MSS 138:  Winfred W. Bennett Papers, 1916-1938 - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Inventory of the Winfred W. Bennett Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Emily Esten, 2014; machine-readable finding aid created by: Emily Esten, 2014Inventory of the Winfred W. Bennett Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Administrative Information


Subject Headings

Inventory of the Winfred W. Bennett Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Winfred W. Bennett Papers
Date Span:
Winfred W. Bennett
Mss Number:
Mss 138
1 linear foot
Correspondence and financial documents during the operating years of Winfred Bennett’s store, The Colonial Shop Antiques, 1916 to 1938.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

Winfred W. Bennett, known to friends as “Fred,” served as the proprietor of the Colonial Shop Antiques. The store, located at 28 North Water Street in New Bedford, was established sometime between 1908 and 1916. Bennett served as the bookkeeper, treasurer, and proprietor. Bennett expressed an interest in selling the business during the 1930s; it is unclear whether he did so based on the information available in this collection.

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Scope and Content Note

The Winfred W. Bennett Papers contains a comprehensive collection of incoming and outgoing correspondence of Winfred W. Bennett, proprietor of The Colonial Shop Antiques. It also includes detailed financial records, including excise tax documents and shipping/purchase receipts.

Bennett’s outgoing correspondence is limited - many of the documents appear to be copies of the original, unsigned and saved for Bennett’s personal use. It appears that Bennett would respond to several letters one day, as letters are dated in batches.

Bennett corresponds with several major museums in the United States regarding items in his shop. Letters from the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of the American Indian, the Peabody Museum, and the Field Museum, can all be found in the subseries Incoming Correspondence. The most extensive correspondence, with the Brooklyn Museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, details the arranging and presentation of an exhibition including Bennett’s scrimshaw collection. The exhibition was extremely popular in Brooklyn, and though the museum expressed some interest in purchasing several pieces, all materials and specimen were returned to Bennett by late June 1919.

Many of the letters Bennett received were in regards to advertisements he had placed in local papers, calling for antique furniture in particular. Most individuals send several letters to Bennett in reference to an item of interest. Lengthy correspondence can be found from the following individuals: Louise C. Meyers (regarding Windsor chairs); Ella Hallett (regarding reconstruction of a bead bag); Frederick Howell (regarding silhouettes); Emily Gifford Noyes (regarding a shaving mirror); ED Sharpe (regarding various articles and payment); Nellie Starr (regarding reconstruction of a bead bag); George H. Taber (regarding his relation with Captain Ellery Thomas Taber and payment for items); WC Vaughan Co. (regarding equipment and casters Bennett attempted to purchase); and Clifford Ashley (in arranging the Brooklyn Museum exhibition).

Not all of the incoming correspondence relates directly to sales within the shop. There are several letters of personal correspondence, most notably: a note from a young Marcia to an unknown “Daddy” and two letters from a “Brother Jesse” staying in Seoul; and several notes from an “Elizabeth.” In addition, several letters indicate Bennett writing to Commercial Casualty Insurance Company regarding a claim for disability. During the winter and spring of 1920, Bennett seemingly fell ill and was unable to take care of the shop. Based on the notices, Bennett was able to claim disability for some but not all of the time he was ill.

Within the financial documents, many of Bennett’s purchases and shipments can be examined. A majority of the receipts are from the American Railway Express Co., in reference to shipments of purchases from Bennett’s store. There are also telegraph bills and bills from the New Bedford Gas and Edison Light Co. (presumably for electric usage at the store.) Excise tax forms from 1919 (and one from 1920) are also included in this collection.

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 138, [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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Materials in this collection were donated to the New Bedford Whaling Museum by Mrs. Stephen C. L. Delano on 23 June 1983 as part of accession #B83-24.

Processing Information

Processed by: Emily Esten, 2014

Encoded by: Emily Esten, 15 August 2014

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Series A: Corrrespondence of W.W. Bennett, 1919-1837 30 items
Series A contains incoming and outgoing correspondence of W.W. Bennett during his time as proprietor of the Colonial Shop Antiques.
Sub-series 1: Outgoing Correspondence of W.W. Bennett, 1919-1933
Box 1
Folder 1
Correspondence, 1919-1932
Folder 2
Correspondence, 1933
Folder 3
Correspondence of W.W. Bennett, undated
Sub-series 2: Incoming Correspondence of W.W. Bennett, 1916-1937
Folder 1
Correspondence, 1916-1917
Folder 2
Correspondence, 1918
Folder 3
Clients A-Brennan, 1919
Folder 4
Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences), 1919
Folder 5
Clients C-D, 1919
Folder 6
Clients E-G, 1919
Folder 7
Clients H-J, 1919
Folder 8
Clients K-L, 1919
Folder 9
Clients M, 1919
Folder 10
Clients N-O, 1919
Folder 11
Clients P-R, 1919
Folder 12
Clients S, 1919
Folder 13
Clients T-W, 1919
Folder 14
Clients A-G, 1920
Folder 15
Clients H, 1920
Folder 16
Clients L-N, 1920
Folder 17
Clients P-R, 1920
Folder 18
Clients S-W, 1920
Folder 19
Correspondence, 1921
Folder 20
Correspondence, 1932
Folder 21
Correspondence, 1933-1937
Sub-series 3: Undated Correspondence, undated
Box 2
Folder 1
Clients A-D, undated
Folder 2
Clients E-G, undated
Folder 3
Clients H-L, undated
Folder 4
Clients M-P, undated
Folder 5
Clients R-S, undated
Folder 6
Clients T-W, undated
Series B: Financial Records, 1916-1920 4 items
Series B contains bills, receipts, and excise tax records of the Colonial Shop.
Folder 1
Bills and Receipts, 1916-1918
Folder 2
Bills and Receipts, 1919
Folder 3
Excise Tax, 1919-1920
Folder 4
Bills and Receipts, 1920
Series C: Additional Bennett Papers, undated 1 item
Series C contains miscellaneous documents found in the W.W. Bennett Papers.
Folder 1
Newspaper Articles, undated

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Subject Headings

American Folk Art Museum
American Museum of Natural History
American Radiator Company
American Railway Express Agency
Antique dealers
Antique dealers--Massachusetts
Ashley, Clifford W. (Clifford Warren), 1881-1947
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. Museum
Carter, Morris, 1877-1965
Disability insurance
Drake Hotel (Chicago, Ill.)
Field Museum of Natural History
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970
Hergesheimer, Joseph
Heye, George G. (George Gustav), 1874-1957
Internal revenue-United States
Jenkins, Lawrence Waters, 1872-1961
Murphy, Robert Cushman
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of the American Indian
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation
National Early American Glass Club
National magazine (Boston, Mass.)
New Bedford (Mass.)
New Bedford (Mass.)--Antiquities
New England Telephone and Telegraph Company
Peabody Museum of Salem
Postal life Insurance--United States
Receipts (Acknowledgements)--United States
Russell, Benjamin, 1804-1885
Scrimshaws--United States--History--20th century
Severance Union Medical College
State Street Trust Company (Boston Mass.)
Taber Prang Art Co.
Taber, Ellery Tompkins, 1808-1890
Taber, George Hathaway
Wissler, Clark, 1870-1947
Wissler, Clark, 1870-1947. Indian beadwork

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