HomeAbout the Project

About the Project

This site showcases the life, letters, and papers of the Noyes family in the mid to late nineteenth-century and the early twentieth century. Donated to The College of Wooster by Henry Halsey Noyes, the grandson of Henry Varnum Noyes, the collection highlights the lives of Harriet Newell Noyes, Martha Noyes Kerr (née Martha Fay Noyes), and Henry Varnum Noyes who worked as Presbyterian missionaries in the city of Canton (Guangzhou) in China. Harriet’s correspondence comprises a significant portion of the collection. Harriet was a missionary in China for fifty-six years and, in 1872, founded the True Light Seminary, the first school for girls in the Guangdong Province. The items in the collection span decades, covering such events as the American Civil War, the assassination of President Garfield, the Tianjin Massacre, and the Sino-French War, as well as the deaths of many close friends and family. These events appear in the letters as brief moments surrounded by discussions of everyday life. Frequent topics include travel, nineteenth-century medicine, and international politics.

The Noyes family of Seville, Ohio included four brothers (Gilbert, Edward, Francis, and Henry) and six sisters (Harriet, Martha, Clara, Sarah, Mary, and Emily) along with their parents, Lois and Varnum. The documents repeatedly emphasize their trust in God and dedication to spreading the Protestant message. The Noyes Collection consists mostly of correspondence between the members of their immediate family. In addition to handwritten letters, the collection includes diaries, journals, poems, scrapbooks, photographs, genealogical volumes, and sermons.

This collection is available thanks to generous support from the Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections grant and the College of Wooster Libraries. We would like to offer our special thanks to Heather Wolfe, who assisted the project team by providing paleography consultation, and Tanaka Chingonzo, who edited the theme to allow for the side-by-side display of Chinese and English language metadata and transcription.

Our Team

Contributors include:

Catherine Heil, Digital Curation Librarian, PI

Denise Monbarren, Special Collections Librarian

Marloes Krabbe, Digital Collections student contributor

Rebecca Johnston, Special Collections and Digital Collections student contributor

Rachel Tomei, Digital Collections student contributor

Dzifa Adjei, Digital Collections student contributor

Ingrid Buckley, Digital Collections student contributor

María Ferreira, Digital Collections student contributor

Chloe Wright, Digital Collections student contributor

Zachary Filippi, Digital Collections student contributor

Kate Read, Digital Collections student contributor

Kate Schlegel, Digital Collections student contributor

Heather Wolfe, Paleography Consultant

Christopher Hart, Lead Translator

Yi Wu, Student Translator

Tanaka Chingonzo, Student developer

Nate Weaver, Special Collections student contributor

M. Alex Kaufmann, Special Collections student contributor

Annie Carney, Special Collections student contributor

Isabel Bonhomme, Special Collections student contributor

Zoe Johnson, Special Collections student contributor