MSS 124:  Lucy Holmes Papers, 1852-1982 - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Inventory of the Lucy Holmes Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Sonja Drotar; machine-readable finding aid created by: Sonja DrotarInventory of the Lucy Holmes Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Related Materials

Separations List

Administrative Information

Collection Inventory

Subject Headings

Inventory of the Lucy Holmes Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Lucy Holmes Papers
Date Span:
Lucy Holmes, 1909-1987
Mss Number:
Mss 124
2 linear feet
Diaries, correspondence, and household business of a woman living in New Bedford, 1852-1982
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Biographical Note

Lucy A. Holmes, born May 8, 1909, was the daughter Lucy "Lutie" K. Sears and her husband William A. Holmes. She had one sibling, a sister named Isabel “Izzy” M. Holmes who attended Simmons College in 1931. Lucy and her family lived in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Lucy was a very social woman. She enjoyed dining with friends and taking drives around the New Bedford area. Lucy was an avid bowler, and became captain of her club team in 1948. Miss Holmes never married, however pined after a man named Ed, a banker, for many years. Unfortunately Ed married someone else and the friendship ended.

Lucy enjoyed traveling. In 1939 she voyaged to Bermuda and then to Montreal in 1949. Between the years 1951 and 1955 Miss Holmes journeyed from Washington D.C. to New Orleans then to New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. She took pride in documenting her travels in her personal diaries and journals. She also enjoyed day trips to Boston, Hyannis and Horseneck Beach where she would be with friends.

Through much of her adult life she lived in New Bedford with Isabel on 166 Washington Street. In 1948 Isabel was diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease. Shortly thereafter Izzy moved out of the family home due to the tension between the sisters. Lucy continued to live on Washington Street.

Lucy worked for many years as a book keeper at Tilo Roofing. She also worked at the local hospital and helped keep files at her church. Lucy attended Evangelical meetings starting in the 1950s and took drawing classes at the Swain school in New Bedford. Lucy A. Holmes died August 21, 1987. She was seventy-nine years old.

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Scope and Content Note

The material in the collection was compiled throughout the life time of Lucy Holmes. The majority of the collection consists of personal diaries kept regularly by Miss Holmes from the years 1930 to 1959. Six Line-A-Day diaries document Lucy’s day to day life living in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The diary which dates from 1930-1934 contains Lucy’s social life in detail. Lucy’s diary dating between 1945-1949 focuses on the drawing classes she took at the Swain School in New Bedford, MA. She also writes about the Women’s Republican Club and her captainship of her bowling team. This diary discusses the relationship between Isabel and Lucy along with information about Isabel being diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease. The diary from the years 1950-1954 is primarily work focused. Entries of note are about her jobs within her local church and hospital along with entries about the Evangelism meetings she attended regularly.

In the volume entitled Trips and Travels items of note are entries about the five trips Lucy went on during her adult life. Her first journey was to Bermuda in 1939 with a friend she refers to as Mr. C. In July of 1949 Lucy traveled throughout Canada for nine days starting in Montreal then traveling to Quebec, Chicoutimi, Tadoussac and finally reaching Murray Bay. Her third vacation in the year 1951 began in Washington D.C. She then traveled down the coast until she reached New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1953 Miss Holmes went back to Canada, this time going to New Brunswick. The final journey written about in the volume discusses Lucy’s vacation in 1955 when she traveled to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Genealogical history was a favorite past time of Lucy Holmes and she took notes about both the Baker and Holmes families. Items of note within the collection are a small volume entitled About a Modern College for Women which contains names and dates of Lucy Holmes ancestors. The collection’s genealogical series also holds a marriage certificates which date back to 1852.

Within the collection are many household business files dating between the years 1884-1949. Volume 3 is a Business Ledger which dates from 1900-1982 and documents the daily expenses of Lucy and Isabel Holmes at 166 Washington Street.

The final series has been cataloged discretely by item number and is housed in the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s photo archive. It is available through the database catalog. The items are cataloged between Mss-124.1 and Mss-124.196.

