Skip to main content

Isabella Graham Foster papers

Call Number: MS 220

Scope and Contents

The Isabelle Graham Foster Collection emcompasses eight manuscript boxes; the majority is correspondence to Miss Foster from personal friends. The collection covers letters, postal cards, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous items–such as play programs. The dates of the collection are January 1883-1907, inclusive.

The Foster Manuscripts could be of value for information on New Haven, Connecticut, and Vassar College. Miss Foster's home was on Orange Street where she resided with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry W. Foster. Mr. Foster was a merchant who operated H.W. Foster and Company, carpets and curtain materials, at 48 Orange Street. From the content of Isabella's letters, the Foster family moved in the upper social circles of New Haven.

Isabella attended Vassar College sporadically due to illness caused by extensive studies. Although her graduation date was not discussed in the letters, the date was probably in 1899. She later taught in New Haven Public Schools and at a seminary in Pennsylvania. Her major was apparently the Classics, Latin and Greek.

Among the newspaper clippings is an article of particular interest which states that Anita Hemming, an outstanding and beloved member of the class of 1897 of Vassar College, was a Negro. She was allowed to graduate from Vassar. The story is covered in an article filed for March 22, 1897 "How a Negro Slipped Through Vassar College." The newspaper stories, other than the numerous society columns, are listed on a following register page.

As a reference work, the Isabelle Graham Foster manuscripts are of value for New Haven, Connecticut and Vassar College.


  • 1883-1907


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Florence Hoadley.


3 Linear Feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist almost entirely of Isabella G. Foster's correspondence and reflects her life as the daughter of well-to-do parents in New Haven, her career as a student at Vassar College, from which she graduated in 1899, and her teaching experiences in the New Haven public schools and at a seminary in Pennsylvania.

Biographical / Historical

Isabella Graham Foster: educator; graduated from Vassar College, 1899; studied at Yale and the University of Chicago; taught English and classics in the New Haven public schools and at a seminary in Pennsylvania.

Guide to the Isabella Graham Foster Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
April 1983
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)


Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours