Catton family Papers

Finding aid prepared by Brooke M. Black
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Fax: (626) 449-5720
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2016
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Catton family papers
Inclusive Dates: 1875-1968
Bulk Dates: 1931-1951
Collection Call Number: mssHM 68106-68147
Extent: Approximately 700 items in 14 boxes
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Fax: (626) 449-5720
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: The Catton family papers consist mainly of travel letters, diaries, and scrapbooks kept by Margaret Mary Louise Catton (1882-1971), a medical social worker in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Language of Material: The records are in English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Catton Family Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Gift of Barry Menikoff, December 1986.

Biographical Note

Robert and Brereton Catton left their native Scotland and arrived in Hawaii in 1878. They had six children: Margaret Mary Louise (known as "Mary"), Janet Renny (known as "Renny"), John Herbert, Robert Redford, Andrew Allen, and Richard Belmont. Mary, who is the chief figure in this collection, was born February 9, 1882, in Huelo, Maui. She was educated at Punahou School as well as other private schools in Hawaii and Scotland. In 1917, she entered the New York School of Social Work, where she majored in hospital social service. She graduated in 1919 and returned to Hawaii. In 1932, Mary became the director of the Medical Social Service Association, the new social service program she helped found at Queen's Hospital in Honolulu. Mary also helped start several other groups and organizations including the Hawaii Medical Service Association, the first voluntary prepaid plan for medical care in the United States; the Bureau of Mental Hygiene at Queen's Hospital; and the convalescent nursing home at Maunalani Heights. Mary retired as director of social service at Queen's Hospital in 1948, and in 1959, she published a semi-autobiographical book entitled Social Service in Hawaii. She stayed active in the Honolulu community until her death in 1971 at the age of 89.

Scope and Content

The collection comprises 66 items including 23 travel letters, 15 diaries, 4 scrapbooks, 22 photographs and 2 pieces of miscellaneous ephemera. The travel letters cover two trips taken by Mary Catton: 1. Trip to Japan, China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Egypt, Israel, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Scotland and the United States in 1931-1932; 2. Trip to Canada, the United States, Panama, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji in 1938-1939. Her travel letters, which are written like diaries but addressed and sent to family members back in Hawaii, contain detailed descriptions of each place she visited. They are illustrated with photographs and postcards, many with handwritten captions (the travel letters contain over 1,000 photographs). While Catton visited the typical tourist sites at each city, because she was a social worker, much of the content of her travel letters is dedicated to comments and discussions regarding the lesser-seen parts of the cities, their hospitals, conditions of the poor, the homeless, the available social work services, government and politics, and education and schools. She often met with doctors and social workers and talked to them about their experiences; Catton was also often a guest of honor at events where she was asked to give talks about her work in Hawaii.
While in Thailand she met with Princess Sangwan Mahidol and her three young children including the future kings Ananda Mahidol and Bhumibol Adulyadej. There are letters by Princess Mahidol and several photographs of the family in Volume 6. While in New York she visited her alma mater, the New York School of Social Work. The cities in which she spent the most time and about which she wrote the most are: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima-shi (Japan); Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong (China); Saigon (Vietnam); Angkor, Bangkok (Thailand); Calcutta, New Delhi, Bombay (India); Cairo (Egypt); Milan, Rome, Venice (Italy); Geneva, Saint Moritz (Switzerland); Paris (France); London, Stratford-upon-Avon (England); Edinburgh, Inverness, Melrose (Scotland); New York, Baltimore (U.S.); Auckland, Wellington (New Zealand); Melbourne, Sydney (Australia).
The 15 diaries, all of which belong to Mary Catton, span the years 1939 to 1951. The diaries describe in great detail all aspects of Mary's life in Honolulu including: her daily activities; her work at Queen's Hospital, her difficulties with the doctors and hospital administration, her work with nurses, patient care, hospital costs; teaching social work; Mary's work with the many groups of which she was a member including several medical and social work associations; the attack on Pearl Harbor and aftermath including blackouts and the fear of another attack; World War II events; treatment and views of Japanese living in Hawaii; Mary's work in starting a convalescent home in Hawaii; various other medical issues such as adoption, sterilization, staffing, and fundraising. More specifically, Mary discusses her work with the following associations and organizations: Hospital Social Service Association (later the Medical Social Service Association), Bureau of Mental Hygiene, Hawaii Medical Service Association, the Hawaiian Chapter of the American Association of Social Workers, the Hawaiian Department of Public Welfare.
Two of the four scrapbooks belong to Mary Catton and two belong to her sister Renny Catton. The four scrapbooks include photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, invitations, calling cards, programs for shows and events, telegrams, tickets, notes, dance cards, post cards, and greeting cards (birthday, Christmas, etc.). The photographs are of Catton family members.
There are Catton photo albums in the Photograph Archives of the Huntington Library, but access is restricted due to their fragile condition (photCL 432).
More material was found in October 2016 and added as an addenda (Boxes 12-14) which consists mainly of correspondence between the Catton family members.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following order: Boxes 1-4: Travel Letters (Volumes 1-23); Boxes 5-7: Diaries (Volumes 24-38); Boxes 8-10: Scrapbooks (Volumes 39-42); Box 11: Photographs and Miscellaneous Ephemera; Boxes 12-14: Addenda.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Personal Names