Arrangement of Collection

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Access to Collections

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 124, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]

Copyright Notice

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 United States Code 552a) governs the use of materials that document private individuals, groups, and corporations.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction if the document does not infringe the privacy rights of an individual, group, or corporation. These specified conditions of authorized use include:

- non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching
- criticism or commentary
- as a NBWM archives preservation or security copy for research use
- as a research copy for deposit in another institution

If the researcher later uses a copy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," the researcher is personally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement and agrees to indemnify the New Bedford Whaling Museum from any legal action as a result of the error. Permission to obtain a photographic, xerographic, digital, or other copy of a document does not indicate permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, sell, distribute, or prepare derivative works from the document without permission from the copyright holder and from any private individual, group, or corporation shown or otherwise recorded.

Permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, prepare derivative works from, sell, or otherwise distribute the item must be obtained separately in writing from the holder of the original copyright (or if the creator is dead, from his/her heirs) as well as from any individual(s), groups, or corporations whose name, image, recorded words, or private information (e.g. employment information) may be reproduced in the source material. The holder of the original copyright is not necessarily the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is not legally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement when materials are wrongfully used after being provided to researchers for "fair use."

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if fulfillment of the order is judged in violation of copyright or federal or state privacy law. This institution also places restrictions on the use of cameras, photocopiers, and scanners in the research room.

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Related Items

Mss 111: Holmes-Walker Family Papers, 1843-1978

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Removed to Printed Collection

- Ballou’s Pictorial, January 5, 1856—August 27, 1859 (scattered).
- Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, December 15, 1855—October 8, 1859 (Incomplete); September 21, 1861—July 11, 1868 (Scattered).
- Gleason’s Pictorial, January 3, 1852—June 25, 1853; January 7, 1854—June 30, 1855.
- Guyot, Arnold. Physical Geography (N.Y., c1873)
- Standard-Times newspaper clippings re 100th Anniversary (1950); hurricanes 1938, 1944
- Scrapbooks—New Bedford and vicinity. 3 vols.
- Souvenir of Martha’s Vineyard [18- ] Boards detached and shabby.
- Unidentified volume of miscellaneous engravings, [18- ]
- Eunice Kelley Randall. Kelley Genealogy: David O’Killia the Immigrant (1962)

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Materials in this collection were donated to the New Bedford Whaling Museum at the bequest of Lucy A. Holmes on June 3, 1988.

