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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1223

Papers of Lena Jason White, 1916-1979


Photographs, correspondence, and diaries documenting Lena Jason White's professional life, her relationship with her family, and her involvement in church activities.


  • 1916-1979


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Lena Jason White as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.63 linear feet ((1+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 7 photograph folders)

The papers of Lena Jason White contain photographs, correspondence, and diaries documenting White's professional life, her relationship with her family, and her involvement in church activities. The majority of the correspondence consists of letters from White's son, Conrad, while he was a student at The Cambridge School of Weston and of letters from individuals affiliated with the school reporting on Conrad's well-being. The three diaries in the collection each cover multiple years and contain short entries documenting White's social life; church activities; work at the Hampton Institute, Rockywold Camp, and as an assistant to Mary Alice Armstrong; and her thoughts on current events. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online. Folders are arranged alphabetically.


Lena Jason White, daughter of Howard Talbot and Lena Bertha Wright Jason, was born January 1, 1896, in Wilmington, Delaware. She was raised in Corozal, Puerto Rico, where her father served as a missionary. After training as a nurse at the Presbyterian Hospital in Santurce, Puerto Rico, she continued her education at the Scotia Seminary in Concord, South Carolina. While at Scotia Seminary, White worked at Rockywold Camp in Holderness, New Hampshire, during the summers. She became the personal secretary to Mary Alice Armstrong, the owner of Rockywold Camp and widow of Hampton Institute founder Samuel Chapman Armstrong. Through her connection to Mrs. Armstrong, White embarked on a career at Hampton Institute, a private, historically black, research university in Hampton, Virginia. From 1936 to 1941, she was an assistant in the commissary, from 1941 to 1946, she was secretary to the Dean of Men, and from 1949 until her retirement in 1962, she was a personnel clerk. Following her retirement from the Hampton Institute, she worked part time for the Peoples Building & Loan Association. In 1934, White married Claxton H. White, who soon deserted her and left her to raise their son, Conrad, on her own. White secured a divorce in 1939. She died March 22, 1979, in Hampton, Virginia.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2022-M201

The papers of Lena Jason White were acquired by the Schlesinger Library from McBride Rare Books in November 2022.

Processing Information

Processed: February 2023

By: Johanna Carll

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

White, Lena Jason, 1896-1979. Papers of Lena Jason White, 1916-1979: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Alice Jeannette Ward Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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