Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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
Edith Mary Mellor was born at Windsor, Berkshire, England to Albert Mellor (1859-1933) a musician who worked at Eaton College, and Elizabeth Mary Widcombe (1867-1958). Edith had two sisters Doris Evelyn (1894-1981) and Berta Clara Rosalind (1901-1986). She attended St. Stephen's High School at Windsor and received a Master of Arts from Oxford in 1912. Edith became a teacher and later transcribed books into Braille for the National Library for the Blind (now known as RNIB). In 1975 her sister Doris became an activist in Windsor when she fought the construction of parking garage at Bachelor's Acre and created a town green.
A red ledger book stamped "petty cash" on the cover containing a travel diary written by Edith Mary Mellor documenting a three month journey. Mellor and her travel companion Mrs. Matthew voyaged from England to Jerusalem and Egypt. On the first page of the volume is written "Palestine and Egypt. November 30, 1934--January 17, 1935. via P. & O. & Orient Lines of steamships, Port Said & El Cantara." A detailed itinerary follows on the next four pages with a brief and informative description by date for each day of the journey. Edith and Mrs. Matthew left London on the S. S. Magnolia November 30, 1934 making one stop at Marseilles before reaching Port Said. From Port Said the companions traveled by train to Jerusalem. They stayed in hostels at Jerusalem where they visited every major site. Beyond the Gates of Damascus Edith and Mrs. Matthew also went to Jericho, Galilee, and Nazareth. Edith saw a friend in Jerusalem Christina Victory Pansy Pullenye and visited hospices. One mentioned by Edith is Nablus Hospital. After spending the Christmas holidays in Bethlehem they traveled to Egypt. Edith and Mrs. Matthew arrived in Cairo on December 28, 1934. In Egypt they toured the Nile River, went to Roda Island, and saw the Pyramids of Giza at Memphis. They visited many mosques and Coptic churches. They left Egypt on the Orient Line ship named the Orsova. On the return trip to England the ship stopped at Gibraltar and Naples, where they toured Pompeii. Edith and Mrs. Matthew arrived at London on January 17, 1935. Following the itinerary is "The Journey." A densely written descriptive account of the her journey with Mrs. Matthew fills the remainder of th volume. Edith's voice comes through in the descriptions of the weather at sea and her candid opinions of people, places, and events. Edith's writing flows on the pages surrounding corner mounted postcards, photographs, small travel guides, and pressed plants with descriptions including the color of the bloom, berry, or leaf. Three small water color paintings appear in the volume, presumably by Edith Mellor, of sites in and around Jerusalem with notes in pencil. Edith had a keen sense of her surroundings. She wrote not only descriptions of the major sites and landmarks she visited, but wrote a short history of each site and its significance. She made detailed observations and impressions of the landscapes, people, their interactions, and the attire and costumes of various cultures. She noted types of hats, cloth, and colors. Edith listed all of the items she purchased at small stores and bazaars in great detail some with little sketches. She wrote her feelings, personal reflections, and her deep beliefs. Edith said that she always wanted to go to Jerusalem and called it the city of the soul. One intriguing incident Edith mentioned in the diary involved a person with a similar name to her own causing some confusion with officials as to Edith Mellor's identity. Many items were laid in at the volume. Guidebooks, postcards, two photographs, cards from gift shops, descriptions of ports with maps supplied by the cruise ships, and correspondence. There is an unsent letter written by Edith to her sister Doris. Also there are cards and a photograph from Christina Victory Pansy Pullenye to Edith . Hand-drawn maps by Edith of sites in Jerusalem, Cairo, and Pompeii by Edith Mellor are also included.
Sold by Eclectibles (Tolland, Connecticut), 2015
- Women travelers
- English diaries -- Women authors -- 20th century
- English diaries -- 20th century
- Voyages and travels
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Donna Brandolisio
- Finding Aid Date
- August 2015
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.