Eleanor Harbison Bream Letters and Diary 1930 - 1962

Chatham University

Summary Information

Repository
Chatham University
Title
Eleanor Harbison Bream Letters and Diary
Creator
Bream, Eleanor Harbison, 1931-2001
Collection Number
RG11.2016.005
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1955-1962
Date [inclusive]
1930-1962
Extent
1.5 linear feet
Abstract
Eleanor Harbison was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1931 she began her studies at The Pennsylvania College for Women (PCW), now Chatham University.

Preferred Citation:

Eleanor Harbison Bream Letters and Diary, 1930-1962, MSS.2016.005, Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

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Biographical Information:

Eleanor Harbison was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1931 she began her studies at The Pennsylvania College for Women (PCW), now Chatham University. While at P.C.W., Eleanor was a staff member of the Arrow and a member of Phi Pi, Y.W.C.A., and the Library Committee for Junior-Freshman Tea. After graduating in 1935, she worked at the Pittsburgh Planetarium.

Eleanor Harbison began her work for the Foreign Service as a Personnel Officer in 1944. She became an administrative assistant, assigned to posts in Stockholm, Cairo, Rome, and Paris. In 1952 she married a Foreign Service Officer, Gray Bream, and she continued to travel with him to his posts in Pakistan, the Netherlands, and Germany. Eventually, the couple settled down in McLean Virginia where Mr. Bream continued to work for the State Department and Mrs. Bream was an active member of the McLean Woman’s Club. In 2001, Mrs. Bream passed away at the age of 86.

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Administrative History:

Eleanor Harbison was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1931 she began her studies at The Pennsylvania College for Women (PCW), now Chatham University. While at P.C.W., Eleanor was a staff member of the Arrow and a member of Phi Pi, Y.W.C.A., and the Library Committee for Junior-Freshman Tea. After graduating in 1935, she worked at the Pittsburgh Planetarium.

Eleanor Harbison began her work for the Foreign Service as a Personnel Officer in 1944. She became an administrative assistant, assigned to posts in Stockholm, Cairo, Rome, and Paris.  In 1952 she married a Foreign Service Officer, Gray Bream, and she continued to travel with him to his posts in Pakistan, the Netherlands, and Germany. Eventually, the couple settled down in McLean Virginia where Mr. Bream continued to work for the State Department and Mrs. Bream was an active member of the McLean Woman’s Club. In 2001, Mrs. Bream passed away at the age of 86.

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Scope and Contents

The Eleanor Harbison Bream Letters and Diary contains materials documenting her career, travels, and relationships.  The majority of materials in the collection are the letters between Eleanor H. Bream and her parents, Mrs. & Mr. F.R. Harbison. The majority of these letters contain day-to-day details about living abroad or in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. A small portion of the collection is from Helen Webb, a friend of Eleanor who traveled throughout the world working for the Foreign Service.

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Arrangement of Materials:

The collection is arranged in five series, mostly based on the author(s) of the material. The last series contains miscellaneous postage items and a picture of an estate. Within each series, letters are arranged in chronological order and divided with respect to location or author.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Chatham University, November 2018

Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA, 15232
412-365-1212
jkmref@chatham.edu

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

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Controlled Access Headings

Occupation(s)

  • United States -- Armed Forces -- Foreign Service -- History -- Sources

Personal Name(s)

  • Bream, Eleanor Harbison, 1931-2001

Subject(s)

  • World War II -- Radio Stations -- Greenland -- History -- Sources

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Materials from Eleanor 1955-1957, 1960–1961, 1968 (bulk 1956-1957) 

Scope and Contents

This series begins with what Eleanor Harbison Bream refers to as her “Greenland Diary”, a diary that pre-dates the letters but which does not have a clear start or end date.  The letters from Eleanor are addressed to her parents. At the point at which her letters start, she is no longer employed by the government and she is accompanying her husband on his travels with the Foreign Service. The topic of her letters are usually related to the people she meets and the places to which she travels. Many letters cover the periods when she lived in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany.

  BoxFolder
Greenland Diary 11
  BoxFolder
Postcard from England c.a. 1955 12
  BoxFolder
Letters from the Netherlands 1955 January - May 13
  BoxFolder
Letters from the Netherlands 1955 June – December 14
  BoxFolder
Letters from the Netherlands 1956 January 15
  BoxFolder
Letters from Switzerland 1956 January – April 16
  BoxFolder
Letters from the Netherlands 1956 May – June 17
  BoxFolder
Letters from the Netherlands 1956 July – October 18
  BoxFolder
Letters from Germany 1956 October – December 19
  BoxFolder
Letters from Germany 1957 January – April 110
  BoxFolder
Letters from the United States 1957 June – October 111
  BoxFolder
Letters from Germany 1957 October – November 112
  BoxFolder
Letter from the United States c.a. 1960 113
  BoxFolder
Letters from the United States 1960 January – June 114
  BoxFolder
Letters from the United States 1960 July – December 115
  BoxFolder
Letters from the United States 1961 January – June 21
  BoxFolder
Letters from the United States 1961 July – December 22
  BoxFolder
1968 April 21 23

Series  II. Letters from Helen Webb 1946–1951, 1957, 1959, 1963 (bulk 1947) 

  BoxFolder
Letter from Yugoslavia 1946 December 22 24
  BoxFolder
Letters from Yugoslavia 1947 January – July 25