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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 979; Phon-76

Papers of Jane M. Rabb, 1947-2019 (inclusive), 1947-1993 (bulk)


Oral history transcripts and research material documenting American missionaries in China and Pearl S. Buck complied by writer and teacher Jane M. Rabb; scrapbook, autograph album, phonograph record, and photographs related to Rabb's years attending Tripp Lake Camp.


  • 1947-2019
  • Majority of material found within 1947-1993

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. Appointment required for access to audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright for material in Series I created by Jane M. Rabb is held by Jane M. Rabb and by the interviewees. Copyright in the material in Series II created by Rabb 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.


1.38 linear feet ((1 file box, 1 folio box) plus 2 folio+ folders, 4 photograph folders, 1 phonograph record)

Collection includes material documenting Jane M. Rabb's summers at Tripp Lake Camp, as well as oral history transcripts and research material for her work on Pearl S. Buck and American missionaries in China. The oral histories contained in this collection were originally cataloged as A/T482. Most folder titles were created by the archivist; original titles are enclosed with quotation marks. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online. The collection is arranged in two series.

Additional material (accession number 2019-M207) was added to the collection in January 2020. This material is housed in F+D.2 and Phon-76.1. All other files remain in the same order. Folders are listed in intellectual, not numerical, order.

Series I. TRIPP LAKE CAMP, 1947-1955, 2019 (#1.1-1.2, 2FB.1, F+D.1-F+D.2, PD.1-PD.4, Phon-76.1), includes an autograph book, scrapbook, sheet music, and photographs documenting Rabb's summers at Tripp Lake Camp (1948-1955). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Series II., PEARL S. BUCK AND AMERICAN MISSIONARIES IN CHINA, 1974-1993 (#1.3-1.7), includes research material about Pearl S. Buck, as well as information about Buck family homesteads in the United States and China. There are transcripts of oral history interviews with members of the Thomson family and John Hersey about the role of American missionaries in China, and their recollections of Buck. In addition, there is correspondence related to Rabb's research about Buck and her participation in a centennial symposium about Buck, and an application for a summer research grant to use the Thomson family papers at the Schlesinger Library. Folders are arranged alphabetically.


Jane Rabb, raised in the Boston area, attended Tripp Lake Camp, in Poland, Maine, during the summers of the late 1940s through the early 1950s. The camp was primarily attended by girls from Jewish families from many parts of the country.

Rabb attended Radcliffe College (A.B.,mcl, 1961) and Harvard University (Ph.D., 1968). She was a Radcliffe Fellow at the original Radcliffe Institute (1972-73), and taught in several adult education programs: at the Radcliffe Seminars for over twenty years as well as for shorter periods at Harvard University Extension School, Lesley College, all in Cambridge, and The New School in Manhattan. Rabb is the author of Charles Dickens and His Original Illustrators (1980), editor of Literature & Photography: Interactions 1840-1990: A Critical Anthology (1995), editor of The Short Story and Photography, 1880's-1980's (1998), and author of many articles on writers and artists. She contributed the entry about Pearl S. Buck for Notable American Women: The Modern Period: A Biographical Dictionary (1980) and the entry on photography and literature for The Oxford Companion To The Photograph (2005).


The collection is arranged in two series:

  1. Series I. Tripp Lake Camp, 1947-1955, 2019 (#1.1-1.2, 2FB.1, F+D.1-F+D.2, PD.1-PD.4, Phon-76.1)
  2. Series II. Pearl S. Buck and American Missionaries in China, 1974-1993 (#1.3-1.7)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 85-M189, 2008-M211, 2019-M6. Accession number 2019-M207 was added in January 2020.

Oral history transcripts related to Chinese missionaries and Pearl S. Buck were given to the Schlesinger Library by Jane Rabb in 1985; these transcripts were originally cataloged as A/T482. Rabb gave additional transcripts and research material related to Buck in 2008 and 2019, and material related to her years attending Tripp Lake Camp in 2019.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Randolph-Macon Woman's College Archives; see the Jane Rabb Collection RS 40/19/6 .

Processing Information

Processed: March 2019

By: Paula Aloisio, with assistance from Ashley Thomas.

Updated and additional materials added: January 2020

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.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Radcliffe College Class of 1957 Schlesinger Library Fund and the Gerard Schlesinger Library 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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