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Archival description
Only top-level descriptions Grinnell College Grinnell (Iowa) -- Buildings, structures, etc
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Florence Stewart and Robert Kerr Papers 1917-1963 1937-1948

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.24
  • Collection

The collection contains an oral interview with Florence Kerr; photographs, personal correspondence (notably with President and Mrs. Roosevelt), and other items unrelated to her business life; correspondence and other materials relating to her defense activities in 1941; and materials from two productions of the Federal Theater Project.

The bulk of the collection contains correspondence, memos, and reports from her tenure with the Work Projects Administration and includes numerous WPA publications.  There are two photograph albums and ten scrapbooks of newspaper clippings regarding her WPA activities.

Also included is correspondence of her husband, Robert Y. Kerr.

Florence Stewart Kerr (Class of 1912)

George Drake Family Papers 1861-2000

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.30
  • Collection

President George Drake and his brother, Professor Richard Drake of Berea College, donated family papers to Grinnell College Archives January 1991.  The bulk of the material is from their father, George Bryant Drake. It consists of correspondence, notes for sermons, family financial and business records, clippings, photographs, ca. 1920s-80s.  One box contains writings of Richard Drake, one box correspondence and writings of George Drake and family, one box papers of Alberta Drake, a box of Nell Drake's writings and publications.

George Bryant Drake (1895-1979) was a Congregational Minister and President of Doane College in Nebraska. He and his wife, Alberta Stimson Drake, had three children: George Albert Drake (1934-), professor and President of Grinnell College; Richard Bryant Drake (1925-), professor at Berea College; and Alberta Jane Drake (1928-). George Bryant was called Bryant; his parents were Nellie Jennie Rice Drake and George Burton Drake.

George M. Ochs (Class of 1949) Papers 1960-1995

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.45
  • Collection

The collection contains articles and book reviews by Ochs, personal and professional correspondence, and a copy of his Ph.D. thesis.

Ochs, George M.

Grace Douglass Orr Papers

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.19
  • Collection

The bulk of the collection consists of Mrs. Orr's recollections about her life and the lives of three of her brothers, and of family photographs.

Orr, Grace Douglas

Grant O. Gale Personal Papers 1850-1995

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.115
  • Collection

The personal correspondence, notes and photographs of former Grinnell professor of physics Grant O. Gale. Gale was educated at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and got his masters in physics at the University of Michigan in 1933. He taught at Grinnell from 1929 to 1972. The college's observatory is named for Gale, and he was active in several Grinnell community organizations before his passing in 1998.
Gale is remembered for his dedication to his students and to his role as a mentor on the Grinnell campus.

Grinnell – Chapin Genealogical Material

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.05
  • Collection

The collection consists of genealogical charts 1480 0 1919.  Correspondence ca. 1898-1908, 32 portraits, some unidentified, copies of cemetery inscriptions, Family Association publications for the Chapin (4 books, 1862, 1908, 1908, 1927) and Alden (1 book, 1916) families, sixty Chapin family deeds and documents from Massachusetts 1674-1851, and a 114-page handwritten notebook by E. F. G. of Stockbridge, 1848, family history of Chapin ancestors Dudley, Woodbridge, Jones, and Eliot.

The papers have detailed information about a few branches of the family, little or no information on other branches.  The researcher might consult U.S. Library of Congress, Genealogies in the Library of Congress to identify more complete sources.

Genealogical charts in this collection trace part of the Grinnell family from Pierre Grenelle, born about 1480 in France. A descendant, Matthew, born 1602, became a Protestant and moved to Newport, R.I., in 1630, beginning the American line of the family. Matthew’s son married a granddaughter of John and Priscilla Alden. Other charts trace various branches of the Chapin family from about 1576 to Mary Grinnell’s birth about 1857.

Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell

Harry Downer Papers 1930-1950

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.31
  • Collection

This collection includes correspondence from the 1940s, memoirs of Grinnell College in the 1880s, class letters and other related materials.

Harry Downer

I. B. Mc.  Iowa Territory Description. -1846

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.56
  • Collection

Consists of one letter from I. B. Mc., Mexico, Missouri, to Dr. C. Blish, Hampton, Pennsylvania describing the Iowa Territory.  Written before 1846.

Ivan Sheets Postcard Collection 1900-2000 early 20th century

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.107
  • Collection

The Ivan Sheets collection contains approximately 400 post cards of towns primarily in Poweshiek County, Iowa.  The are 334 post cards of Grinnell and 74 post cards of surrounding towns including Brooklyn, Malcom, Montezuma, Newton, and Oskaloosa.

Sheets, Ivan W.

James Langdon Hill Papers 1715-1928

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.43
  • Collection

This may be an autograph collection of Hill’s; or it may be a collection of historical items collected by various persons. In the collection is a notebook that has one poem written in it; letters and correspondence of Hill’s were found in the notebook.

