The material pertaining to Radcliffe College offers the most comprehensive documentation of d'Harnoncourt's formal education, from freshman orientation to graduation. Although few in number, the correspondence reveals that d'Harnoncourt received honors from start to finish. In recognition of her "outstanding academic achievement" and "unusual promise" as a student and citizen, the college named her an honorary Ann Radcliffe Scholar for 1961-1962. Four years later, d'Harnoncourt graduated magna cum laude and received the Captain Jonathan Fay Prize, which at the time of her attendance was awarded to the "graduating senior woman who has given evidence of the greatest promise by her scholarship, conduct, and character during her four years at Radcliffe and Harvard." In between the awarding of these recognitions, d'Harnonncourt was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Iota of Massachusetts in 1964, and the following year received its $100 prize as ranking senior. [Since combining chapters with Harvard in 1995, it is now the Alpha Iota of Massachusetts]. Membership to this academic honors society goes to an undergraduate student whose course of study is "distinguished by excellence, reach, originality, and rigor."
Most of the notebooks consist of lecture notes of courses in German and English literature and history, with German class notes written in that language. In almost all, d'Harnoncourt adorns a number of pages with her fanciful illustrations of animals, medieval maidens, and contemporary figures. Based on hairstyles, some of the latter could be self-portraits. While playful, these drawings do not appear to be the result of idle daydreaming. Some clearly illustrate the topic under discussion, such as a drawing pertaining to her study in U.S. race relations (Social Relations 134). A scrawny rodent, identified as the "impoverished rat," faces the stouter "enriched rat," which is followed by the cropped legs and clawed paws of the "middle class cat." The notebook for the German 75 course is also worth noting. Based on the many drawings, d'Harnoncourt must have been quite inspired by the German philosophers and romantic poets she studied. There are also various papers loosely inserted into many of the notebooks, including writing assignments, and handouts such as syllabi and exam questions. D'Harnoncourt annotated many of the handouts. Most of the writing assignments, including those in separate files, are annotated and graded by the instructor whose feedback was often positive, but on occasion roughly critical. In her freshman seminar in historical geography, d'Harnoncourt's writings received both. While the professor thought her final term paper regarding pilgrim routes was awkwardly constructed in parts and lacked flair, he thought otherwise of her essay on the rise of monasticism. It was published in the spring 1963 issue of Harvard's "Journal of the social sciences." D'Harnoncourt's thesis comparing the poetry of Shelley and Hölderlin is also included here, but without comments. In comparing their "mythmaking" poetry, she argued that their works exemplified a desire to "improve reality" rather than serve as vehicles of escapism. In addition to her writings, images of d'Harnoncourt also made their way into some of the college publications, including the cover of the May 1965 Radcliffe Quarterly.These are filed separately from the other publications and clippings.
While at Radcliffe, d'Harnoncourt had the extraordinary opportunity to return to Africa in the summer of
1962--this time as a member of Project Tanganyika, a volunteer program sponsored by the Phillips Brooks House at Harvard University. [Tanganyika is now Tanzania, excluding the island of Zanzibar.] At the invitation of the government, hers was the second group of college volunteers to work in Tanganyika, which had only gained its independence the previous December. The government's goal to teach the 80 percent of its population that could not read or write no doubt reminded d'Harnoncourt of the sense of urgency and ambition she admiringly described during her time in Africa three years prior. Her full participation--from planning and preparing to fund raising for next year's group--is well-documented. For example, in the November 1962 issue of the Radcliffe Quarterly, project participant Cornelia Lewis, who was teamed with d'Harnoncourt, recounts the group's activities and impressions. Since d'Harnoncourt seems not to have recorded her experiences, Lewis's three-page account is all the more significant. From Lewis, we learn that the two young women lived in the capitol, Dar es Salaam, and taught at two community centers. With a classroom of adult women, they instructed their students in English, sewing, cooking, and "American tribal dancing," parenthetically defined as the bunny hop and the twist. In separate sessions, they worked with refugees from South Africa and Mozambique, and in Kinondoni, a Dar suburb, they taught English to 60 men employed as houseboys, and served as interim instructors to that suburban district's new community center.
Lewis's article was included in a binder that pertains to the 1962 trip and that of the following year. Although some papers are topically grouped together, there is no discernible order to their arrangement in the binder. The first two pages are flyers announcing presentations on campus of the 1962 project by its participants. Further in the binder are a two-page list of slides for "Tanganyika talks" and a draft letter by d"Harnoncourt requesting fundraising advice. Clearly the participants' dedication to the project did not end with their departure from Africa. Most of the papers document how d'Harnoncourt prepared for the trip and the training she received. There are numerous handouts and notes d'Harnoncourt took to learn Swahili, as well as notes on the history of Tanganyika. Memos advise on what to pack, traveling and lodging. There are also summary reports of the 1961 and 1962 projects, as well as copies of several lengthy letters that based on their dates were written by a student participating in the 1963 trip. Before discarding the original binder, a record copy of its front cover was made during processing. The papers, now in folders, are in original binder order. The last folder contains several printed items that were inserted in the back of the binder. Included are two booklets for the study of elementary Swahili, a government pamphlet in English and another in Swahili, ephemera, and a clipping of the1964 article in Time magazine naming Martin Luther King "man of the year."
In an interview, d'Harnoncourt recalled taking a couple classes in the history of architecture and auditing one in Chinese painting during her senior year. Unfortunately, there is no documentation of her course work in this collection.