collection SC.492 - Beryl Bernay collection, 1940- circa 1961

Identity area

Reference code



Beryl Bernay collection, 1940- circa 1961


  • 1940 - 1961 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

.75 linear feet

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born Beryl Bernstein in Brooklyn, NY in 1926 to Russian Jewish immigrant parents, Beryl's father changed the family's last name to Berney when she was a child. She later changed the spelling to Bernay and went on to study art and photography at Cooper Union and The Art Students League as well as fashion design at the Fashion Academy in New York City. A stint producing children's television during the 1950s and early 1960s paralleled her working as an actor on Broadway. During the 1960s and 70s, she worked as an international journalist, reporting for the United Nations, NPR, ABC, NBC, The New York Times, Time and Newsweek. Throughout her life, she continued to make an exhibition artwork and appeared on the stage and screen. Bernay died in March 2020 in Manhattan at the age of 94 due to complications induced by the COVID-19 virus.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donation of Carol Gonzalez, July 2023

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection is comprised of original fashion sketches, illustrations and costume design sketches as well as limited amounts of educational ephemera, correspondence and tearsheets.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically and thematically on the folder level.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access is open to researchers by appointment at the Fashion Institute of Technology Library, Department of Special Collections and College Archives. If you have any questions, or wish to schedule an appointment contact us at or call (212) 217-4385.

Conditions governing reproduction

The Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives does not own copyright for all material held in its physical custody. It is the researcher's obligation to abide by and satisfy copyright law ( when copying or using materials (including digital materials) found in or made available from the department. When possible, the department will inform a researcher about the copyright status of material, the researcher's obligations with regard to such material, and, wherever possible, the owner or owners of the copyrights. Any and all reproduction of originals is at the archivist's discretion.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

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Finding aids

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Description control area

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      Accession area