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Guide to The Packer Collegiate Institute records 2014.019

Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Pratt Institute, School of Library and Information Science graduate students and John Zarrillo. Digital materials processed by Erica López in 2019.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 09, 2022
eng using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Revised by John Zarrillo Revised by Maggie Schreiner to incorporate additional material Revised by Aliki Caloyeras and Maggie Schreiner to include digitized material. Revised by Maggie Schreiner to reflect the incorporation of born digital materials Revised by Amy Lau to include COVID-19 oral histories Updated by Alice Griffin to include CBH language.  , March 2017 , September 2018 , February 2020 , December 2020 , February 2021 , May 2022

Container List

Series 22: Packer family, circa 1850-1990s. 0.6 Cubic Feet in six boxes

Scope and Contents

The series contains materials related to the Packer family (primarily Mrs. W.S. (Harriet L.) Packer, Miss Harriet P. Packer, and Mrs. W.S. (Mary K.) Packer Jr.), dating from circa 1850 to the 1990s.

Items relating to Mrs. W.S. (Harriet L.) Packer include her correspondences and a journal. The correspondence to and from Mrs. Packer covers a wide variety of topics. Mrs. Packer's journal details a trip to Europe taken between May and August of 1854. Also included in this series is a speech about Mrs. Packer by Mrs. Truman Jay Backus. The speech provides a description of Mrs. Packer's character, her devotion to women's education, and her vision of the Packer School.

The series includes material relating to the daughter of Mrs. W.S. Packer, Miss Harriet P. Packer, including a speech delivered at Packer's jubilee celebration and numerous letters regarding Miss Packer's death in 1909.

The series also contains the memoirs of Mrs. W.S. (Mary K.) Packer, Jr. The memoirs describe the impacts of the Civil War on the school, and family events such as the meeting with Mr. W.S. Packer Jr., her subsequent engagement and marriage to him. Historical information dealing with the aftermath of the Civil War: John Brown's raid, the nomination of Abraham Lincoln, the first Battle of Bull Run, Gettysburg, are the main subjects of individual chapters.

It also includes correspondence between Mrs. Packer and Mary discussing her attempt at attending college after a long period of absence due to poor health. The correspondence depicts a college bound curriculum.

The series also contains photographs (mostly reproductions) and portraits of members of the Packer family, including a daguerreotype of William Packer and images of the Packer mansion on Grace Court.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 308 Folder : 11 Packer Family photographs
circa 19th century
Box: 307 Folder : 7 Packer Family photographs (oversize)
circa 19th century
Box: 228 Folder : 1 William Packer daguerreotype
Box: 519 Folder : 12 Benjamin Putnam portrait
circa 1850
Box: 90 Folder : 10 Letters from Mrs. William S. Packer to Trustees of Brooklyn Female Academy 1853 January 25. Original copy and a Typed Transcription
Box: 90 Folder : 11 Diary of Mrs. Packer's, European Trip, May 20 – September
Box: 90 Folder : 12 Packer, Mrs. Harriet L. Two letters from 1854 trip both to "My dear Nanny…" Written to house sitter? Originals in Mylar, difficult to read. Transcribed in 1931?
Box: 90 Folder : 13 Packer, Mrs. Harriet L., Founder. Two Letters from 1853 – 1865. The First Letter Concerns Accommodations and Construction of the Packer Building. The Second Letter pertains to the Long Island Fair.
Box: 90 Folder : 14 Packer, Mrs. Harriet L., Correspondence and Recommendations for Teachers, Board of Trustees, Scholarship Recipients
Box: 519 Folder : 13 Packer Mansion - 2 Grace Court copy negative

General note


circa 1890s
Box: 543 Folder : - Packer Mansion - 2 Grace Court photographs

General note

Oversize. Two prints and one photocopy.

circa 1890s
Box: 519 Folder : 14 Harriet Packer playing chess with family at 2 Grace Court photograph
Box: 519 Folder : 15 Harriet Putnam Packer portraits
circa 1890s-1926
Box: 519 Folder : 16 William and Harriet Packer portrait reproductions
20th century
Box: 90 Folder : 15 Miss Harriet P. Packer, 1903 – 1908; Speech regarding Jubilee celebration and importance of distinguishing between Brooklyn Female Academy and Packer Institute; Draft letters to Miss Packer from Committee on Instruction, 1904 re: student organization fundraising groups; A letter from Miss Packer about student injury to Prof. Alden Chairman of Administration Committee1908 Claiming the Need for Greater Police Presence.
Box: 90 Folder : 16 Packer, Harriet P. (Miss): Letters regarding Miss Harriet P. Packer's sudden death in 1909 November
Box: 519 Folder : 17 Stereograms of Packer Mansion and hand drawn map of Brooklyn Heights by Dr. Brockway
circa 1900s-1940s
Box: 519 Folder : 18 Drawing of Packer Mansion (copies)
circa 1980s-1990s
Box: 548 Folder : - Harriet Packer portrait reproduction

General note


circa 1990s
Box: 90 Folder : 17 Packer Family.15 letters, Dr. Backus correspondence primarily with Harriet P. Packer 1894 – 1906 13 letters between Harriet P and Backus. 1 letter from Mary Packer from Backus 1894.
Box: 90 Folder : 18 Letters from/to Mrs. Mary K. Packer and Dr. Backus regarding her daughter Mary and her Education.1893 – 1895.
Box: 90 Folder : 19 Letters from Mary K. Packer to Dr. Backus Circa. 1893 Circa 1898 with one reply from Dr. Backus to Mrs. Packer Packer, May K. Mrs. W.S., Jr.
Box: 90 Folder : 20 Letters from and to Mary Packer regarding her donations to the school; Packer, Mary K. Mrs. W.S., Jr.
Box: 90 Folder : 21 Packer, Mary K, (Mrs. W.S., Jr) Eulogy of M.K. Packer, Wife of the Only Son of the Founder

General note

after 1911?

Box: 90 Folder : 22 Personal Reminiscences of Mrs. William S. Packer Jr., (Mary K. Packer) Part I, 123 page Typescript. Paper Yellowing; Table of Contents Includes John Browns Raid, Nomination of Abraham Lincoln, the First Battle of Bull Run, Gettysburg, Effect of War on the school, and other notable events in Civil War Era.
Box: 90 Folder : 23 Personal Reminiscences of Mrs. William S. Packer Jr., (Mary K. Packer) Part 2 1867. Table of contents includes General Lee, Greeting King William, European Trip, and Further Reminiscences; Letter Written 1870 November 1.
Box: 90 Folder : 24 Speech about Mrs. Packer by Mrs. Backus, Description about her Character, Women's Education, and Vision of a School, "Intellectual democracy for rich and poor for a large well equipped, stable school with a comprehensive curriculum"

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