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The papers of the Abbot family consist mainly of correspondence, but also include financial and legal papers, diaries, a letter-book, clippings, printed material, speeches and photographs (including cartes-de-visite, and some cyanotypes and tintypes). The materials date from 1733 to 1999, the bulk ranging from 1860-1910. A significant portion of the correspondence comprises of personal letters exchanged during the Civil War between William Richardson Abbot, headmaster of Bellevue High School, and his wife, Lucy Minor Abbot. Abbot's letters mention battles and political events of the Civil War, including his experience as an officer in the First Regiment of the Engineers Troops (Army of Virginia). Other correspondence includes exchanges between W.R. Abbot and his immediate family, both during and after the Civil War, as well as numerous letters to Abbot from parents of boys attending Bellevue High School. The collection also includes materials from the lives of the children and grandchildren of William and Lucy Abbot. Letters from the Abbot children consist of personal exchanges, accounts of travel in turn-of-the-century Europe, as well as experiences in the German university system. Also included is a brief memoir by Ann Minor, Lucy's sister, documenting childhood experiences in Virginia during the Civil War. There are also papers belonging to the Minors of Charlottesville (Va.), such as correspondence of Charles and John Minor.

The papers of the Abbot family consist mainly of correspondence, but also include financial and legal papers, diaries, a letter-book, clippings, printed material, speeches and photographs (including cartes-de-visite, and some cyanotypes and tintypes). The materials date from 1733 to 1999, the bulk ranging from 1860-1910. A significant portion of the correspondence comprises of personal letters exchanged during the Civil War between William Richardson Abbot, headmaster of Bellevue High School, and his wife, Lucy Minor Abbot. Abbot's letters mention battles and political events of the Civil War, including his experience as an officer in the First Regiment of the Engineers Troops (Army of Virginia). Other correspondence includes exchanges between W.R. Abbot and his immediate family, both during and after the Civil War, as well as numerous letters to Abbot from parents of boys attending Bellevue High School. The collection also includes materials from the lives of the children and grandchildren of William and Lucy Abbot. Letters from the Abbot children consist of personal exchanges, accounts of travel in turn-of-the-century Europe, as well as experiences in the German university system. Also included is a brief memoir by Ann Minor, Lucy's sister, documenting childhood experiences in Virginia during the Civil War. There are also papers belonging to the Minors of Charlottesville (Va.), such as correspondence of Charles and John Minor.

While the bulk of the collection is made up of correspondence, the papers also include Abbot's addresses to schools and the Virginia Educational Society; printed bulletins detailing courses of study and formal statements of the teaching philosophy at Bellevue; and an official letter-book, receipts, financial and legal documents relating to the purchase, expansion and daily administration of the school. Other materials relating to the children of the William and Lucy Abbot include educational addresses by their son, Charles Minor Abbot, who administered Bellevue until it closed (1901-1909), as well as biographical material on Virginia Henderson's authoritative influence on professional nursing.

The Abbot Family papers provide the researcher with numerous vantage points onto public, professional and private life in nineteenth-century Virginia, most particularly through personalized accounts of men and women of the time. While the papers follow the families' colonial past from the early eighteenth century into the mid-twentieth century, the collection is noteworthy for its emphasis on military and private life in the Confederacy and in the Reconstruction South. The collection illuminates the experience of the Civil War through numerous windows onto the private lives of individuals; the professionalization of secondary education during the Reconstruction; the social and epistolary conventions of nineteenth century courtship; and the construction of an inter-generational identity, based on extended familial affections and ties to the institutions of Bellevue and the University of Virginia.

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Anthony family of Burlington (Guilford Co.), N.C. Collection primarily comprises 32 albumen photographs and one tintype (circa 1861-1954 and undated), most of which are accompanied by identifying information and feature formal portraits. Nineteen of the photographs represent Newlin or Anthony family members. Among the other thirteen, five are images of the Letterboat, Perry, and Holt families; four are unidentified images of World War I soldiers, possibly associates of Joseph Jonathan Newlin; and one is a print of evangelist "Cyclone Mac." The tintype is of an unidentified Confederate soldier, possibly James Rieh, whose letter of 12 May 1861 is in the collection. Other materials include John Anthony's bank account book (1906-1907); his personal account book (1892-1922), with entries for housekeeping and farm expenses and income; and a commonplace book for M. G. Newell (1938?). In addition, there are a few letters (1910-1958), clippings (1950-1974), and printed materials (1922-1961).

