Small Collections of Alumnae Letters and Memorabilia
Held at: Bryn Mawr College [Contact Us]Bryn Mawr College Library, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr 19010
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Bryn Mawr College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
On April 24, 2019, "Arnold, Frances, 1897" was removed from the Small Collections of Alumnae Letters and Memorabilia and moved to the Frances Arnold family letters collection. The folder name was changed to "Arnold, Frances- Letters 1893-1897." This change was made by Cassidy Gruber Baruth with consultation from Eric Pumroy.
- Bryn Mawr College
- Finding Aid Author
- Cassidy Gruber Baruth
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17)
The Agnes Emory papers contains a photographed copy of a 10 page narrative paper of Emory's time at Bryn Mawr College, written by Emory herself, probably in 1946. Emory was a graduate fellow in Greek and Latin from 1886-1887, during the earliest years of the college. The narrative provides an idea of what college life was like during these years, discussing the construction of Radnor, Emory's trip to Washington D.C., and a few recollections of Woodrow and Edith Wilson.
The Gertrude Allinson papers contains photocopies of excerpts from a poetry and essay book written by Allinson.
The Emily Greene Balch papers is a very small collection containing a miscellany of materials. It includes Balch's diploma from Bryn Mawr college; her birth certificate; an 1890 document from the Secretary of State granting her permission to travel freely; her course record from Bryn Mawr; and a photo copy of a poem written by Balch ("To an Earthworm").
The Abby Kirk papers contains a short narrative written by Abby Kirk (BMC 1892) about her time at Bryn Mawr. Kirk writes about her grueling entrance examinations to Bryn Mawr, her experience serving as M. Carey Thomas' secretary, and the formation of the Self-Government Association.
The Abby S. Brayton papers contains photocopies of correspondence written by Brayton (BMC 1894) during her years at Bryn Mawr.
The Margaret Hilles Shearman collection contains two class record books of Shearman. The first is a record of her undergraduate career at Bryn Mawr, where she studied History and Political Science. The second is a record of her graduate studies at Bryn Mawr, where she studied Physics and Chemistry.
The Edith Petit papers contains a number of essays written by Petit. It is unclear when the essays were written, or for whom.
The Annette Louise Hall (BMC 1895) papers contains Hall's class record book from Bryn Mawr. Hall studied Greek and Latin.
The Ruth W. Furness collection contains copies of letters written by Furness to her family during her time at Bryn Mawr. The letters have been typed, and some appear in piecemeal form, disparate paragraphs pasted onto one page. Although according to a note at the top of one of the letters, Furness wrote at least twice a week to her family, the collection contains only a small sample of her correspondence. Nevertheless, it provides a useful record of student life at Bryn Mawr College, especially extra-curricular activities.
The Elizabeth B. Kirkbride papers contain a variety of materials, including a photo of Kirkbride, calling cards, and assorted correspondence (most of which is incoming correspondence from Kirkbride's parents).
This collection contains eight letters written by Caldwell over the course of her four years at Bryn Mawr College. Most of the letters are addressed to her mother, although one is addressed to her father.
This collection contains the course record book of Martha Tracy. In addition to the normal information on the student's classes and grades, this book also contains a record of Tracy's private reading in connection with her English courses.
This very small collection contains a postcard from the 1924 May Day; a letter from the Library of Congress concerning Goodell's request that the BMC publication "The Lantern" be submitted into the Library's collections; and a short letter concerning Goodell's oral examinations.
This collection contains the course record book of E. Mabel McCune (Goulding), which notes McCune's classes, grades, and private reading.
This collection contains a copy of a speech given by Clara Seymour St. John to the class of 1900 on the occasion of their 50th reunion. St. John describes the changing college and the value of a Bryn Mawr education.
A digitized version and transcript of the diary can be found on Triptych
The Mary Ayer (Rousmaniere) diary houses the one volume diary of Mary Ayer, a member of the Bryn Mawr class of 1901. The diary spans Ayer's freshman through junior years at college, from 1897-1900. However, only the first two of these were spent at Bryn Mawr; Ayer spent her junior year at Radcliffe College, before returning to Bryn Mawr for her senior year. Ayer's diary offers insight into student athletics and academics, social life, and variations between Bryn Mawr and Radcliffe.
The diary comprises one volume. The diary begins with a summary of her entire freshman year, recounted sometime after its completion. She often summarizes the events of several days or weeks during her sophomore and junior years. The entries are irregular, but detailed.
