The Love Family Papers consist primarily of letters to Lucy Cleveland Prindle Love (Mrs. Edward Gurley Love) and a lesser amount to her daughter, Helen Douglas (Love) Scranton, written during the early and middle years of the twentieth century. Many of the letters are from theatrical personalities and authors as Dame Sybil Thorndike, Kate Douglas Wiggin and Ben Greet (Sir Philip Ben Greet, 1857-1936), and comment on various cultural activities in New York City and America. Mrs. Love was the wife of Edward Gurley Love, a chemical engineer who held a Ph.D. from Columbia University. A graduate of Hamilton College (1822), he received the Ph.B. from Columbia in 1876 and the Ph.D. in 1876. In 1877, he was appointed to the newly created post of gas examiner for New York City. During World War I, Mr. Love worked for the U.S. Government and constructed a large plant for the recovery of toluol from the gas used for city lighting, the product being used for the manufacture of TNT.
The Loves lived on the East Side of Manhattan and their interest in the arts is evident in this collection of Mrs. Love's correspondence, much of which concerns a production of PARSIFAL given in 1904 which she supported. Her daughter, Helen, was Secretary of the Society of the Friends of Music and most of her correspondence is related to the placing of subscriptions by prominent social personalities of the day such as William Lyon Phelps. Helen (Love) Scranton was the second wife of William Dowd Scranton, an 1897 graduate of Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University, and later lived in Madison, Connecticut. Historically, the papers would be of greatest interest to the student of theater history. The Ben Greet correspondence is the largest file in the collection and at one time Mrs. Scranton considered writing a biography based in part on these papers. These papers would also furnish source material for the social historian interested in the development of New York City as a leading cultural center of the world during the early part of this century. The Love Family Papers were left to the Yale University Library by the estate of Helen (Love) Scranton in 1969.