Skip to main content

COVID-19 Update

All Yale Library buildings and reading rooms are currently closed. Library staff working remotely continue to provide online support for research and Yale classes. Read more.

Donaldson family papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 1699

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of correspondence, subject files, and photographs documenting the personal and professional lives of the Donaldson family. The papers are arranged in eight series. Each series documents the life of an individual family member and almost all the series contain correspondence, subject files, and photographs.

Dates

  • 1870-1971

Creator

Language

English

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

The papers were purchased from Charles Apfelbaum in 1995.

Extent

6.25 Linear Feet

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.1699

Overview

The papers consist of correspondence, subject files, and photographs documenting the personal and professional lives of the Donaldson family. The papers are arranged in eight series. Each series documents the life of an individual family member and almost all the series contain correspondence, subject files, and photographs.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Herbert Donaldson was born in Yonkers, New York, on April 20, 1857. He became an accomplished professor of neurology at various universities and served as president of several professional associations. In 1884 he married Julia Desboro Vaux, who died in 1894. They had two sons, Norman Vaux and John Calvert Donaldson. In 1907 he married Emma Brace. Henry Donaldson died of pneumonia and heart failure on January 23, 1938.

Norman Donaldson graduated from Yale University in 1915 and was a member of the Scroll and Key society. He married Hildegarde Beardsley Nash in 1917. Norman Donaldson worked at the Yale University Press and was appointed director of the Press in 1950. He retired in 1959 and died in 1964.

Hildegarde Nash Donaldson was born in Belgium on June 19, 1893, the daughter of James and Mabel W. Nash. Her father died in 1904; her mother died in 1914, leaving Hildegarde as guardian of her younger sister, Mabel Virginia "Gin" Nash. Mabel Virginia Nash lived in Paris much of her life and did not marry. During World War II she was imprisoned along with other American citizens by German forces occupying France. Mabel Virginia Nash died in Paris in 1957 of complications from alcoholism.

Hildegarde Nash Donaldson was an accomplished violinist, performing her first concert at age eighteen. She graduated in 1912 from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, where she studied violin under Alfred Marchot. Later she became a pupil of Leopold Auer and also studied with Charles Martin Loeffler in Boston, and toured the United States and Europe. She made a yearly tour of Europe and regularly performed in New England venues until her retirement in 1941. She died of arthritis in Taos, New Mexico in 1946.

Norman and Hildegarde lived in New Haven throughout their marriage. Sailing and fishing in Maine were family pastimes; they also made several trips to Italy. They had two children: Virginia Louise "Midge" Donaldson (born 1918) and Harry Nash "Sonny" Donaldson (born 1920). Midge Donaldson was an actress in theater on and off Broadway who used the stage name Eve Hastings. Sonny Donaldson attended Phillips Academy, Andover, and Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute and worked as an engineer. He married Julie Mildred Felter and they had one child, Carol Lynn Donaldson.
Title
Guide to the Donaldson Family Papers
Author
compiled by Matthew T. MacLean
Date
February 1999
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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