Jane Briggs Hart papers: circa 1925-1996
Summary Information
Title: Jane Briggs Hart papers
Creator: Hart, Jane Briggs.
Inclusive dates: circa 1925-1996
Extent: 4 linear feet (in 3 boxes and 11 oversize volumes)
Extent: 4.14 GB (online)
Aviator and wife of the late Senator Philip A. Hart. Scrapbooks, photographs, clippings, and papers documenting her life as wife of Senator Philip A. Hart, her family life, and to a lesser extent, her aviation activities.
Call number: 2010191 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Jennifer Barr, October 2010

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

This collection was donated by Jane B. Hart (donor no. 10415) in September, 2010.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

The collection contains audio tapes from which digital copies have been made. Source tapes are for staff use only. Audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.


Copyright is not held by the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Alternate Format:

Digitization: The Library has undertaken the digitization of a number of sound recordings within this collection. The resulting audio files are available for playback only in the Bentley Library Reading Room. Links to item images and additional information are available within this finding aid. Original sound recordings are only available for staff use.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Jane Briggs Hart papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Jane B. ("Janey") Hart was an aviator and wife of the late Senator Philip A. Hart. Jane Hart was born in Detroit, October 20, 1921, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter O. Briggs. She attended the Academies of the Sacred Heart in Detroit, Grosse Pointe, and Torresdale, Pennsylvania, and Manhattanville College in New York City. In 1970, she received her BA in anthropology from George Washington University.

Jane Hart was married June 19, 1943, to Philip A. Hart who then was a captain in the U.S. Army. They met when he was her brother's roommate at Georgetown University. The Harts had eight children: Ann, Jane Cameron, Walter, James, Michael, Clyde, Mary Catherine, and Laura Elizabeth. The Harts resided in Birmingham (Oakland County) until 1955, when Philip Hart became Michigan's Lieutenant Governor and the family moved to Lansing. In 1958, Philip Hart was elected to the United States Senate. He served nearly three full terms, resigning in 1976 because of poor health. Philip Hart died shortly after he left the Senate, in December of 1976.

Jane Hart was active in civic affairs and women's rights, and she shared her husband's interest in government and political activities. She was active in her husband's political campaigns and served as vice chairman of the Oakland County Democratic Committee. She was a founding member of the National Organization for Women, and served as board member and national convention delegate for the Birmingham League of Women Voters. She was charter vice president of the Guild of the Pontiac Urban League, a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a trustee of the Michigan 4-H Foundation, and a member of the board of the Sister Elizabeth Kenny Foundation. In 1972, after President Richard M. Nixon announced the mining of North Vietnamese harbors, Jane Hart wrote a letter to the Internal Revenue Service, informing the IRS that she would no longer pay income tax.

Jane Hart earned her first pilot's license during World War II, after two years as a member of the Red Cross Motor Corps. Her interest in aviation has continued throughout her life; she owned and flew a twin engine six passenger Aero-Commander 500A, and she was the first licensed female helicopter pilot in Michigan. She was a captain in the Civil Air Patrol, a member of the Flying Farmers of Michigan, and a participant in several national cross-country air races.

In the early 1960s, Jane Hart was chosen to be part of the Lovelace Foundation's Woman in Space Program, a privately-funded project testing women pilots for astronaut fitness. She was one of only 13 women (the Mercury 13) to pass the rigorous physical tests developed by NASA to select their astronauts. Despite the test results, the women were not selected for space flights. She and Jerrie Cobb, the first candidate to qualify for astronaut training, went on to campaign in Washington for continuation of the program. Jane Hart passed away on June 5, 2015 in Bloomfield, Connecticut, at age of 93.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Jane B. Hart papers include materials that document the life of Philip and Jane Hart, Philip Hart's political career, and Jane Hart's aviation and her role in the effort to include women in the space program. The collection consists of four series: Scrapbooks, Audiovisual, Personal Papers, and Inscribed Volumes.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Legislators' spouses.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1941-1950.
  • Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1951-1960.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Women air pilots -- Michigan.
  • Women astronauts -- United States -- History.
  • Air pilots -- Michigan.
  • Legislators -- United States.
  • Legislators' spouses.
  • Politics and government -- United States.
  • Women -- Political activity -- Michigan.
  • Photograph albums.
  • Photographs.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Videotapes.
  • Hart, Jane Briggs.
  • Hart, Philip A. (Philip Aloysius), 1912-1976.
  • Hart, Jane Briggs.
  • Hart, Philip A. (Philip Aloysius), 1912-1976.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Scrapbooks circa 1925-1980 [series]

The Scrapbooks contain clippings and photographs documenting Philip Hart's political career, Jane Hart's aviation activities, and her advocacy of the inclusion of women in the space program.

