School publications offer the largest amount of documentation of d'Harnoncourt's earliest formal education at the Brearley School. It appears that her mother received and kept the periodic school bulletins and annual publications as her name is written on the cover of one; and on another is a note, "René--this just came." The run of bulletins is not continuous, with certain volume numbers missing. Based on other cover markings, Sarah d'Harnoncourt took particular parental interest in the three earliest issues that included writings about academic pressure, social practices, and the notion of a well-rounded girl. In keeping with her concerns, she clipped and inserted a Readers Digest article within the Fall 1951 volume. The headline states, "Every child has a gift," and that "it's a wise parent who knows how to encourage a child's hidden talent." D'Harnoncourt's mother also noted to "keep" the issue published in June 1959, which includes among its student writings a poem by her daughter entitled "Doubt." Judging from the title, one would expect self-doubt to be the subject of a poem written by a young sophomore. Instead d'Harnoncourt's work is more of an existential exercise, challenging concepts of reality and the unreal. Even more expressive of d'Harnoncourt's talents is the illustrated essay "African seminar," published in the March 1960 bulletin, in which she recounts her unordinary summer recess. In the summer of 1959, d'Harnoncourt, not quite 16 years old, traveled with several other American high school students to Africa to participate in a four-week International Affairs seminar sponsored by the Pomfret School (Pomfret, CT). The young travelers visited Kenya, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), and Ghana to take part in programs intended to bring them face-to-face with Africa's limited but growing educational systems and its young people. The three annual publications that follow are a combination of school catalog and annual reports, listing calendars, curriculum, faculty, school day description, and tuition, as well as funding reports. In the student magazine, the "Beaver," d'Harnoncourt assumed the role of art editor. The two issues here are peppered with her fanciful illustrations, including center spreads in both issues and the cover art to the 1959 publication. She also contributed a few poems in each.
In the three folders following these publications, d'Harnoncourt gives a more detailed account of her African seminar through her personal writings. While traversing the continent, observing the landscape and wildlife, and meeting students, villagers, missionaries, and government officials, she recorded her experiences and reactions in two detailed essays and a notebook of quick observations and first impressions. Her descriptions make evident her enchantment with the colors, sounds and spiritedness she encounters. D'Harnoncout's enthusiasm, however, does not cloud her critical eye as she also notes the contrasting lifestyles, the subtle discrimination, the not-so-subtle segregation, and a sense of urgency among Africans to move forward and improve their conditions. Included in the related correspondence is a letter from a 21-year old student d'Harnoncourt met in Ghana. Dated August 24, the letter was written soon after the American students left. In it the young man notes that at 5'11" he is one of the tallest boys in his class, which is why he chose d'Harnoncourt, "a fairly tall girl," for his pen pal. Apparently there was no further exchange of letters. The remaining correspondence consists of two memos addressed to "Dear Troops." Based on the signature of "Bob" and his references to Hampton Institute in the 1961 memo, the author is Robert Allen Lazear, who taught history at Pomfret from 1951 to 1962 when he became assistant to the President of Hampton Institute (now Hampton University in Virginia, a historically black college). His 1962 memo describes current political events in Rhodesia and with it is the October 1961 issue of the "Mindolo Newsletter," named for a town in Northern Rhodesia. According to the editor's note, Lazear was the Pomfret administrator who brought a group of students to Africa in 1959. Therefore, the "troops" addressed in the memos were d"Harnoncourt and her fellow student travelers.
The only samples of d'Harnoncourt's class work at Brearley consist of two term papers, written in her junior and senior years for her classes in world history and modern European history, respectively. D'Harnoncourt created illustrated covers for both reports.