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Jerome papers, 1907-1979 (Bulk: 1907-1911)
1 box (2 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0615 (LD 7096.6 1911 Jerome)

Jerome, Jennie Gilbert, 1888-1979; Student. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1911. Papers contain correspondence, scrapbook, writings, artwork, memorabilia, oral history transcript, biographical information, mah jong game, and photographs. Primarily documenting her experiences as a student at Mount Holyoke including her daily activities, teachers, and special events.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Jennie Gilbert Jerome was born May 15, 1888 in New Haven, Connecticut. She was the eldest of two children of Yuan Phou Lee of Canton, China, a Yale University graduate and professional lecturer, and Elizabeth Maude Jerome of New Haven. Her parents divorced when she was very young and she and her brother, Gilbert Nelson Jerome, were raised by her mother and grandmother, Elizabeth Gilbert Jerome, in New Haven. She attended private grammar schools and New Haven High School, then went to Mount Holyoke College in 1907 where she majored in art and English literature and received a B.A. degree in 1911. She continued her study of art at Yale School of Fine Arts from 1911-1914. In 1917 she began working in the Dixwell Branch Library in New Haven. In 1922 she transferred to the Main Branch Library in New Haven and became the Art and Music Librarian. She retired in 1952. From 1911-1973 she was Class Scribe for the Mount Holyoke Class of 1911. She was a supporter of the College in many other ways, donating funds, furnishings, and paintings to the school. She died on August 22, 1979 at the age of ninety-one at her home in New Haven.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jennie Gilbert Jerome Papers consist of correspondence, a scrapbook, writings, artwork, memorabilia, an oral history transcript, biographical information, a mah jong game, and photographs. Much of this material relates to her years as a student at Mount Holyoke College, 1907-1911. In letters written to her mother, Elizabeth Maude Jerome, grandmother Elizabeth Gilbert Jerome, and brother Gilbert Nelson Jerome, she describes traditions such as Freshman Frolic, Mountain Day, and Junior Show, mentions her "crushes" on classmates, and talks about many faculty members and administrators, particularly President Mary Emma Woolley and botany professor Henrietta Edgecomb Hooker. In addition, she describes a basketball tournament, trying out for choir, the grading system, and a mock political convention and parade of suffragists that students held in November of 1908. She also discusses her health, expenses, food, clothing, and the religious life at the school. A scrapbook primarily dates from her years at Mount Holyoke and contains programs, invitations, and other memorabilia, notes from friends and teachers, a "Table of Measurements" giving her physical dimensions and lung capacity in 1907 and 1910, examinations, "Basket-Ball Songs," material relating to Senior Mountain Day in 1911, newspaper clippings, postcards, drawings and poetry by Jerome, and photographs of teachers, friends, and the campus. Other correspondence includes a letter to her mother discussing her brother and a visit to Boston in 1914, and postcards and notes, 1940-1979, from Mount Holyoke friends and classmates concerning their activities. Her writings include short stories published in her high school newspaper from 1904-1907, a poem written in 1912, a description of a visit to "the ancient home of the Gilberts" in England in 1924, and a published recollection of her high school years, 1947. Her artwork consists of a drawing and a silhouette that probably date from about 1907-1939. The memorabilia consists of a songbook for the Mount Holyoke Class of 1911 Junior Show, a catalogue for a 1936 art exhibit in New Haven, an invitation from 1952, and a note that accompanied the gift of a book in 1958. The oral history transcript is of taped interviews of Jerome conducted by Roberta Yerkes Blanshard of the New Haven Quota Club in 1975. Biographical information from circa 1918, 1922, and 1941-1979 includes newspaper articles about her professional career and personal interests, her obituary, and tributes written after her death. Jerome's mah jong game probably dates from the 1920s. The photographs date from circa 1907-1952 and primarily consist of formal portraits and snapshots of her.

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Preferred Citation

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

Jennie Gilbert Jerome 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

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