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My Girl: An Account of the Life and Death of Doris Harper Notebook
Biomed.0309  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Collection consists of a notebook created by Doris Harper's mother, Genevieve. Book opens with information regarding the baby's birth on April 15, 1907 and closes with an anguished description of the child's death on April 10, 1918 due to "acute Bright's Disease following an attack of measles." Diary entries discuss the baby's temperament-- "still very shy"; "has been very affectionate lately"; the birth of a sibling (Oct. 16, 1909) -- "was very much mystified over the arrival of a little brother." Documents the achievement of normal developmental milestones: "can almost stand alone"; passage through several childhood infectious diseases including influenza, rubella, and whooping cough, as well as day-to-day family routines and holiday celebrations, e.g. "[Doris] fared exceeding well at Xmas [1910], was amazed and delighted with the tree." The final entry traces the beginnings and course of her attack of measles: "Alan had the measles first...she [Doris] felt quite sick until Tuesday morning--then she revived and by Tuesday evening was apparently normal." However, the next day "Alan and Helen (her siblings) went in her room and when she did not awaken, I knew something was wrong. The doctor was called: "we had the Dr. in half an hour-- and while he thought she was ill did not consider her dangerously so." The child began having convulsions "twenty minutes later" which "lasted from 3 p.m. until 8:25 P.M. when she died." Book also contains 9 photos of infant with family members, pasted in between entries; 2 notes of condolence sent to "Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Harper, 1732 N. Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland"; a small envelope containing "Alan's hair at 21--Oct. 16, 1930" ; 2 small obituary notices dated June 12, 1927 for Doris E. Harper "aged 2 years and 1 month ... daughter of William R. and Genevieve Harper (nee Witte)"; 2 small photographs cut from magazines which "from below the eyes this looks like Doris"; and 1 color advertisement for Jell-O brand gelatin dated 1922.
Extent
1 unknown (1 notebook)
Availability
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