Scope and arrangement
The Barbara M. Watson Papers date from 1929-1984 and document Watson's career as a business woman (1946-1955); lawyer (1962-1964, 1981-1983); government official (1966-1974, 1977-1980) and diplomat (1980-1981). In addition to career information, there are personal papers, general and family correspondence, lecture and conference participation data, including typescripts of speeches delivered by Watson, records of her board memberships and professional associations and extensive printed material relating to Watson's professional and personal life.|||There are papers relating to Watson's career (1946-1955) as owner and director of Brandford Models, the first African-American modeling agency and charm school in the United States; her position as Coordinator of Student Activities at Hampton Institute (1958-1959); her series of positions as an attorney with New York City, as well as her private practice of law and international trade consultancy with the Washington based law firms of Italo H. Ablondi and van Kloberg & Associates after her retirement from the U.S. Department of State.|||The largest series, United States Department of State is divided into five subseries beginning with the Office of Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration. This subseries covers her initial three month (1966) appointment with the State Department and consists of personnel records, congratulatory letters regarding her appointment and newspaper clippings.|||The Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs (later renamed the Bureauof Consular Affairs) subseries documents Watson's duties as Acting Administrator and Administrator, with the rank of Assistant Secretary of State, and consist of what Watson called her "Personal Chronological File" which are letters and carbon copies of her replies that are considered official, yet informal and unclassified. The correspondents are friends and acquaintances who held official positions in consulates and embassies throughout the world, government leaders, executives of corporations, social action, cultural, ethnic, legal, political, educational and other organizations. Also documented is Watson's 1974 ouster, her job related speeches, travel vouchers and appointment calendars indicating the scope and purposes of her extensive travels in the U.S. and abroad, and which provide a framework for her official duties.|||The U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia subseries reflects Watson's activities in this position. Included is documentation of her official nominationand appointment, background information concerning Malaysia, ambassadorial seminars, commerce and foreign policy briefings, ceremonies, daily schedules, invitations, appointment calendars, speeches Watson delivered at official functions and newspaper clippings covering her tenure.