Ananda Mahidol, King of Thailand, 1925-1946
Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, 1927-
Catton (Family)
Catton, Janet Renny
Catton, Margaret Mary Louise
Catton, Robert
Sangwan Mahidol, Princess, 1900-1995

Corporate Names

American Association of Social Workers
Hawaii. Board of Health
Hawaii Medical Service Association Foundation
New York School of Social Work
Queen's Hospital (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Subjects

Subjects

Adoption -- Hawaii
Adoption -- Law and legislation
Charities -- Hawaii -- History
Hospitals -- Administration
Hospitals -- Case management
Hospitals -- Hawaii
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
Medical care -- Hawaii
Medical social work -- Hawaii
Mental illness -- Hawaii
Nurses -- Hawaii
Ocean travel
Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941
Physicians -- Hawaii
Public health -- Hawaii
Single women -- Diaries
Single women -- Hawaii
Social service -- Hawaii
Sterilization of women -- Hawaii
Sterilization of women -- Law and legislation
Voyages and travels -- Anecdotes
Women -- Hawaii
Women social workers -- Hawaii
Women social workers -- Travel
Women -- Societies and clubs
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans

Geographic Areas

Angkor (Extinct city) -- Description and travel
Australia -- Description and travel
Bangkok (Thailand -- Description and travel)
Beijing (China) -- Description and travel
Mumbai (India) -- Description and travel
Cairo (Egypt) -- Description and travel
Kolkata (India) -- Description and travel
China -- Description and travel
Edinburgh (Scotland) -- Description and travel
Egypt -- Description and travel
England -- Description and travel
Hawaii -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
Hawaii -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
Hawaii -- Social life and customs
France -- Description and travel
Hiroshima-shi (Japan) -- Description and travel
Hong Kong (China) -- Description and travel
India -- Description and travel
Inverness (Scotland) -- Description and travel
Isreal -- Description and travel
Italy -- Description and travel
Japan -- Description and travel
Jerusalem -- Description and travel
Kyoto (Japan) -- Description and travel
London (England) -- Description and travel
Melrose (Scottish Borders, Scotland) -- Description and travel
New Delhi (India) -- Description and travel
New Zealand -- Description and travel
Osaka (Japan) -- Description and travel
Panama -- Description and travel
Paris (France) -- Description and travel
Rome (Italy) -- Description and travel
Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) -- Description and travel
Scotland -- Description and travel
Shanghai (China) -- Description and travel
Switzerland -- Description and travel
Thailand -- Description and travel
Tokyo (Japan) -- Description and travel
United States -- Description and travel
Vietnam -- Description and travel

