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Only top-level descriptions Grinnell College Libraries Special Collections Iowa--History--Pictorial works
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Tibbs Family Papers 1936-1962

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.04
  • Collection

The bulk of the collection consists of letters to Mrs. Mamie Tibbs and four of her children from family and friends, the majority written from 1939-1945.  Letters from one family member to another are filed in the folder of the recipient; letters in each folder are arranged chronologically.  There are no letters to or from James or Shirley.  There are a number of letters from Albert to various family members filed in the recipients’ folders.  Other papers include a variety of personal and family cards, announcements, invitations, etc.

The papers were left in the family’s house at 712 Elm Street when they moved and were retrieved by Grinnell College students when some letters blew out of the abandoned house into the neighborhood.  This is not a complete family record and does not give a complete accounting of the family history.  The letters do give some insight into the everyday life and concerns of a black family living in a white community during the 1940s and 1950s and of blacks in the armed forces during and after World War II.

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

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)

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.

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

Fleming Fraker Postcard Collection

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.80
  • Collection

The Fraker collection of postcards consists of approximately 7,000 cards, depicting 501 Iowa cities and towns. The cancellation dates on the postcards range from the beginning of the 20th century to the 1960’s, although most cards date from circa 1910. The collection is arranged alphabetically. All towns with two or more cards are filed individually, while towns with only one card are filed at the beginning of their letter group. In box 17, there are several miscellaneous cards, including book cards, military cards, and unidentifiable cards. The book postcards of Iowa feature either towns or the state as a whole. There are also several postcards from military institutions across the United States. The unidentifiable cards are handmade, but were never sent through the mail and do not indicate their town. These cards depict a wide range of subjects, including people, homes, and businesses.

There are also approximately 1,200 postcards of Des Moines, as well as 1,000 views of Davenport. In addition, Ottumwa has three postcards of double length that portray panoramic views of the city. These are in box 14.

There are two scrapbooks in the manuscript collection; one is of the county courthouses of Iowa and the second is filled with postcards from Des Moines. These are both located at the end of the collection.

Fraker, Fleming

Preston Family History 1869-1962

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.61
  • Collection

Consists of photocopies of clippings, photographs, and letters and a journal.

Preston Family

Mary Gae Wyly Papers on Grinnell Women Faculty 1971-1972

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.15
  • Collection

Mary Gae Wyly graduated from Grinnell College in 1962 and served as a librarian from 1968 to 1976.  This collection contains documents from her desk files, including one on the hiring of blacks and women, and a survey of women on campus for the improvement of Grinnell.

Wyly, Mary Gae

James McNally photograph collection 1857-1961

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.23
  • Collection

James McNally collected photographs, both black-and-white and color, that depict buildings and Grinnell scenes from about 1857-1961.  The collection of photographs has been donated to Stewart Library.

Copies of outstanding and representative pictures in the collection were made into slides and the slides donated to the archives.  Vera provided the descriptions of the photographs in 1983.  There are two sets of slides: the original slides and another set that are loaded into a carousel.  The latter set may be borrowed with approval of the College Archivist.

McNally, James

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.