Mary Helen Clark Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.0082

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This .42 linear feet collection, 33 file folders, contains correspondence from Mary Helen Clark to her family from 1928-1946, when she lived in Brazil. It also contains correspondence from Blanche Henry Clark to her family during her visit to Brazil in 1932 to visit her sister. The letters are arranged chronologically, and give detailed accounts of Mary Helen’s days in Brazil. The letters provide first-hand accounts of Latin-American foods, behaviors, language and customs of the people and the politics of the times.

The letters, for the most part, are addressed to family members and are plentifully detailed accounts of Mary Helen's days in Brazil, particularly in Belo Horizonte, Minas; Porto Alegre; and in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Moore of the Instituto Granberry. As a kind of diary--suggested through the details, lengths, and frequency of these epistles--the letters provide first-hand accounts of a native American's Latin-American experience, everything from foods, behaviors, language and customs of the people to the political surgings of the times. The letters are arranged chronologically and are generally all first-draft compositions. In addition to Helen Clark's own letters, there is one folder of Blanche Henry Clark's correspondence during her stay in Brazil in 1932.

Dates

  • 1928 - 1946

Biographical Note - Mary Helen Clark

Mary Helen Clark [1902-1987] was born in Paris, Kentucky. She received her B.A. from Kentucky Wesleyan College and an M.A. from Columbia University. She did graduate work at the University of Kentucky, Scarritt and Peabody Colleges, and Cambridge University, England. She taught in the public schools of Kentucky and Florida before going to Brazil as a missionary in August 1928.

Miss Clark served at Bennett College, Rio de Janeiro, and at the Isabela Hendrix College in Belo Horizonte before being transferred to the Colegio Americano in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, where she was appointed principal. In addition to her educational work, she took the lead in community service at the time of the disastrous floods of 1964 when the school took in, fed, and clothed over 100 disaster victims. She received the highest honor from the City Council of Porto Alegre – the title of “Citizen of Porto Alegre.”

She returned to the United States in 1968, moving to Nashville, Tennessee, where her sister Blanche Henry Clark Weaver resided.

Extent

.42 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection contains correspondence from Mary Helen Clark to her family from 1928-1946 when she lived in Brazil. It also contains correspondence from Blanche Henry Clark to her family during her visit to Brazil in 1932 to visit her sister. The letters are arranged chronologically, and give detailed accounts of Mary Helen’s days in Brazil. The letters provide first-hand accounts of Latin-American foods, behaviors, language and customs of the people and the politics of the times.

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Mary Helen Clark's "Letters from Brazil: 1929-1945" were donated to Special Collections of Vanderbilt University Library by her sister, Blanche Henry Weaver, on 10 March 1982.
Title
Finding Aid for the Mary Helen Clark Papers
Status
Completed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

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This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

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