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Emily Frances Brown Papers

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Emily Frances Brown Papers, 1903-2006 | Lawrence University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Emily Frances Brown Papers, 1903-2006View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1910-1940

ID: MDC-MS/003

Primary Creator: Brown, Emily Frances

Extent: 0.65 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The collection is arranged alphabetically by format.

Subjects: Christmas pageants, Milwaukee-Downer College, Milwaukee-Downer College -- Faculty and staff

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The bulk of this collection is comprised of the scripts and programs from the plays that Emily Frances Brown produced and directed as an English professor at Milwaukee Downer College from 1910 to 1945. The collection also contains newspaper articles describing her role in bringing the now famous Christmas song “Twelve Days of Christmas” from England to the United States, as well as photographs and teaching materials.

Collection Historical Note

Emily Frances Brown was born in Dixon, IL, the daughter of a Methodist clergyman. Her mother and grandparents had all been schoolteachers. She followed in their footsteps, receiving her bachelor’s degree at Wellesley College, her master’s degree at Columbia University and doing further graduate work at Harvard University and Oxford University. She came to Milwaukee Downer College in 1910, where she taught English for 35 years, from 1910 until her retirement in 1945. She passed away in 1958.

Ms. Brown is credited with introducing the now famous “Twelve Days of Christmas” into the United States in 1910. During her summer vacations, she travelled extensively, especially in England, seeking old ballads and tunes to use in her Christmas plays. She found the Frederic Austin arrangement while browsing in an Oxford bookshop and brought it back to Milwaukee Downer, where she incorporated it into the music of her Christmas Pageant.

Subject/Index Terms

Christmas pageants
Milwaukee-Downer College
Milwaukee-Downer College -- Faculty and staff

Administrative Information

Repository: Lawrence University Archives

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Property rights and copyright reside with Lawrence University.  For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the University Archivist.

Acquisition Method: The donor and date the collection was transferred to the University Archives are unknown. It was donated to the University Archives prior to July 2005.

Separated Materials:

The following publications were removed from this collection and cataloged with special collections:

Dark, Sidney. Charles Dickens. London : T.C. & E.C. Jack, LTD., 1919.

Dexter, Walter. Dickens: The Story of the Life of the World’s Favourite Author. London : The Dickens Fellowship, 1927.

Preferred Citation: Emily Frances Brown Papers. MDC-MS003.  Lawrence University Archives, Seeley G. Mudd Library, Appleton, Wisconsin.

Processing Information: Preliminary processing completed prior to 2005. Further processing and finding aid drafted by Kara Sullivan, 2011. Final processing completed by Erin Dix, 2011.

Finding Aid Revision History: Revised to incorporate letters to Chloris Longenecker, 2013-12-20.


Box and Folder Listing


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Box 2
Folder 1: “Fezziwig Swarry” Christmas pageant, 1911-1938
Folder 2: “The Signing of the Declaration of Independence”, 1906
Folder 3: Research materials on Charles Dickens, undated

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