Chestnut Hill, PA, where she served as director of the Middle School at the Springside School from 1966-71. In 1966 she met and began an affair with Dr. Herman Tarnower. In 1971 she became headmistress of the Thomas School in Rowayton, CT and in 1976, Headmistress, Madeira School, McLean, VA. Harris was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1980 death of Herman Tarnower and incarcerated in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, N.Y., 1981-93. While in prison, she worked in the Children's Center, and wrote Stranger in Two Worlds (1986), They Always Call Us Ladies (1988), and Marking Time (1991) as well as a number of articles and unpublished manuscripts about women in prison. In 1986 she helped establish the Children of Bedford Fund, which pays school tuition for children whose mother's are incarcerated. After her release from prison Mrs. Harris worked for the Children of Bedford Fund and continued to write. Jean Harris died on December 23, 2012.

Extent

50 boxes (62.5 linear feet)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Teacher; Headmistress of Madeira School; Prison reformer. While incarcerated in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, N.Y. (1981-93) for the murder in the 1980 death of Herman Tarnower she worked in the Children's Center, and published three books: Stranger in Two Worlds (1986), They Always Call Us Ladies (1988), and Marking Time (1991) as well as a number of articles and unpublished manuscripts about women in prison. In 1986 she helped establish the Children of Bedford Fund. The papers primarily date from 1980 and consist of correspondence; clippings; printed material; research material on correctional systems; writings; legal documents; memorabilia; audiotapes; video tapes (of television interviews); and her trial record.

Arrangement

This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

Other Finding Aids

This online finding aid currently provides detailed description of only the most recent additions to this collection. Additional materials are described in unpublished lists that can be sent to you upon request by contacting specialcollections@smith.edu

Other Finding Aids

One or more content listings to individual accessions in this collection are available for download. Links can be found in the description of the individual accessions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Jean Struven Harris donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection from 1984 to 2015. The accession numbers are 84-32, 84-63, 85-3, 85S-39, 85S-47, 85S-78, 86S-17, 86S-50, 86S-88, 86S-92, 86S-110, 87S-4, 87S-23, 87S-78, 87S-102, 88S-33, 88S-85, 89S-8, 90S-1, 91S-75, 93S-14, 93S-15, 93S-55, 95S-8, 95S-23, 05S-30, 14S-08, 14S-17, 15S-59.

Related Materials

Title
Finding aid to the Jean Struven Harris papers
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Date
2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:21-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-10-24: Updated to conform to DACS

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063