Skip to main content

Jane Heins Escher Collection

Identifier: WV 0080

Content Description

The collection includes an oral history transcript, 20 May 1999; various photographs of Escher’s WAVES service, 1951-1953; 9 photocopies of graduation ceremony scrapbook; a Naval Training Center publication, 1941.


  • circa 1941-1999

Conditions Governing Access

The 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 / Historical

Jane Heins Kowell Escher of Sanford, North Carolina, was a cryptographer in the United States Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) from 1951 to 1953. Jane Heins Escher was born in Sanford, North Carolina, and graduated from Sanford High School in 1949. She then worked for a year at a telephone company until she was old enough to join the United States Navy.

Escher enlisted in the United States Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in 1951 and went through four months of basic training in Great Lakes, Illinois. She was then transferred to San Diego, California, for a year and a half of service school training with the security group at the Naval Training Center. In 1953 she reported for cryptographer duties in Washington, D.C. The same year she met her husband, Don Kowell, in her department and they were wed in October.

Escher was discharged from the navy due to pregnancy in late 1953. After discharge, Escher traveled with her husband as he continued his military career. She left his station in Puerto Rico in 1955 and returned to the United States to care for her father. While her husband was in the navy Escher lived in San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Scotland; and Chesapeake, Virginia. She raised two daughters. Don Kowell retired from the navy in 1969 and passed away in 1980. In 1987 Jane Escher married John Escher, a former Marine.


0.21 Linear Feet (2 folders )

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.

Condition Description

The condition is good.


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 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 by Matthew McCarthy.

Jane Heins Escher Collection
Matthew McCarthy
2022 May
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

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

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US