Ayer became a member of the basketball team in her freshman year, making varsity during her second semester. She had a strong relationship with her teammates and often discusses the class tournaments in her diary (athletic competitions between the different classes at Bryn Mawr). Ayer also participated in a "Field Day" in 1899, and was the winner of a number of games. Much of the diary is devoted to Ayer's descriptions of social events. These range from large campus events like the class plays, to the small, intimate gatherings of friends, which Ayer often referred to as "teas." She writes about the various activities that each class year does for one another from the sophomore class performing "As You Like It" to her first year to attending junior prom in 1900. Ayer mentions a few Bryn Mawr notables, among them Marion Edwards Park, of whom she seems rather afraid. Park would become the third president of Bryn Mawr. Additionally, the diary illuminates some Bryn Mawr-specific traditions, including some that no longer exist. Ayer describes her freshman year Lantern Night (which is still celebrated), as well as the Freshman Play, and the Christian Union party (which are no longer a part of campus life). Her sophomore year, she discusses the Sophomore Play, Lantern Night, and Junior Prom. Additionally, copies of the oral song have been inserted into the diary, providing insight into traditions surrounding oral examinations. The diary provides valuable insight into the discrepancies between different women's colleges. Ayer's year studying at Radcliffe allowed her to draw comparisons between the two colleges. She characterized Radcliffe as quieter than Bryn Mawr, saying there was not as much "college life," which she described as teas, dances, and plays. She also made a brief visit to Vassar, finding that it had "many rules but not enforced which seems… a bad plan."
Ayer's diary is a detailed record of the life of a highly involved and social college woman during the turn of the century. Her descriptions of basketball and other athletic events would be of use to those interested in the involvement of women in sports. It also provides valuable insight into the variations between different women's colleges, and would be especially useful for those interested in the student experiences at Radcliffe and Bryn Mawr.
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17)
This collection contains a photocopy of an advertisement regarding a new savings bank for the students of Bryn Mawr College.
This collection contains a few invitations.
This collection contains the course record book of Eloise Sturdevant, detailing her courses, grades, and private reading.
This collection contains papers written by Trimble for her Bryn Mawr Latin class. It also contains papers written for her high school Latin class in preparation for college.
The collection contains Emma D. Roberts' English notebook. In the back of the notebook are some family tuition receipts from the early 19th century.
This collection contains a graduation invitation, a graduation program (both from 1903), and notes.
This collection contains the miniature 1901 diary of Alice Schiedt (Clark). The diary measures approximately 2" by 3". Each entry is about 2-3 sentences.
It should be noted that the College Archives also house Kohn's one volume scrapbook.
This collection contains the course record book of Elsie Kohn, which details Kohn's courses, grades, and private readings.
This small collection contains a letter from Joseph W. Warren to Clara Wade informing her of her nomination to the Trustees of the College.
This collection contains the 1905 Wanamaker diary of Edith Longstreth (Wood). The diary is a combination of trade catalogue, fashion advice, and blank spaces which have only been partially filled by Longstreth.
A digitized version of Griffith's diary can be found on Triptych.
The Helen Griffith papers houses the scrapbook and diary of Helen Griffith, Bryn Mawr College class of 1905. The scrapbook spans 1901-1956, but the bulk of the material comes from her years at Bryn Mawr (1901-1905). The diary spans 1903-1910, but the bulk of the entries describe her junior and senior at Bryn Mawr (1903-1905) or her first year at Columbia University (1909). These materials offer a record of student life at Bryn Mawr, with special attention to sports, clubs, and theater productions. The diary provides a near-daily record of her time at Bryn Mawr, while the scrapbook records her time at the College through the material objects that she collected.
The scrapbook comprises one volume. It begins with entries around 1901, starting with Griffith's freshman year at Bryn Mawr. Around two-thirds of the scrapbook contains material from her freshman year to her graduation in 1905. The remaining third compiles material relating to Bryn Mawr, such as alumnae association letters, reunion booklets, and pamphlets relating to student events or clubs. The diary comprises one volume. It begins with entries in 1903 and ends with entries in 1909; however, there are a few pages near the middle of the volume that are dated 1909. The diary has long stretches of daily entries, with occasional large breaks of months or years. The last few pages of the diary are a ledger of expenses.
