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Collection Title: Carroll (Eleanor) Valentine Scrapbook

Collection Number: M420

Dates: ca. 1911-1919

Volume: 1 scrapbook

Provenance: Donated by Dr. Anita Stamper on November 28, 1989.

Restrictions: Available for research use by the serious student and scholar.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Very little is known about the origin of The Eleanor Carroll Scrapbook. The scrapbook was named for her because an inscription on the inside cover says, "Valentines sent to Eleanor Carroll." A card addressed to Mrs. Andrew Carroll appears to link Eleanor to a Hattiesburg, Mississippi family. The 1953 Hattiesburg City Directory lists an Eleanor A. Carroll at the same address as Mrs. Alma S. Carroll (widow of Andrew J. Carroll). Eleanor's occupation at that time was associate editor of Who’s Who in American Education.

Sources:

Contents of the collection.
Polk’s Hattiesburg City Directory, 1953 (pg. 46)

Scope and Content:

This collection is comprised of beautifully designed and illustrated greeting cards, predominantly valentines. Within the collection are traditional cards, pop-up cards, postcards, and paper dolls -- all decorated with a colorful array of flowers, animals, and figures. Most of the cards within the collection are unsigned. Of the messages that are included, however, most are short and sweet. There are conveyances of personal feelings, as well, such as a poem written on the inside of one of the valentines.

Of the many postcards in the collection, the earlier items are overwhelmingly addressed to Miss Minnie Louise Mehlin of Maywood, New Jersey. Postmarks indicate that these cards were sent between 1911-1914 and were sent from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Mississippi, and Alabama. The relationship between Minnie L. Mehlin and Eleanor Carroll is unknown. Other cards are signed to Eleanor Carroll, and one postcard is addressed to Mrs. Andrew Carroll of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The scrapbook, in its original condition, was predictably suffering from severe deterioration. Though the cover was lovely, the brittle, brown pages were barely capable of maintaining the contents. Indeed, many of the components were loosened from the pages and were in danger of being lost. Many of the cards and paper dolls had to be repaired. The contents were then removed from the original pages and the scrapbook was reconstituted with new acid-free cardboard pages to secure the delicate, antique cards. The pages were then encased in polypropylene envelopes and placed into acid-free folders, as was the original scrapbook cover. The original order of the items was maintained within the reconstituted pages. All postmark information was transcribed and is located on the reverse side of the pages.

This unique collection would be of interest to scholars focusing on the ascetic value of early twentieth century greeting cards. Many within the collection are excellent examples of Victorian and American art. These styles typify early twentieth century representations.


Related Collection:

Hattiesburg Historical Photographs, ca. 1890s-1980s (M 426) (Photograph M246-414 portrays Eleanor Carroll as an elementary school student in "Tom Thumb Wedding," which was performed at the Opera House in Hattiesburg, in 1913.)

 


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Revised: October 5, 2005