Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

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Jeanne McHugh Kerr papers relating to Alexander Lyman Holley (Ms.2012.016)

Brown University Library

Box A
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Tel: 401-863-2146

Scope & content

Most of the material in the Jeanne McHugh Kerr papers relating to Alexander Lyman Holley consist of drafts of her biography of Holley and material used in her research for the book. Some of Kerr's personal papers are also included. The papers have been organized into three series:

Series 1. Research, dated from 1847 to circa 1975, includes manuscript material owned by Holley as well as a variety of material used by Kerr in writing her biography of him. It has been organized into the following subseries:

Subseries 1. Alexander Lyman Holley manuscripts contains material that belonged to him, including letters to his mother, letter books, scrapbooks and a record book of the people to whom he sent technical drawings. The scrapbooks contain a variety of material, including ephemera such as menus, programs and ticket stubs; humorous drawings by Holley, and newspaper clippings.

Subseries 2. Alexander Lyman Holley research includes copies of dissertations, books, articles, pamphlets and other printed materials regarding Holley and the history of the iron and steel industry. Also included are samples of different kinds of stainless steel, samples of minerals used in manufacturing steel, notes taken by Kerr, both on notecards and in notebooks; photographs of technical drawings and the illustrations used in Kerr's biograpy of Holley, genealogical information about the Holley family, and microfilm. Included in the microfilm is a copy of the Alexander Lyman Holley papers at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. This material is dated between 1867 and circa 1975.

Series 2. Writings consists mostly of undated drafts of Kerr's biography of Holley as well as the original manuscript of the biography, entitled Alexander Holley and the Makers of Steel (1980). Other writings by Kerr included in this series are several short essays on the iron and steel industry, a book which she compiled entitled Index to the Year Books and Regional Papers of the American Iron and Steel Institute: 1910-1953 (1955), and an article by Harrison Kerr about Edvard Grieg's "Workman's Song". Correspondence with various publishers, especially the Johns Hopkins University Press, as well as various libraries, historical societies, and members of the Holley family is also included in this series.

Series 3. Personal papers includes folders of newspaper clippings collected by Kerr regarding cooking and gardening, her class notes from courses she took at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, several photographs, probably of Kerr; a desk diary, address book and ephemera such as greeting cards. Several issues of what was probably Kerr's high school newspaper, the South High Beacon (1923-1924), are also included. The material in this series is dated beteen 1923 and 1983.