Mary Augusta Ward

Special Collections houses the Mrs. Humphry Ward Papers. Mary Augusta Ward (1851-1920), born Mary Arnold, was a British writer at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. A niece of Matthew Arnold and the aunt of Aldous Huxley, she was also active in social work and an opponent of women’s suffrage. The collection consists of letters between Mrs. Ward and her publishers, family and friends, photographs, miscellaneous documents, and notebooks that hold drafts of her novels and articles.

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Even today, scholars are interested in Mrs. Humphry Ward. Beth Sutton-Ramspeck, a professor at The Ohio State University at Lima has written and edited two books on Mrs. Humphry Ward using the Ward Papers in Special Collections. Pictured are the two books she completed as a result of her research and donated to Special Collections.

Double Donkeys

What are the chances! After looking through two archival collections, I discovered two photographs of donkeys! One photograph is of Alice Baldwin, Pomona College class of 1913, standing next to a “burro” in snow. This photograph is from the Alice Baldwin Papers. The papers contain diaries, letters, photographs, and mementos from Alice’s time at Pomona College.

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The second photograph comes from the E. C. (Edwin Clarence) Norton Papers. Norton was the first dean of Pomona College from 1888 to 1926. This photograph was taken during a trip to Delphi in January 1905. The Norton papers contain his speeches, church programs, and Amherst College alumni news.

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Who would have known that we have two donkey images from the early 1900s from these Pomona College affiliated individuals!


Within the last six months, two patrons from New York have requested copies of Mary Louise Booth letters, the founding editor of Harper’s Bazaar. The letters are from the William McPherson Papers. One of these letters was written by journalist and world traveler Thomas W. Knox. In it, he asks Booth if she received his article “Round the world in a curry dish” that he mailed to her.

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Perhaps the interest of the two patrons stems from the magazine’s 150th anniversary in 2017. Happy upcoming 150th anniversary, Harper’s Bazaar!


Special Collections recently purchased two collections of letters. One collection contains letters by Sergeant Wilfred D. Carnes to his family while serving in World War II from 1943-1945. You can listen to his journey from training camp in Missouri and Kentucky, to awaiting shipping details in California at the Presidio in San Francisco, to befriending a wallaby in Australia, to his move to Dutch New Guinea, and his last stop in the Philippines.

The second collection of letters is written by George Peck to his girlfriend (and later) wife, Mary Ridenour during his time with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from 1940-1941. He begins his journey with training in Upland, California and then travels to Seattle, Washington where he boards a ship bound for Ketchikan, Alaska. His camp then moves to Metlakatla, Alaska where his job was surveying. You can hear his observations of the natural environment and see the various illustrated Alaskan letterheads.