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Helen L.D. Richardson papers

Identifier: MC 89

Scope and Contents

This collection holds documents such as published and typewritten essays, handwritten and typewritten letters, and photographs, from as early as 1826 to as late as 1985. Mrs. Richardson wrote a number of letters to her younger sister, Margaret Salisbury Drew, though the collection also holds letters to other members of her family. Correspondence from Mrs. Richardson in regards to the history of Beloit College that she worked on after the death of Professor Richardson is numerous. Transcriptions of old letters are common in parts of the records relating to her genealogy which primarily contains materials for the Bryant family, Richardson family, and the Salisbury family, though there are a few materials concerning the Drake and Drew families. Her essays vary widely in subject, but there are a number of materials relating to Congregationalism and the Congregational Church.


  • 1826-1985, bulk 1830-1859, 1935-1967

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research; however, certain materials are very fragile and require Archives staff for handling, or use may be restricted altogether.

Biographical / Historical

Helen Louisa Drew Richardson, from Rollingstone, Minnesota, 1892-1980, was instrumental to Beloit College history. She was related to such people as Rollin D. Salisbury (uncle), a chair of the Geology department at Beloit College, and William Cullen Bryant, a famous poet. After earning an advanced degree in English from the University of Chicago, she taught at a number of schools, the Girton School, Wellesley College, and Rockford College. She later returned to school to receive a Ph.D. from the Cornell University at Ithaca in 1938.

Mrs. Richardson married Robert Kimball Richardson in 1940, at which time she became heavily involved with Beloit College. She taught some English classes, and helped Richardson after his death with the college archives and his history of Beloit College, in addition to working closely with the historical societies in the area such as the Beloit Historical Society. She gave speeches and published articles throughout her lifetime on a wide variety of subjects, including her doctoral thesis on Milton's prose, Beloit history, and the Rockford Female Seminary.


3.5 Linear Feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials



Helen L.D. Richardson earned a master's degree in English and then started teaching. She married Robert Kimball Richardson in 1940 and moved to Beloit, Wisconsin where she taught English at Beloit briefly. After her husband's death, she primarily focused on the Beloit College Archives, later getting involved with multiple historical societies in Rock County, and Professor Richardson's history of Beloit College. This collection contains materials such as letters, essays, and photographs, some of which have to do with Mrs. Richardson's genealogical research.
Helen L.D. Richardson papers
Alice Mitchell'13
November, 2012
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Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections Repository

700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA