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Holmes family papers

Call Number: MS 1000

Scope and Contents

The Holmes Family Papers consist mainly of personal letters and business papers of C. E. L. Holmes (1832-1884) and scrapbooks documenting his literary career. The personal letters, 1864-1884, were addressed to his second wife, Annie E. (Slade) Holmes, and his daughter, Lydia (Holmes) Bliss, while he was doing business in New York and Connecticut and traveling to England (1879, 1883) and France (1879). The business papers are mainly letterbooks, 1881-1883, and correspondence and patents related to his inventions, 1879-1883. The scrapbooks contain clippings and a few manuscripts of his poems and prose plus several business cards from manufacturing enterprises with which he was associated.

There are also a few papers of other family members: a diary, "First Housekeeping," by his first wife, Mary (Steele) Holmes (d. 1862), kept while they were living in Nebraska in 1856; some printed and manuscript poems and prose by his father, Israel Holmes (1800-1874); and copies of several letters, 1823, written by his father's brother, Reuben Holmes (1798-1833), around the time he was graduated from West Point.

The Holmes Family Papers were given to Yale University Library by Mrs. Arthur B. Dayton in 1955.


  • 1823-1896
  • Majority of material found within 1856 - 1896


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other 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 Mrs. Arthur B. Dayton, 1955.


1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The principal figure in these papers is Charles Edward Latimer Holmes, of Waterbury and Bridgeport, Connecticut, manufacturer of brass and silver, and the son of Israel Holmes. Included are correspondence, business papers, a diary, and family scrapbooks. Holmes' letters to his second wife, Annie E. Slade Holmes, and his daughter, Lydia Holmes Bliss, were chiefly written while he was traveling on business to France and England in 1879 and to England in 1883. His business papers consist of letter books (1881-1883) and correspondence and patents related to his inventions (1879-1883). Also in the papers is a diary kept by his first wife, Mary E. Steele Holmes, while they were living in Nebraska in 1856. Of the two scrapbooks, one contains letters from his uncle, Reuben Holmes, while the second was kept by a member of the Israel Holmes family and contains clippings, letterheads from the family businesses, programs, speeches, poems by C. E. L. Holmes, and other memorabilia.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Edward Latimer Holmes was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on May 15, 1832. He had little education and entered the manufacturing business at seventeen. In 1857, he moved to Nebraska, but returned in 1860. During the Civil War, he helped to organize the 23rd regiment of Connecticut volunteers and, after being appointed colonel, was sent to fight in Louisiana. After the war, he returned to the manufacturing business. He was married twice and had a daughter by the second marriage. Holmes died on April 28, 1884.
Guide to the Holmes Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Susan Grigg
October 1979
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

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