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COLLECTION Identifier: 92-M34

Papers of the Webster family, 1892-1953 (inclusive), 1892-1927 (bulk)


Correspondence of the Webster family of Lexington, Massachusetts.


  • 1892-1953
  • Majority of material found within 1892-1927

Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Webster family is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. 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.


3 linear feet ((3 cartons) plus 1 photograph folder)

This collection consists entirely of correspondence, the bulk of which is between Helen Noyes Webster and Hollis Webster. Most of the letters were written during the summers that Helen Noyes Webster and Hollis Webster spent apart--Helen Noyes Webster in Maine and Hollis Webster in the Boston area--while married. There are more letters to Helen Noyes Webster than to Hollis Webster. Correspondence during their courtship is also included. A significant number of letters from Hollis Webster to his mother while he was touring Europe in 1892 can be found in the collection. Letters from the Webster children are primarily letters to Helen during her hospitalization for an unspecified illness, birthday cards, and letters home when away at Girl Scout Camp.


Hollis Webster (1862-1943) married Helen Maria Noyes (1875-1949) in 1903. He graduated from Harvard (1884) and taught at Roxbury Latin School and Browne and Nichols School. Although he was offered a chance to teach at Harvard, for financial reasons he decided to take a position at Manter Hall School in Cambridge, where he taught Latin, Greek, German, French and Spanish. He was founder and first secretary of the Boston Mycological Club. Helen Maria Noyes Webster attended Vassar College (1895-1896) and Radcliffe College (1896-1898). An ardent botanist like her husband, Helen was president of the Herb Society of America, the author of Herbs, How to Grow Them and How to Use Them (1933), and wrote and lectured widely on the subject. The Websters had six children and lived in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 92-M34

The papers of the Webster family were given to the Schlesinger Library in March 1992 by Deborah (Webster) Greeley.


  1. Carton 1: Folders 1-29
  2. Carton 2: Folders 30-58
  3. Carton 3: Folders 59-96

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: June 1993

By: Gwen L. Lexow

Webster family. Papers of the Webster family, 1892-1953 (inclusive), 1892-1927 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from Deborah Greeley and Priscilla Foley ('58).

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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