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Elia Hill Swann Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 0205

Scope and Contents

The Elia Hill Swann Papers span from 1889 to the 1950s, 2002. Swann left home at 18 in 1896, to pursue a career in the city living and working in Asheville, North Carolina and Birmingham, Alabama. The papers contain an article, bank statements, booklets, brochures, clippings, correspondence, holiday cards, lessons, a map, newsletters, notes, order forms, patterns (sewing), tests (sewing) and photos produced during Swann's life mainly between 1889 and the 1950s. The correspondence dates from 1889-1950s and most are addressed to Elia Swann. Culture courses and sewing lessons taken by mail around the 1920s are included. The article, published in the Journal of Career Development, was written about the life of Elia Swann and what it meant for agrarian women to begin a career in the city.

Dates

  • 1889 - 2002

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

Elia Hill Swann was born at her parent's home, Aunt Hill, in 1878 in Cool Springs, Iredell County, North Carolina. Growing up, Elia Swann attended the Chestnut Grove public school and was the fifth of eleven children. Swann left rural North Carolina at the age of 18 to make a career in the city. In 1896, Swann attended the Charlotte Business School and after completion worked in a law office in Greensboro, North Carolina. Almost every year after Swann left Aunt Hill, she returned for a visit. Swann moved to Asheville, North Carolina, and from 1904 to 1928 worked as clerk, bookkeeper, and an assistant manager of wholesale grocery and dry goods stores. Swann traveled to Florida, New Orleans, Williamsburg and other places with her employer's family. In 1928, at the age of 50, Swann moved back home to Aunt Hill.

Two years later Swann moved to the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. She enrolled in mail-order dressmaking courses and made a living as a seamstress for the next 22 years. In 1952, ill with diabetes, Elia Swann moved back to Cool Springs, North Carolina, for the last time. At age 78, in 1957, she broke her hip and lived with a home-based nursing care provider. In 1961, Elia Swann died.

Extent

0.80 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Elia Hill Swann was born at her parent's home, Aunt Hill, in 1878 in Cool Springs, North Carolina. Swann left rural North Carolina to make a career in the city living and working in Asheville, North Carolina and Birmingham, Alabama. For 22 years, Swann had a career as a seamstress and dressmaker. She never married nor had children. In 1961, Elia Swann died.

The Elia Hill Swann Papers date 1889-1950s and contain an article, bank statements, booklets, brochures, clippings, correspondence, holiday cards, lessons, a map, newsletters, notes, order forms, patterns (sewing), tests (sewing) and photographs.

Arrangement Note

Collection is organized alphabetically and subcategorized chronologically. An original, unidentified newspaper clipping was removed from the collection because of the inability to read and poor condition of the item.

Method of Acquisition

Gift of Katherine K. Ziff in April 2003. Permission granted by Pat Swann, the creator's nephew.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at scua@uncg.edu if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Sarah Cunningham, December 2008.
Title
Elia Hill Swann Papers
Author
Sarah Cunningham
Date
2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
eng

Revision Statements

  • April 20, 2021: This finding aid underwent changes in Spring 2021 after a reparative archives review. The following link leads to the legacy version of this finding aid: http://library.uncg.edu/info/depts/scua/legacyFA/04.MSS205.legacy.pdf

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US
336-334-5246