Collection primarily comprises 32 albumen photographs and one tintype (circa 1861-1954 and undated), most of which are accompanied by identifying information and feature formal portraits. Nineteen of the photographs represent Newlin or Anthony family members. Among the other thirteen, five are images of the Letterboat, Perry, and Holt families; four are unidentified images of World War I soldiers, possibly associates of Joseph Jonathan Newlin; and one is a print of evangelist "Cyclone Mac." The tintype is of an unidentified Confederate soldier, possibly James Rieh, whose letter of 12 May 1861 is in the collection. Other materials include John Anthony's bank account book (1906-1907); his personal account book (1892-1922), with entries for housekeeping and farm expenses and income; and a commonplace book for M. G. Newell (1938?). In addition, there are a few letters (1910-1958), clippings (1950-1974), and printed materials (1922-1961).

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Dixon family papers and photographs, 1856-1880s 0.2 Linear Feet — 1 box and 1 folder; 29 item — 29 items

Collection contains two personal letters (1863, 1864) written by Civil War Confederate captain Columbus H. Dixon to his wife, discussing troop activities and smallpox in his company. Accompanying the letters are a pocket bible owned by Dixon; two calling cards; a small photograph album, possibly a "friendship" album, containing three albumen cartes-de-visite and five tintypes; and twenty-three loose cartes-de-visite, cased ambrotypes, and tintype portraits of members of the Dixon, Jackson, and Allison families of North Carolina. Among the portraits are Columbus H. Dixon as a young man; his wife Love Ann Dixon; their daughter Sarah and her husband, Andrew Campbell Jackson; their son John Kelly Dixon; John Dixon's wife, Hester, and their sons, Kay Dixon and Arthur Mills Dixon. Also included is Hugh J. Allison, originally from South Carolina, second husband of Love Ann Dixon. There are quite a few unidentified individuals. Photographers' imprints often appear on a number of the cartes-de-visite portraits.

The earliest item in the collection is an 1856 pocket bible owned by Civil War Confederate soldier Columbus H. Dixon. There are also two letters (1863, 1864) to his wife, Love Ann Dixon, discussing troop activities and smallpox in his company. The remaining items are two cased ambrotypes; two calling cards; a small 19th-century photograph album, possibly a "friendship" album, containing three cartes-de-visite (card-mounted albumen prints) and five tintypes; and 23 cartes-de-visite and tintype portraits of members of the Dixon, Falls, Jackson, Campbell, and Allison families of North Carolina.

The portrait sitters include women, children, and men, chiefly residing in King's Mountain and Gastonia, N.C. Among the portraits are Columbus H. Dixon as a young man; his wife Love Ann Dixon (1832-1909); his daughter Sarah; his son John Kelly Dixon (1857-1931), textile mill owner; John Dixon's wife, Hester Wilson Dixon. The latest dated photographs are of John K. Dixon's small sons, Kay Dixon (1884-1957), and Arthur Mills Dixon (1882-1956), who also served as mayor of Gastonia, N.C. and state senator. There are also portraits of members of the Allison and Jackson families, related by marriage to the Dixons. There are some unidentified portraits, chiefly among the tintypes.

Many of the albumen photographs bear the name of one of the first commercial traveling photographers in the United States, John R. Schorb (1818-1908) of Yorkville, South Carolina; others were taken in the studios of J.H. Van Ness of Charlotte, North Carolina and W.E. McArthur of Shelby, North Carolina.

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Gilmore Ward Bryant papers, 1860s-1933 2.0 Linear Feet — 3 boxes; 35 items

The collection concerns the Bryant family, who came to Durham, North Carolina to found the Southern Conservatory of Music. There are seven diary volumes: five by James Alonzo Bryant, Gilmore's father and a Bethel, Vermont farmer, and two by Mattie E. Bryant, Gilmore's wife and voice teacher; 19th and early 20th century tintypes, an ambrotype, an albumen print, and gelatin silver photographs of members of the Bryant, Clark, Bird, Dean, Chamberlain, and McConoll families from Vermont, and others; sheet and manuscript music by Bryant; and a copy of the 1920-1921 illustrated Southern Conservatory "Calendar," as well as a sheet of examination grades.

