This collection comprises materials collected by Ellen K. Lee, Orange County historian and Helena Modjeska expert, during
the course of her research from 1965 until her death in 2006. The materials document Ellen Lee's research, Helena Modjeska's
life in the United States, and Orange County history during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Lee collected
many forms of materials during her research, and many images and textual source materials are reproductions of items housed
at other repositories in the United States. Additionally, Lee's collection includes research notes on various topics, file
indexes, chronologies, correspondence, writings, and other materials created or produced by Lee during her work on the Board
of the Helena Modjeska Foundation.
Ellen K. Lee, Orange County historian and Helena Modjeska authority, was born in 1918 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to lawyer and
farm owner, Thomas Kerl, and his wife Lola. Lee studied English literature at Wellesley College, graduating in 1938. Seeking
a warmer climate, she moved to Los Angeles in the late 1940s with her husband. In 1956, she moved to Newport Beach where she
raised four sons and pursued scholarly interests including lecturing and writing about local history. Lee first learned of
Helena Modjeska while completing a writing assignment for a UC Irvine professor in 1965. Intrigued by Modjeska, Lee eventually
became a leading expert on the nineteenth-century Polish actress.
7.4 Linear feet
Property rights reside with the University of California. Copyrights are retained by the creators of the records and their
heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
The collection is open for research.