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Lucy Evans Chew diaries and papers


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

Lucy Evans Chew was born on December 13th, 1895, in Springfield, Illinois. In 1905 her mother married Rudulph Evans, sculptor of the Jefferson Memorial statue. She graduated from Ossining High School in New York in 1912 and from the Shipley School for Girls in 1914. She stated that before graduating, she attended over twenty other schools.

She entered Bryn Mawr as a member of the class of 1918 and studied English, Spanish, and Italian. During college, she was on the editorial board of The Lantern, president of the French Club, business manager of the Glee Club and the class editor for the Alumnae Bulletin for five years after graduation. She was also involved in the war effort, working as a clerk and office worker during her college years. She married Samuel Claggett Chew, Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College, soon after her graduation in 1918.

Samuel Chew was born in 1888 in Maryland. He became a professor of English at Bryn Mawr after graduating from Johns Hopkins in 1909 and acquiring his Ph.D. from his alma mater in 1913. He later became chairman of the Bryn Mawr English department, an office he held until his retirement in 1954. After officially retiring, he continued to teach both as a visiting professor in Claremont, CA, and at Bryn Mawr.

They traveled extensively, both during the summer for pleasure and on Samuel Chew's research sabbaticals. They were acquainted with many influential figures of the time, including Thomas Hardy and George Moore. Lucy Evans Chew was very involved in her husband's scholarship. She often helped him with research, and even edited and published his last work after his death on January 15th, 1960.

The couple had no children and lived in close proximity to Bryn Mawr most of their married lives. They were involved in College politics and activities, attending many social events with faculty, staff, and students over the years. They often took time to visit their family and friends. As she grew older, Lucy Evans Chew was donated both her time and money to various charities. She was also interested in reading, gardening, and travel. She died of heart failure on February 27th, 1974, fourteen years after her husband's death.

The Lucy Evans Chew collection consists primarily of 58 volumes of her diaries, in addition to various other papers.

Chew wrote in her diary almost every day from 1920-1967 with entries varying in length from several lines to five or six pages. Individual volumes can span several months or a year or two. Chew's diaries are full of day-to-day commentary. She often discussed the books she and her husband were reading, movies, plays, concerts, and restaurants she attended. She also discussed household chores, clothing, entertaining friends, events at Bryn Mawr, the food she prepared, her gardens, and shopping trips within Bryn Mawr, Philadelphia and the surrounding area. The Chews' summer cross-country road trips and visits to family in New York and Maryland are also described extensively. Chew often noted expenses, presents given and received, recipes, addresses, and to-do lists on the inside covers of her diaries.

Chew was widely traveled. She kept detailed travel notes of what she saw, especially the art and architecture, and people she and her husband met while abroad. They traveled throughout Europe, spending time in London, Paris, Switzerland, Rome, Cairo, Athens, in addition to passing through other parts of the continent, the USSR, and the Middle East.

Samuel Chew's work is another central focus of the diaries. Chew wrote about his book reviews, published articles, and books in her diaries. His work concerned several nineteenth-century authors, Christian-Islamic relations, and other related topics in literature.

During World War II, Chew diligently recorded the news while she was in Europe and at home. She related stories from the radio and commented how the war was affecting the lives of those close to her, whether they were in the United States or Europe. Additionally, she discussed her nephew's experience in combat. Chew's tendency to supplement her writings with news clippings, letters, programs, magazine articles etc. increased as a result of WWII. Her early diaries were written in a care free, chatty tone, but as the years go by, especially during the Depression and WWII, her writing became more serious and thoughtful.

Her diaries contain extensive commentary on both her social life and national and international news. Chew's anecdotes cover a wide range of subjects. During Prohibition, for example, she discusses making her own wine and the friends who disapproved of her venture. As space travel entered the realm of possibility, she expressed her disdain for such a useless project, a position she maintained throughout her life. She often recounted conversations, made witty quips, and jokingly lamented the monotony of her day-to-day entries for the future reader.

In addition to the diaries, the Lucy Evans Chew Collection contains three boxes of other materials. Box 1 of the collection contains the diary reading guide which lists important people and places featured in the diaries and which was written by Chew's niece. It also includes numerous notebooks with class notes, exam results, lists, etc. Box 2 contains Chew's diplomas and her Shipley School yearbook. Box 3 contains small yearly diaries that range from account books, to-do lists, and language notes to supplementary diaries with more concise entries. In addition to the Lucy Evans Chew Collection, there is a Samuel Chew Collection that currently has no finding aid, but contains scrapbooks of his book reviews, notes and manuscripts from his books and articles, some of Lucy's school work, slides, personal library card catalogues, twenty of his small diaries, various correspondence, and miscellaneous books and journals.

