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Marian Brownlow papers

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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

Marian Brownlow (1933-2012) was an American educator and historical researcher. She was born Marian Fortna in Denver, Pennsylvania, graduated from Lebanon High School in 1951, and attended Lebanon Valley College, where she trained as a music teacher. In 1959 she married Donald Brownlow, a historian and teacher of history at the Haverford School. They collaborated on several books, including Checkmate at Ruweisat: Auchinleck's Finest Hour, a military history of Claude Auchinleck's North African campaign during World War II. Marian Brownlow developed a close relationship with Auchinleck, frequently visiting him in Marrakech until his death in 1981. She and Donald Brownlow separated in 1981 and divorced in 1987.

This collection documents the life of Marian Brownlow during the later years of her marriage to and divorce from Donald Gray Brownlow, an experience which appears to have left her questioning her place in the world. During this time, she took several trips to Marrakech to care for Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, with whom she and Donald Brownlow had developed a friendship in the process of researching the book Checkmate at Ruweisat: Auchinleck's Finest Hour. Her personal belief that Field Marshal Auchinleck had been mistreated by the British government resulted in her collecting and writing about his situation. Though ostensibly a research collection regarding Auchinleck, the majority of the material is personal in nature, and not of interest to historical researchers. The collection contains correspondence concerning Auchinleck's health and accommodations, as well as information about the end of the Brownlows' marriage; research material related to Auchinleck; personal information about Marian Brownlow, including material related to her teaching and musical performances; photographs of Marian Brownlow's trips to Marrakech, as well as other photographs of trips taken with Donald Brownlow; audio recordings of conversations with Claude Auchinleck, as well as parties privy to the Brownlows' separation and divorce; and memorabilia, including flowers and plants collected by Marian Brownlow in Marrakech and gifts given to Marian by Donald Brownlow.

Gift of Marian Brownlow, 1982-1984

Publisher
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Access Restrictions

The bulk of this collection is restricted until 2062 by directive of donor. Portions of Boxes 5, 14, and 15 are available 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.

Collection Inventory

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Scope and Contents

This series consists of personal correspondence between Marian Brownlow and others. It centers on two separate but related topics: the lack of support by the British government of General Claude Auchinleck during the years immediately preceding and following his death; and the end of Marian Brownlow's marriage to Donald Brownlow and his subsequent relationship with another woman. The correspondence is extensive and personally revealing; important topics include Marian Brownlow's complicated feelings about Auchinleck, her disappointment concerning members of the British government, and her pride and dismay about her husband's work and infidelities. It is not a record of scholarly work so much as a personal document of a woman attempting to come to terms with the end of her role as a wife, her grief, and her new identity as an independent woman in the world. Alongside the correspondence, there are several folders of miscellaneous material, such as receipts and handwritten notes, which were included in the correspondence but which could not be paired to specific letters. The series is arranged chronologically.

1946-1975.
Box 1 Folder 1
1975-1977.
Box 1 Folder 2
1978.
Box 1 Folder 3
1979.
Box 1 Folder 4
1980.
Box 1 Folder 5
1981, January -March.
Box 1 Folder 6
1981, April.
Box 1 Folder 7
1981, May.
Box 1 Folder 8
1981, June-December.
Box 1 Folder 9
1982, January-May.
Box 1 Folder 10
1982, June-August.
Box 1 Folder 11
1982, September-October.
Box 1 Folder 12
1982, November-December.
Box 1 Folder 13
1983, January-March.
Box 1 Folder 14
1983, April-June.
Box 1 Folder 15
1983, July.
Box 1 Folder 16
1983, August-September.
Box 2 Folder 1
1983, October-December.
Box 2 Folder 2
1984, January.
Box 2 Folder 3
1984, February-March.
Box 2 Folder 4
1984, April-July.
Box 2 Folder 5
1984, August-December.
Box 2 Folder 6
1985-1986.
Box 2 Folder 7
1987-1988.
Box 2 Folder 8
1989-1990.
Box 2 Folder 9
undated.
Box 2 Folder 10
undated.
Box 2 Folder 11
Postcards, undated.
Box 2 Folder 12
Greeting cards, approximately 1965-1990.
Box 2 Folder 13
Greeting cards, approximately 1965-1990.
Box 2 Folder 14
Greeting cards, approximately 1965-1990.
Box 2 Folder 15
Greeting cards, approximately 1965-1990.
Box 2 Folder 16
Envelopes, approximately 1965-1990.
Box 2 Folder 17
Notes laid into correspondence, 1959-1981.
Box 3 Folder 1
Notes laid into correspondence, 1982-1987.
Box 3 Folder 2
Notes laid into correspondence, undated.
Box 3 Folder 3

