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Guide to the Marjorie Armstrong Family Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography of Marjorie Armstrong
  • Scope and Contents of the Collection
  • Series Arrangement
  • Related Material
  • Subject Headings

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Marjorie Armstrong Family Papers
    Creator: Armstrong, Marjorie
    Dates: 1809-1974
    Extent: 13 boxes
    Repository: Claremont Colleges. Library.
    1090 Columbia Avenue
    Claremont, California 91711
    Abstract: Marjorie Armstrong (1907-1991) graduated from Pomona College (1938) and was director of the Mary B. Eyre School from 1936-1939. Correspondence written to Armstrong from her mother, Sarah Louise Armstrong, makes up a substantial portion of the collection. Also included are her school and college ephemera and records from Claremont High School, Pomona College and Smith College; diaries of both mother and daughter (1929-1973); correspondence and documents from the courtship and marriage of Sarah Louise Armstrong (née Peet) and Dr. Frank T. Armstrong, D.D.S; and some material related to William W. Peet, a prominent missionary and relative of Sarah Louise and Marjorie Armstrong.
    Collection Number: D19xx.619_armstrong.ead.xml
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English
    Physical Location: Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College, Claremont University Consortium.

    Information for Researchers

    Restrictions on Access

    This collection is open for research with permission from Ella Strong Denison Library staff.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with Scripps College. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact Ella Strong Denison Library staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Marjorie Armstrong Family Papers. Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College, Claremont, California.

    Acquisition Information


    Processing Information

    Processed by Laura Irmer for Archival Studies 311, Claremont Graduate University, Spring 2009.


    No addition to the collection is anticipated.

    Biography of Marjorie Armstrong

    Marjorie Ruth Armstrong was born April 5, 1907 and passed away in July 1991. Her parents were Sarah Louise Armstrong, née Peet, (1880-1973) and Frank T. Armstrong (1870-1914); the two were married on September 28, 1904. Her mother was both a teacher and an artist and her father was a dentist. With her mother and younger brother George Bennett Armstrong (1909-?), she moved to California from Iowa in 1921 and the family settled in Claremont in 1922. She graduated from Claremont High School in 1924. Her undergraduate studies were completed at Pomona College and she received her B.A in 1928. While at Pomona College she was a member of the Women's Glee Club. Following her graduation from Pomona College, she attended Smith College in New Hampshire and received an M.A in Early Childhood Education in 1929. From 1936-1939 she served as director of the Mary B. Eyre School, a model nursery school, at Scripps College. It appears that she never married. Throughout her life, she was highly active in early childhood education, specifically in the state of California and was involved in the founding of several nursery schools. She appears to have been highly involved in the church and was likely a supporter of missionary activities, specifically with an organization by the name of Christian World Missions. In addition a relative on her mother's side was William W. Peet, a prominent member of the missionary community, specifically in the 'East.'
    Sources for Biographical note: Hand written document of family history in box 11, folder 11, as well as Ken Counselman's, "The Mary B. Eyre Children's School: An Administrative History," PhD diss., 1986

    Scope and Contents of the Collection

    This collection covers the time period from circa 1809-1974. The collection is divided into two series: Marjorie Armstrong Papers; and Sarah Louise Armstrong Papers. The general organization of each series is in descending order: record type and within that whenever possible arranged alphabetically and then chronologically. The oldest item in the collection is a family record book from circa 1809. A primary component of the collection consists of letters written to Marjorie Armstrong by her mother Sarah Louise Armstrong with the bulk of this from 1960-1969. Other correspondents are represented in the collection as well, but without the same frequency observed in the correspondence from mother to daughter. Of note in terms of correspondence, there are letters relating to the courtship between Dr. Frank T. Armstrong, D.D.S and Sarah Louise Armstrong (née Peet) from circa 1904. Additionally, there are journals belonging to both Marjorie Armstrong and her mother. These range in date from 1929-1973 and help document each woman's day-to-day life. The collection also includes assignments completed by Marjorie Armstrong in the course of her education, as well as ephemera related to graduating from the secondary and higher education institutions she attended. Other items of interest include the marriage of certificate of Marjorie Armstrong's parents and the father's certificate upon receiving his degree in dentistry from Northwestern University.

    Series Arrangement

    The Marjorie Armstrong Family Papers have been divided into two series: the papers of Marjorie Armstrong and the papers of her mother Sarah Louise Armstrong. The Marjorie Armstrong Papers are further divided into three sub-series: correspondence; school and personal records; and diaries. The following are the sub-series for the Sarah Louise Armstrong Papers: correspondence; family records; and diaries. Within these two series, the materials are grouped by record type and chronologically whenever possible within these groupings. Additionally, in the correspondence, the letters are arranged alphabetically by sender and within this chronologically. The suggestion for this organization was taken from the limited organization given the collection by its record creator. The correspondence was roughly grouped together in a suitcase belonging to Marjorie Armstrong, the diaries were grouped together in one box, and the family and school papers were together in another box. The majority of the letters in this collection were bundled/grouped by Ms. Armstrong by year. This bundling allowed for the assignment of a year to certain letters that were not accompanied by an envelope with postmark. In terms of the correspondence, the date on the letter is given preference to the postmark date. When the letter is not dated but has an envelope complete with postmark this is the date used. Eight of the letters from Marjorie Armstrong's correspondence and one letter from Sarah Louise Armstrong's correspondence were too long for a letter-sized document box and have accordingly been moved to a legal-sized document box. This is also noted in the relevant sections on the container list of this finding aid. There also several letters addressed to both Marjorie and Sarah Louise Armstrong. These letters have been filed with the correspondence of Sarah Louise Armstrong.
    Series 1 Marjorie Armstrong Papers
    Subseries 1.1 Correspondence
    Subseries 1.2 School and Personal Records
    Subseries 1.3 Diaries
    Series 2 Sarah Louise Armstrong Papers
    Subseries 2.1 Correspondence
    Subseries 2.2 Family Records
    Subseries 2.3 Diaries

    Related Material

    Ken Counselman, "The Mary B. Eyre Children's School: An Administrative History," PhD diss., 1986. Contains interesting biographical material on Ms. Armstrong, specifically in relation to her employment by the Mary B. Eyre School of Scripps College.
    William Wheelock Peet and Louise Jenison Peet, No Less Honor, Private Printing: Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1939. A biography of WilliamWheelock Peet.

    Subject Headings

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection
    Armstrong, Marjorie
    Armstrong, Sarah Louise
    Pomona College
    Smith College
    Women's studies
    Western Americana -- 1900-1999