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Whyte Family Correspondence

Call Number: MSS 19
Scope and Contents

The collection comprises correspondence sent to Eva, Lizzie Hester, and Sylvie Whyte by family and friends in the 1880s and 1890s and provides insight into the lives of adolescent girls growing up in Victorian England in the fashionable Midlands town of Malvern, and their travels abroad. The letters are representative of the cordial conversation and etiquette of the time. Some of the correspondence describes parties, church Bazaars, decorating the Church for the holidays, flower collecting, music, academic prizes, gossip, and family illness. The correspondence also includes frequent greetings for birthdays, Christmas, and New Year's.

The majority of letters in the collection are addressed to Eva, with other letters are addressed to Lizzie Hester and a few to all three Whyte girls. Authors of letters to Eva include Aunt Anchoretta, Aunt Charlotte, Aunt Elizabeth, Aunt Grace, Aunt Lizzie, Aunt May, cousin Lillie Stein, Henry Walter Stein, and Alice Elizabeth Stein, and friends such as Helen S. Browne, Bessey Caddich, Harriet Bell Caddich, Franny Lyne, Flossie Hennessy, Monica Hussey-Freke, Edna McCormick, May McCormick, Mary Pilson, Cynthia M. Savory, "E.H", H.S. Draper, and an "Annie" from the children' s orphanage. Authors of letters to Lizzie Hester include G.A. Lyne, Florence or Franny Lyne, and Susy McCormick. The bulk of the letters addressed to both Eva and Lizzie Hester are from their mother, Sidney C. Whyte; a number of these are written while she is in Ireland and parts of England taking care of their Aunt Harriet. Several letters also mention her taking care of an Aunt May.

Some correspondence is housed with original envelopes, which, where necessary, have been used to date the material. Series II, Printed Materials, includes a pamphlet for the Church Missionary Society, a miscellaneous newspaper clipping and calling card. All of these may have originally been sent with items of correspondence, but they have not been referred to specifically in any of the letters.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is the physical property of the Yale Center for British Art. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired 2012, Paul Mellon Fund.


The collection is arranged into two series: I. Correspondence; II. Printed materials. The correspondence has been arranged chronologically. Undated material follows the dated items and is arranged alphabetically by the sender's name.

1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Language of Materials