Processing Information

Processed by: Sonja Drotar, 2013

Encoded by: Sonja Drotar, 2013

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Collection Inventory

Series A: Diaries, 1930-1959 [7 inches]
Series A contains the personal diaries of Lucy Holmes.
Box 1
Volume 1
Travel diary, 1939-1955
Volume 2
Personal diary, January 1930 - December 1934
Volume 3
Personal diary, January 1935 - December 1934
Volume 4
Personal diary, January 1940 - December 1944
Box 2
Volume 5
Personal diary, January 1945 - December 1949
Volume 6
Personal diary, January 1950 - Decemeber 1954
Volume 7
Personal diary, January 1955 - December 1959
Box 3
Folder 1
Travel diary contents, undated
Single loose leaf paper found between front cover and first page of Series A Vol. 1.
Folder 2
Personal diary contents, undated
Single loose leaf paper found between February 6th and February 7th of Series A Vol. 3.
Folder 3
Personal diary contents, 1946
Single loose leaf paper found between July 22nd and July 23rd of Series A Vol. 5.
Folder 4
Personal diary contents, undated
Single key envelope found between cover and front page of Series A Vol. 7.
Series B: Correspondence 1924-1974 [14 items]
Series B contains the personal letters of Lucy Holmes.
Folder 1
Letters, 1909-1974
Series C: Genealogy, 1852-mid 1900s [3.5 inches]
Sieres C contains the Baker and Holmes family genealogy.
Volume 1
Notes on family genealogy, 1927-1928
Folder 1
Baker family genealogy notes, undated
Folder 2
Holmes family genealogy notes, undated
Folder 3
Family history notes, 1975-1982
Folder 4
Family documents and newspapers articles, 1852-mid 1900s
Series D: Yearbook, 1931 [1 inch]
Series D contains Isabel M. Holmes' 1931 Simmons College yearbook.
Volume 1
Simmons College Yearbook, 1931
Series E: Retirement Cards, unknown [4 items]
Series E contains the Lucy Holmes retirement cards from her co-workers.
Folder 1
Lucy Holmes retirement cards, undated
Series F: Signature Book, , 1887-1896 [1 inch]
Series F contains the signature book of Lucy K. Sears.
Volume 1
Signature book, September 15, 1887 - February 4, 1896
Folder 1
Contents of signature book, undated
Single loose leaf paper found between cover and front page of Series F Vol. 1.
Series G: Topics Bulletin, Beginning Year-End Year [3 items]
Series G contains a Topics magazine and postcard.
Folder 1
Topics bulletin and postcard, 1973-1974
Series H: Household Business, 1884-1949 [1 linear foot]
Series H contains accounts ledgers, bills, receipts, and materials for the sale of 166 Washington Street of Lucy and Isabel Holmes.
Box 4
Volume 1
Accounts ledger, November 28, 1884 - June 25, 1890
Volume 2
Business ledger, 1890-1947
Volume 3
Business ledger, 1900-1982
Folder 1
Bills and receipts, June 11, 1930 - October 30, 1934
Folder 2
Bills and receipts, January 21, 1935 - October 23, 1939
Folder 3
Bills and receipts, January 1, 1940 - October 17, 1942
Folder 4
Bills and receipts, January 28, 1943 - February 29, 1944
Folder 5
Bills and receipts, May 11, 1945 - December 31, 1948
Folder 6
Bills and receipts, January 7, 1949 - February 8, 1949
Folder 7
Bills and receipts, February 10, 1949 - March 21, 1949
Folder 8
Materials for sale of house, March 13, 1942 - July 1, 1948
Folder 9
Materials for sale of house, , July 8, 1948 - 1949
Folder 10
Household accounts, undated
Series I: Photographs, 1872-1978 [1 linear foot]
All photographs in Series I have been removed to the Photo Archives and consist of personal photographs of the Holmes and Walker family.

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Subject Headings

Bermuda Islands--Voyages and travels.
Boston (Mass.).
Brockton (Mass.).
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford.
Carbonear (N.L.)--Voyages and travels.
Chicoutimi (Saguenay, Québec)--Voyages and travels.
Cincinnati (Ohio) --Voyages and travels.
District of Columbia--Voyages and travels.
Evangelistic work.
Falmouth (Mass.).
Grand Manan Island (N.B.) --Voyages and travels.
Holmes, Isabel M.
Holmes, Lucy A. b. 1909 d. 1987.
Hyannis (Mass.).
La Malbaie (Québec)--Voyages and travels.
Louisville (Ky.) --Voyages and travels.
Madison (Ind.) --Voyages and travels.
Montréal Island (Québec : Island--Voyages and travels.
Natchez (Miss.) --Voyages and travels.
New Bedford (Mass.).
New Brunswick --Voyages and travels.
New Orleans (La.) --Voyages and travels.
Newfoundland and Labrador--Voyages and travels.
Québec (Québec)--Voyages and travels.
SS Delta Queen (Steamship).
Saint John (N.B.) --Voyages and travels.
Sears, Lucy K.
Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)
Swain School of Design New Bedford, Mass.
Sydney (N.S.)--Voyages and travels.
Tadoussac (Québec) --Voyages and travels.
Vanceboro (Me.) --Voyages and travels.
Vicksburg (Miss.) --Voyages and travels.
Women's Republican Club of Rhode Island.
Yarmouth (N.S.) --Voyages and travels.

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