Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Luella Gail Pratt papers

Abstract

The Luella Gail Pratt papers (dated 1932-1945, undated; 1.19 cubic feet; 2 boxes, 1 flat box) comprise letters, diaries, and a scrapbook that document the life of Pratt while in college, the early years of her marriage, and the experiences of her husband Bob Ireland serving in the military in Ohio in the 1930s and 1940s.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Luella Gail Pratt papers
Creator
Pratt, Luella Gail, 1918-2008
Extent
1.19 Cubic Feet
Subjects
College sorority members.
Education, Higher.
Family.
Female friendship -- United States.
Friendship.
Letters.
Man-woman relationships -- United States -- 20th century
Marriage
Women college students -- Ohio
Women in education.
Women in higher education
World War, 1939-1945.
Young women -- United States -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0326: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Luella Gail Pratt papers, 1932-1945, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Luella Gail Pratt (1918-2008) was born in Middletown, Ohio to Harry E. Pratt (1898-1985) and Louwella C. Leib (1900-1978). She graduated from Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, in 1940, the first of her family to do so. She met her husband, Robert Ebel Ireland (1917-2002), while attending Miami and the couple married September 1940; together they had three children: Kathleen, Sally, and Thomas. In 1963, she began teaching English and Speech at Garfield high school, retiring in 1980. She was active in many community organizations, serving on the boards of the YWCA, Family Service, Girl Scouts, and the Polio Foundation. Active in her local Presbyterian Church, she served as an Elder, trustee, Sunday school teacher, and Communion server. Pratt and her husband were founding members of the Starlighters' Dance Club, Cutthroaters Bridge Club, Current Events Club, and members of the Jaycees and Jayceettes, which eventually became the Exhausted Roosters Club.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Scope and Content
The Luella Gail Pratt papers (dated 1932-1945, undated; 1.19 cubic feet; 2 boxes, 1 flat box) comprise letters, diaries, and a scrapbook that document the life of Pratt while in college, the early years of her marriage, and the experiences of her husband Bob Ireland serving in the military in Ohio in the 1930s and 1940s. The majority of the letters are between Luella and her husband, prior to them getting married. In their letters, the couple discuss their feelings for each other, social events attended, plans for dates, planning their wedding, and updates on friends and family. Luella also receives letters from her parents and younger brother, these discuss their daily life in Middletown, Ohio; her brother's schooling and athletics participation, social visits, their excitement on hearing about Luella's activities at school, plans to visit, and updates on their personal health. Luella also received and sent letters to boyfriends and family friends, these discuss their relationships, breakups, daily life, and school. Also included in the collection are three diaries that document Luella's life while attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In the diaries, Pratt writes about seeing friends, visiting family, classes attended, assignments and their respective grades, and studying in the library. She also writes about her participation in a sorority, becoming a sweetheart for a fraternity, accepting her boyfriend's pin, being asked on dates, and parties attended. Over the breaks from school, she writes about being home with her family, helping her parents in their homes, how her siblings are doing, and visiting relatives. The scrapbook consists of programs, autograph cards, notes, pictures, and memorabilia detailing Pratt's high school career and graduation.
The Luella Gail Pratt papers are part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Dad to Luella Pratt, 1932-1940

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Grandmother to Luella Pratt, 1935-1937

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Luella Pratt to Joseph Copp, 1935

  • Box 1, folder 3
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Luella Pratt to Joseph Copp, 1936

  • Box 1, folder 4
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Luella Pratt to family, 1936-1937, undated

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Mother to Luella Pratt, 1936-1937, undated

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Adrian to Luella Pratt, 1936-1938

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Harry Lewis to Luella Pratt, 1936-1939

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Letters to Luella Pratt from friends, 1936-1939

  • Box 1, folder 9
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Letters from Luella Pratt, 1937-1939

  • Box 1, folder 10
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Letters to Bob Ireland from friends, 1938-1941

  • Box 1, folder 11
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Letters to Luella and Bob Ireland, 1940, undated

  • Box 1, folder 12
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Luella Pratt to Bob Ireland, 1937

  • Box 1, folder 13
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Bob Ireland to Luella Pratt, 1937

  • Box 1, folder 14
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Luella Pratt to Bob Ireland, 1938

  • Box 1, folder 15
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Bob Ireland to Luella Pratt, 1938

  • Box 1, folder 16
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Luella Pratt to Bob Ireland, 1939

  • Box 1, folder 17
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Bob Ireland to Luella Pratt, 1939

  • Box 1, folder 18
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Luella Pratt to Bob Ireland, 1940

  • Box 2, folder 1
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Bob Ireland to Luella Pratt, 1940

  • Box 2, folder 2
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Luella Pratt to Bob Ireland, 1941

  • Box 2, folder 3
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Bob Ireland to Luella Pratt, 1941

  • Box 2, folder 4
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Bob Ireland to Luella Pratt, 1945

  • Box 2, folder 5
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Wade Pratt to Luella Pratt, 1945, undated

  • Box 2, folder 6
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General letters, 1937-1938

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Luella Pratt report cards, 1936-1938, undated

  • Box 2, folder 8
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Personal papers, 1936, 1950, undated

  • Box 2, folder 9
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Diaries, 1936-1937

  • Box 2, folder 10
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Diary, 1938

  • Box 2, folder 11
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Scrapbook, 1935-1936, undated

  • Box 3
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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Requests

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