Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home >> Mount Holyoke College Archives & Special Collections >> Kimball papers, 1919-ca. 1950 (bulk 1919-1930)
Mount Holyoke College seal
Kimball papers, 1919-ca. 1950 (Bulk: 1919-1930)
1 box (5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0562 (LD 7096.6 x1909 Kimball)

Abstract:
Kimball, Elsie May, 1887-1972; Secretary and missionary. Attended Mount Holyoke College, 1905-1907. Papers consist of correspondence, biographical information and a photograph. Primarily documenting her experience as a missionary in Armenia and the Republic of Georgia including comments of the effects of World War I, revolutions, the Greco-Turkish War and Communism in the region.

Terms of Access and Use:

Unrestricted

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Elsie May Kimball was born on July 23, 1887 in Bennington, New Hampshire, to Fred H. Kimball (who later became a senator in New York) and Leonetta Nichols Kimball. She attended high school in Milford, New Hampshire, then followed her sister, Lorenia M. Kimball, to Mount Holyoke College in 1905. She left in 1907 to study at the School of Art in Boston until 1910. Between 1910 and 1919 she worked as a gas company demonstrator and home missionary in Boston. From 1919-1921 and 1923-1925 she worked for the Near East Relief (N.E.R.) organization in Armenia and the Republic of Georgia. She cared for orphans and refugees, organized soup kitchens, and worked as a secretary for N.E.R. administrators. In 1926, she began working as a clerk and translator for the Georgian Manganese Company, a mining firm with offices in Tchiatouri (C'iatura), Georgia, and Moscow, Russia. She returned to the United States in 1927, and in 1928 she was awarded a medal for her war relief work. She was Superintendent of Stenographers in the Law Department of Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation in New York City for twenty-one years. On October 8, 1955 she married John E. Beck, a chemist. She died on February 28, 1972 in Mount Vernon, New York at the age of eighty-four.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Elsie May Kimball Papers consist of correspondence, biographical information, and a photograph. Most of this material relates to her work as a relief worker and secretary for the Near East Relief (N.E.R.) organization in Armenia and the Republic of Georgia from 1919-1921 and 1923-1925. Of greatest significance are typed transcripts of letters to her mother, Leonetta Nichols Kimball, and sister, Lorenia ("Rene") M. Kimball. Many of the letters include copies of telegrams, letters, reports, and newspaper articles from the N.E.R., friends, fellow workers, her employers, and orphans. In these documents Kimball describes her activities as secretary for two N.E.R. administrators, William N. Haskell and Ernest A. Yarrow, and her life in Tiflis (T'bilisi), Georgia, and Alexandropol (Gyumri), Armenia. She discusses the devastation and poverty in the Near East during and after World War I, the Greco-Turkish War, and revolutions in Armenia, the Soviet Union, and Turkey. She describes massacres of Armenians; the advance of Bolshevik forces in Georgia and Armenia in 1920; and her work with Armenian, Greek, and Russian refugees (particularly orphaned Armenian children) in Akhalkalaki and Batoum (Batumi), Georgia, and in Alexandropol and Kars, Armenia and at the Djalal Oghlou Farm School near Alexandropol. She comments on earthquakes in Tiflis in 1920 and Alexandropol in 1926. In a letter dated August 30, 1919, she mentions spending time with a Mount Holyoke College classmate, Gertrude Knox Wells, who was also doing relief work in the area. In addition, she describes her work and social life during 1926-1927 when she was employed as a clerk and translator by the Georgian Manganese Company, a mining company owned by the William Averell Harriman family with offices in Tchiatouri (Ciat'ura), Georgia and Moscow, Russia. Kimball's letters also describe her journey to the Near East through Italy, Greece, and Turkey in 1919 and her travels in Central Asia in 1927. Other material in these papers includes biographical information, 1921-1930 and circa 1950, chiefly relating to N.E.R. work, and a photograph of a Armenian refugee homes in Russia, circa 1919-1920.

This collection is organized into three series:


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Preferred Citation

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

Elsie M. Kimball 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: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm
URL: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
Correspondence,
1919-1927
15 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

This series consists of typed transcripts of letters that Kimball wrote to her mother, Leonetta Nichols Kimball, and sister, Lorenia ("Rene") M. Kimball, from 1919-1921 and 1923-1927. These documents concern her work as a relief worker and stenographer for the Near East Relief (N.E.R.) organization in Armenia and the Republic of Georgia and as a clerk and translator for the Georgian Manganese Company in Tchiatouri (Ciat'ura), Georgia, and in Moscow, Russia. The letters often include transcripts of letters, reports, telegrams, and newspaper articles from the N.E.R., friends, co-workers, and orphans. These letters include detailed descriptions of her work in orphanages in Akhalkalaki and Batoum (Batumi), Georgia, and Kars, Armenia in 1920-1921, Alexandropol (Alekandropol), Armenia in 1923, and at the Djalal Oghlou Farm School and orphanage near Alexandropol from 1923-1925. She describes the horrific lives of the children in her care, the difficulty of providing for them during famines, defending them from Turks and looters, massacres of Armenians, conditions in refugee camps, the impact of the Greco-Turkish War on the region, and the effects of earthquakes in Tiflis (T'bilisi), Georgia in 1920 and Alexandropol in 1926. In a letter dated August 30, 1919, she describes spending time with Gertrude Knox Wells, a Mount Holyoke classmate who was also doing relief work in the area. Kimball also discusses working in Tiflis as a secretary for William M. Haskell, Allied High Commissioner to Armenia and Director General of the American Commission for Relief in the Near East in the Caucasus, and for Ernest A. Yarrow, Director General of the N.E.R. Other letters discuss her work as a clerk and translator for the Georgian Manganese Company, a mining firm owned by the William Averell Harriman family, from 1926-1927. She describes her American and British co-workers, living accommodations, details of her work, her active social life, and the people she meets during her work and travels. The letters also give accounts of her journey to the Near East through Italy, Greece, and Turkey in 1919 and her travels in Central Asia in 1927.

