Barbara R. Bergmann papers, 1942-2015

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Bergmann, Barbara R.
Barbara Bergmann (1927-2015) was a distinguished professor emerita of economics at American University. This collection primarily documents her professional life through her writings, research, and professional activities. It was acquired as part of the Economists' Papers Archive.
13.5 Linear Feet (Eight boxes.)
Material in English.
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

This collection consists of writings by Bergmann, largely published versions, as well as some draft materials, project files, and research materials she accummulated. The contents of the collection speak to the breadth of Bergmann's interests in economic approaches--including mathematical modelling, microsimulation, and government regulations--as well as her wide ranging interests in sex and race discrimination, child care, poverty, affirmative action, economic aspects of parenting, education, domestic labor, wage discrimination, social security, and numerous other topics within the broad definition of feminist economics.

The Writings series predominantly consists of publications--essays, articles, chapters, and books--authored by Bergmann. There are also copies of her testimonies to Congress on poverty and child care. Materials are filed by title, and any supplemental information (including research, correspondence, and drafts) are included with the final published version of the work. There are a wide range of publications represented in this series, including newspapers, academic journals, commercial presses, and academic presses.

The Project Files series contains files from some of Bergmann's ongoing professional work, including a substantial amount of research and anecdotal evidence collected about marriage, intended for an unfinished book on the decline of marriage in America. The Project Files series also contains materials about Bergmann's economic activism, relating to her work identifying gender discrimination practices by Giant Foods, Inc., and her consulting role for the Service Employees International Union representing nurses in an anti-trust lawsuit against hospital salary practices in the 2000s.

A selection of published works collected by Bergmann on topics relevant to her research interests, including several Census Bureau reports, is held in the Research/Bergmann's Library series. The Teaching series includes course packs and hiring information from Bergmann's tenure in the American University Economics Department. Finally, the Autobiographical/Personal series contains some of Bergmann's awards and honors, including her BA from Cornell University; numerous interviews and statements from Bergmann discussing her career, personal history, and economic philosophy; and professional photographs of Bergmann.

Biographical / historical:

Barbara Rose (Berman) Bergmann (1927-2015) was a white American academic economist who was born in the Bronx, New York. She was a professor of economics at University of Maryland and American University and served as president of the International Association for Feminist Economics (which she helped found), the American Association of University Professors, and the Eastern Economic Association. Her research focused on social policies, the economics of race and gender, computer simulations of economic systems, and how the state of economic science impacted national politics.

Bergmann earned a BA in mathematics from Cornell University in 1948 and a MA and PhD from Harvard University in 1958, where she studied microsimulations of economic theories. She worked for the Bureau of Labor Statistics; served on the President's Council of Economic Advisors during the Kennedy administration (1961-1961); and advised the US Agency for International Development (1966-1967), Congressional Budget Office, Bureau of the Census, and Council on Wage and Price Stability. She and her husband, Fred Bergmann, had two children, David and Sarah.

Acquisition information:
The Barbara R. Bergmann papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library as a gift in 2017.
Processing information:

Processed by Meghan Lyon, February 2017.

Accession described in this collection guide: 2017-0015.


The Barbara R. Bergmann papers are arranged into five series: Writings, Research/Library, Projects, Personal/Autobiographical, and Teaching.

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Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the Rubenstein Library's Citations, Permissions, and Copyright guide.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Barbara R. Bergmann papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.