Scope and arrangement
The Emily Ford Skeel Papers are divided into the following series: General Correspondence, Personal and Family Correspondence, Financial and Household Correspondence, Bibliographic Notes, Minor Series, Scrapbooks, Photograph Albums, Photographs, and Printed Matter. The organization of this collection as received was one of several filing systems inconsistent with each other. Although the collection has been further organized, Skeel's original order has been retained as much as possible. Overlap of certain types of material remains both within and between the series.
The Emily Ellsworth Ford Skeel papers are arranged in nine series:
Series includes letters concerned with Skeel's bibliographic and editorial work. These letters include correspondence with various librarians and academics as well as with Skeel's own staff. Some letters are between mutual friends of Skeel and Worthington Chauncey Ford. Many letters concerned with her work on Weems, although originally separate, have been interfiled. These include letters c. 1929 from people acknowledging receipt of Weems volumes. Skeel corresponded with F. Carrington Weems, grandson of Mason Locke Weems. Correspondence with four libraries, one society, and Henry Warfel is arranged alphabetically towards the end of the series. Other letters are between Skeel and her bibliographic staff, including Hester Meigs (aka Souris), Gertrude Grimwood (aka GG), and Rosalie Bailey, Skeel's niece. Most of these letters pertain to Skeel's Webster research. Some letters are written by Helen Mouat for Skeel. General Correspondence also includes letters concerned with what Skeel called her contributions and with the volunteer work of the Skeels. The bulk of this correspondence dates from the 1930s and early 1940s; some of the earlier correspondence is relative to Roswell Skeel, Jr. and his work. Several boxes of Single Tax correspondence incorporate some letters re contributions. The General Correspondence ends with letters re philanthropic donations filed by Skeel. The series is chronologically arranged with alphabetical sub-groupings. Related letters filed together over a period of two or more years are usually filed by the last date if the correspondence is cumulative, otherwise by the first significant date. The correspondence is mostly incoming but includes copies of outgoing correspondence.
Contains correspondence with family members, relatives, personal friends, and other correspondence which is personal in nature. Some of the letters were written to both Skeel and her companion, Helen Mouat. Letters over a period of years are addressed to Marraine (?) from Charlotte (Niven?). Other friends represented in the collection include Alice Boughton, Alice Dyke, Charlotte Schetter, and Katherine Day. Early letters in the series include some with friends of the Ford family such as members of the Estes and Conway families. There are personal letters from academics such as James Truslow Adams and Clarence S. Brigham, who also figure in the General Correspondence. Skeel corresponded frequently with everyone in her immediate family except for her brother Malcolm Webster Ford (1862-1902); notable is longterm correspondence with her brother Worthington. Other family letters include those between Skeel and Grace Kidder, widow of Paul Leicester Ford, and Lesta Ford, his daughter. The series also contains letters from Skeel family members, including Annie Skeel Burnap, cousin of Roswell Skeel, Jr., and Almet and Rufus Skeel, his uncles. Letters between Skeel family members, not including Roswell and Emily Skeel, are separately filed. The series ends with letters re the education and finances of Malcolm Webster Ford, Jr., nephew of Skeel.
Divides into three parts. The first is financial correspondence with banks and stockbrokers. The next consists of general business letters, some of which pertain to Skeel's donations and others to household matters. Among the household letters is correspondence with booksellers. The final part of the series is correspondence from the period which Skeel spent in Martha's Vineyard.
Bibliographic Notes consist of material which Skeel gathered for her work on Webster. The series includes the notes organized by Edwin H. Carpenter, Jr. along with various unsorted notes and index cards. Because Skeel's manuscript was edited in order to publish a single volume work, the original has been retained in the collection. Some or all of the material marked "journalism" is analogous to the section entitled "periodicals" in the published book. Letters written while the work was in progress are both scattered throughout the series and concentrated in boxes marked "correspondence". The various notes consist of both unsorted bibliographic notes and relevant material gathered from other parts of the collection. Apparently all of the index cards were used in Webster research.
