Dunham Family Papers
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Dunham Family Papers are a diverse collection of material documenting the personal and professional activities of four generations of the Dunham, Kellogg and Dows families from 1814 to 1951. The bulk of the material dates from 1855 to 1951. About three quarters of the collection is material relating to Mary Dows Dunham, her husband, Edward Kellogg Dunham, and their son, Edward Kellogg Dunham, Jr. The remaining quarter of the collection represents other family members.
There is a large amount of material documenting the professional and other activities of the Dunhams. Edward Kellogg Dunham, Sr.'s, papers include correspondence; lecture notes and papers from Harvard Medical School; notes from his cholera research; research material, manuscripts, and published writings relating to antiseptics and empyema during World War I. There are also letters to Mary (Dows) Dunham, written after Edward's death, from his many friends and colleagues regarding the publication of his research on empyema and the establishment of the Edward Kellogg Dunham Lectures at Harvard Medical School. Additional papers related to the Dunham Lectures are located at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard.
Mary (Dows) Dunham's papers document her and Edward Dunham's various philanthropic activities during the early twentieth century, including the New York cooking school for nurses, the American Red Cross, and the Seal Harbor Village Improvement Society. There is also material relating to Mary and Theodora Dunham's work with the American Fund for French Wounded which includes letters from American and French soldiers, relief workers, nurses, and doctors stationed in World War I France.
Edward Kellogg Dunham, Jr.'s, Mount Desert Island material provides valuable information on the development of a rural seaside community. It includes correspondence; reports and minutes of committee meetings; and clippings and photographic material. These date from 1930 to 1949.
The Dunham Family Papers include correspondence and other material relating to a number of important individuals, most notably medical and academic colleagues of Edward Kellogg Dunham, Sr. These are located in the papers of Edward Kellogg Dunham, Sr., Mary (Dows) Dunham, and Edward Kellogg Dunham, Jr. Important correspondents include: Walter B. Cannon, physiologist; Samuel Colman, artist; Henry D. Dakin, English chemist and brother-in-law of EKD and MDD; D.L. Edsall, Dean, Harvard Medical School; Simon Flexner, pathologist; Graham Lusk, physiologist; John D. Rockefeller, Jr., philanthropist; Henry Osborne Taylor, author; William S. Thayer, M.D.; John L. Yates, surgeon.
A significant portion of the material consists of personal correspondence. Of particular interest are the travel letters of Harriet (Kellogg) Dunham to her family from Italy (1855-56), and Mary (Dows) Dunham to her mother from her various travels in the western United States, Bermuda, Europe, Greece, and Egypt dating from 1877 to 1914. These trips are particularly well detailed in Mary's letters which are complimented by her numerous photographs (located at the end of the collection).
Throughout the collection there are creative writings of various individuals, in particular, those of Harriet (Kellogg) Dunham, Beatrice Dunham, and Mary (Dows) Dunham. Carroll and Harriet Dunham, their children, and friends created a magazine called "The Phoenix" which consisted of articles, stories, poems, and artwork periodically compiled together and distributed to family and friends. They maintained and distributed this family magazine from 1883 to 1888.
A large portion of the collection is photographic material (prints, negatives, and photograph albums) including images of Europe, Egypt, Greece, Central America, the Caribbean, and the western United States, and ranging in date from the 1890s to the 1930s. There are also prints and many negatives of family, friends, and activities on Mount Desert Island, ca. 1910 to 1930. Many of the images are in negative format only.
The collection also includes genealogies, family histories, biographical material, legal documents, financial records, printed pamphlets, clippings, and memorabilia.
The collection is arranged by individual or, where there is only a small amount of material, by family. These are the family papers of each of the three women who married Dunham men: Maria Smythe (Parker) Dunham, Harriet (Kellogg) Dunham, and Mary (Dows) Dunham. The family papers of each woman precede her own papers. The individuals and families are, in most cases, in order by generation. Material under each individual is arranged by type. Some photographs are filed with the papers if their subject content is specifically related to that material. However, the bulk of the photographic images (prints and negatives) are filed separately, at the end of the papers. Photographs of individuals are arranged alphabetically. Other photographs and negatives are arranged by subject. Oversize items are located in the oversize boxes at the end of the collection or in the flat file. These are cross-referenced in the inventory and by separation sheets which are filed throughout the collection.