Scope and Contents

This series consists of material collected by Marian Brownlow, most of it concerning Claude Auchinleck and Morocco. Although this series contains newspaper clippings, notes, and material collected during Brownlow's travels to Morocco, it is not traditional research material so much as a collection of documentation regarding Brownlow's personal struggles during the years between 1975 and 1984. There is a small amount of unique material received from Claude Auchinleck, but the majority of the material is notable for its relationship to the story of Marian Brownlow's personal journey, not for its value as research material related to scholarly work on Claude Auchinleck. It is divided by subject and arranged chronologically at the folder level.

Collection inventory, circa 1989.
Box 3 Folder 4
Magazines collected by Marian, 1977-1984.
Box 3 Folder 5
Magazines containing information on Claude Auchinleck, 1976.
Box 15 Folder 1
Newspaper articles photocopied by Marian, 1959-1989.
Box 3 Folder 6
Newspaper articles mentioning Marian, 1965-1988.
Box 3 Folder 7
Newspaper articles clipped and mounted for research on World War II, 1941-1942.
Box 3 Folder 8
Newspaper clippings, general, 1960-1984.
Box 3 Folder 9
Marian Brownlow research notes, circa 1979.
Box 3 Folder 10
Material collected by Marian Brownlow in Morocco, 1974-1981.
Box 3 Folder 11
Material collected by Marian Brownlow in Morocco, undated.
Box 3 Folder 12
Gifts received by Marian during trips to Morocco, circa 1974-1981.
Box 3 Folder 13
Travel documents and brochures, 1976-1981.
Box 3 Folder 14
Personal documents from Claude Auchinleck, 1904, 1964, 1979.
Box 3 Folder 15

Scope and Contents

This series consists of material related to Marian Brownlow's personal life, including material related to her teaching and choral work; financial documents; biographical information like diplomas and transcripts; calendars and appointment books; and material related to her childhood and the lives of her parents. It is divided by subject and arranged chronologically at the folder level.

Teaching and choral material, 1956-1979.
Box 4 Folder 1
Teaching and choral material, 1980-1982.
Box 4 Folder 2
Teaching and choral material, 1983-1986, undated.
Box 4 Folder 3
Financial documents, 1893-1984.
Box 4 Folder 4
Writing notebook, circa 1950.
Box 4 Folder 5
Biographic material, 1951-1989.
Box 4 Folder 6
Calendars, 1965-1976.
Box 4 Folder 7
Calendars, 1975-1976.
Box 4 Folder 8
Calendars, 1981-1982.
Box 4 Folder 9
Diaries and appointment books, 1977-1982.
Box 4 Folder 10
Diaries and appointment books, 1982 May-August.
Box 4 Folder 11
Diaries and appointment books, 1983.
Box 4 Folder 12
Material related to Marian Brownlow's parents, 1968-1989.
Box 4 Folder 13
Photos of Marian Brownlow, 1946-1988.
Box 4 Folder 14

Scope and Contents

This series consists of photographs taken or collected by Marian Brownlow. They include a scrapbook of Claude Auchinleck's time in the Indian army, photographs of Marian and Donald Brownlow's travels to Europe to meet leading dignitaries alongside students from the Haverford School, family photos, and photos of Marian's trips to see Claude Auchinleck in Morocco. The series is arranged chronologically.

