unc logo

Collection Number: 04684

Collection Title: Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 13.75 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 10000 items)
Abstract Mary Claire Engstrom served as chair of the Historic Hillsborough Commission, Hillsborough, N.C., from 1964 to 1966 and 1976 to 1983. Primarily research files compiled for numerous projects conducted for the Historic Hillsborough Commission and others, documenting Hillsborough and Orange County, N.C., historical buildings, sites, and individuals. Substantial files include those on architect John Berry, the Burwell School, Quakers in the Eno area, inns and tavers, mills, and cemeteries. Personal correspondence in the collection includes letters from other local historians and genealogists, including Margaret Berry Street, and carbon copies of weekly letters, 1977-1983, from Mary C. Engstrom's husband, Alfred Garvin Engstrom (1907- ), Distinguished Alumni Professor of French at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to a childhood friend, discussing philosophy, literature, and current and local events.
Creator Engstrom, Mary Claire, 1906-1997.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Mary Claire Engstrom papers #4684, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mary Claire Engstrom in December 1993; from John Kennedy of Hillsborough, N.C., in October 1994 (Acc. 94158); and from Philip M. Griffith of Monroe, N.C., in March 1998 (Acc. 98067).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Mary Claire Engstrom (1906-1997), daughter of Lester L. Randolph and Florence Alberta Toynbee Randolph of Kansas City, Mo., served as chair of the Historic Hillsborough Commission, Hillsborough, N.C., 1963-1983, in addition to acting in an official capacity for other Orange County, N.C., historic groups. She received her Ph.D. in 18th-century English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and did postdoctoral research at Harvard and Yale, specializing in 18th-century satire. She was married to Alfred Garvin Engstrom (1907-1990), Distinguished Alumni Professor of French at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of historical research files compiled by Mary Claire Engstrom from various sources. Her historical research was predominantly concerned with Orange County personalities, buildings, institutions, and groups, and resulted in the documentation and description of 18th- and 19th- century Hillsborough deed records, 122 historic sites in Hillsborough, a colonial history of Hillsborough, numerous biographies, and a survey of all cemeteries and isolated graves, both black and white persons, in Orange County. Among other topics she studied in depth were early Quakers in the area, local inns and taverns, mills, and the Hillsborough Academy for boys and Burwell School for girls. In addition, she assisted in genealogical research in response to individual requests. Her research files contain final published versions of many of her historical essays.

Additionally, the collection contains some personal correspondence, including letters from other local historians sharing details of their discoveries and intended research strategies. Carbon copies of detailed weekly letters sent by Alfred Garvin Engstrom from 1977 to 1983 to his childhood friend Dez Dwyer of Belvedere, Ill., discuss philosophy, literature, remembrances, current events, weather, sports, local events, and include descriptions of nature, all written in an entertainingly erudite manner. Also included are letters, chiefly 1983-1988, about books and literature from Alfred Engstrom to Philip Griffith of Monroe, N.C.

While the collection has not yet been formally arranged, the papers have been somewhat organized. Please note that this organization is superficial; that is, some files will not be in the "proper" box. Also, there is considerable crossover between files compiled on historic individuals and families and files compiled for historic buildings associated with those families.

Related photographs may be found in the Mary Claire Engstrom Collection in the Photographic Archives, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The collection is organized as follows:

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984.

Box 1

Correspondence, including letters from other local historians and genalogists to Mary Claire Engstrom, and carbon copies of weekly letters written by Alfred Garvin Engstrom from 1977 to 1983 to childhood friend Dez Dwyer of Belvedere, Ill. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 1

Addition of March 1998 (Acc. 98067): Eleven letters from Alfred G. Engstrom to Philip M. Griffith, one in 1964 and the rest, 1983-1988, mostly about books and literature; a letter from Mary Claire Engstrom to Philip Griffith informing him of her husband's death; and two clippings about Alfred G. Engstrom. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 1

Miscellaneous research files, including files on garden designs, early Orange County families, and schools and academies. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 1

Box 2

Miscellaneous research files. Topics include local families and individuals, mills, Quakers, Presbyterianism, and architect John Berry. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 2

Box 3

Research files on John Berry and on 18th-century Quakers in the Eno area. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 3

Box 4

Research files on the Burwell School and other schools for girls. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 4

Box 5

Research files on individuals and families, names beginning with A-H. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 5

Box 6

Research files on individuals and families, names beginning with H-Z. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 6

Box 7

Research files compiled primarily to document Historic Hillsborough Commission tours. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 7

Box 8

Research files primarily concerning historic buildings, plats, and land grants. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 8

Box 9

Maps and plats. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 9

Box 10

Miscellaneous research files on various topics including Presbyterianism, weather, colonial crafts, early social life, inns, taverns and ordinaries, mills, mines and minerals, and weights and measures. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 10

Addition of October 1994 (Acc. 94158): "Statement of George W. Teer concerning the Alexander Dickson house and farm"; "Statement of John William Dickson." #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 10

Oversized items include annotated maps of Orange County, hand-drawn plats of Hillsborough and of Chapel Hill's bridges and springs, plots of Orange County cemeteries, and photocopied and transcribed materials on Thomas Hart and on Eno Quakers. #04684, Series: "Mary Claire Engstrom Papers, 1963-1984." Box 10

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Barbara Aschenbrenner, December 1993 with subsequent revisions

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Arrangment is only roughly to the box level and the collection has not been archivally refoldered.

Back to Top