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Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> Jean Struven Harris Papers, 1973-1993 (ongoing)
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Jean Struven Harris Papers, 1973-2005 (bulk 1980-1993)
50 boxes (62.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 184

Abstract:
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in Two Worlds (1986), They Always Call Us Ladies (1988), and Marking Time (1991) as well as a number of articles and unpublished manuscripts about women in prison.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. [NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • Collection is stored offsite; researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on 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The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works of Jean Harris within this collection.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.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

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. from [?] 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.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

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. The vast majority of the materials date from 1980.

[NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • Collection is stored offsite; researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.
  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on 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.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Jean Struven Harris Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Jean Struven Harris donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection b from 1984 to 2005.

Accruals:

Periodic additions to collection are expected and may not be reflected in this record.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English


Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (N.Y.)
  • Children of women prisoners -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Harris, Jean (Jean Struven)
  • Law -- United States -- History -- 20th century
  • Murder -- New York (State)
  • Tarnower, Herman
  • Women prisoners -- United States -- History -- Sources


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