Gilmore Ward Bryant (1859-1946), originally from Bethel, Vermont, founded the Southern Conservatory of Music in Durham in 1898 or 1899, along with his wife, Mattie E. Bryant. The collection contains seven diary volumes: five by James Alonzo Bryant, Gilmore's father and a Vermont farmer, containing brief entries related to the weather, visitors, farm tasks and sales, and church activities; and two by Mattie Bryant, containing brief entries about weather, church activities, visitors, and Conservatory events.

The collection is rich in photographs depicting members of the Bryant, Clark, Bird, Dean, Chamberlain, and McConoll families from Vermont, and others. There are 19th and early 20th century tintypes, many mounted in two small personal albums; an ambrotype; an albumen print; and gelatin silver photographs.

The Conservatory's history and Bryant's career in music are represented by published and manuscript sheet music composed by Bryant (there is also one piece by P.A. Schnecker), and a sheet of examination grades. A copy of the 77-page illustrated "Calendar" of the Southern Conservatory of Music, contains information about its mission, faculty, administration, facilities, and programs, accompanied by many images of the Conservatory building, its faculty and staff, interior rooms, and students at practice.

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Hypes family papers, 1700s-2010 4 Linear Feet — 6 boxes; 1 oversize folder; 1 pamphlet binder — Approximately 2250 Items

Materials from the branch of the Hypes family that descended from Henry Hypes of Xenia, Ohio: Samuel Henry Hypes (1826-1916); his son, William Findlay Hypes; his grandson, Samuel Loomis Hypes; and his great-grandson, William P. Hypes. Collection includes a wide range of material from the Hypes family, particularly William Findlay Hypes, Samuel Loomis Hypes, and William P. Hypes. William Findlay Hypes' materials highlight his career at Marshall Fields and Co. of Chicago and his service as President of the Y.M.C.A. of Chicago, with emphasis on his family's world tour on behalf of the Y.M.C.A. in 1924-1925. Hundreds of postcards and photographs collected by the family are contained in the papers, including images from India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), China, Europe, Egypt, and many more places, most unlabeled. Some material from Samuel Loomis Hypes' army service during World War I is also included, the most noteworthy being 24 black and white photographs featuring crowds awaiting the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the shipping of troops back to the United States, including photographs of African American soldiers. Materials from William P. Hypes relate to his work with the Y.M.C.A. in the mid-twentieth century. The family's research into their genealogy and family history, unidentified family photographs, and smaller amounts of correspondence and material from other family members are also included.

There is a wide range of material from the Hypes family's many generations present in this collection. Some early material exists from Henry Hypes, including an inventory of his property upon his death, and some correspondence from relatives. Other early materials include family photographs, which are largely unlabeled and undated but include formats such as tintypes, a daguerreotype, cartes de visite, negatives, and others.

The Hypes' attempts to reconstruct their family tree resulted in several letters between extended family members and distant cousins, as well as genealogical maps and notes, dating from the early to mid-twentieth century.

The majority of the collection dates from William Findlay Hypes and his family. W.F. Hypes' materials include correspondence and clippings about his career with Marshall Fields and Co., as well as news coverage of his world tour on behalf of the Y.M.C.A. from 1924 to 1925. The collection also contains photographic prints, negatives, and postcards from this trip, featuring images from India, China, Japan, Egypt, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Europe, and other unidentified places. The photographs are largely gelatin silver prints, and many have silvering. The majority of photographs are amateur shots presumably taken by the Hypes family. However, there are several sets of images which were clearly purchased by W.F. Hypes or other family members as travel souvenirs, including a set from India taken by H.R. Ferger and a set from Taormina, Italy. These all appear to date from the early 1900s. Many types of postcards are present, including real photo postcards and tinted color postcards. Several postcard books were purchased as souvenirs. Most postcards have been sorted by location; real photo postcards have also been sleeved to better protect the images. Real photo postcard locations include Norway, Manila, China, Japan, and a set from the Canadian Rockies.

An earlier trip to Europe and the Middle East by W.F. Hypes and his wife is described in letters between them and their daughter Muriel. This trip appears to have been taken in May and June, 1910. Since most of the collection's photographs are undated, some could date from this trip instead of the world tour trip from 1924-1925.

One part of the collection is closed to researchers: there is a small amount of nitrate and safety negatives. These appear to be taken by W.F. Hypes, and include family photographs, scenes from Jamaica, and scenes of a tiger hunt during the Hypes' Y.M.C.A. tour. The tiger hunt images are available as prints in the photographs portion of the materials. All negatives are closed to researchers.