The format of scrapbook materials ranges greatly, from school directories to theater programs, photographs, news clippings, train tickets, calling cards, administrative notices, financial bills, cutouts from the campus publications (i.e. The Lantern), and memorial addresses. She also includes two plant pressings and a swatch of fabric. Like many other examples of scrapbooks kept by female college students at the time, Griffith's contains rich examples of student life documentation. There is a special emphasis on annual Bryn Mawr College events, such as the class plays, exams, and the 1904 and 1905 commencement ceremonies. Griffith also collects tea invitations, photographs from field hockey and basketball games, and material dealing with the Christian Union. While Bryn Mawr College is the obvious focus of the scrapbook, it also includes snapshots of student life off campus. Serving as a broad overview of student life, the scrapbook extends beyond campus events and includes materials relating to Griffith's vacations and possible weekend travel. In two instances, Griffith also collects information relating to other institutions, representing a greater network of women's education. She documents material relating to Smith College commencement activities in 1904. She also documents the Eastern Student Conference in 1905, a Christian association conference for women in college or private schools.
In addition to student life, the scrapbook records administrative and academic materials. In contrast to photographs and flyers that comprise most of the scrapbook, the administrative notices often take the form of school policy pamphlets and letters from the President's Offices. These materials provide a written record of the formal organization of the College during the early twentieth century. Griffith's collection of academic materials most often emphasizes scheduling classes and taking exams, marking the beginning and ending of school terms.
To supplement the rich materials found in her scrapbook, Griffith's diary provides extensive documentation of her everyday activities. She occasionally offers her opinion on the events of the day, but many of the entries are simply descriptions of the day's occurrences. Griffith was the president of the Christian Union and many of her entries mention their meetings. In October of 1904, she spoke at the C.U. annual reception for freshmen on the organization and purpose of the Christian Union. Her diary entries discuss preparing for and delivering this speech. Griffith frequently mentions her classes, playing (field) hockey, sermons delivered by pastors at the nearby church, and chapel talks given by then-President M. Carey Thomas. She also discusses socializing with friends and visiting Bryn Mawr town and Philadelphia. Entries of note include the senior performance of The Last of the Mohicans, which details the amount of work that went into preparing the class plays, 1904; registering for classes at Columbia, 1909; and seeing Eleanor Robson in "The Dawn of Tomorrow," 1909.
Helen Griffith's scrapbook provides an in depth view of student life at Bryn Mawr in the early twentieth century. As a whole, the scrapbook highlights the administrative and academic framework that forms the foundation of the College, as well as the student events and activities that bond students together and to the institution. It would be especially useful for those interested in religious life on campus, class plays and professional productions, college sports, and extracurricular activities. Helen Griffith's diary is a meticulous record of Griffith's everyday activities. It provides an overview of the daily fabric of quotidian student life in the early twentieth century. It would be of value to those interested in the Christian Union, class plays and professional productions, field hockey, and Columbia University. Some events appear in both the scrapbook and the diary, such as information relating to The Last of the Mohicans, a class play produced in 1904. Researchers might find it useful to consult both the diary and the scrapbook in order to cross-reference events, especially in regard to the class plays.
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17)
One letter from 1984 from Betsey Bates Carrick to Maisie Heidenbergh Dethier discussing a variety of former classmates, although none in much detail. The collection also contains a typewritten copy of a 1903 letter from Louise Lewis to her friend "Anne" which details the social activities of her class.
One typewritten copy of a 1903 letter from Avis Putnam to her friend "Anne," detailing the drama surrounding the Freshman play, food, classes, and friends. Note that this "Anne" seems to be the same addressee as the one in Louise Lewis' letter, as they discuss the same friend group.
First folder: correspondence, notices, and invitations of Marjorie Rawson.
Second folder: programs, handwritten poem, typewritten reflection on all four years of collegePhysical Description
This collection contains two letters from Grace Bennet to her parents.
This collection contains the course record book of Justina Lorenz, which makes note of her courses, grades, and private reading for English.
This collection contains a check for one cent written by heiress Emma Carola Woerishoffer, with the accompanying note: "Dear Marjorie-- Please don't build an ugly gym. Carola" Despite the check's small sum, Woerishoffer actually ended up being a major donor to the college. Money from her estate was used to start the Graduate School of Social Work.
This collection contains a few invitations and some English papers written by Anna Harlan. In style and content, the papers are less formal and more personal, illuminating Harlan's thoughts and reactions to various aspects of college life.
