Guide to the Evelyn Beyer Photograph Collection
RG 12 .1.1

Summary Information

Sarah Lawrence College Archives
Beyer, Evelyn, 1907-2011
Evelyn Beyer Photograph Collection
RG 12 .1.1
Date [inclusive]
undated, circa 1940-1960s
0.25 linear feet 1 half box

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Sarah Lawrence College Archives 2003

Sarah Lawrence College Archives
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY, 10708

Revision Description

 Finding Aid entered in Archivists' Toolkit by Elijah Black. July 2012

Terms of use

The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

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Biographical note

Evelyn Beyer, affectionately known at Sarah Lawrence College as “Evie,” was born in Auburn, NY in 1907. She received her B.A. from the University of Rochester in 1929, did graduate study in nursery education at the Bank Street College of Education in 1931, and received her M.A. from New York University in 1945 in Early Childhood Education, where she continued graduate studies until 1948.

Before her career at Sarah Lawrence College, Beyer held various appointments. She started out as a librarian in 1930 at the University of Rochester and became a teacher of preschool and primary children at Mount Kemble School in Morristown, NJ from 1932 to 1935. She then worked for the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) as supervisor of nursery schools in New York State in 1936, was assistant director and teacher at the Harriet Johnson Nursery School in New York City in 1937. The year 1937 also marked the beginning of Beyer’s long career with Sarah Lawrence College. From 1937 to 1944, Beyer was a teacher of child development and director of the Nursery School at Sarah Lawrence College. She then became director of preschool activities at the Rochester Child Health Institute in Rochester, MN from 1945 to 1952. Beginning in 1952, she was assistant professor of child study and director of the Nursery School at Smith College, and in 1957, she returned to direct the Sarah Lawrence College Nursery School once again. In addition to teaching and administration of nursery schools, Beyer wrote books, children’s books, and numerous articles on nursery education.

Beyer was the first director of the Sarah Lawrence College Nursery School, which was founded in 1937. When she left Sarah Lawrence in 1945, and went to the Rochester Child Health Institute, part of a community health care project sponsored by the Mayo Clinic, she worked with Dr. Benjamin Spock and Dr. C. Anderson Aldrich. She returned to the Sarah Lawrence Nursery School in 1945 and remained its director until retirement in 1970.

During Beyer’s almost thirty years at Sarah Lawrence, the Nursery School grew to be well-known in nursery education. The Nursery School, started in 1937, was created to provide a preschool experience for young children and their parents in Bronxville, as well as to provide a laboratory for Sarah Lawrence students to learn about children directly from studying the children themselves. The Nursery School still remains on the Sarah Lawrence campus and is now known as the Early Childhood Center.

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Scope and Contents note

The photograph collection consists of photographs of children at the Sarah Lawrence College Nursery School from its founding in 1937 to the 1960s. Many of the photographs are not dated, but appear to be from the 1940 era and a few are from the 1950s to 1960s. The photographs are foldered according to the types of activities the children are pictured performing.

Also included is a photograph scrapbook entitled “Some of the Children” dating from 1941. The scrapbook documents Evelyn Beyer’s research on children in Washington, Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio, New Mexico, California, Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and New York. The photographs in the scrapbook represent poverty-stricken and malnourished children who are still able to learn despite the strikes against them. A few photographs of Evelyn Beyer and Marian Gay (teacher at the Nursery School) are included. The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

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Related Materials

See also

Records relating to the Nursery School in the Sarah Lawrence College Archives.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Early Childhood Center (Bronxville, N.Y.).


  • Photographs


  • Early childhood education

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Collection Inventory

Inventory titles and locations
Title Half-boxFolder

Evelyn Beyer circa 1940 


Children on the Climbing Tree (planted by Constance Warren) circa 1940 


Children Painting 1941 


Children Painting circa 1940s 


Children Painting 1940s-1960s 


Children Playing with Building Blocks circa 1940 


Children Playing in the Sandbox circa 1940 


Children Playing in the Snow circa 1940 


Children in the Swimming Pool circa 1940 


Marian Gay circa 1940 


Photo Album of “Some of the Children,” 1941