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Barbara White Tour Diary

Identifier: SC 0007
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Barbara White Tour Diary, 1921-1922, is comprised of a 6 3/4 x 8 1/4 manuscript diary with approximately 72 written pages. A stationer's label on the front cover reads "Bob's Journal Volume I." Barbara White kept this diary while traveling aboard the Cunard Liner RMS Albania to Europe. The diary begins with a November 3, 1921 entry ("First night out. Nice clean boat.") and continues through at least January 3, 1922. White's entries are observant and lighthearted, containing humorous accounts (with pen and pencil drawings throughout) of her fellow passengers and ship captain. White encounters a gentleman by the name of Chadwick whom she describes as an "old dumbbell" who "talked all the time about his travels in America, where he had been for a whole two weeks." She also details activities aboard the ship and writes at length about her travels, arrivals, and departures throughout England, France, Switzerland, and Italy. White mounted souvenirs and keepsakes throughout the pages, including a card game scorecard, a "Programme of Entertainment" folder from Armistice Day, a telegram sent to her the day before she sailed, her handwritten itinerary while in England, two ship-to-shore telegrams from Radio Albania, one telephone calling card, a ticket from the London General Omnibus Co., bills and receipts, including one restaurant bill, one bakery bill, and one hotel bill with five Italian stamps. Also mounted are European postcards, original photographs, one theatrical photograph card, and other small souvenirs.

Also in the collection are two telegrams dated prior to Barbara White's departure, addressing the issuance of her passport. One telegram, dated August 7, 1921, is a copy from Vice President Calvin Coolidge to Secretary of State Charles E. Hughes requesting White's passport be issued at once. White was "personally well known" to Coolidge and considered her "in every way entitled to passport." The second, dated September 8, 1921, is a reply Hughes to Coolidge stating that the passport would be issued and mailed on September 8, 1921.

Two pages in the diary have exposed adhesive from where once mounted keepsakes were either removed or have fallen from the diary. Several loose souvenirs have been removed from the pages and placed within envelopes in a separate folder including a telegram addressed to White from Sylvia, presumably a friend. This telegram is dated November 2, 1921 - the day before White's departure. Additional loose items include three photographs and a Banca Commerciale Italiana ticket souvenir.


  • 1921-1922


Access Restrictions

Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Bio/Historical Note

Barbara White was a resident and socialite of Salem, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of a local judge and according to a telegram within this collection, was known personally by Vice President Calvin Coolidge. Barbara White attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is pictured with the Class of 1920 in the Smith College yearbook from that year.


0.17 cubic feet (3 letter folders)

Language of Materials



The Barbara White Tour Diary, 1921-1922, is comprised of a 6 3/4 x 8 1/4 manuscript diary kept by White while traveling aboard the Cunard Liner RMS Albania to England, France, Switzerland, and Italy from 1921-1922. Also included are loose items from the diary and two telegrams.


Materials are arranged topically in three folders with no series arrangement.

Acquisition Information

Acquired from Cohasco, Inc. auction in February 2015.

Processing Information

Acid-free paper has been placed in diary pages with mounted souvenirs to protect from acidification. Loose items were removed from the diary and foldered separately.

A Guide to the Barbara White Tour Diary, 1921-1922
Lindsey Wood, Tiffany Cole
September 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612