Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Ball mss., 1873-1981, consist of the correspondence, family papers, and items collected by George Alexander Ball, 1862-1955, his wife, Frances Emily (Woodworth) Ball, 1872- 1958, and their daughter, Elisabeth Woodworth Ball, 1897- 1982, of the Ball glass manufacturing family of Muncie, Indiana.

Biographical materials include those for Elisabeth Woodworth Ball, Lall G. Montgomery, and Dugald Stewart Walker. With the biographical material in a folio folder is a bookplate drawing for Elisabeth Ball in 1918 by Walker.

Additional materials include a journal of a trip to Panama in 1913, miscellaneous (items) including a child's school slate, miscellaneous - "About Books" (about the Ball Book Collection), miscellaneous art pieces including glass lantern and rotary slides, Chinese cut-outs, and an exotic scrapbook of the 18th century, miscellaneous subjects collected on adventures/travels, bells, rides, and trees (chiefly printed), notebooks (catalogs of the Ball Book Collection), photographs, printed (book sale catalogs), and writings of Elisabeth Woodworth Ball.

In 1901 Mr. Ball received from James E. Pierce a set of photographs entitled "All Aboard for Colorado." In the album were mounted 46 photographs of a railroad journey via the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River and the Royal Gorge and thence by horse and wagon to White Cross and Tobasco Mill, Sherman and Black Wonder Mill, and Sapinero, now largely ghost towns.

Late in 1913 Elisabeth Ball kept a journal of the voyage which she, her mother, and other family members made on the S.S. Stephano of the Red Cross Line to Panama via Bermuda, Port Antonio, Kingston, the Canal, Colon, and Havana from January 29 to the end of February. Consisting of 103 pages, the journal entitled "To Panama" was illustrated with postcards (32), other prints (45), snapshots (14), theatre programs in New York City (5), the ship's passenger list, and a holograph menu for the Ritz-Carlton dated 26-2-13. Three days were spent in Cuba before sailing for New York City. Upon her return to the City, Miss Ball attended the Armory Show at which was displayed the "Nude Descending the Stairs" by Marcel Duchamp.

The Ball family, concerned about the condition of the war orphans in Europe during and after World War I, made contributions to their welfare through the Comite Franco- Americain Pour La Protection Des Enfants de la Frontiere, Children of the Frontier, French Relief Fund, War Orphans Committee, and Near East Relief, Constantinople. Letters of thanks came from the French children and one Turkish child, sometimes with photographs. Other letters about official activities of the War Orphans Committee arrived from Mary Ella (Lyon) Swift (Mrs. Lucius Burrie Swift of Indianapolis, Indiana), in two instances (Feb. 25 and Mar. 16, 1921) accompanied by stories of her visits to the orphans in France. The letter from the Turkish youth (June 1, 1922) included a lace doily made by one of the children. An inventory lists the contents of the War Orphans materials, 1917-1925, interfiled throughout the correspondence.

Letters from 81 boys at the Indiana Boys School at Plainville were sent to Mr. Ball in grateful appreciation for his contribution to their Christmas observance in December 1920. Some of the letters bear the Boys School letterhead and on the verso the printed rules for parents and visitors and a schedule of letter-writing for 1920.

In the 1920's and the 1930's Mr. Ball conducted a search among dealers and acquaintances for prints and poems related to William Cowper's John Gilpin, Izaak Walton's Compleat Angler, The Legend of the Bell Foundry and St. Basil, and literature on bells in general. The latter brought letters from Ernest Morris of The Midland Counties Association of Change Ringers, Leicester, England. It was during this time that Mr. Ball forwarded a copy of a letter by Edward Lambert, dated February 13, 1754, about glass manufacturing in Massachusetts to George Skinner McKearin who was working on a comprehensive book on glass.

In later years Miss Ball responded to many requests reflecting interest in her children's book collection (many of which are now in the Book Department of the Lilly Library), such as letters from Peter and Iona Opie of Alton, Hampshire, England.

The notebooks (in black notebook covers) include a catalog of children's books in the Ball Collection prepared by D'Alt' Welch and two scrapbooks of holograph and printed items in alphabetical order about the Ball Collection.

The writings by Miss Ball include "The Child Discovers Its World Through Books of Travel," delivered at the University of Texas at Austin, and printed in Library Occurrent in 1944.

Correspondents include: Ben Abramson, Barclay Acheson, Frederick Baldwin Adams, Elmer Adler, Ruth Elizabeth Adomeit, Maxwell Aley, Jules Albert Baisnee, Bertha (Crosley) Ball, Edmund Arthur Ball, Edward Osborn Ball, Elisabeth Woodworth Ball, George Alexander Ball, George Harvey Ball, Lucina Amelia Ball, Sarah (Rogers) Ball, William Hudson Ball, Clifton Waller Barrett, Karen (Freidmann) Beall, Ralph Albert Beals, Frances (Birkhead) Beard, Gertrude (Witschief) Bennet, Wilson A. Bertke, Jacob Nathaniel Blanck, William Henry Boocook, Fanny Borden, Boston Evening Transcript, Notes and Queries Editor, Sherman A. Boyce, Frances Joan (Werner) Brewer, Clarence Saunders Brigham, Alfred Mansfield Brooks, Herbert Fuller Cahoon, Melbert Brinkerhoff Cary, John E. Chandler, Leslie Chaundy, Douglas Cleverdon, Henry Clifford, Morton Norton Cohen, Satis Narrona (Barton) Coleman, J. Howell Conklin, Eanger Irving Couse, Emily Richmond Cross, Jesse Cunningham, Edward Coleman Delafield, Luther L. Dickerson, Percy John Dobell, Henry Joachim Dubester, Robert Gordon Dunthorne, Philip C. Duschnes, Leland Summers Dutton, Richard Williamson Ellis, Lucy Embury, Louella Dorothea Everett, Edward J. Finch, William Fortune, Thomas Henry Foster, E.H. Frost, Clotilde (Embree) Funk, Robert Charles Gooch, George T. Goodspeed, Marian Behethlan Grady, Emerson Greenaway, May Greenberg, Marian H. Greene, Reginald Harvey Griffith, James Walter Grimes, Bernard Halliday, Frances Hamill, Lee F. Harkins, Henry Howard Harper, Max Harzof, Virginia Haviland, Howell J. Heaney, Samuel Heiman, Frances E. Henne, Fletcher Hodges, James Lewis Hook, King V. Hostick, Randall Lionel Bentham Howe, John Gilson Howell, Virginia C. (Lazarus) Howland, A.A. Hughes, Maude (Pollard) Hull, Mabel Leigh Hunt, Dard Hunter, Donald Frizell Hyde, Stuart Wells Jackson, William Jaggard, Edwyn Jervoise, Edna Johnson, Irvin Kerlan, Emily Kimbrough, Marian King, Lincoln Kirstein, Thomas E. Kneeland, Theresa Vinton (Pierce) Krull, Edward Lambert, Alfred Mossman Landon, Percy E. Lawler, William Colston Leigh, Henriette Willebeek Le Mair, Alexander Lenard, Marcus Allen McCorison, Samuel L. McCreary, Marian McFadden, Leonard Leopold Mackall, George Skinner McKearin, David McCandless McKell, Esther Uhl McNitt, Helen Adams Masten, Joseph William Mauck, Mary Frances (Ball) Mauck, Willfred Otto Mauck, Mears & Stainbank, firm, Bernard M. Meeks, Fredric Gershom Melcher, Bertha Everett (Mahony) Miller, Lall G. Montgomery, Christopher Darlington Morley, Ernest Morris, Frances Dallam Moss, Howard S. Mott, Percival Horace Muir, George Cresswell Naesmyth, Naesmyth of Posso, Lew Ney, John Robert Nichols, Lester J. Norris, Pauline Agnes O'Melia, Iona Margaret Balfour (Archibald) Opie, James Opie, Peter Mason Opie, Elsie H. Owen, Alvin Mansfield Owsley, Alfred White Paine, Thomas Rossman Palfrey, Michael Papantonio, V. Valta Parma, James Larkin Pearson, Howard Henry Peckham, Henry Jewett Pettit, George Arthur Plimpton, Dorothy Alice Plum, Alexander Salo Preminger, Diana (Pittman) Quarles, David Anton Randall, Fannie Elizabeth Ratchford, Hugo Reichner, Charles Retz, Elizabeth Mildred Riley, Robert LeRoy Ripley, Wallace Havelock Robb, Edith Adelaide Roberts, Lionel Keir Robinson, Wilbur J. Robinson, Arthur Rogers, James H. Rogers, Sydney Roscoe, Katherine N. Rosen, Erwin Rosenthal, Charles Andrew Ryskamp, Judith St. John, Carl H. Salminen, William Wells Sanford, Elsie (Peddie) Sauvage, Walter Schatzki, Hardinge Scholle, Carrie Emma Scott, Lorene Laura Scott, Ellen Kate Shaffer, John MacKay Shaw, Margaret M. Shaw, Clifford Kenyon Shipton, Evelyn Ray Sickels, Max Siegel, Alice (Gullen) Smith, Charles Alphonso Smith, Ethel M. Spiller, Lewis Morgrage Stark, Sheldon H. Stark, Allen E. Starr, Lydia (Hathaway) Stevens, Donald S. Stewart, Malcolm Newton Stone, Wilbur Macey Stone, Charles Archibald Stonehill, Thomas Lyttleton Suter, Robert Lee Sutherland, Arthur Swann, Mary Ella (Lyon) Swift, William Targ, Tregaskis, James, & Son, firm, Harold W. Tribolet, Alice Tully, Leonore Young Turnbull, The Typophiles, Dugald Stewart Walker, Thomas Walters, William Lewis Washburn, Carl Jefferson Weber, James d'Alte Aldrige Welch, Edgar Huldekoper Wells, Herman B Wells, Julian S. Wetzel, James Russell Wiggins, Murray Monroe Wise, Marion (Towne) Woodworth, Philip A. Wright, Donald Charles Yelton, Carl Zigrosser.

A finding aid is available.

Collection size: 1,779 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.