Items in the large scrapbook may be part of his collection because one of the autographs mentioned in Hill’s letter in the Correspondence file was in the scrapbook. There were other letters in the scrapbook that indicate that some of the items were from different sources and were collected for a type of historical collection. There is a note attached to two, 1840 receipts: “Professor Spencer: Do you have charge of a collection such as these? / E. L. Long” and a letter to Rev. Parker from Lyman Whiting that was enclosed with some historical items: “...[they] have a bit of history in them which leads me to send them to you to dispose of as you think best. If worth keeping in the museum, please put them there; if fit only to be burned, let that be their fate.” Items from the scrapbook that seemed to have a different provenance were put into file folders.

Hill, James Langdon (Class of 1871)

James Norman Hall Papers 1906-1954

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.01
  • Collection

The James Norman Hall papers at Grinnell College span the years 1906-54.  About half the collection is correspondence, clippings, photographs, and notebooks, the other half is manuscripts of his writings, including his autobiography, novels, short stories, essays, and poems, published and unpublished.  The 665 letters and post cards are arranged chronologically.  A small portion are from Hall's four years in Boston before World War I, nearly half are from World War I and post war years, and the rest from the last 25 years of his life.  Much of the correspondence is with his family and two Boston friends, George Courtright Greener (1911-53), Director of the North Bennet Street Industrial School, and Roy Cushman (1914-50), Probation Officer in Juvenile Court.  Other correspondence includes letters and cards from Hall to his former Grinnell professors, Charles Payne (1916-44) and George L. Pierce (1911-50), from his college roommate, Chester C. Davis (1910-19), newspaperman, head of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in the 1930's and president of the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis, and a few letters from Ellery Sedgwick, editor of Atlantic Monthly.  The Atlantic Monthly-Hall-Nordhoff correspondence is on 14 rolls of microfilm, and the Sedgwick-Hall correspondence is on one roll in the Archives.  A few letters are exchanges between friends with comments about Hall.  Some letters are typed, some are carbons, most are handwritten.  A typed version of selected war letters is included.  The Archives does not have Robert Dean Frisbie's letters on which Hall's story "Frisbie of Danger Island" is based, nor correspondence with Nordhoff.

Most of the newspaper clippings are reports of Hall's war experiences and reviews of his books, a few are about Hall, Tahiti, and the South Seas.  Most photographs are from World War I and his Iceland trip, a few are of his family in Tahiti.

Twenty-eight small handwritten notebooks, some of which record Hall's travels and outlines of stories and poems, a diary of the 1909 Grinnell College Glee Club tour to the west coast, and Hall's Grandfather Young's small Civil War diary (1864) are also in the collection.  Two rolls of microfilm in the Archives contain war letters, pages of notebooks and other items selected from the Grinnell collection by Paul Briand Jr., who wrote a biography of Hall.

Over half of the collection consists of typescripts, some with revisions or several versions of sections, of nine of the twelve books Nordhoff and Hall co-authored (manuscripts of the first three, published before 1930, are not in the collection), of parts or all of seven of the seventeen books Hall published alone, of scripts of two of Hall's plays, of typescripts or holograph versions of 19 of the more than 80 published magazine pieces, and of about sixty unpublished poems, stories, and essays, most undated.  The Archives owns 28 books Hall wrote by himself or coauthored with Nordhoff, including foreign language editions of some titles.

The Hall papers at Grinnell College are a valuable resource for anyone studying his career as a writer, his travels, experiences, ideas, and the sources of some of his stories.  Hall's war correspondence is particularly enlightening for the World War I scholar interested in the human aspect of the war.

Hall, James Norman (Class of 1910)

John Kleinschmidt Collection of Grinnell Local History

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.39
  • Collection

Professor Kleinschmidt amassed countless photocopies, copies of microfilm and Sanborn maps, copies of newspaper articles, correspondence, and black and white photographs of local buildings (residences, commercial, college).  In the 1990s, Professor Kleinschmidt expressed his interest in having his collection deposited with the Grinnell College Archives.  Members of the Grinnell Historic Preservation Commission (Lisa Adkins, Don Irving, Cheryl Neubert), conducted interviews with him to access much of his accumulated knowledge about this history of the town, the occupants and the buildings.

Kleinschmidt, John

John and Louise Nollen Correspondence 1906-1932

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.32
  • Collection

The collection consists primarily of letters written to John Nollen from members of his family 1906-32.  Correspondents include his parents, his wife, Louise, brother Henry, and his sisters Hanna and Sara.  The two sisters taught 1929-33 at Anatolia College, Salonika, Greece.  The collection includes their letters to John as well as typed copies of their letters to other members of the family and contain descriptions of their travels during those years.

Nollen, John S.

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