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Emma F. Botsford letters

Call Number: RH MS 1282


Emma Florence Botsford lived in Emporia Kansas. She was engaged to William Thayer Barry of Boston, Massachusetts, after visiting him in 1902. The letters in this collection document the daily life and struggles of an Edwardian working-class young woman in Emporia, Kansas.


  • Creation: 1902 - 1904


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Emma Florence Botsford

Emma Florence Botsford was born in 1881. She lived in Emporia, Kansas, and worked at the shop of Mrs. Graham where she decorated china and created burnt-wood objects. She exchanged engagement rings with William Thayer Barry of Boston, Massachusetts in 1902. The couple married on June 8, 1904 in Emporia, Kansas.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of 119 letters, most with their original envelopes. All of the letters in the collection are written to William Thayer Barry. 117 of the letters were written by Emma Florence Botsford of Emporia, Kansas, his fiancee. The remaining two letters were written by Anna Botsford of Herington, Kansas. The letters begin shortly after Emma and William exchanged rings and end shortly before William's arrival in Kansas to take his soon-to-be bride back to Massachusetts. Botsford wrote emotional letters to Barry about her life in Emporia and her longing to be closer to him. She describes the lives of her siblings Anna, a school teacher in Herington Kansas, and brother Horace who coached football at Kansas State Normal School.

Physical Location

RH MS 1282

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Carmen Valentino, 2011

Guide to the Emma Florence Botsford Collection
Emma F. Botsford letters
Finding aid prepared by el, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Emma Florence Botsford Collection, RH MS 1282, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States