Along with the extensive amount of photographs and postcards, W.F. Hypes' portion of the papers includes souvenir booklets and other collectibles from his travels. Also present are materials from the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, including a set of tickets as well as a stock certificate. Hypes' political leanings can be inferred from a Republican National Convention ticket for the 1904 election, as well as a small, movable medal that spins and denounces William Jennings Bryan.

Another noteworthy part of the collection comes from Samuel Loomis Hypes, W.F. Hypes' son, who served as a captain in the U.S. Army's 803rd Pioneer Infantry during World War I. This portion of the papers contains 24 black-and-white photographs (18? June-19 July 1919) featuring crowds awaiting the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the shipping of troops back to the United States. Photographs often have captions in white ink. There are six crowd scenes in Paris and outside Versailles before and after the signing of the treaty. However, the majority of the photographs follow the movement of ships and troops out of Brest Navy yard, including the USS Imperator and the USS Philippine. There are group photos of the 803rd's officers and one photograph of a German submarine. Among the 4,000 troops aboard the Philippine were many African American soldiers, and there are photographs of these men playing in the 803rd's regimental band and of a boxing match they held during the voyage, as well as other photos. The collection also contains two postcards showing group photographs of soldiers [officers?] taken at Plattsburgh, N.Y., in 1916 - probably at the large World War I military training camp there.

Other materials from Samuel Loomis Hypes include his officer's record book, honorary discharge following the war, as well as clippings about Sugar Hollow, a North Carolina development begun by Hypes and his wife in the 1950s.

Finally, the collection also includes several files from William P. Hypes, an officer in the Y.M.C.A. in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly from his work towards the Y.M.C.A. World Action program.

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Irvin Family papers, circa 1890s-2016 10.25 Linear Feet — 23 boxes; 2 oversize folders — approximately 5150 Items

Collection consists largely of correspondence between historian Nell Irvin Painter and her parents (1969-2003), documenting various stages of their lives, travels, and Painter's scholarly career. Also includes writings by or about Nell Painter, including reviews of her work; materials, including photographs and tintypes (circa 1890s-1910s) of African Americans in Victoria, Texas, kept by Frank and Dona Irvin, relating to their early life near Houston, and documenting aspects of African American history in that area; copies and reviews of Dona Irvin's writings; documents related to Frank and Dona's education and careers; family photographs; videos; Frank irvin's diary (2000-2003); legal papers; and other items. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection consists largely of correspondence between historian Nell Irvin Painter and her parents (1969-2003), documenting various stages of their lives, travels, and Painter's scholarly career. Also includes writings by or about Nell Painter, including reviews of her work; copies and reviews of Dona Irvin's writings; documents related to Frank and Dona's education and careers; Frank irvin's diary (2000-2003); legal papers; and other items.

Photographs also form an important part of the collection. Along with papers and records, Frank and Dona Irvin kept early photos and tintypes (circa 1890s-1910s) of African Americans in Victoria, Texas; together, these materials speak to their early life near Houston, and document aspects of African American history in that area. There are also family photographs from later decades (1930s-1980s).

For preservation purposes, original audiovisual media are closed to use; copies may be available on request.

Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

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Isabelle Perkinson Williamson papers, 1827-1930, bulk 1909-1930 2.5 Linear Feet — 4 boxes — approximately 2,520 items

Correspondence and other items of Isabelle (Perkinson) Williamson, wife of Lee Hoomes Williamson, engineer, and of her mother, Isabelle (Holmes) Perkinson. There are also letters from and items belonging to Lee H. Williamson. Topics include: life in Charlottesville, Virginia; students of the University; Edwin A. Alderman, University president; work in the Navy Department from 1913-1917; the early moving picture industry; life during the Roaring Twenties; and the beginning of the Great Depression. Includes descriptions of the Georgetown Visitation Convent, Washington, D.C., Europe during 1909 and 1910, Virginia, the Panama Canal Zone, Rancagua, Chile, and Puerto Rico. Papers relating to World War I consist of letters from soldiers and war workers; food cards; and letters from Mary Peyton, who was with a field hospital unit in France. The collection also contains information on early moving pictures; life during the Roaring Twenties; and the beginning of the Great Depression. Photographs - chiefly of family members and views from a Chilean mining settlement - and ephemera such as postcards, calling cards, tickets, and greeting cards round out the collection.

