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Anne Bassett Kelley papers

 Collection
Identifier: MC 62

Scope and Contents

The Archives holds an extensive collection of Kelley's correspondence from China during 1919-1923 as well as letters from her adopted daughter in China to Kelley and other family members, dating from the 1940s-1990s, altogether amounting to hundreds of letters. Along with the correspondence, there are numerous photographs and memorabilia from Kelley's stay in China. Kelley's letters, written by hand or typed on very thin paper, are marvelously descriptive of her daily life as well as including her more contemplative thoughts and reactions.

Dates

  • 1907-2005

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Anne Bassett Kelley was born September 29, 1883 at Waupun, WI.

Excerpted with edits from: Waupun newspaper clipping

Miss Anne Kelley, sister of Mrs. F. E. Rikkers and niece of Judson Kelley of Waupun, completed 21 years of service as a missionary in China.

A graduate of the Waupun High school with the class of 1901, Miss Kelley went to China in 1921 and spent the first year in Peking. She learned to speak the Chinese language and at present is able to speak, read, and write Chinese. She has charge of the English department of Bridgeman academy in Peking, a college for Chinese girls of the better class. This school is controlled by the American Board of Foreign Missions. The 250 girls attending the school are of all castes of Chinese.

After her graduation from high school Miss Kelley taught rural school for two years. She attended Beloit College from 1903 to 1907 and received a bachelor of arts degree. While in Beloit she became interested in the missions movement and pledged herself as a volunteer for mission work abroad. For 10 years after her graduation she taught Latin, French, and German in several high schools in Wisconsin. She then studied for her master's degree at the University of Wisconsin, specializing in English.

Miss Kelley was home on furlough in 1925 and while in the United States studied modern teaching in Boston and did research work at Columbia university in New York City. Upon her return to China, Miss Kelley signed a contract to continue her work for seven years. She then took into her care a little Chinese girl of about six years of age. The child had no relatives except for an old grandmother who supported herself and the child by begging in the streets.

The child was placed in an American school and later in a college from which she was graduated in June 1938. She is now doing social service work in a hospital in interior China.

Nan Kelley died Dec. 16, 1972 in Claremont, California.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Overview

Anne Bassett Kelley, also known as Nan, Beloit College class of 1907, became a missionary teacher in China. The Archives holds an extensive collection of Kelley's correspondence from China during 1919-1923 as well as letters from her adopted daughter in China to Kelley and other family members, dating from the 1940s-1990s, altogether amounting to hundreds of letters. Along with the correspondence, there are numerous photographs and memorabilia from Kelley's stay in China. Kelley's letters, written by hand or typed on very thin paper, are marvelously descriptive of her daily life as well as including her more contemplative thoughts and reactions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The contents of this collection were donated to the Beloit College Archives in 2005 by Betty Rikkers Beverly (Nan Kelley is Beverly's father's mother's sister). A letter accompanying the donation is included in the collection.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digitized versions of Anne Bassett Kelley's letters from China are available in the Beloit College Digital Collections: http://dcms.beloit.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/kelley.

Related Materials

Beloit College Missionary collection (AC 75)
Title
Anne Bassett Kelley papers
Status
Completed
Author
Michelle Tom
Date
July, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA
608-363-2485