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RG 30/7 - The Misses Little Papers
Scope and Content
The Little collection spans several generations of Oberlin residents. The correspondence series, comprising the bulk of the collection, contains letters demonstrating the interest in missionary work by members of the Cowles-Little and Dart-Leonard families, and the letters are a valuable resource on the activities of Class 1888 members. The remainder of the collection provides glimpses into the educational and activist lives of members of the Little family via school notes, talks, and published and printed works.
Series Descriptions

Series I. Correspondence

Subseries 1. Class of 1888 Letters, 1927-1956, n.d.

This subseries consists of four files of letters written to Alice Little regarding the 50-year reunion of the Class of 1888. The last set of letters contains a wealth of information on the activities of members of that class and their families since their graduation.

Subseries 2. Cowles-Little Family Letters, 1858-1949

The Cowles-Little Family correspondence contains several personal letters to Sarah, Alice, and Bessie Little, some regard the Tank Home and others came from missionaries around the world. Also included are letters sent and received by Clara Little Simpson and Elizabeth Lord.

Subseries 3. Dart-Leonard Family Letters, 1867-1917

The Dart-Leonard family correspondence consists mainly of letters from Sidney and Clara Dart in Africa to his family in the United States, 1911-1927; 11 of these were written by Clara. Also included is correspondence between other members of the Dart-Leonard family and with friends, l867-1905. There are a few letters from other women missionaries in Africa.

Series II. Miscellaneous, 1879, 1895, 1903-07, n.d.

This series contains materials relating to the education of Helen Dart and Clara Helen Little. A folder including grades and attendance records of Helen Dart while she was a student in the Oberlin Public School system has been marked restricted. Another folder holds a book account notebook for an Oberlin Theological Seminary student (1879), pages of notes from a religion course, and an algebra workbook belonging to Clara H. Little (1895).

Series III. Printed Matter, 1879-1927, n.d.

This series includes printed matter from various women’s and missionary organizations, including the Women’s National Sabbath Alliance, and a coverless volume on Christian influence in Micronesia titled The Old and the New in Micronesia (Chicago: WBMI, 1907), by Florence A. Fensham and Beulah Logan Tuthill. The miscellaneous printed materials include receipts, invitations, newspaper clippings, and a memorial book collected by Sarah Cowles Little and Clara Helen Little.

Series IV. Talks and Lectures, 1853, 1908

A talk and notes on a set of lectures by individuals outside the Little family are included in this series. “The Early College Buildings,” typewritten and edited on several note cards, was read in the College Chapel by Oberlin College President King in the Spring of 1908. Marcellus Emery copied seventy-eight pages of Professor Parker Cleveland’s chemical lectures at Bowdoin College (1853) in the included notebook.

Series V. Writings by Sarah C. Little, 1905, 1883

The writings series contains two published writings of Sarah C. Little. A manuscript of Sarah C. Little’s 1883 essay “Oberlin and the Education of Women” is included which was later published in Oberlin Jubilee, 1833-1883, pp. 146-58. The series also includes a biography of “Mrs. Elizabeth W. Russell Lord” and a letter concerning the Living Endowment Union which appeared in pp. 89-91 and 98, respectively, of the January 1905 Oberlin Alumni Magazine.


The Little Papers were received from various individuals and organizations in five accessions in 1967, 1994, and 1995. [Acc. 26, 1994/089, 1995/014, 1995/015, and 1995/100]
Related Materials

See also the Alice H. Simpson Papers (RG 30/240).

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