Celestia Rice and June Rose Colby Collection

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Celestia Rice and June Rose Colby Collection

Two remarkable women serve as the nexus for this digital collection. The first, Celestia Rice Colby, was born to a well-to-do Ohio farming family in 1827. She became one of the first girls to be schooled at the prestigious Grand River Institute and parlayed the knowledge she gained there into a short-lived teaching career after graduation. In 1847 she married Lewis Colby, becoming a farm worker and homemaker. Neither of these pursuits brought her much satisfaction; she instead found refuge in her children and her writing. Over 100 of her poems, essays, and short stories were published in literary journals and other periodicals during the latter half of the 19th century. Celestia’s prose is evocative, heartfelt, and subversive – she had strong ideas about women’s place in society and the evils of slavery, which she expounded upon in her writing and also passed down to her children.

All three of Celestia’s surviving children attended the University of Michigan during the 1870s and 80s. Her youngest, June Rose, was the first woman to receive a Ph. D. by examination at that institution. In 1892 June Rose was hired by Illinois State Normal University as a professor of literature, a position she continued to hold until 1931. A prolific scholar and long-time fixture on campus, June Rose founded the ISNU Sapphonian Society and authored many dozens of articles for publication. Her archive also includes the notebooks she used while a student at the University of Michigan.

College Lectures notebook

College Lectures notebook

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46 pages: 10% complete (26% transcribed, 15% needs review)
Cordelia Davis letter to Celestia Colby 9 May 1891

Cordelia Davis letter to Celestia Colby 9 May 1891

28 pages: 0% complete (100% transcribed, 100% needs review)
Creative Literature notebook

Creative Literature notebook

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136 pages: 2% complete (6% transcribed, 4% needs review)
Democratic Tendencies in the 19th C

Democratic Tendencies in the 19th C

116 pages: 2% complete (100% transcribed, 97% needs review)
Education for Leisure-Reading

Education for Leisure-Reading

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123 pages: 17% complete (24% transcribed, 6% needs review)
Education notebook

Education notebook

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52 pages: 0% complete (2% transcribed, 2% needs review)
Elizabethan Age notebook

Elizabethan Age notebook

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94 pages: 1% complete (4% transcribed, 3% needs review)
English in the School

English in the School

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61 pages: 1% complete (68% transcribed, 66% needs review)
Ethics notebook

Ethics notebook

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217 pages: 0% complete (0% transcribed)
George Eliot's Novel Anatomy

George Eliot's Novel Anatomy

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14 pages: 0% complete (0% transcribed)
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