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Martha Stifler Waller Papers, 1941-1945
1 box (0.2 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0833, LD 7096.6

Abstract:
Waller, Martha Huntington Stifler, 1920- ; Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1941. Papers contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs primarily documenting her professional and personal life during World War II when she worked in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer in the War Department.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted.

Restrictions on use:

Use of the collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.).

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections

Biographical Note

Martha Huntington Stifler Waller, an alumna of Mount Holyoke College and a professor of English, was born on June 27, 1920 in Peking, China to William Warren Stifler, a physics professor, and Susan Martha Reed, a 1907 graduate of Mount Holyoke College. She attended Amherst, Massachusetts High School from 1933-1935 and Washington Hall of Brussels Belgium from 1935-1937. She graduated from Mount Holyoke summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature in 1941. She was a recipient of the Sarah Williston Prize in 1939 and 1940 and became a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1940. She attended Columbia University from 1941-1942, receiving a M.A. in English. In August of 1942, Waller began working in Washington, D.C. for the Office of the Chief Signal Officer in the War Department, doing research and data analysis. On October 16, 1943 she married Ensign George MacGregor Waller who worked as a supply officer and an outfitter. She resigned from the War Department on August 17, 1944 and moved to New York with her husband. The Wallers had three daughters and two sons. In 1962, she co-authored a book titled Cloak and Cipher. She returned to school in 1968 and obtained a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University in 1973. Her dissertation work was supported by the Mary E. Woolley Fellowship. Her book, Chaucer and the History of Rome was published in 1973. She taught at Indiana Central College and Butler University, where her husband also taught history. She retired from Butler as the Demia Butler Professor of English in 1985, the year that her book Peace and Patience at the Temple of Venus: Chaucers Parlement of Fowls was published.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Martha Stifler Waller Papers, 1941-1945, contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Most of the collection consists of letters that she wrote to her parents while working at the War Department in Washington, D.C. from 1942-1944. She discusses taking an oath of confidentiality, the demanding hours, her rate of pay, and some of her colleagues. She also discusses her living arrangements, movies and concerts that she attended as well as her relationship with George Macgregor Waller and the early months of her marriage. Newspaper clippings in the collection concern her engagement in 1943, while photographs (including a formal portrait) date from her senior year at Mount Holyoke, 1941.

The correspondence, biographical information, and photographs are arranged chronologically.


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

Unrestricted.

Restrictions on use:

Use of the collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.).

Preferred Citation

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

Martha Stifler Waller Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA

History of the Collection

Processing Information

The papers were processed by Crystal L. Johnson, 2005.


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.

Contents List
Correspondence,
1942-1945


June 1942-September 1942

Box 1: folder 1
September 1942-May 1943

Box 1: folder 2
May 1943-November 1945

Box 1: folder 3
Biographical Information,
1943


1943

Box 1: folder 4
Photographs,
1941


1941

Box 1: folder 5

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
  • Amherst, MA
  • College Students Massachusetts Correspondence.
  • Family United States History Sources.
  • Marriage United States Social Conditions Sources.
  • Martha Stifler Waller Papers.
  • Mount Holyoke College Students.
  • Office of the Chief Signal Officer.
  • Reed, Susan Martha, 1883-1987
  • Stifler Family
  • Stifler, William Warren, 1883.
  • The War Department.
  • Waller family
  • Waller, George Macgregor, 1919-
  • Waller, Martha Stifler, 1920-
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Women United States Social Conditions Sources.
  • World War 1939-1945.

Genre terms
  • Letters


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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