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Susan FitzGerald papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: BMC

Scope and Contents

The Susan FitzGerald papers house the personal papers of Susan FitzGerald, Bryn Mawr class of 1929. The collection, which spans 1926 to 1954, is comprised of correspondence and USIA (United States Information Agency) printed material.

The collection is composed of one box containing four folders. Folder 1 contains letters written by FitzGerald to her family during her sophomore year at Bryn Mawr, 1926-27. Folder 2 contains her family correspondence during her senior year at Bryn Mawr, 1928-29. Folder 3 contains her letters to Helen Phillips, 1948-54. Folder 4 contains printed material related to the USIA.

This collection, although small, contains many intriguing elements. FitzGerald’s correspondence would be of interest to those studying Bryn Mawr in the late 1920s. The collection also contains materials related to FitzGerald’s long career in USIA, a public diplomacy agency. These materials would be of interest to those studying the careers of women within USIA or English language programs in Lima, Peru, Ankara, Turkey; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cairo, Egypt; and Beirut, Lebanon.


  • Creation: 1926 - 1954

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research

Conditions Governing Use

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17)

Biographical / Historical

Susan FitzGerald was born in Boston on October 4th, 1908 to Richard Y. FitzGerald and noted suffragist and founder of Bryn Mawr's Self-Government Association, Susan Walker FitzGerald (Bryn Mawr Class of 1893). She attended public schools in Boston from 1914-1924 before entering Bryn Mawr College in 1925. She spent her junior year abroad in Munich and graduated cum laude from Bryn Mawr with honors in German in 1929. FitzGerald continued her career in German, teaching German at the Milton Academy from 1930-1932 and the Mary E. Curley School from 1932-1933. In 1934, she moved to Spain for 10 months, living with Alice Bache Gould for ten months. When she returned to the US, she began teaching Spanish and German at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Connecticut, from 1935-1942. In 1940, she received her M.A. in Spanish from the Middlebury Summer School after several summers. From 1942-1945, she taught Spanish and German at the Chapin School in New York City. FitzGerald made an abrupt career change in 1945, undergoing Red Cross training. In 1946, she became a US Army Hostess, Officer of Theater Chief of Special Services, Headquarters USFET, where she was assigned to the AEF Club, in Frankfort, Germany. From 1949-1956, FitzGerald worked at the Institute for Intercultural Relations in Lima, Peru and as the Director of Courses for the United States Information Agency. She worked as the USIA program officer in the English Teaching Branch, in Washington, D.C. from 1956-1957. From 1957-1961, she worked as the Deputy Director of the Turkish-American Association, in Ankara. Later, in 1961-1966, she worked as the Director of the American Language Center in Beirut. She worked as an English Teaching Officer from 1966-1967. Cairo was evacuated in 1967. FitzGerald worked as the Director of the English Language Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 1967-1972 before retiring from the U.S. Information Agency in 1972. She later published an English-language teaching book called Reading Your Way to English.


1 boxes

Language of Materials



Susan FitzGerald was a member of the Bryn Mawr class of 1929, the daughter of Susan Walker FitzGerald, who founded the Self-Government Association. Susan FitzGerald taught Spanish and German from 1930-1945 before becoming involved with the United States Information Agency. She worked all over the world as the director of English language programs and teaching English. FitzGerald retired in 1972. The Susan FitzGerald papers house the personal papers of Susan FitzGerald. The collection, which spans 1926 to 1954, is comprised of correspondence and USIA (United States Information Agency) printed material.

Related Materials

A life history exists in the Oral History collection.

Related Materials

The papers of FitzGerald's mother, Susan Walker Fitzgerald are also housed at Bryn Mawr.

Susan FitzGerald papers
Cassidy Gruber Baruth
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Bryn Mawr College Library

Bryn Mawr College Library
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr 19010 USA US