Bequest of Lucy Evans Chew.

Bryn Mawr College
Finding Aid Author
Laura Kelly-Bowditch, Mae Carlson, Melissa Torquato
Finding Aid Date
April 21, 2009
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The Lucy Evans Chew collection is the physical property of the Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns.

Collection Inventory

Archival Resource Key. supplementary reading guide to diaries: names, places, map, etc., 1974.
Box 1 Volume 1
Archival Resource Key. "Record of Undergraduate Study" notebook, 1914-1918.
Box 1 Volume 2
Archival Resource Key. Ancient Architecture class notebook, 1917.
Box 1 Volume 3
Archival Resource Key. Intermediate Composition class notebook.
Box 1 Volume 4
Archival Resource Key. "Lucy Evans Chew, Bryn Mawr, Penna., The Library, B.M. College" notebook--language notes, etc., 1920.
Box 1 Volume 5
Archival Resource Key. "Lucy E. Chew, The Library" notebook--language notes, etc. , 1924.
Box 1 Volume 6
Archival Resource Key. "Lucy E. Chew (The Library) 2nd+3rd Year Italian Composition, II semester" notebook--language notes , 1925-1926.
Box 1 Volume 7
Archival Resource Key. "Lucy Chew, The Library, Bryn Mawr College" notebook--language notes.
Box 1 Volume 8
Archival Resource Key. one handwritten page of story--"Charm School Product".
Box 1 Folder 9
Archival Resource Key. Lucy Evans' Ossining High School diploma, 1912.
Box 2 Folder 1
Archival Resource Key. University of the State of New York--Ossining High School diploma , 1912.
Box 2 Folder 2
Archival Resource Key. Lucy Evans' Shipley School diploma, 1914.
Box 2 Folder 3
Archival Resource Key. Shipley School yearbook, 1914.
Box 2 Volume 4
Archival Resource Key. Lucy Evans' Bryn Mawr College diploma, 1918.
Box 2 Folder 5
Archival Resource Key. Lucy Evans--certificate from United States Government-Committee on Public Information.
Box 2 Folder 6
Archival Resource Key. day to day notes, Sabbatical to England, travel around Europe , 1929.
Box 3 Volume 1
Archival Resource Key. Europe, day to day, recipes, etc., 1936.
Box 3 Volume 2
Archival Resource Key. notes on day to day activities, 1937.
Box 3 Volume 3
Archival Resource Key. notes on day to day activities , 1938.
Box 3 Volume 4
Archival Resource Key. notes on war, day to day , 1939.
Box 3 Volume 5
Archival Resource Key. summer trip to CA for Sabbatical at Pomona College, 1939.
Box 3 Volume 6
Archival Resource Key. notes on day to day activities , 1940.
Box 3 Volume 7
Archival Resource Key. notes on war, home front, day to day , 1941.
Box 3 Volume 8
Archival Resource Key. notes on war, home front, day to day, 1942.
Box 3 Volume 9
Archival Resource Key. notes on poetry, drama, etc. , 1945.
Box 3 Volume 10
Archival Resource Key. end of war notes, quotations , 1946.
Box 3 Volume 11
Archival Resource Key. notes on day to day activities, 1946.
Box 3 Volume 12
Archival Resource Key. Italian language notes , 1949.
Box 3 Volume 13
Archival Resource Key. notes on day to day activities, 1950.
Box 3 Volume 14
Archival Resource Key. expenses, 1955.
Box 3 Volume 15
Archival Resource Key. expenses, 1957.
Box 3 Volume 16
Archival Resource Key. expenses, 1960.
Box 3 Volume 17