Collection comprises papers of Isabelle (Perkinson) Williamson, wife of Lee Hoomes Williamson, engineer, and of her mother, Isabelle (Holmes) Perkinson. Included are many letters to Isabelle (Holmes) Perkinson from former students of the University of Virginia who had patronized her boardinghouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, letters from Isabelle (Holmes) Perkinson to her daughter describing life in Charlottesville, and commenting on Edwin A. Alderman, President of the University of Virginia, and many notes and bills reflecting frequent financial difficulties. Also included in this collection are letters between Isabelle P. and Lee Hoomes Williamson.

Many of the letters describe travels: letters from Isabelle P. Williamson to her mother were sent while attending the Georgetown Visitation Convent, Washington, D.C., while on a tour of Europe during 1909 and 1910, while visiting in Virginia and in the Panama Canal Zone, while working in the Navy Department in Washington, 1913-1917, and, after her marriage in 1917, while living near Rancagua, Chile, and in Puerto Rico with her husband. Also included in this collection are letters between Isabelle P. Williamson and Lee Hoomes Williamson.

The collection also contains information on the early motion picture industry; life during the Roaring Twenties; and the beginning of the Great Depression.

Papers relating to World War I consist of letters from soldiers and war workers, food cards, and letters from Mary Peyton, who was with a field hospital unit in France.

Sixty-nine photographs - chiefly of family members and views from a Chilean mining settlement - and ephemera such as postcards, calling cards, tickets, greeting cards, and Lee Williamson's WWI military identification card round out the collection.

Much more information on the collection's contents, written up in 1941, can be found in the Rubenstein Library cardfile catalog; please consult with Research Services staff.

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James T. Powers papers, 1860s-1945 and undated 8.0 Linear Feet — 12 boxes; 1 oversize folder — Approximately 1290 items — Approximately 1290 Items

James T. Powers was a well-known comic actor, songwriter, playwright, and vaudeville entertainer based in New York City. The materials in the collection cover the entirety of his career, from the 1880s to the 1930s, when he retired. There are also items relating to the acting career and family of his wife, Rachel Booth Powers. The materials are arranged into the following series: Correspondence, Financial and Legal Papers, Photographs and Other Images, Print Materials, Rachel Booth Powers Papers, Sheet Music, Volumes, and Other Writings. The collection contains over 260 images, including tintypes, several lithographs, gelatin silver photographs, and albumen prints, dating from approximately 1860 to the early 1940s. The rest of the collection includes scrapbooks, autograph albums, a diary by Rachel Booth Powers, many clippings, drafts of scripts and reminiscences, sheet music, notebooks, and other professional papers. Taken as a whole, the collection provides a rich look at the society and culture of vaudeville theater in New York City during Rachel and James T. Powers' careers.

Most of the collection pertains to James T. ("Jimmy") Powers, spanning his entire career as a comic actor, songwriter, playwright, and vaudeville entertainer from the 1880s to the 1930s, when he retired. There are also materials relating to the acting career and family of his wife, Rachel Booth Powers. The materials are arranged into the following series: Correspondence, Financial and Legal Papers, Photographs and Other Images, Print Materials, Rachel Booth Powers Papers, Sheet Music, Volumes, and Other Writings.

The correspondence, financial, and legal papers chiefly center on professional matters, including contracts and letters of thanks for the Powers' involvement in charity efforts during both world wars. Print materials include scripts of plays, clippings relevant to James and Rachel Powers, autobiographical material, and theater ephemera.

The collection contains a separate series for the writings of Rachel Booth Powers. Included here are several essays she wrote while in school, her teaching certificate, two autograph books dating from 1876 and 1877, and a diary kept in 1897. There is also a scrapbook containing newspaper clippings of poems written by her older sister, Alice Booth. In the Sheet Music series one can find numerous popular pieces dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including songs for which Powers wrote the lyrics.

The Volumes series consists of 24 undated notebooks belonging to James Powers that contain ideas for plays, rough drafts of what seem to be vaudeville skits, lyrics for songs, reminiscences of his career, and other notes. Finally, other writings include loose scripts of plays written by Powers, as well as some prose material. Of note in this series is a script that Powers intended to turn into, in his own words, a "motion picture play."

