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Pham Bach-Tuyet Notebooks

Identifier: BC20-11

Collection Scope and Content Summary

Pham Bach-Tuyet Notebooks date from September 1959 to May 1961. Materials consist of ten spiral bound notebooks plus one collection of notecards, all hand written. Pham Bach-Tuyet majored in government while at Barnard, and the notebooks contain her class and reading notes from courses in Government, History, History of America, International Relations, International Organizations, and the Soviet Union.

Of special note are extensive and amended notes on the Soviet Union, including a hand drawn “Outline of the Structure of the Soviet Union” and a one-page analysis of American and Soviet “differences,” as well as personal reflections on “An Ideal University” and “Our Struggle.”


  • Creation: 1951 - 1961

Language of Collection Materials

English, French, Vietnamese


This collection has no restrictions.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard Archives and Special Collections. The Barnard Archives and Special Collections approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Reproductions Restrictions

Photocopies or scans may be made for research purposes.


Pham Bach-Tuyet was born December 7, 1936 and lived in Saigon, Vietnam. Before matriculating at Barnard College Pham attended the Lyceé chu vau au Vietnam and studied at the Faculty of Law, University of Saigon. She may have benefitted from a December 1954 Book Drive for Indo-China sponsored by the Columbia University Student Council. The program collected and sent books in the 1950s to the University of Saigon after Vietnamese troops defeated the French in the Indochina War and before American troops entered the conflict.

Pham entered Barnard in 1959 as a government major and member of the Class of 1961. During her undergraduate years a U.S. civil rights movement was gaining energy, support, and participation. The Congress of Racial Equality recruited growing numbers of citizens, including Barnard alumnae, to join Freedom Rides, which were non-violent protests against racial segregation in the U.S. Faculty, students, and alumnae also discussed a possible Peace Corp recruitment program on the Barnard campus. Junior year abroad opportunities included programs at the University of Moscow and the Free University in West Berlin.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson won the 1960 U.S. Presidential election. Barnard’s Class of 1961 witnessed the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. In Indochina, Vietnamese troops defeated French troops, Cambodia was entering the conflict, and President John F. Kennedy was about to send additional equipment, advisors and personnel to assist South Vietnam’s war against the Vietcong.

On her permanent registration for Barnard’s Placement Office, Pham listed her occupational choices as “United Nations job, foreign service, teaching.” Her extracurricular activities while at Barnard included the International Student Club and the National Union of Vietnamese Students. A 1961 Barnard Bulletin article describes the International Students Club as, “an organization which provides a meeting place for students from other countries and students from America in order that they become acquainted with each other and exchange ideas.”

After graduation Pham, who was fluent in French and Vietnamese as well as English, worked for the U.S. Joint Public Research Service as a freelance translator. She continued to live in Morningside Heights for a while and in September 1961 began pursuing a master’s degree in international affairs at the City College of New York.

In 1962 Pham left the United States after entrusting a classmate with her notebooks from government courses at Barnard from 1959 to 1961. It is believed Vietnamese representatives might have had her deported back to Vietnam, but she hoped to enroll at the Sorbonne in Paris. A Barnard friend writes, “She lived in the campus dorms when I did during the spring of 1961. I typed a research paper for her on the brewing Vietnamese War, although I didn't realize it would come to that at the time, though she may have. I promised to keep her notebooks until she contacted me, but I never heard from her again.”

Class of 1961 alumnae worked in more than 33 different fields, including teaching, social service, medicine, scientific research, media, “plastic” and performing arts. Five alumnae later earned doctorates, and 26 entered doctoral programs. According to the fifth class reunion June 1966 report, at the time of the reunion Pham was living in Paris. No further information is available.


“Book Drive,” Barnard Bulletin, December 13, 1954, p. 2.

“Mr. Hassan, Arab Chief of Press, Speaks on Nasser and Neutrality,” Barnard Bulletin, February 23, 1961, p. 4.

Barnard College. A History of Barnard College: Published in honor of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the College, 1964. New York: Barnard College.


0.83 Linear Feet


The collection consists of the undergraduate government and history class notebooks of Pham Bach-Tuyet, Barnard Class of 1961. It includes her class notes, reading notes, course outlines, bibliographies, draft essays and brief personal reflections on her coursework, international events, and her time at Barnard.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically at the folder level.

Physical Location

This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to Barnard College Archives by a Barnard alumna and classmate of Pham’s.

Related Collections

Barnard College Announcement Barnard College Occupation Bureau Student Publications - The Barnard Bulletin (1901-present) Student Publications – Mortarboard

Processing History

This collection was processed and the finding aid written by graduate assistant Jacqueline Rider in October 2012.

Descriptive Rules Used Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Encoding Machine readable finding aid encoded in EAD 2002. Encoded by Shannon O'Neill.

Finding aid written in English.


Guide to the Pham Bach Tuyet Notebooks
Jacqueline Rider
© 2012
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 Barnard Archives and Special Collections Repository

3009 Broadway
New York NY 10027 United States