Preliminary Guide to the Ruth Finlay Papers, 1960-2011 (bulk 1969-2011)

Collection Overview

The first accession of the collection comprises diaries (39 volumes) written by Ruth Finlay documenting the details of and her emotional reactions to her daily life, activities, behavior, social life, and family life between 1960 and 1994. Topics include her hospitalization, ongoing treatment for, and life following cancer (1985 and onward); her relationships with her husband, children, and grandchildren; and the death of an adult son (December 1988).

The second accession (2006-0030) comprises diaries written by Finlay between January 1995 and August 2004.

The third accession (2011-0191) comprises 12 diaries written by Finlay between September 2004 and July 2010, a wedding log book, two day minders, correspondence, and family photographs.

All accessions acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Collection Details

Collection Number
Ruth Finlay papers
1960-2011, bulk 1969-2011
Finlay, Ruth
6.8 Linear Feet, 300 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Using These Materials

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warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Ruth Finlay Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Diaries, 1960, 1969-1971, 1973-1974 (1975 laid in with 1973-1974), 1977-1982
Box 1
Diaries, 1983-1989 July
Box 2
Diaries, 1989 Aug.-1994
Box 3
Diaries, 1995 January-2004 August
Box 1-5
Diaries, 2004 September-2006 March
(3 volumes)
Box 9
Wedding Log Book, 1993
Box 9
Diaries, 2006 March-2007 August
(3 volumes)
Box 10
Diaries, 2007 August-2009 July
(4 volumes)
Box 11
Diaries, 2009 August-2010 July
(2 volumes)
Box 12
Day minders, 2009 May-2009 November
(2 volumes)
Box 12
Emails and correspondence with Duke University regarding the Ruth Finlay Diaries, 2002-2011
Box 13
Correspondence and photographs, 1984-1985
Box 13
Correspondence and photographs, 1990-2009
(6 folders)
Box 13

Historical Note

Born Ruth Ann Spencer on May 21, 1926 in Burlington, Colorado. The family lost their land in the dust bowl and relocated to Lewiston, Idaho in 1939. She married her high school sweetheart, John A. Finlay, in 1943. They later moved to South Carolina, where they spent the rest of their lives. Ruth had six sons. In 1985, she lost her larynx to cancer. She died on December 26, 2010.

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The Ruth Finlay Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as gifts in 2003, 2006, and 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Ruth E. Bryan, May 2003, and Jane Metters, December 2011

Encoded by Ruth E. Bryan and Jane Metters

Materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.