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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 471

Worsdell family papers


Letters from the Worsdell family of Blackheath (England) to Boston lawyer Henry M. Rogers and his wife Clara Kathleen Rogers, and photographs of the Worsdell family.


  • 1905-1936
  • Majority of material found within 1920-1932

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

This collection consists primarily of letters written by Florence Emily Stow Worsdell, her husband, and their three children to Henry Munroe Rogers. Some letters are addressed jointly to Henry Munroe Rogers and Clara Kathleen Rogers, and a few are addressed solely to Clara Kathleen Rogers. The letters contain mostly family news from a middle-class English family. Some letters discuss the family's famous uncle Edward Smith Willard, the General Strike of 1926, and a 1930 tour of William Shakespeare sites. The collection also includes family photographs.

Biographical / Historical

Florence Emily Stow (b. 1882) was the daughter of Alfred F. and Marian (Waters) Stow of England. In 1905, she married Frederick Ernest Worsdell (1878-1930), an assistant sales manager for a construction company in Blackheath (London, England). They had three children: Gwendolyn Mary Worsdell (1907-1992), who married Harry Vander Jr. in 1929; Florence Joan Worsdell (1908-1999), who did not marry; and Edward Stow Willard Worsdell (1915-1998).

Florence Emily Stow's mother Marian (Waters) Stow was the sister of Emily Waters Willard (1857-), the wife of actor Edward Smith Willard (1853-1915). Willard was a close friend of Henry Munroe Rogers and Clara Kathleen Rogers of Boston, which led to a friendship between the Rogers family and Willard's niece.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Letters to Henry Munroe Rogers and Clara Kathleen Rogers
  2. II. Photographs

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Gift of Henry Munroe Rogers; received: 1932.

Separated Materials

This collection was found with the Rogers Memorial Collection, MS Thr 470, which contains literary, musical and historical material from Boston circa 1870-1930, and memorabilia of the English composer John Barnett (1802-1890). Henry Munroe Rogers left a note with a portion of the collection explaining his ultimate intention to give these letters to Florence Emily Stow Worsdell, but this was not done before his death in 1937. She and her three children are now deceased. The collection has been cataloged separately from the Rogers Memorial Collection, reflecting its separate provenance.

General note

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Worsdell family. Worsdell family papers, 1905-1936: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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