Vassar College Digital Library

Eldridge, Muriel (Tilden). Letters, 1911-1914

Date
1911-01-01T00:00:01Z-1914-06-30T23:59:59Z
Abstract
This collection contains 93 letters: 1 letter addressed to Eldridge's father, 1 letter to her family, 1 letter to her sisters, 1 letter to her parents, and 89 letters to her mother. They cover the winter of her freshman year through the end of her senior year. Eldridge's letters are affectionate, gossipy, descriptive, and detailed~even transcribing some conversations. Eldridge describes Vassar traditions including the Ice Carnival, Junior-Sophomore Prom [see letters circa 22 February 1911, circa 13 February 1913, circa 19 February 1913], the Christian Association reception and doll show [e.g. letter circa 6 December 1912], Senior Parlor opening [e.g. letters circa 14 October 1912 and circa 6 October 1913], Halloween, Sophomore Party, Junior Party, Tree Ceremonies, Founder's Day [e.g. letter from 5 May 1913], trips to Mohonk, Field Day [letter circa 5 May 1913], and Serenading, along with a detailed description of graduation and Class Day written by Eldridge's mother to her grandmother [letter circa June 1914]. Eldridge recounts her academic experience, including classes, examinations, and assignments, and includes her thoughts on various faculty [Dr. Thelberg in letters 15 January 1911 and circa 22 January 1911, Dean McCaleb in letter circa 22 January 1911, Lady Principal Kendrick in letters circa 14 and 22 February 1911, many accounts of Professor Chittenden e.g. letter circa 14 February 1911, and Professor Gow]. Eldridge was a gifted musician and frequently discusses her music classes and private lessons [detailed description in letter circa 14 February 1911], seeing plays and concerts, as well as her participation in choir and Glee Club. She also took part in a variety of athletic activities at Vassar, such as ice hockey [see letter circa 14 February 1911], track meets, and tennis tournaments. Eldridge also led an active social life, giving details of attending recitals, parties, and other events with her friends. She discusses friends going to house parties at men's colleges like Cornell, and her experiences meeting men at who came to Vassar for dances [see letter circa 19 February 1912 for a detailed description of a dance with men invited]. Eldridge gives frequent descriptions of her clothing and fashion trends, as well as many short accounts of her personal finances. She recorded significant events at Vassar, such as beginning construction on the Students' Building [letter circa 14 October 1912], being among the first people to live in Olivia Josselyn House [circa 23 September 1912], getting electricity in Main [circa 23 September 1911], a girl drowning in Sunset Lake [6 February 1913, and students being affected by the Great Flood of 1913 [31 March 1913]. She includes aspects of political life on campus, including political activism [circa 22 October 1912], visitors from the Hampton Institute [circa 14 February 1913], and debates with Mt. Holyoke [circa 10 March 1913]. Eldridge also records her derogatory impressions of the maids at Vassar, such as blaming the maids for stealing [first mention circa 11 May 1912, more information 26 May 1913 among other instances], and refusing to give a maid music lessons [circa 26 September 1913]. In another letter, she writes that she authored a minstrel show that was performed for the Maid's Clubhouse Fund [circa 5 May 1913].,VC 1914
Details
Extent
1 item
Language
Identifier
vassar:letters-muriel-tilden-eldridge,: vassar:letters-muriel-tilden-eldridge
Rights
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Content Warning
The Vassar College Archives within the Digital Library include some images, texts, and material items that are racist, xenophobic, or otherwise harmful. The Vassar Libraries have provided descriptive text and additional notes whenever possible to alert Digital Library users to these items. The Engaged Pluralism Initiative Race and Racism in Historical Collections Project Group is working with the library on contextualizing and facilitating community conversations about these materials. For more information see: https://library.vassar.edu/rrhc
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