Genre

Diaries -- Hawaii -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- Hawaii -- 20th century
Photographs -- Hawaii
Scrapbooks -- Hawaii


Container List

Box 1

Travel Letters, 1931-1932, Feb., Volumes 1-7

 

 HM 68106  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 1 (1931, Sep. 14-21)

 

 HM 68107  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 2 (1931, Sep. 26-Oct. 14)

 

 HM 68108  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 3 (1931, Oct. 19-23)

 

 HM 68109  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 4 (1931, Oct. 27-Nov. 27)

 

 HM 68110  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 5 (1931, Dec. 8-13)

 

 HM 68111  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 6 (1931, Dec. 18-1932, Jan. 28)

 

 HM 68112  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 7 (1932, Jan. 10-Feb. 8)

Box 2

Travel Letters, 1932, Jan.-May, Volumes 8-13

 

 HM 68113  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 8 (1932, Jan.-Feb.)

 

 HM 68114  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 9 (1932, Feb. 14-20)

 

 HM 68115  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 10 (1932, Mar.)

 

 HM 68116  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 11 (1932, Mar. 13-Apr. 6)

 

 HM 68117  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 12 (1932, Apr. 8-25)

 

 HM 68118  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 13 (1932, Apr. 26-May 17)

Box 3

Travel Letters, 1932, May-Sep., Volumes 14-18

 

 HM 68119  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 14 (1932, May 17-24)

 

 HM 68120  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 15 (1932, May 25-June 27)

 

 HM 68121  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 16 (1932, June 27-July 7)

 

 HM 68122  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 17 (1932, July 22-Aug. 12)

 

 HM 68123  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 18 (1932, Aug. 18-Sep. 2)

Box 4

Travel Letters, 1932-1938, Volumes 19-23

 

 HM 68124  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 19 (1932, Sep. 3-Oct. 22)

 

 HM 68125  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 20 (1932)

 

 HM 68126  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 21 (1938, Sep. 3-Nov. 20)

 

 HM 68127  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 22 (1938, Nov. 27-Dec. 14)

 

 HM 68128  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 23 (1938, Dec. 19-1939, Jan. 18)

Box 5

Diaries, 1939-1943, Volumes 24-28

 

 HM 68129  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 24 (1939, June-Dec.)

 

 HM 68130  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 25 (1940)

 

 HM 68131  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 26 (1941)

 

 HM 68132  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 27 (1942)

 

 HM 68133  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 28 (1943)

Box 6

Diaries, 1944-1946, Volumes 29-33

 

 HM 68134  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 29 (1944, Jan.-June)

 

 HM 68135  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 30 (1944, July-Dec.)

 

 HM 68136  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 31 (1945, Jan.-June)

 

 HM 68137  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 32 (1945, July-Dec.)

 

 HM 68138  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 33 (1946)

Box 7

Diaries, 1947-1951, Volumes 34-38

 

 HM 68139  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 34 (1947)

 

 HM 68140  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 35 (1948)

 

 HM 68141  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 36 (1949)

 

 HM 68142  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 37 (1950)

 

 HM 68143  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 38 (1951)

Box 8

Scrapbooks, Volumes 39-40

 

 HM 68144  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 39 (1896-1915)

 

 HM 68145  Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Volume 40 (1906-1907)

Box 9

Scrapbook, Volume 41

 

 HM 68146  Catton, Renny. Volume 41 (1891-1915)

Box 10

Scrapbook, Volume 42

 

 HM 68147  Catton, Renny. Volume 42 (1910-1929)

Box 11

Photographs and Miscellaneous Ephemera

Folder  1

Photographs: Catton, Brereton ([approximately 1890]-1938)

3 items
Folder  2

Photographs: Catton, Margaret Mary Louise ([approximately 1890]-1960)

12 items
Folder  3

Photographs: Catton, Renny ([approximately 1890]-1938)

