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Guide to the Thomas Autograph Collection
MSS-2010-06-28  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Project Information
  • Family History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Thomas Autograph Collection
    Dates: 1870-1945
    Bulk Dates: 1885-1910
    Collection number: MSS-2010-06-28
    Creator: Thomas, Henriette
    Collection Size: 3 boxes, 4.5 linear feet
    Repository: San José State University. Library.
    San José, California 95192-0028
    Abstract: The Thomas Autograph Collection, 1870-1945 (bulk 1885-1910) contains correspondence collected by the Thomas family, who were active community members of Woodland, California. Charles W. Thomas collected the autographs of well-known literary and public figures during the late 19th Century. This collection of autograph letters includes George Washington Cable, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Oliver Wendell Holmes, David Starr Jordan, and others. The collection also includes correspondence from Thomas relatives and close friends, such as the Markham family and Calthea C. Vivian. Henriette G. Thomas, the daughter of Charles W. Thomas, inherited her parents' autograph and correspondence collection, and added to it some of her own letters, before donating the collection to the San Jose State College Library in 1965.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    Thomas Autograph Collection, MSS-2010-06-28, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Jeffra D. Bussman. Additional processing by Lisa Zakharova. Finding aid EAD encoded by Lisa Zakharova. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin Louthen.

    Project Information

    This finding aid was created as part of the Survey and Cataloging Project, a two-year San José State University Library grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project began in 2008. The Project Director is Danelle Moon. The Project Archivist is Erin Louthen.

    Family History

    Born in October 1852 to George W. and Doritha M. Thomas, Charles W. Thomas lived in Kentucky until the late 1850s when his family moved to Missouri. He attended Missouri State Normal School of the First District, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and Didactics in 1875. On August 5th, 1879, Charles married classmate and fellow graduate Serelda Gilstrap. Both worked as teachers in Missouri, but Mr. Thomas soon left the teaching profession to pursue law. He passed the Missouri bar in 1878 and worked as a clerk of the Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee in 1879. Mrs. Thomas continued to teach while earning a Master of Arts and Didactics degree. In the 1880s, the Thomas family moved to Woodland, California, where they were active charter members of the Woodland Shakespeare Club. In 1882, Mrs. Thomas became a book reviewer for the local newspaper, The Woodland Democrat. Charles W. Thomas was an avid collector of autographs by well known literary and public figures from the 19th century. It was their daughter, Henriette G. Thomas, a local San Jose High School librarian, who inherited the correspondence collection, which she added to before she bequeathed the autograph collection to the San Jose State College library in 1965.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Thomas Autograph Collection, 1870-1945 (bulk 1885-1910), consists primarily of correspondence collected by the Thomas family, who were active community members of Woodland, California. This collection includes autographs of well-known individuals such as George Washington Cable, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Oliver Wendell Holmes, David Starr Jordan, and others. The collection also includes correspondence from Thomas family relatives and close friends, such as the Markham family and Calthea C. Vivian. Henriette G. Thomas, a San Jose High School librarian and the daughter of Charles W. Thomas, inherited her parents' autograph and correspondence collection, and added to it some of her own letters. Also included is a small collection of miscellany that consists of newspaper clippings, an autograph book, an audio cassette tape of an interview with Mrs. Ralph Wyckoff, who was a close friend of Mrs. Henriette Thomas, program and poem booklets, and photographs. The bulk of the material dates from 1885-1910. All of the original correspondence related to Edwin Markham have been separated from this collection, and are now part of the Edwin Markham Collection.

    Arrangement

    This single series collection is arranged alphabetically by author surname, and chronologically by date. Additional ephemera and miscellaneous items are located in box 3.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Autographs
    Signatures (Writing)
    Twain, Mark, 1835-1910
    Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940
    Thomas, Henriette G.

    Related Material

    Edwin Markham collection, MSS-2005-10-01, San Jose State University Library Special Collections and Archives.