Oversize Volume   1  
Clippings (with occasional letters) relating to the Hart family and Phil Hart's political career in Michigan 1943-1953
Oversize Volume   2  
Clippings relating to Michigan politics and to Phil Hart's work as Michigan Lieutenant Governor 1957
Oversize Volume   3  
"This is Your Life Janey Hart," 1958

(include clippings with occasional photographs relating to Jane Hart and to Phil Hart's campaign for the US Senate)

Oversize Volume   4  
Clippings and photographs circa 1925-1961

(include Jane Hart as child, equestrian photos, and Jane Hart situated near airplane)

Oversize Volume   5  
Clippings (with occasional photograph) relating to politics 1963-1964

(includes clippings related to Jane Hart's work to include women in the space program)

Oversize Volume   6  
Album containing letters, clippings, and photographs from Philip A. Hart Testimonial Dinner on occasion of Israel's 16th anniversary sponsored by the Detroit Israel Bond Committee May 24, 1964
Oversize Volume   7  
Clippings (with occasional letter and publication) relating to national politics 1964-1965

(includes clippings on Jane Hart's aviation activities and women in space)

Oversize Volume   8  
Clippings (with occasional letter and publication) relating to national politics 1965-1966

(includes photos and clippings related to Jane Hart's return to college)

Box   1  
Volume of letters from dignitaries upon occasion of Phil Hart's retirement from the US Senate March 14, 1976
Oversize Volume   9  
Album of photocopied clippings and letters from 1930-1933 and given to Jane Hart on the occasion of the first Philip A. Hart Memorial Lectureship and the dedication of the Philip A. Hart Moot Court Room, Georgetown University, September 17, 1980 1930-1980
Audiovisual 1943-1981 [series]

The Audiovisual series includes photograph albums and loose photographs of the Hart family, the Hart's wedding photos, Philip A. Hart's appearances at government and public events, and Jane Hart's aviation and equestrian activities. The series also includes a video of the dedication of the Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building in 1988, and an audio tape of a radio program in which Ann Hart (a daughter) discusses her participation in Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign in 1968.

Photograph Albums [subseries]
Oversize Volume   10  
Jane Hart on horseback as part of equestrian performance 1931-1942
Box   1  
Wedding album of Philip and Jane Hart June 19, 1943
Box   1  
Jane Hart and friends in or near airplanes 1956-1958
Oversize Volume   11  
Baby album: include photo of Phil Hart with baby (perhaps first-born) circa 1945
Box   1  
Album of snapshots, some from costume party, others of family settings circa 1947-1948
Box   1  
Album of family portraits and of holiday greetings featuring the Hart family circa 1950s-1970s
Loose photographs [subseries]
Box   2  
Photographs circa 1930s-1976

(includes portrait of Jane Hart and photos of Phil Hart and Lyndon Johnson on occasion of signing of Civil Rights Act)

Box   3  
Photographs: Jane and Phil Hart portraits, wedding photos, and miscellaneous photos 1943-1960s

(includes photo of Jane Hart in Red Cross vehicle, and with an airplane)

Box   3  
Photographs: Hart family portraits and holiday greetings featuring the family circa 1950s-1960s

(includes several negatives and transparencies)

Box   3  
Photographs: Hart family portraits and snapshots circa 1960s-1981
Box   3  
Photographs: Philip A. Hart political and public events 1954-1976, undated (2 folders)
Box   3  
Loose scrapbook pages 1961-1968
Other Audiovisual Material [subseries] [Digitized audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.]
Box   3  
Ann Hart and others interviewed in Fred Gale's "Comment" program 1968 March 15 [Digitized audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.] (Audio Reel-to-Reel, 7 inch)
[Part 1] ([2010191-SR-1-1]) [Digitized audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.]
(Fred Gale "Comment" program, WWDC-AM/FM, March 15, 1968 (interview with Ann Hart and others about their work on Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign)) [access item]
Box   3  
Hart family photographs circa 1970s-1980s (1 optical discs (CD-Rs))  [Digitized audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.] (CD-R)
Box   3  
Dedication of the Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building 1988 (1 videotape (VHS (TM)))  [Digitized audio files are only available in the Bentley Historical Library reading room on designated Bentley Library computers.]
Personal Papers 1943-1996 [series]

The small Personal Papers series includes clippings about Philip A. Hart's time in the Senate and memorials and tributes following his death, clippings about Jane Hart and the Hart family, several letters written by Jane Hart and Ann Hart, and miscellaneous papers related to Philip Hart's political career and Jane Hart's work to include women in the space program.

Box   3  
Letters from Jane Hart in France 1958
Box   3  
Letters from Ann Hart in Spain and Germany 1965
Box   3  
Jane Hart interview transcript 1981

(interview conducted as part of G. Mennen Williams and Nancy Quirk Williams Oral History Project)

Box   3  
Materials related to women in aviation and space 1962, 1986

(includes Jane Hart's testimony before the Congressional Committee on Science and Aeronautics)

Box   3  
Manhattanville College reunion booklet 1993
Box   3  
Clippings on Jane Hart and Hart children 1943, 1958-1977
Box   3  
Clippings on Phil Hart's death and memorials 1976-1977
Box   3  
Congressional Record, August and Sept 1976

(includes tributes to Phil Hart)

Box   3  
Memorials and tributes to Phil Hart 1976-1977, 1996

(includes letter from Ted Sorensen)

Box   3  
Miscellaneous materials related to Phil Hart's political career 1954-1975, undated
Box   2  
Resolutions and certificates 1943-1982
Inscribed Volumes [series]

The final series, Inscribed Volumes, contains miscellaneous books autographed or inscribed by the author to Phil and Jane Hart.

Box   3  
Alexander, Shana The Astonishing Elephant

(inscribed to Jane Hart by author)

Box   3  
Breslin, Rosemary Not Exactly What I Had in Mind


Box   3  
Buffa, Dudley W. Union Power and American Democracy

(inscribed to Jane Hart by author)

Box   3  
Reuther, Walter P. Selected Papers

(inscribed to Phil Hart by author)

Box   3  
Schroeder, Pat Champion of the Great American Family


Box   3  
Schwartz, Herman The Burger Years

(inscribed to Jane Hart by editor)