Frances Eshelman Papers

1924-1945. 1 box (5 folders), ca. 200 items.MSS. COLL. #51

NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses throughout the inventory, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.


This small collection focuses on the undergraduate years of Frances Eshelman at the North Carolina College for Women, ca. 1928-31. Researchers who wish to examine the social and cultural life of a student during these years will find a number of items of interest.

Arrangement: The Frances Eshelman Papers are arranged into four series: Miscellaneous items from scrapbook, ca. 1928-45; Photographs and negative, ca. 1928-31; Printed, 1931; and Scrapbook, ca. 1924-31.

Provenance: The collection was donated to the Greensboro Historical Museum in 1985 by Ms. Helen Bonner Eshelman. It was assigned accession numbers 85.157.1-4.

Processing: This collection was organized and the finding aid prepared by Francis D. Pitts III in May 1997.


A native of High Point, North Carolina, Frances Eshelman (ca. 1910-?) was a student at the North Carolina College for Women from 1928 to 1931, graduating in her final year with an A.B. in English.  Ms. Eshelman appears to have had a keen interest in the performing arts while she attended NCCW; however, it does not seem that she joined any of the clubs or organizations that kept membership lists at the school.  There is no information readily available about her life after graduating from NCCW.

Biographical Sources:  The only known sources of information on Ms. Eshelman are contained in the collection.


Types of materials in this collection include correspondence, a diploma, photographs, programs to lectures and performing arts events, miscellaneous mementos in a scrapbook, and a school annual.

The bulk of the material is associated with Ms. Eshelman’s years as an undergraduate student, from 1928 to 1931, at the North Carolina College for Women. The most interesting items in the collection are the school annual and the scrapbook. The latter contains various momentos and ephemera affixed, presumably by Ms. Eshelman while she was a student, to seventy some-odd pages. Included among the miscellaneous items therein are advertisements, envelopes, invitations, newspaper clippings, programs to events, tickets, and visiting cards.

Also of some interest are a series of photographs of Ms. Eshelman, from which one most likely was chosen to be used as her picture in the school annual.

The collection does not contain any material on Ms. Eshelman’s life after her graduation from the North Carolina College for Women.


1.  Miscellaneous items from scrapbook.  1 folder (5 items).  ca. 1928-45.

The most interesting item in this folder is the “permission card” that students used to leave campus. Also included here is Frances Eshelman’s visiting card, a Class Day (1931) program, and two Christmas cards. These items, found loose, were never affixed in the scrapbook.

2.  Photographs and negative.  1 folder (7 items).  ca. 1928-31.

Included in this series are prints and a negative of Ms. Eshelman while she was a student at NCCW. The photograph of her in the school annual appears to have been one selected from the prints in this series.

3.  Printed. 2 folders (2 items). 1931.

This series consists of NCCW’s 1931 school annual and Ms. Eshelman’s diploma from the same year.

4. Scrapbook.  1 folder (1 item).  1924-31.  106 pages.

The scrapbook contains a number of items that provide information on aspects of Ms. Eshelman’s life. In particular, researchers should see the correspondence and notes from classmates scattered throughout.

In addition, some of the material opens a window on activities at NCCW and businesses and organizations in Greensboro proper and surrounding cities. The following list is a sampling of some of the items that may be found in this group: the visiting card of Mrs. Walter L. Jackson (p. 80);  a program for the Annual Carolinian Banquet at the King Cotton Hotel (p. 1); a Grand Opera Week program for the 1929 season at Aycock Auditorium (p. 23); a Greensboro Civic Music Association student membership card (p. 27); a Carolina Theatre promotional card (p. 35); an Auditorium Theatre managerial courtesy pass (Winston-Salem, 1928, p.36); a Carolina Coach Co. ticket (p. 39); an invitation to Peace Institute commencement exercises (Raleigh, 1930, p.25); a program from the National Theatre (GSO, p.56); an O. Henry Drug Stores envelope (p.58); a Trollinger’s, Inc. card (GSO, p.61); a baggage check from Union Bus Station in High Point (p. 63); the Lecture Program schedule for the 1929-30 season, which included appearances by the Isadora Duncan Dancers, Carl Sandburg and Bertrand Russell (NCCW, p.27); and a program and a baccalaureate sermon for the thirty-ninth annual commencement at NCCW (1931, p. 38).


11Misc. -- Loose scrapbook material (ca. 1928-45)
21Photographs -- Eshelman, Frances (ca. 1928-31)
31Printed -- NCCW annual (1931)
2Printed -- NCCW diploma (1931)
41Scrapbook -- