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James family correspondence

Call Number: RH MS 1320


This collection includes letters sent to and from the relatives of Wallace and Dorothy (MacIvor) James. Letters are from family members and friends on both sides of the family, particularly Dorothy's MacIvor family. The collection also includes various newspaper clippings and ephemera that had been included with the letters.


  • Creation: 1906-1978 (bulk 1928-1953)


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 Wallace And Dorothy James

Wallace McNeil James and Dorothy MacIvor James were both born in 1901 in Kansas. Wallace was the son of William Frederic James (1873-1957) and Araminta Palmer James (1874-1957) and had five siblings: Joel P. (1908-1980), Florence Phelps (1905-1986), Esther "Billie" Dudgeon (1899-1996), Elsabeth Spalsbury (1913-?) and Margaret Evers (1910-2001).

Dorothy (formerly Dorothy Marcea MacIvor) was the daughter of Donald Herbert MacIvor (1866-1931) and Anna Alberta Taylor MacIvor (1869-1908). She had six siblings: Donald H. MacIvor (1896-1978), Ailene Foster (1894-1981), Florence Ehling (1899-1976), Merle Ernestine MacBurney (1908-1989), Alberta Bowles (1906-1988) and Robert Richards (1889-1966).

Wallace and Dorothy attended the University of Kansas together in the 1920s before marrying. They had three children of their own, Alberta June Daw, Dorothy Jean Crawford and Donald James. The James family lived mostly in New Jersey but visited their Kansas relatives in 1941, and daughter Alberta attended KU from 1948-1953 (in one letter, she mentions the completion of the Campanile).

In 1945, Dorothy MacIvor James died at age 44. Wallace James remarried in 1947, to Mary Lois Ruppenthal Hibbard, and died in 1978, aged 77.


3 Linear Feet (3 boxes + 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Letters are grouped together by correspondent; miscellaneous correspondents are organized alphabetically by family name at the end of the letters. Photographs have been filed at the end of the collection.

Physical Location

RH MS 1320

Physical Location

RH MS R353

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Alberta James Daw, 2013.



Guide to the James family collection
James family correspondence
Finding aid prepared by hc, 2014; revised by eear, 2015; revised by mwh, 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
James family correspondence, RH MS 1320, 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