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Estella Evans Hughes Collection

Identifier: RH-A-1757

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 6 diaries, 2 appointment books, and papers written between 1928 and 1956 by Estella Hughes (1887-1971) of Kalamazoo, Michigan, psychiatric social worker and Director of Social Services at Kalamazoo State Hospital.

Estella Hughes's diary entries occasionally mention her work at the Kalamazoo State Hospital. Many of the diary entries detail her life with her husband, as well as her life after his passing in 1940. Estella kept up on current events throughout her life, which she included in her diary entries. There are mentions of conditions in the United States during World War II, her avid support of President FDR, and local and statewide issues, especially those which related to her career at the State Hospital and women’s civic engagement. She was a member of and wrote about her involvement in several local groups, including the American Association of Social Workers, the American Association of University Women, Women’s League of Voters, Kent County Social Workers’ Club, and the Kalamazoo Council of Social Agencies.


  • Creation: 1928-1956


Biographical / Historical

Estella Hughes (1887-1971) was born Estella Evans on May 12, 1887, in Illinois. Estella married Thomas Hughes (1884-1940) on November 2, 1907. Both Estella and Thomas worked at the Kalamazoo State Hospital, Estella as a psychiatric social worker.


.75 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection donated February 16, 1981, by Sister Martha Halleck, Director of the Library of Nazareth College.

Physical Description

The collection amounts to 0.75 cubic feet, and is composed of 6 diaries from 1928-1937, 1941-1951, 1953, as well as appointment books from 1952 and 1954-1956, newspaper clippings and other materials from the diaries that are no longer attached, and the 1940 master's thesis of Estella Hughes, entitled “Problem Alcoholics in a State Mental Hospital and on Parole.” The diaries range in size, from 10 cm x 16 cm to 12 cm x 14 cm. They are in good condition, with some damage to the covers. Entries are written in cursive in blue or black ink and remain legible. The materials from the diaries include newspaper clippings, poems, handwritten notes, and photographs, all in fair condition as well. The copy of Estella’s master’s thesis is bound and printed on very thin paper, which makes it somewhat illegible.

Processing Information

Previously listed as the Sister Martha Halleck Collection. A decision was made in March of 2023 to change the name of the collection to reflect the creator of the collection.

Estella Evans Hughes Collection finding aid
Kayla Blauet, Nolan Becker, Andrew Bolles, Stephanie Chapmn
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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