The Photographs and Other Images series, the largest group in the collection, contains over 260 images, dating from approximately 1860 to the early 1940s, of James Powers, Rachel Booth Powers, their families, and various stage personalities; there are also a few related clippings and theater programs mentioning either Powers or Rachel Booth. Formats include one ambrotype and 21 tintypes, followed by many late 19th and early 20th century albumen prints, lithographs, and early modern gelatin silver prints. The professionally-taken photographs of persons and theater scenes, along with the other collection materials, are particularly rich as a resource for studying vaudeville and Broadway theater culture during the careers of James T. and Rachel Booth Powers.

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Joseph John Spengler papers, [ca. 1896]-1987 111.8 Linear Feet — 60,387 Items

Chiefly correspondence, printed material, critiques of publications, bibliographies, class notes, and other papers relating to his career, publications, and affiliation with different economics associations (26,378 items, 52.7 linear feet; dated 1928-1987). Some are photocopies of Spengler's correspondence with William Richard Allen. The collection also includes manuscripts of some of his works, information concerning Duke University's administrative policies and staff, reprints of published articles relating to his career, and a charcoal portrait. (1-9-87, 88-010, 93-180, 00-213) No container lists exist for these accessions.

Addition #93-294 (34,009 items, 59.1 linear feet; dated [ca. 1896]-[ca. 1976], bulk 1914-1960) contains primarily business and Spengler and Kress family correspondence, especially between Dot and Joe ([ca. 1919]-[ca. 1976]). Also includes manuscripts for Dot's genealogical novel, Family Saga in America ([ca. 1930s]) and Joe's work, Life in America; as well as Dot's journals and diaries (1924-1939, 1969). There are Christmas cards, postcards, and newspaper clippings; photographs of family and friends, including 2 tintypes, 32 cartes-de-visite, 1 color and 91 black-and-white prints, and 76 healthy nitrate negatives; and lace knitted by Dot's grandmother.

Also includes 6 photograph albums kept by Dot, two of which contain pictures taken by her with a brownie camera in and of Piqua, OH (1914-1919). The other albums contain photographs and memorabilia depicting Dot's life as a college student at Miami University, OH (1919-1921); and two showing views of the Spengler's homes, friends, and life in Tuscon, AZ, Tampa, FL (1930-1938), and Durham, NC and Duke University (1932-1940). The latter also records the 1938 Duke University faculty baseball team.

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McKeen-Duren family papers, 1720-1945 and undated, bulk 1855-1900 12.6 Linear Feet — 16 boxes; 1 oversize folder — Approximately 3240 items — Approximately 3240 items

Collection documents in great detail the histories of the McKeen and Duren families, particularly of Silas, Phebe, and Philena McKeen. Topics of note documented through correpondence, diaries and journals, other peronal papers, printed material, and images include: religious thought and institutions in New England; the education of women and the careers of female educators; photography throughout the 19th century; the Civil War and its effects on New England society; westward migration patterns; social life in Massachusetts and Vermont; family relations in the 19th century; 19th century New England women writers and their activities; and New England genealogy. There are also many clippings in the scrapbooks debating the abolition of slavery, many written by minister Silas McKeen. The photographs series is large and offers many fine examples of 19th century portraiture and photographic processes, including ambrotypes, cyanotypes, daguerreotypes, tintypes, albumen prints, postcards, and early gelatin silver and platinum prints. The majority are portraits but there are also interiors of family rooms and images of educational institutions, especially Abbott Female Academy in Andover, Massachusetts (now Abbot Academy), whose principal over several decades was Philena McKeen. Three photograph albums round out the photograph series.

the histories of the McKeen and Duren families, particularly of Silas, Phebe, and Philena McKeen. Topics of note documented through correpondence, diaries and journals, other peronal papers, printed material, and images include: religious thought and institutions in New England; the education of women and the careers of female educators; photography throughout the 19th century; the Civil War and its effects on New England society; westward migration patterns; social life in Massachusetts and Vermont; family relations in the 19th century; 19th century New England women writers and their activities; tourism in 19th century England, Scotland, Switzerland, and Egypt; and New England genealogy. There are also many clippings in the scrapbooks debating the abolition of slavery, many written by minister Silas McKeen.

