Berta Briggs, née Nabersberg, was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. After graduating from high school, she moved to New York City to study at the Art Students League and Pratt Institute; she also took classes at Teachers College of Columbia University. Following her return to St. Paul, she was appointed the first supervisor of handicrafts in the public schools, a position she held for three years. She organized and directed the Department of Crafts at the St. Paul Institute School of Art and taught woodblock printing, leather work, metal work, and pottery. She moved back to New York in 1911 to become the head of the art department at a private school for girls. In 1913, she married William Harlowe Briggs, a publishing executive. She lectured on the history of art at Miss Chandor’s School for girls and co-founded the Noank Studio Guild, an outlet for craftwork. She also painted landscapes, specializing in paintings of birds. Her children's book Charles Willson Peale, Artist and Patriot, published in 1952, was followed by To the Shores of Tripoli: A Story of the United States Marines (1955).