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Betty Beale Collection

Identifier: 189

Scope and Contents

The Betty Beale Collection consists of 14 small spiral-bound notebooks and one Selectronics WordFinder 224 from ca. 1952 -1981, all of which belonged to journalist Betty Beale. The notebooks contain handwritten notes in both English and shorthand. The notes in English include names of individuals, places, phone numbers, addresses, numbers and figures, schedules/itineraries, and other miscellaneous bits of information. The shorthand notes have not been translated to English. Within the notebooks, some sections have been crossed out and many pages have lines through them. Several of the notebooks appear to be from trips to places such as Santa Fe, New Mexico; Santa Barbara, California; India; Hong Kong; Japan; and Hawaii.


  • Creation: ca. 1952-1981

Biographical / Historical

Betty Beale was a Washington, DC-born and based journalist who wrote about the city’s upper class society for over four decades. After graduating from Smith College, she went on to work for the Junior League, the Washington Post (1937-1940), the Washington Evening Star (1945-1981), and the North American Syndicate (1953-1989). Following the closure of the Washington Evening Star, Beale wrote briefly for the Washington Times and Georgetown and Country. She also published an autobiography, Power at Play: A Memoir of Parties, Politicians, and the Presidents in my Bedroom, in 1993.

Beale passed away at the age of 94 in 2006.


0.25 Linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The collection is divided into two (2) series: I. Notebooks and II. Selectronics WordFinder 224.

Custodial History

There is no Deed of Gift. This collection was mailed to the DC Public Library by James Rosen in May 2018. Follow-up efforts to contact the donor were unsuccessful.

Betty Beale Collection
A Guide to the Betty Beale Collection at DC Public Library
Finding aid prepared by Julie Burns
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, MLK Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001