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Margaret Breed Marsh Papers, 1942-1946
2 boxes (.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 467

Abstract:
Women's Army Corps, World War II. The Papers consist primarily of correspondence between Margaret Breed Marsh and her family, especially her parents, during her tour of duty as a WAC. She wrote almost daily letters home from posts in California, Georgia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana, and they provide a vivid description of the professional duties and personal activities associated with wartime army life. Also included are photographs of army life, as well as miscellaneous pamphlets, brochures, and clippings pertaining to subjects of interest to Marsh.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works created by Margaret Breed Marsh. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note
2nd Lt. Margaret P. Breed (Marsh) at the Plattsburgh Barracks, 1945

2nd Lt. Margaret P. Breed (Marsh)
at the Plattsburgh Barracks, 1945

Margaret Post Breed was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 21, 1920 to Laura Post and Stephen Alec Breed. She attended the May School in Boston, Class of1937, and graduated with honors from Smith College in 1941. She joined the Women's Army Corps (WAC) in 1943 and remained on active duty until 1946. Her responsibilities included conducting interviews and foreign language tests, and she also took army administrative classes. She traveled a great deal to various army bases in the United States.

After the war, Margaret Breed married Paul Marsh and they had two sons, Alec and Alan. She held a variety of jobs, including teaching and serving as an admissions officer at Radcliffe and Wellesley Colleges; working at Polaroid Corporation as a security supervisor and as a buyer of raw material for battery manufacture; and acting as president of a small family company, North Atlantic Dragline and Shovel Service. She also served on the staff of the Lighthouse Preservation Society, and as Deputy Assistant Tax Collector in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers date from 1942 to 1946 and consist primarily of correspondence between Margaret Breed Marsh and the Breed family, especially her parents. She wrote letters home almost daily from various posts in California, Georgia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. They provide a vivid description of the living quarters, mess halls, and bureaucratic mishaps that she observed there, as well as the professional duties and personal activities associated with wartime army life. Photographs of Marsh and her fellow officers are included, highlighting WAC military dress. Marsh's keen sense of humor and occasional political insight offer a compelling and vivid picture of what life was like for one of the estimated 150,000 WACs who served during World War II.

SERIES I. CORRESPONDENCE (1943-46)comprises the bulk of the collection and contains Marsh's letters home.

SERIES II. PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORABILIA (1942-46)consists of one folder of snapshots of Marsh, her army colleagues, and the various army bases she visited, as well as miscellaneous pamphlets, brochures, and clippings pertaining to subjects of interest to Marsh.

This collection is organized into two series:


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

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works created by Margaret Breed Marsh. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Preferred Citation

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

Margaret Breed Marsh Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA

History of the Collection

Margaret Breed Marsh donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Noella Natalino, (intern) and Burd Schlessinger, 2003. Finding aid revised 2006.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. CORRESPONDENCE



Aug 1943-Aug 1945

Box 1: folder 1-10
Sep 1945-May 1946

Box 2: folder 1-2
Miscellaneous,
1943, n.d.

Box 2: folder 3
SERIES II. PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORABILIA



Photographs,
1944-46

Box 2: folder 4
Pamphlets, brochures, and clippings,
1942-45

Box 2: 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
  • Marsh, Margaret Breed, 1919-
  • United States. Army. Women's Army Corps--Personal narratives
  • Women and the military--United States--History--Sources
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women--Personal narratives, American


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