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Fritts papers, 1914-1988 (Bulk: 1914-1919)
1 box (2.5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0540 (LD 7096.6 1918 Sonn)

Fritts, Ruth Myrtle Sonn, 1897-1988; Teacher. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1918. Papers consist of diary, correspondence, notebook of expenses, biographical information, memorabilia, and photographs; primarily containing correspondence from Russell Weisman, a former Mount Holyoke teacher, regarding his work in the Harvard Ambulance Corps in Europe during World War I and descriptions of her academic and social life at Mount Holyoke.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Ruth Myrtle Sonn was born on November 30, 1897, in Jersey City, New Jersey. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1918 and worked for two years teaching French, German, and Music. On May 7, 1921, she married Harold E. Fritts. In 1946, she received her master's degree from New York State College for Teachers. She worked at Chatham Public School in Chatham, New York. Ruth Sonn Fritts died on March 13, 1988, in Golden, Colorado.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ruth Myrtle Sonn Fritts Papers contain a diary, letters, notebook of expenses and other notes from her years at Mount Holyoke, biographical material, memorabilia, and photographs. The diary is equivalent to a daily planner that notes Fritts' daily activities and notes special campus events, such as Mountain Day, and family occasions during her four years at Mount Holyoke College (1914-1918). The letters from Fritts' former teacher, Russell Weisman, a member of the Harvard Ambulance Corps, describe his entrance into the military, his "Joining Uncle Sam." The ensuing letters describe Weisman's movements around Europe and his "baptism by fire" on the front line while stationed in France. Weisman further describes the destruction of World War I not only on the physical landscape, but the morale of the troops and he further describes the treatment of American soldiers, especially from gas intoxification, through the Harvard Ambulance Corps. Weisman writes of about the armistice due to German surrender primarily as a result of troop starvation.

This collection is organized into five series.

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Terms of Access and Use
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Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Ruth Sonn Fritts Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

History of the Collection

Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

Email Reference Form:
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Fritts, Ruth Sonn, 1897-1988.
  • Weisman, Russell, 1890-1949.
  • Belgium.
  • College students - Massachusetts - Biography.
  • France.
  • Harvard Ambulance Corps.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student expenses - 1916-1918.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student life - 1914-1918.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Students.
  • Soldiers - United States - Correspondence.
  • Women - United States - Social conditions.
  • Women college students - Massachusetts - Biography.
  • World War, 1914-1918 - Belgium.
  • World War, 1914-1918 - France.
  • World War, 1914-1918 - Medical care - Sources.
  • World War, 1914-1918 - Personal narratives, American.

  • Sonn, Ruth M., Class of 1918.
  • Weisman, Russell, 1890-1949.

Genre terms
  • Diaries.
  • Letters.
  • Notebooks.

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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