Scrapbook of photos of Field Marshall Auchinleck's time in the Indian Army, circa 1927-1947.
Box 15 Folder 2
Donald and Marian Brownlow travel photos, circa 1964.
Box 5 Folder 1
Donald and Marian Brownlow family albums, 1965-1971.
Box 5 Folder 2
Auchinleck visit to Brownlow home in Pennsylvania, 1969.
Box 5 Folder 3
Brownlow family photograph album, 1971-1973.
Box 14 Item 1
Brownlow family photograph album, 1973-1975.
Box 14 Folder 2
Auchinleck photos, 1971-1975.
Box 5 Folder 4
Photos of Generals Auchinleck and O'Connor, 1975-1981.
Box 5 Folder 5
Photos taken by Donald Brownlow of students, 1975-1981.
Box 5 Folder 6
Auchinleck photos, 1976-1977.
Box 5 Folder 7
Photos taken by Marian Brownlow during travels to Morocco, 1977.
Box 5 Folder 8
Photos of Marian's chorale's European tour, approximately 1978.
Box 5 Folder 9
Photos of Marian's chorale's European tour, approximately 1978.
Box 5 Folder 10
Photos taken by Marian Brownlow during travels to Morocco, 1978.
Box 5 Folder 11
Photos taken by Marian Brownlow during travels to Morocco, 1979.
Box 5 Folder 12
Photos taken by Marian Brownlow during travels to Morocco, 1980.
Box 5 Folder 13
Photos taken by Marian Brownlow during travels to Morocco, 1980.
Box 5 Folder 14
Photos taken by Marian Brownlow during travels to Morocco, 1981.
Box 5 Folder 15
Photos taken by Marian Brownlow during travels to Morocco, 1981.
Box 5 Folder 16
Photos taken by Marian Brownlow during travels to Morocco, 1981.
Box 5 Folder 17
Photos taken by Marian Brownlow during travels to Morocco, 1981.
Box 5 Folder 18
Photos of Marian and Donald Brownlow's Elverton, Pennsylvania Home, 1983.
Box 5 Folder 19
Photos of Marian and Donald Brownlow's Elverton, Pennsylvania Home, 1983.
Box 5 Folder 20
Photos of Marian Brownlow's apartment complex, 1983.
Box 5 Folder 21
Negatives, 1978-1981.
Box 5 Folder 22

Scope and Contents

This series consists of three subseries: audiocassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, and VHS tapes. The audiocassettes consist of conversations taped by Marian Brownlow which she conducted with Claude Auchinleck during his last years and with personal conversations with confidantes about the end of her marriage. Related correspondence suggests that at least some of these conversations were recorded without the subjects' consent, and as a result the inventory is restricted, as well as the contents. They are arranged chronologically. The reel-to-reel tapes consist of recordings of a Christmas celebration the Brownlows spent with Claude Auchinleck in 1974. The VHS tapes consist of a short selection of the BBC documentary series "The World at War," focusing on the North African campaign.

Access to original audio/visual materials and computer files is restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services (reprogr@upenn.edu) for cost estimates and ordering. Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.

Christmas with Auchinleck, 1974-1975.
Box 13 Folder 2
"The World at War: Desert War", circa 1973.
Box 13 Folder 3

Scope and Contents

This series consists of gifts and mementos collected by Marian Brownlow. It includes gifts given to her by Donald Brownlow, plants and flowers she collected in Morocco, books and paintings gifted her by Claude Auchinleck, and medals and awards she received during her years of classroom teaching. It is arranged chronologically.

Anniversary gift from Donald to Marian Brownlow, 1976 September.
Box 13 Folder 4
Snuff bottle given to the Brownlows by Claude Auchinleck, circa 1977.
Box 13 Folder 5
Memorabilia collected by Marian Brownlow in Morocco, 1975-1981.
Box 13 Folder 6
Flowers/plants collected by Marian Brownlow in Morocco, circa 1980.
Box 13 Folder 7
Memorabilia from Marian Brownlow's stay in Knollwood Apartments, circa 1984.
Box 13 Folder 8
Paintings by Claude Auchinleck, undated.
Drawer 6 Folder 3
Photocopies of inscriptions from books given to Marian Brownlow by Claude Auchinleck, circa 1952-1977.
Box 13 Folder 9
Classroom teaching medal given to Marian Brownlow by Valley Forge Freedom's Association, undated.
Box 13 Folder 10
Construction paper sign made by Sandy Dobbs and Donald Brownlow in advance of Marian Brownlow's trip to Morocco, circa 1978.
Drawer 6 Folder 2
Portraits of military commanders, undated.
Drawer 6 Folder 1
Framed oil painting by Claude Auchinleck, undated.
Drawer Unknown Folder Unknown

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