Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas in the Clarke's Archives

By Marian Matyn

Christmas is recorded in 25 manuscripts collections in the Clarke. Many of the collections include various examples of Christmas cards, some of which are in scrapbooks. We also have a Display Items collection composed of cards for special occasions, which includes Christmas cards. Here are a few examples from our manuscript collections:

Harley Whelpley, 1 folder, mentions receiving Christmas packages. He served as a private in Company C, 167th Engineers Construction Battalion during WWII.

Rotary Club slides, 1958-1962, include colored slides documenting family and group activities including Christmas celebrations.

Kendall Klumpp, Photograph collection includes black and white photos of Mt. Pleasant High School choral events, one is identified as Christmas Vespers Chorus, 1941.

Greeting card scrapbook, 1800s, includes mostly 19th c. Christmas and New Year's cards.

Tourism Club (Mt. Pleasant, MI) Organizational records include Christmas Books, 1931-1941 and 1961-1971. The Christmas Books document needy, local families that the Club helped at Christmas time. The 1931-1941 book also notes gifts given in 1929. The books include the names, ages, and addresses of family members, gifts given (food, clothes, toys, and/or household supplies), medical, marital, and employment or income information, if any, and what, if any, government or other assistance was received. Due to the private personal, medical, and financial information about the families in the books, and the fact that some of the people listed in the 1971 Christmas Book were infants at that time, the books are closed to researchers until 2040.

Camp North Woods (Pellston, MI) Camp Snooze, Vol. 5, 1928.

Also included are party and dinner favors, a few newspaper clippings documenting the girls attending summer camp from June 28-Aug. 20, 1928, and a Dec. 28 Christmas gathering, and related letters, invitations, and telegrams, Nov.-Dec. 28, 1928. Most of the materials are mimeographed.

Owen P. Safford, Glass-plate negatives, 1890, 1897. Box 1 contains the calendar pages of 1897 as well as a wonderful Christmas scene of a decorated table-top tree complete with candles on the branches and surrounded by children. Safford was a druggist and photographer in Flint.

The Ardith and Charles Westie collection, which is still growing, includes Christmas cards including some from the 1940s. Here's one to warm your heart.