The bulk of the manuscript material is housed in the Correspondence Series, which chiefly consists of exchanges between members of the McKeen-Duren families. The earliest correspondence originates from New England, the McKeen family having been established in the area by brothers James, William, and Samuel McKeen, who emigrated from Ireland in the early 18th century. Beginning around 1823, letters exchanged between Silas McKeen and the father of Serena McKeen (she married Charles Duren) appear. A significant later portion of the correspondence was written by Silas to his son Charles, who served as a Union soldier during the Civil War. The family's exchanges then began to stretch westward during a period in which Philena and Phebe McKeen taught at the Western Female Seminary, Oxford, Ohio, and when Charles McKeen Duren moved to Iowa following the Civil War. Prominent topics in the letters from the latter half of the 19th century include Phebe and Philena's literary and publishing activities; education in New England and the Midwest; the Civil War and its effect on New England citizens; and routine family topics such as health, religion and morality, and social activities. There are very probably references to the abolition movement and slavery: the McKeens, Silas in particular, were outspoken abolitionists.

A rich variety of written communication is found in the Writings Series, divided into two subseries, Manuscripts and Volumes. The Manuscripts subseries contains handwritten copies of a variety of types of writings by members of the McKeen-Duren families. The Volumes subseries contains often unattributed handwritten drafts and notes on fictional pieces; essays, probably written by Phebe or Philena; and sermons, most likely written by Silas McKeen. There may be material related to Silas McKeen's writings on slavery.

The collection is notable for its extensive Photographs Series. Almost all photographic formats across the 19th century can be found here, including many albumen prints, chiefly in the form of cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards; cyanotypes; cased and uncased ambrotypes and daguerreotypes; and tintypes. Also present are gelatin silver and platinum prints. The series is divided into four subseries: Albums, Cased Images, Oversize Prints, and Prints. One family member, perhaps Phebe, was reportedly an amateur photographer, but direct evidence of this remains to be discovered. Interior photographs of the family home show multitudes of photographs hung on the wall. Subjects in the collection's images include family members from babyhood to old age, family friends, travel in England, Europe, and the Middle East, pets, and horses. Other families portrayed in the photographs include Page, Deming (?), Grovenor, and Dunlevy. There are only a few landscapes but there are images of Abbot Academy buildings, grounds, and students with their teachers (Andover, Massachusetts). Some of the photographic items, particularly the cased images, are fragile and should be handled with care.

The Diaries and Scrapbooks Series contains many personal journals and diaries, spanning the years 1804-1900, and scrapbooks, circa 1838-1902. The diaries are quite detailed and were chiefly written by the female members in the McKeen family; topics revolve around family health problems, visitors and travel, readings, the weather, and emotional or religious experiences. There may be passing references to slavery; there is one reference to a prominent abolitionist, later imprisoned, who visited the McKeen house. The scrapbooks house pasted-in clippings pertaining to family members, and many published short pieces written by Silas, Phebe, and Philena McKeen. There are also handwritten extracts of letters, as well as prescriptive pieces and poems, and a series of pages from Civil War periodicals. There are quite a few clippings in the scrapbooks on slavery and abolitionism, as well as references to issues pertaining to statehood; many of the anti-slavery pieces published in New England serials were written by Silas McKeen from the 1830s to the 1850s. The clippings folder in the Printed Material Series contains similar loose items.

The Financial Papers Series contains notifications of contributions to missionary institutions, receipts for good and services, society memberships, and subscriptions. A number of ledgers, some in bound volumes, are also found here.

The Genealogy Series contains extensive handwritten accounts and notes originating from the early 19th century, documenting the ancestry of the McKeen-Duren families and related branches, as well as two hand-written bound volumes containing detailed genealogies of the Duren, Gould, Prichard, and Freeman families. There are also a few printed materials, including obituaries and memorial pieces.

The Legal Papers files contain the earliest documents in the collection (1720). Items include land grants and deed transfers, inheritance inventories, loan notices, service contracts, wills and will abstracts, writs of indenture or apprenticeship, powers of attorney, and other documents.

An assortment of printed items, clippings, and ephemera pertaining to members of the McKeen-Duren families can be found in the Printed Materials Series, including invitations, event programs, announcements, obituaries and memorial pieces, short story reprints, copies of a course curriculum, a copy of the Abbot Academy journal, cards, and other assorted materials, including a hand-drawn map, perhaps the local vicinity where one of the families lived, found in the ephemera folder.

A folder of Oversize Material housing diplomas awarded to members of the McKeen-Duren families completes the collection.