Minor Series are Weems Notes, Notes and Memoranda, Writings, Student Notebooks, Personal and Family Papers, Skeel Family Papers, Genealogical Papers, Commonplace Books, Accounts and Account Books, and Maps. Weems Notes incorporate additions to the bibliography, editorial commentary, a few letters attached to notes, and an article about Weems by Waldo G. Leland. Notes and Memoranda consist of short communications along with other written ephemera, printed invitations and calling cards, and a few scholarly notes which are not part of a cohesive whole. Writings include printed works and manuscript drafts of Emily Skeel, Roswell Skeel, Jr., and members of the Ford family. A draft of Paul Leicester Ford's introduction to the Weems bibliography, a printed copy and part of the manuscript of Emily Fowler Ford's biographical work on Webster, and a draft by Roswell Skeel, Jr. re technical education are included. Among works by Emily Skeel are various addresses and a printed article "Through the Chineses Provinces". Student Notebooks consist chiefly of Skeel's French exercise books. Personal and Family Papers contain juvenilia, personal documents, short poems, and biographical sketches. Also included is an autograph album signed by friends and acquaintances, and typescripts of Webster family letters. Skeel family letters contain juvenilia of Roswell Skeel, Jr. and documents which pre-date his marriage, letters of Skeel relatives, and deeds re property of the Skeel family in Colorado. Other property deeds, mortgages, and contracts of Roswell and Emily Skeel are filed here. Genealogical Papers contain family trees, essays, and correspondence re te Ford-Fowler-Webster and Skeel-Reed-Burnap families. There are two notebooks (1882) of the genealogy of the descendants of William Greenleaf, copied by Emily Fowler Ford. Commonplace Books are those of Skeel, Annie Skeel Burnap, and Alice Dyke. The Account Books are three ledgers (c. 1903-1917) of Roswell Skeel, Jr. and two cash books (c. 1904-1917) which Emily Skeel kept as guardian for her nephew, Malcolm Webster Ford, Jr. The Accounts are a few further papers re Skeel's ward along with documents re the Estate of Gordon Lester Ford. Maps, both blueprints and amateur drawings, are of property in Colorado and New York City.
Scrapbooks contain two items of Annie Skeel Burnap which consist of newspaper articles from the first quarter of the twentieth century. Two scrapbooks represent the work of Roswell Skeel, Jr., while involved With the New York State Education Department. The first is concerned with trade schools in New York City; a published pamphlet contains his conclusions. The second is concerned with apprenticeship procedures in the Hudson Valley; here a typed article is included. Another scrapbook of Roswell Skeel, Jr., is a personal collection of ephemera. Finally, two scrapbooks, compiled by either Roswell or Emily Skeel, document Italian art and architecture.
The earliest item of the series Photograph Albums consists of dog and boat pictures compiled by a young Emily Ford (Skeel). Another album contains photographs of the Ford family and friends. A later album of Roswell Skeel, Jr. consists of photographs from the Skeel ranch in Colorado.
Among the numerous photographs are several of Roswell and Emily Skeel, and others of Worthington Chauncey, Paul Leicester, Gordon Lester, and Emily Fowler Ford. Group photographs include one of members of the Ford family at home with Skeel visitors. There are photographs of portraits of Emily Skeel's sisters Katherine Gordon, Rosalie Greenleaf, and Mabel Percy Ford. Six tintypes are of Annie Skeel Burnap and her brother George S. Burnap. There are glass negatives of the Fords Clark Street residence in Brooklyn, many cyanotypes, and a collection of prints and two original photographs of prominent people. This series includes many other photographs of various subjects.
Series consists of clippings, pamphlets, a few facsimiles and prints, and ephemera. The series begins with a subject reference file, a group of correspondence and notes filed together with printed matter by Skeel. The categories of this file reflect Skeel's interests and the content of the rest of the printed matter. Material re Webster and Weems has been grouped together, as have documents of direct concern to the Ford and Skeel families. Noteworthy are clippings collected by Skeel recounting the event of Paul Leicester Ford's murder and Malcolm Webster Ford's suicide.
Included also are a cash journal (1910-17) and a ledger (1900-15) of Roswell Skeel, Jr.