Series I: Correspondence, 1882, 1904, 1906, 1909 (4 folders)
The correspondence of Irenaeus Atwood and the Atwood family is divided into two subseries: the first consists of a single detailed letter written by Atwood to his brothers and sisters during his Chinese journey of 1882, while the second subseries includes three letters received by Mabel Atwood, daughter of Irenaeus, from family and friends.
Series II: Printed Matter, c. 1877, 1895, 1901, n.d. (4 folders)
Printed Matter of the Atwood collection includes four disparate items apparently owned by family members. Each pertains to some aspect of the missionary experience, such as The Christian Minister’s Affectionate Advice to a Married Couple by Rev. James Bean (bearing an inscription of the marriage date of Irenaeus Atwood and Annette Williams) and the Handbook for Missions and Missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (1901), among whose pages are tucked pieces of embroidery and floral cutouts. The series also includes a Chinese Hymnal and the pamphlet Going on Furlo by Mary Williams Hemingway, the latter of which includes reference to and a picture of Irenaeus Atwood.
Series III: Writings of Irenaeus Atwood, 1900, 1910, n.d. (3 folders)
Included in this series are one published work, Breezes from the Flowery Kingdom: Notes and Incidents connected with Missionary Work in Shansi (1900), and two handwritten unpublished manuscripts, Chinese Proverbs (n.d.) and The Light of Asia vs. the Light of the World (1910). The writings of Irenaeus Atwood concern his experience as a missionary.
Series IV: Photographs, 1905–06, 1968, n.d. (1 folder)
The photographic series includes two undated portraits of Irenaeus Atwood, one with his wife and son Paul, and the other in “Mandarin costume.” Also included are a February 1906 photograph of Annette Atwood and Adelaide Hemingway and a winter 1905–6 scene of a house among snowdrifts. A 1968 photograph of “Ray Atwood in Grandpa’s Robe” is also included.
Series V: Miscellaneous, 1884, n.d. (7 folders)
The miscellaneous materials in the collection have been subdivided into two broad subsections: Materials Relating to the Atwood Family, and Chinese Artifact and Materials. Materials relating to the family include the student book of Mabel Atwood, used during her time studying at Miss Jewell’s school in China, and a folder of Mabel Atwood’s miscellaneous biographical notes and recollections as well as a letter to her by an old friend, late in their lives. This subseries also includes the official 1884 permit issued to Irenaeus Atwood allowing him to travel freely in China. The Chinese artifact and materials are largely undated and include such diverse holdings as a colored illustration of Kitchen Gods, an English transcription of the lyrics to the song, “The Lao Hsi Erh,” a set of Chinese characters on small cards, and a leather pocketbook with Chinese characters.