2 items
Folder  4

Photographs: Catton, Richard ([approximately 1900]-1920)

5 items
Folder  5

Miscellaneous Ephemera (1959)

2 items
Box 12

Addenda: Correspondence

Folder  1

Catton, Andrew A. Letter to Margaret Mary Louise Catton (1932, Sep. 27)

1 item.
Folder  2

Catton, Brereton. Letter to Margaret Mary Louise Catton (1919, Apr. 20)

1 item.
Folder  3

Catton, Edith. Letters to Margaret Mary Louise Catton (1932)

2 items.
Folder  4

Catton, Janet Renny. Letters to Catton family (1898-1937)

approx. 100 items.
Folder  5

Catton, Janet Renny. Letters to Margaret Mary Louise Catton (1906-1939)

approx. 100 items.
Folder  6

Catton, Janet Renny. Letters to Richard Catton (1909-1913)

approx. 20 items.
Folder  7

Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Letters to Brereton Catton (1931-1938)

12 items.
Folder  8

Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Letters to Janet Renny Catton (1931-1950)

6 items.
Folder  9

Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Letter to Robert Redford Catton (1938, Oct. 3)

1 item.
Folder  10

Catton, Margaret Mary Louise. Letter to "My dear friends" (1941, Dec. 20)

1 item.
Folder  11

Catton, Robert. Letters to Andrew Catton (1883-1895)

7 items. Very fragile. Some items stuck together. Some items ripping.
Folder  12

Catton, Robert. Letters to George Catton (1883-1900)

6 items. Very fragile. Some items stuck together. Some items ripping.
Folder  13

Catton, Robert. Letters to Janet Redford Catton (1883-1896)

12 items. Very fragile. Some items stuck together. Some items ripping.
Folder  14

Catton, Robert. Letters to John Catton (1885-1886)

4 items. Very fragile. Some items stuck together. Some items ripping
Folder  15

Catton, Robert. Letters to Margaret Mary Louise Catton (1919-1932)

8 items.
Folder  16

Catton, Robert. Letters to Redford Catton (1882-1884)

3 items. Very fragile. Some items stuck together. Some items ripping.
Folder  17

Catton, Robert. Letters to "Dear Sister" (1883-1900)

approx. 20 items. Very fragile. Some items stuck together. Some items ripping.
Folder  18

Catton, Robert Redford. Letter to Margaret Mary Louise Catton (1932, Aug. 23)

1 item.
Folder  19

-----, Jean. Letter to Margaret Mary Louise Catton (1938)

2 items.
Box 13

Addenda: Miscellaneous Correspondence

Folder  1

Condolence letters on Death of Brereton Catton (1944-1945)

3 items.
Folder  2

Condolence letters on Death of Robert Catton (1938)

approx. 100 items.
Folder  3

Correspondence between Robert Catton and Brereton Catton (1875)

approx. 30 items.
Folder  4

Correspondence between Robert Catton and Brereton Catton (1876)

approx. 100 items.
Folder  5

Miscellaneous Correspondence (1918-1968)

16 items.
Box 14

Addenda: Manuscripts and Ephemera

Folder  1

A History of the Hawaiian Islands by Robert Catton (1894)

2 items. With letter about manuscript.
Folder  2

Autobiography of Robert Catton by Robert Catton [before 1938]

1 item.
Folder  3

Manuscript re: Pearl Harbor attack by C. C. Barnes (1942, June)

1 item.
Folder  4

Pohai Nani by Margaret Mary Louise Catton (1965)

2 items. Photocopies.
Folder  5

Greeting Cards, Invitations and Notes (1919-1964)

9 items.
Folder  6

Miscellaneous Ephemera (1924)

2 items.
Folder  7

Newspaper Clippings (1941-1961)

28 items.
Folder  8

Poetry and Quotations (1901-1957)

approx. 50 items.
Folder  9

Programs and Printed Items (1940-1966)

15 items.