Earlier this week, we received six scrapbooks containing samples of the work of Mary (Peggy) Parsons while a student at Miss Wheeler’s School in Hartford. Mary Parsons was born about 1897 and attended first through sixth grade at Miss Wheeler’s School. The scrapbooks contain photographs of her class and schoolmates and various friends, plus samples of her penmanship, vocabulary work, arithmetic, records of the weather, maps, and artwork including collages, watercolors, and drawings. There are also a few cut flowers. It is fascinating to see Mary’s skills develop over the six years she was at school, from the scribblings of a five or six year old to the complex pictures drawn by an 11 or 12 year old.
This set of workbooks or scrapbooks is just one of several examples in our collections. Seems like they would make a good research project on the women-run schools in Hartford in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.