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Isabella Bain memory album

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 16754

Content Description

This collection features a memory book belonging to Miss Isabella Bain (1855-1934) of New Orleans, Louisiana. Various personal letters from friends and New Orleans community members addressed to Miss Bain are included.

The cover of the memory book is composed of engraved Morrocan leather adorned with "Miss Isabella Bain" in gilt. Several chromolithographs of a variety of subjects, notably botany and female gender roles, are pasted throughout the book. Letter entries are not chronological and many feature newspaper death notices of their author, suggesting Miss Bain outlived many of her peers.

There are numerous newspaper clippings outlining local events in the New Orleans area as well as the Alexandria, Louisiana area. A First Presbyterian Church 1899 dedication event program, several holiday greeting cards, and two funeral invitations addressed to Miss Bain are included.

Among the miscellaneous inclusions is a "National Reform Document: The Will of John McDonogh' of New Orleans and the Public Schools of America " pamphlet outlining the will and last testament of John McDonogh, a wealthy New Orleans businessman. Within this pamphlet is a discussion of McDonogh's treatment of enslaved peoples whom he offered immigration to a Liberian colony in exchange for a contractually-determined work period.


  • Creation: c.1870-1913

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.


.03 Cubic Feet (1 letter-sized folder. Second letter-sized folder found. )

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased From Jeffrey Rovenpour, Caroliniana by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on 15 May 2022.

Isabella Bain memory album
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States