The first sub-subseries coincides primarily with d'Harnoncourt's curatorial tenure at PMA. The Art Institute of Chicago material is slightly earlier, when she worked there as an assistant curator. That documentation is minimal but includes a July 1971 letter from her AIC mentor, A. James Speyer. The letter mixes business with personal as Speyer comments on the young bride's recent wedding. Another letter written that same month and year, and included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art" folder, came from d'Harnoncourt's new "boss," Evan Turner, who served as PMA's director from 1964 to 1978. In this letter formalizing d'Harnoncourt's return to PMA, Turner notes that one of her first major responsibilities would be to coordinate the Marcel Duchamp retrospective that PMA was organizing with MoMA. D'Harnoncourt was well familiar with the late avant-garde artist from her tenure as curatorial assistant when she participated in PMA's 1969 acquisition and installation of his mixed media assemblage, "Étant Donnés." In the "Columbia University" folder, its single item--a 1971 letter signed "Allen"--was no doubt written by Allen Staley, who was the Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture at PMA during d'Harnoncourt's first brief tenure there as curatorial assistant. Staley, who in 1971 was a professor of art history at Columbia, opens the letter noting his belated return of a copy of d'Harnoncourt's graduate thesis, which examined the moral subject-matter in Pre-Raphaelite painting. A leading authority on British art of the 18th and 19th centuries and therefore Pre-Raphaelite art, Staley found her study excellent and fascinating, and in fact said he thought it "criminal" that she was "neglecting (and apparently abandoning) an area in which [she knew] so much."
The "Various. Job offers" folder was created during processing and includes a 1980 letter from Peter Smith, founding director of the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College. Smith's appears to be the first attempt to woo d'Harnoncourt from PMA with a directorship. D'Harnoncourt declined the invitation, noting in her response, which is also included, that she is "deeply rooted in Philadelphia" at this point.