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Edith B. Lehman papers

Identifier: MSS-007

Scope and Contents

This collection is largely composed of correspondence between Edith B. Lehman and her mother, Carrie A. Lehman during Edith’s education at Wellesley College from 1896 to 1900. In her letters home, Edith details her life at Wellesley, including descriptions of her classes and exams, social activities with friends, and events, such as lectures, performances, and sermons which she has attended. She is active in many student groups and often writes about her Shakespeare Society meetings and involvement with the college magazine. Edith also recounts her visits with friends and family, particularly her outings both in Wellesley and Boston with the boys from home who are attending college in the area. She occasionally addresses more serious topics, for example, her thoughts on anti-semitism and her experience with religion at school, as well as her struggle with the dichotomy between her life at Wellesley and the society life she will enter when she returns home. Edith constantly worries about her budget and spending and frequently asks her mother about purchases and requests her advice on updating her wardrobe. The collection also includes a small set of letters that Edith sent home from an 1893 trip to Chicago to visit with family and see the World’s Fair, which detail her visits to many of the exhibition buildings and country pavilions; a letter from a trip to Germany; and a collection of speeches and newspaper clippings from her high school graduation. Typewritten transcriptions of the letters were created at some point by the family, and they are included in this collection. Many of the letters that were not written by Edith do not have transcriptions available, and in a few cases, transcriptions exist for letters that have since gone missing. Four of the missing letters are from August of 1893 (3 postcards from 8/1, 8/3, and 8/9 and a letter from 8/8), and the fifth is undated, but believed to be from 1898.


  • 1893-1900

Conditions Governing Access

Access to fragile materials may be restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in some papers in the collection may be held by the authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission on the holder(s) of copyright before publishing quotations from any material in the collection.

Biographical / Historical

Edith Lehman was born in 1878 and raised by her divorced mother, Carrie, in Cleveland, Ohio. She was valedictorian of her 1896 class at Central High School, and went on to attended Wellesley College from 1896-1900. At Wellesley, she was a member of the Shakespeare Society, Golf Club, College Settlement, Wagner Club, History Club, and Literary Editor of the Legenda. Lehman married Paul L. Feiss, a civic leader and industrialist in 1903. They resided in Cleveland Heights and had four children: Julian W., Carl L., Mrs. Joseph C. (Caroline) Farber, and Gertrude. Lehman was a writer, particularly of poetry, as well as a linguist and member of many literary groups. She was a charter member of the Women’s City Club and active on the women’s boards of the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Museum of Art. Lehman died just months after her husband in 1952.


1.15 Linear Feet (1 file box and 3 folio boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is composed mostly of correspondence from Edith B. Lehman to her mother, Carrie A. Lehman, during her four years attending Wellesley College from 1896-1900. It also includes letters sent home during a trip she took to visit family and see the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, as well as speeches and newspaper clippings from her high school graduation.

Custodial History

The papers were a gift of Alison and Bruce Kriviskey and to the Wellesley College Archives in 2013.

Existence and Location of Originals

Box 1 and Oversize Boxes 1, 2, and 3 are located in Column 35G. Boxes 2 and 3 are located in Column 35C.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Chrissy Hartman, under the guidance of Jane A. Callahan, March 2014.
Edith B. Lehman Papers Finding Aid
This collection was processed by Chrissy Hartman, under the guidance of Jane A. Callahan, March 2014. Accession A16-031 was processed and integrated by Natalia Gutiérrez-Jones, Project Archivist, July 2019.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Wellesley College Archives Repository