COLLECTION GUIDES

1862-1967; bulk: 1862-1938

Guide to the Collection

Restrictions on Access

The Perkins-Cunningham scrapbooks are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of 18 volumes of scrapbooks, including 12 volumes of scrapbooks and reminiscences of Edith Forbes Perkins, 1862-1924, and 6 volumes of scrapbooks of correspondence and reminiscences of Edith Forbes (Perkins) Cunningham, 1866-1938.

Biographical Sketch

Edith (Forbes) Perkins was born in Milton, Mass., in 1843, the daughter of Robert Bennet and Rose Greene (Smith) Forbes. She married in 1864 Charles Elliott Perkins (1840-1907). Edith (Forbes) Perkins died in the Santa Barbara earthquake of 1925. Among her children were Edith Forbes Perkins (variously known as "Plummy" or "Bunny," 1873-1961), who married Edward Cunningham (d. 1917) in 1892. Their son Edward Cunningham was born in 1893. He graduated from Harvard College in 1916. After a number of different professional positions, he became a partner in the trust management firm J.M. Forbes and Co.

Collection Description

This collection consists of 12 volumes of scrapbooks and reminiscences of Edith Forbes Perkins from 1862 (before her marriage) to 1924, directed to her grandchildren, and 6 volumes of scrapbooks of correspondence and reminiscences of Edith Forbes (Perkins) Cunningham, 1866-1938, addressed to her son Edward Cunningham, Jr. Included is correspondence of other Perkins, Forbes, and Cunningham family members.

Acquisition Information

Collection deposited by the J. M. Forbes Family Archives Committee, Jan. 2009.

Restrictions on Access

The Perkins-Cunningham scrapbooks are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.

Restrictions on Use

The Massachusetts Historical Society does not claim ownership to the Perkins-Cunningham scrapbooks, which have been placed on deposit at the Historical Society by the J. M. Forbes Archives Committee. The collection contains the private papers of a large extended family that retains copyright of the documents. Some materials in the collection refer to people still alive, or survived by children and grandchildren. A researcher planning to base major research on this collection is advised to consult the J. M. Forbes Family Archives Committee in advance.

The Massachusetts Historical Society cannot give permission to publish or cite documents by individuals for whom it does not hold literary rights. Use of the collection (including photocopying or any form of reproduction) does not imply permission to publish, all or in part, documents in the collection. It is the sole responsibility of the researcher to contact the Historical Society in writing to request permission to cite documents in this collection. The Historical Society will then forward the formal written request to the J. M. Forbes Archives Committee.

Photocopies are for personal use only. Personal use photocopies may not be donated or deposited in other libraries or archives, or made available to other researchers without the written permission of the J. M. Forbes Archives Committee.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Edith (Forbes) Perkins scrapbooks, 1862-1924

This series contains 12 volumes of Edith (Forbes) Perkins's scrapbooks and reminiscences of her family life from 1862 (two years before her marriage to Charles Elliott Perkins) to just before her death in the Santa Barbara earthquake in 1925. The volumes are entitled "A Grandmother's recollections found in a diary in an old hacienda on the banks of the Mississippi River," and contain letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, and some diary-like entries. The first volume covers the years 1862-1915 and gives some family history, including information on her childhood in Milton, Mass., early married life, and children. The family lived for many years at "The Apple Trees," a house in Burlington, Iowa. Correspondents include her father Robert Bennet Forbes, Charles Elliott Perkins, and other Perkins and Forbes family members.

Box 1SH 184A PVol. 1
1862-1915
Box 1SH 184A PVol. 2
May-Oct. 1915
Box 1SH 184A PVol. 3
Sep. 1915-1916
Box 2SH 184B QVol. 4
Feb.-Apr. 1916
Box 2SH 184B QVol. 5
May-July 1916
Box 2SH 184B QVol. 6
July 1916-Feb. 1917
Box 3SH 184C RVol. 7
Feb.-June 1917
Box 3SH 184C RVol. 8
Mar.-May 1919
Box 3SH 184C RVol. 9
Sep. 1919-Mar. 1920
Box 4SH 184D SVol. 10
Apr.-May 1920
Box 4SH 184D SVol. 11
May-June 1920
Box 4SH 184D SVol. 12
Sep.-Dec. 1920; includes newspaper clippings, 1921-1924

II. Edith Forbes (Perkins) Cunningham scrapbooks, 1866-1967

This series contains 6 volumes of scrapbooks kept by Edith Forbes (Perkins) Cunningham, entitled "Letters of Many Years," containing both transcribed and original correspondence, photographs, comments and reminiscences, and other items concerning her childhood and later years. These volumes are addressed to her son Edward Cunningham, Jr. The volumes are arranged roughly in a chronological fashion from 1866 to 1938. The first volume covers the time period 1866-1899 and gives the history of her family life in Burlington, Iowa, at "the Apple Trees," including information on several years before she was born. After her marriage in 1892 to Edward Cunningham, the couple lived in Milton, Mass., and other eastern Massachusetts locations. Edith later lived part of the year in Santa Barbara, California. She returned to Massachusetts in 1938, the last year she kept a scrapbook. Correspondents include Edward Cunningham and other Perkins and Cunningham family members. Volume VI includes earlier typed memoirs of Robert Bennet Forbes and Charles Elliott Perkins.

There is also one folder of loose family material, probably gathered by Edward Cunningham, Jr., at the end of the collection that dates to 1967.

Box 5SH 184E TVol. I
1866-1899
Box 5SH 184E TVol. II
1900-1904
Box 6SH 184F UVol. III
1905-1916
Box 6SH 184F UVol. IV
1916-1921
Box 7SH 184G VVol. V
1922-1935
Box 7SH 184G VVol. VI
1935-1938; folder of loose material dating to 1967

Preferred Citation

Perkins-Cunningham scrapbooks, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Cunningham family.
Cunningham, Edith Forbes Perkins, 1873-1961.
Cunningham, Edward, d. 1917.
Cunningham, Edward, b. 1893.
Forbes family.
Forbes, R. B. (Robert Bennet), 1804-1889.
Perkins family.
Perkins, Charles Elliott, 1840-1907.
Perkins, Edith Forbes, 1843-1925.

Subjects:

Autobiography--Women authors.
Burlington (Iowa)--Social life and customs.
Family history--1850-1899.
Family history--1900-1949.
Milton (Mass.)--Social life and customs.
Santa Barbara (Calif.)--Social life and customs.
Scrapbooks--1862-1924.
Scrapbooks--1866-1938.