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Gladys Lambert Dunham Collection

Identifier: RH-A-3552

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of diaries written by Gladys Marie Lambert Dunham from the years 1921 to 1987. Some of the diaries are a different year than what is stated on the cover. The diaries are an excellent example of life in a small farming village during the mid- to late-20th century. Gladys writes about the weather each day, places in southwestern Michigan that she visited, her work and the food she ate. Many entries describe her day washing, cleaning, canning food, and picking grapes. On the days that she picked grapes in the fields she writes how many hours she spent and how much she made that day. Later, after she was married, she also worked in a factory. She writes some details of WWII (she mentions Pearl Harbor and the day gas rationing began, for example). Gladys writes about life in her town rather than world events, in general. During the births of her two children, many of the days surrounding their births contain detailed commentary on her hospital stays and obstetric care during the 1940s. In her later life she had problems with her kidneys and was on dialysis, she writes about this fairly frequently. At the end of each year she does a summary of that year and also writes about her hopes for the next year to come.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1921-1987



6 boxes

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection amounts to 3 cubic feet within 6 boxes. The collection includes mainly diaries from 1921 to 1987. There are also school autograph books, including one belonging to George Dunham, and one letter from Gladys and George to their children, which is undated. Items in the collection are largely in very good condition. The diaries from the 1920s are in fair condition and are somewhat fragile, the diaries from the 1930s are also in fair condition.


. Donated in 2012.

Gladys Lambert Dunham Collection Finding Aid
Devin Erlandson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490