Archival Resource Key. 1920.
Box 4 Volume 1
Archival Resource Key. 1921.
Box 4 Volume 2
Archival Resource Key. June-Aug. 1921 (Sabbatical year in England, travel to Scotland).
Box 4 Volume 3
Archival Resource Key. Sept.-Dec. 1921 (Sabbatical in England,travel to Netherlands, France, Belgium).
Box 4 Volume 4
Archival Resource Key. Dec.1921-March 1922 (Sabbatical in England, travel to France, Italy) .
Box 4 Volume 5
Archival Resource Key. March-May 1922 (Sabbatical in England, travel to Italy, Greece).
Box 4 Volume 6
Archival Resource Key. May-July 1922 (Sabbatical in Eng;and, travel to Greece, Switzerland, France).
Box 4 Volume 7
Archival Resource Key. July-Sept. 1922 (Sabbatical in England, travel to France).
Box 4 Volume 8
Archival Resource Key. Jan. 1923-May 1924.
Box 4 Volume 9
Archival Resource Key. June 1924-June 1925 (Summer trip to France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, England).
Box 4 Volume 10
Archival Resource Key. June 1925-May 1926 .
Box 4 Volume 11
Archival Resource Key. June-Dec. 1926 (Summer abroad in France, Italy, Austria, Germany, England).
Box 4 Volume 11A
Archival Resource Key. Jan. 1927-Jan. 1928.
Box 4 Volume 11B
Archival Resource Key. Jan. 1928-Jan. 1929 .
Box 4 Volume 12
Archival Resource Key. Jan.-Aug. 1929 .
Box 4 Volume 13
Archival Resource Key. Aug. 1929-Nov. 1930 (Second Sabbatical to France, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine) .
Box 4 Volume 14
Archival Resource Key. Oct. 1930-July 1931.
Box 4 Volume 15
Archival Resource Key. Summer 1931 (Sam Chew's diary of summer in France, Switzerland).
Box 4 Volume 16
Archival Resource Key. July-Oct. 1931.
Box 4 Volume 17
Archival Resource Key. Oct. 1931-June1932.
Box 4 Volume 18
Archival Resource Key. June 1932-April 1933 (Summer abroad in England, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy) .
Box 4 Volume 19
Archival Resource Key. April-Oct. 1933 .
Box 4 Volume 20
Archival Resource Key. Oct. 1933-Feb. 1934.
Box 4 Volume 21
Archival Resource Key. Feb.-June 1934.
Box 4 Volume 22
Archival Resource Key. June-Dec. 1934 (Summer in Italy) .
Box 4 Volume 23
Archival Resource Key. Jan. 1935-Jan. 1936.
Box 4 Volume 24
Archival Resource Key. Jan. 1936-Jan. 1937.
Box 4 Volume 25
Archival Resource Key. June-Sept. 1936 (Abroad in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia) .
Box 4 Volume 26
Archival Resource Key. Jan.-Dec. 1937.
Box 4 Volume 27
Archival Resource Key. Jan. 1938-Jan. 1939.
Box 4 Volume 28
Archival Resource Key. Jan.-June 1939 .
Box 4 Volume 29
Archival Resource Key. June-Oct. 1939.
Box 4 Volume 30
Archival Resource Key. Nov. 1939-Oct. 1940 .
Box 4 Volume 31
Archival Resource Key. Oct. 1940-Dec. 1941 .
Box 4 Volume 32
Archival Resource Key. Jan. 1942-April 1943.
Box 4 Volume 32
Archival Resource Key. April 1943-July 1944.
Box 4 Volume 34
Archival Resource Key. July 1944-April 1945.
Box 4 Volume 35
Archival Resource Key. April 1945-April 1946 .
Box 4 Volume 36
Archival Resource Key. April 1946-May 1947 .
Box 4 Volume 37
Archival Resource Key. May 1947-Aug. 1948 .
Box 4 Volume 38
Archival Resource Key. Aug. 1948-Sept. 1949.
Box 4 Volume 39
Archival Resource Key. Sept. 1949-June 1950.
Box 4 Volume 40
Archival Resource Key. July 1950-July 1951 .
Box 4 Volume 41
Archival Resource Key. July 1951-March 1952.
Box 4 Volume 42
Archival Resource Key. March-Oct. 1952.
Box 4 Volume 43
Archival Resource Key. Oct. 1952-Nov. 1953 .
Box 4 Volume 44
Archival Resource Key. Jan. 1954-April 1955.
Box 4 Volume 45
Archival Resource Key. April 1955-Oct. 1956 .
Box 4 Volume 46
Archival Resource Key. Oct. 1956-Jan. 1958 .
Box 4 Volume 47
Archival Resource Key. Jan. 1958-July 1959 .
Box 4 Volume 48
Archival Resource Key. July 1959-June 1960 .
Box 4 Volume 49
Archival Resource Key. June 1960-Aug. 1961 .
Box 4 Volume 50
Archival Resource Key. Aug. 1961-Feb. 1963 .
Box 4 Volume 51
Archival Resource Key. Feb.-Sept. 1963 .
Box 4 Volume 52
Archival Resource Key. Sept. 1963-May 1964 .
Box 4 Volume 53
Archival Resource Key. May-Aug. 1964 .
Box 4 Volume 54
Archival Resource Key. Aug. 1964-June 1967 .
Box 4 Volume 55
Archival Resource Key. 1966.
Box 4 Volume 56

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