Processing Update – Davis, Kline, and Hutton Family Papers

We’re happy to announce that one of our most recent (and significant) acquisitions is currently undergoing processing. In early April 2017, we acquired several boxes of manuscript material including photographs, correspondence, ledgers, and scrapbooks from the estate of Mary Hutton of Elkton . Mary Hutton was a graduate of Madison College and descendant of Charles L. Davis (1874-1960) of Singers Glen.¬†This collection, when fully arranged and described, will contribute greatly to the study of three generations of local families – Davis, Kline, and Hutton -,¬†Rockingham County history, and the history of James Madison University.

In-process correspondence.

The correspondence series of this collection is the first to undergo processing. This entails organizing the letters by recipient, removing the letters from their respective envelopes, and joining letter and envelope together with Plastiklips. (Big fun.) The correspondence is briefly scanned for content and foldered according to date. (Even more big fun.) The correspondence is comprised primarily of love letters between Charles Davis and his future-wife Edith Long. Love letters from their daughter Letha Davis to her future husband Earl Kline are also included. (Le swoon.)

“Destroy this letter” Letha Davis to Earl Kline, August, 1, 1916

In these letters, correspondents provide regular updates on family and community news, report on and inquire about the frequency of church and Sunday school attendance, and are generally newsy and gossipy in their overall tone.

Day-of-week letterhead
Love letter doodles, July 6, 1891
Part of a love letter – written backwards. “Can you read this?”

As you can see, this collection is ripe with content for our social media accounts. And we’ve been posting about it a lot. For more, follow us on Twitter (@JMUSpeColl), Instagram (@JMUSpeColl), and Facebook (@JMUSpeColl).

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