Correspondence,
July-September, 1919

Box 1: folder 1
Correspondence,
October-December, 1919

Box 1: folder 2
Correspondence,
January-March, 1920

Box 1: folder 3
Correspondence,
April-June, 1920

Box 1: folder 4
Correspondence,
July-September, 1920

Box 1: folder 5
Correspondence,
October-December, 1920

Box 1: folder 6
Correspondence,
January-May, 1921

Box 1: folder 7
Correspondence,
June-August, 1921

Box 1: folder 8
Correspondence,
September-December, 1921

Box 1: folder 9
Correspondence,
May-August, 1923

Box 1: folder 10
Correspondence,
September-December, 1923

Box 1: folder 11
Correspondence,
1924

Box 1: folder 12
Correspondence,
1925

Box 1: folder 13
Correspondence,
1926

Box 1: folder 14
Correspondence,
1927

Box 1: folder 15
Biographical Information,
1921-1930, circa 1950
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

This series consists of articles, newspaper clippings, and a form letter dating from 1921-1930 and circa 1950. Most of this material concerns Kimball's work with the Near East Relief (N.E.R) organization and dates from 1921-1930. Of particular interest is a form letter addressed "To the Alumnae of Mount Holyoke" dated December 10, 1923, and sent by the N.E.R. to encourage alumnae to donate money to the relief work. This letter outlines Kimball's work for the organization and the support that Mount Holyoke College President Mary Emma Woolley has given to war relief efforts. A newspaper article dated January 3, 1928, mentions the medal bestowed upon Kimball for her N.E.R. service and includes an account of her defense of an orphanage against Turkish soldiers. The clipping from about 1950 concerns her retirement from the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation.

Biographical information,
1921-1930, circa 1950

Box 1: folder 16
Photograph,
circa 1919-1920
1 folder

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

This series contains a photograph of Armenian refugee homes near Akhalkalaki, Georgia, circa 1919-1920.

Photograph,
circa 1919-1920

Box 1: folder 17

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.

Subjects
  • Harriman, W. Averell (William Averell), 1891-1986.
  • Haskell, William N. (William Nafew), 1878-1952.
  • Kimball, Elsie M. (Elsie May), 1887-1972.
  • Yarrow, Ernest A.
  • Akhalkalaki (Georgia) - Description and travel.
  • Armenia - History - Revolution, 1917-1920 - Sources.
  • Armenian massacres, 1915-1923 - Sources.
  • Asia, Central - Description and travel.
  • Batumi (Georgia) - Description and travel.
  • Djalal Oghlu Farm School (Armenia)
  • Earthquakes - Armenian S.S.R. - Leninakan.
  • Earthquakes - Georgia (Republic) - T'bilisi.
  • Georgia (Republic) - History - Revolution, 1917-1921 - Sources.
  • Georgian Manganese Company (Ciat'ura, Georgia) - History - Sources.
  • Greco-Turkish War, 1921-1922 - Civilian relief - Sources.
  • Greece - Description and travel.
  • Industries - Soviet Union.
  • International relief - Armenia - History - Sources.
  • International relief - Georgia (Republic) - History - Sources.
  • Italy - Description and travel.
  • Kars (Turkey) - Description and travel.
  • Leninakan (Armenian S.R.R.) - Description and travel.
  • Manganese mines and mining - Soviet Union - History - Sources.
  • Mining corporations - Soviet Union - History - Sources.
  • Near East Relief (Organization) - History - Sources.
  • Orphans - Georgia (Republic) - History - Sources.
  • Orphans - Turkey - History - Sources.
  • Refugees - Armenia - History - Sources.
  • Refugees - Georgia (Republic) - History - Sources.
  • Refugees - Turkey - History - Sources.
  • Soviet Union - History - Revolution, 1917-1921 - Sources.
  • T'bilisi (Georgia) - Description and travel.
  • Turkey - Description and travel.
  • Turkey - History - Revolution, 1918-1923 - Sources.
  • Voyages and travels.
  • War relief.
  • Women in charitable work - Armenia - Correspondence.
  • Women in charitable work - Georgia (Republic) - Correspondence.
  • Women travelers.
  • World War, 1914-1918 - Civilian relief - Middle East - Sources.

Contributors
  • Kimball, Leonetta Nichols.
  • Kimball, Lorenia M. (Lorenia Maud), 1883-1961.

Genre terms
  • Letters
  • Photographs


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search