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Emily Frances Brown Papers

Identifier: MDC-MS-003
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 1900 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.


  • 1903-2006
  • 1910-1940


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights and copyright reside with Lawrence University. For uses beyond those allowed for fair use under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.), please contact the University Archivist.


0.65 Linear Feet

Biographical or Historical Information

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 1900, where she taught English for 45 years, 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.

Note written by Kara Sullivan

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged alphabetically by format.

Method of Acquisition

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.

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.
Archon Finding Aid Title
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2013-12-20: Revised to incorporate letters to Chloris Longenecker.

Repository Details

Part of the Lawrence University Archives Repository

Seeley G. Mudd Library
113 South Lawe Street
Appleton WI 54911 US
(920) 832-6753