This collection contains the handwritten cookbook of Mary E. Herr (BMC 1909).
This collection contains a variety of materials: a list of Harlan's work experiences; invitations; various bills from the college (tuition and room); matriculation report; letter of recommendation from the president of Haverford College; and various alumnae materials.
This collection contains a few letters written to Barbara Spofford, an educator, essayist and specialist in mental testing.
This collection contains Mary Boyd Shipley's family tree, and an extensive biography of her husband, Samuel J. Mills.
This small collections contains a diverse array of early Bryn Mawr memorabilia: a class photograph (1911); a course record book; a matriculation exam; a May Day schedule (1910); and a few letters concerning housing at the college.
This collection contains the two travel diaries of Louise Watson (BMC '12), detailing her trip to Paris (during the Exposition), Germany, the Netherlands, and London (June-Sept 1900).
This collections contains photocopies of correspondence from Gladys Jones (BMC 1912) to her mother. Items of interest include discussion of a visit from Jane Addams, social reformer and activist.
This collection contains the reminiscences of Jean Davis (BMC 1912). Particular items of interest within the narrative include: mentions of Hilda Worthington Smith and discussion of academics, including the Orals.
This collection consists of the course record book of Dorothy Wentworth Skerret (BMC 1914).
This collection contains letters from A. Gordon Hamilton to Helen H. Shaw.
This collections contains one letter from Lucille Thompson (BMC '14) to her mother, and two typed copies of the letter.
The collection contains various notes from Elizabeth Baldwin Smith that appear to have been taken down in 1978.
Contains correspondence between Louis N. Parker and Harriet Bradford, most of which is from the early 1940s.
This collection contains the course record book of Rebecca Fordyce Gayton (BMC 1916).
Please note that the College Archives also houses Gayton's scrapbook.
This collection houses private correspondence in the form of letters and postcards to Kristine Gilmartin Wallace (Bryn Mawr '63, Lecturer Emerita of Rice University) from the following Faculty members of Bryn Mawr College: Mabel Lang (Bryn Mawr Emerita Professor of Greek and Bryn Mawr faculty 1943-1988,) TRS Broughton (Bryn Mawr faculty 1928-1965,) and Agnes Michels (Bryn Mawr Emerita Professor and Bryn Mawr faculty 1934-1975.) These correspondences date from 1962 to 1991, and were received by Professor Gilmartin Wallace throughout her career from her days as an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr College, her graduate studies at Stanford University, to her teaching jobs at Vassar College and Rice University. These letters shed light on Professor Gilmartin Wallace's career, especially the advice she received from her former teachers at Bryn Mawr on such professional topics as teaching, research and publishing, to more private topics regarding her personal life. They also provide an insight into the lives and careers of the aforementioned Bryn Mawr Faculty members during this time period.Physical Description
This folder contains private letters and some postcards, which detail a wide array of both professional and personal advice for Professor Gilmartin Wallace, as she graduated from Bryn Mawr and began her graduate career at Stanford University.Physical Description
This file contains further private letters and some postcards for Professor Gilmartin Wallace, as she finished her Doctorate program and began her professional career at Vassar College and Rice University.Physical Description
This folder contains letters to Professor Gilmartin Wallace, that mostly focus on her Professional career at Rice University.Physical Description
This folder contains around ten letters and postcards, mostly on Professor Gilmartin Wallace's personal life, though one deals substantially with her role as a Professor of Classics in a Foreign Languages department at Rice University. This series contains a fair amount of postcards from Greece, where Professor Mabel Lang did her archaeological work.Physical Description
This folder contains an undated (but probably from 1960-1963) newspaper report in French on Professor Carl Blegen's excavation of the Palace of Nestor, with mention of Professor Mabel Lang's work on deciphering the Linear B tablets found in said excavation.Physical Description
This folder contains around eleven letters and postcards of personal well wishes and professional advice, particularly on the subject of Tacitus about whom Professor Gilmartin Wallace published articles and a book. A letter of particular interest is an RSVP note written in Latin by Professor Broughton to Professor Gilmartin Wallace while she was still an undergraduate, partially in Elegiac Poetry and partially in Prose, dated with the Roman dating system "A.U.C" for March 10, 1962 in the Gregorian calendar. This is the only letter in the entire collection dated to Professor Gilmartin Wallace's time as an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr College.