Scope and arrangement
The collection contains professional, personal and family papers documenting Vreeland's life and career as one of the most influential fashion editors and trendsetters of the 20th century. Included are her extensive correspondence with celebrities, society figures, prominent colleagues in the fashion industry, and with her extended family; personal diaries and datebooks; writings by and about her; and a variety of personal documents and memorabilia.
Most of Vreeland's professional papers document her years as editor-in-chief of Vogue, 1962-1971. Included in the Vogue files are correspondence with designers, models, photographers, royalty, and writers as well as background files on proposed topics for Vogue articles, such as the Bal Orientale held in Paris in 1969 by Baron de Rede. Although the Vogue files included memoranda by Vreeland, the collection does not include the memos published in Visionaire #37 in 2002.
The collection also includes files kept by Vreeland as consultant to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1971-1989, and a small amount of material concerning her twenty-five years at Harper's Bazaar and her lingerie business in London during the 1930s. Among Harper's Bazaar material are a few letters from editor-in-chief Carmel Snow, and one from Nancy White who succeeded Vreeland as fashion editor.
Vreeland's social network of friends, acquaintances and business contacts throughout the world was formidable. Correspondents in the collection include such notable individuals as Billy Baldwin, Cecil Beaton, Truman Capote, James Galanos, Giancarlo Giammetti, Bianca and Mick Jagger, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rose Kennedy, Yves Saint Laurent, Mary McFadden, Elsa Peretti, Baron and Baroness de Rothschild, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
The collection also includes a great deal of correspondence from Vreeland family members, chiefly her sons, Thomas ("Timmy") Reed Vreeland, Jr., and Frederick ("Frecky")Dalziel Vreeland and their families.
Vreeland's writings are represented by drafts and mock-ups of Allure, co-authored with Christopher Hemphill, and reviews letters, drafts, and galley proofs of D.V., Vreeland's autobiography. There are a few fashion articles and notes including Vreeland's research on Coco Chanel.
Personal papers and documents in the collection include Diana Vreeland's diaries, address books, scrapbooks, birth certificate, marriage certificate, naturalization papers; and several awards.
The Diana Vreeland papers are arranged in seven series:
This series focuses on Vreeland's career in the fashion world It is arranged in four subseries that reflect Vreeland's chronological work history: A. European Business 1931-1934; B. Harper's Bazaar 1937-1962; C. Vogue 1963-1987; D. Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970-1989.
This series is arranged chronologically. The letters are chiefly incoming, with some typewritten letters from Vreeland for the later years. They reflect the social activities of Vreeland, her friends, colleagues, and the celebrities with whom she was acquainted. Letters from England dominate the 1930s through the 1940s. Beginning in the 1950s, there is a greater number of letters from friends in the United States. The content of the letters consists of comments on her dinner parties, current news, family, health, remarks on special occasions, thank you notes for gifts, invitations and references. Correspondents in the United States and abroad congratulated her on her new position as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. Prominent correspondents in this series include: Cecil Beaton, Truman Capote, James Galanos, Giancarlo Giammetti, Bianca and Mick Jagger, Rose Kennedy, Yves St. Laurent, Mary McFadden, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elsa Peretti Baron and Baroness de Rothschild, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
This series mainly contains the letters to Diana and Reed Vreeland from their two sons, Thomas Reed Vreeland Jr., and Frederick Dalziel Vreeland and their families.
This series contains a sampling of Vreeland's professional writing. A draft, duplicate, mockups, notes and transparencies represent "Allure", the book of photographs of noted personalities that Vreeland co-wrote with Christopher Hemphill. There is also a bound volume with notes regarding the placement of photographs. Vreeland's autobiography "D.V." is represented by reviews and letters, 1994-1985, Publicity material, notes, drafts and royalty statements are are also present. Other writings include research notes for a Coco Chanel article, a draft of an essay on Sonia Delauney, and research material concerning Jean Schlumberger.
The series is arranged in five subseries. 1. Address Books, 1930-1980s; n.d. 2. Pocket Diaries, 1950-1984. 3. Appointment Books, 1968-1972; 1982-1989. 4. House Books and Secretary's Records, 1940-1955. 5. Daily Record for Medications, 1985-1989. This series contains numerous compilations of names, addresses, and appointments, chiefly from 1950 until Vreeland's death. The Daily Record for Medication, 1985-1989, was kept by nurses or home care workers during Vreeland's illness, and provide much detail on her daily life during the period. The series also includes photographs of Vreeland's jewelry collection and response card to invitations to her memorial service.
This series contains the tributes that Vreeland amassed over her lifetime and key documents such as her birth certificate, naturalization record, marriage certificate, and wills. Also included are juvenile memorabilia, recipes, clippings of articles about Vreeland, and note files she amassed on fashion and other topics.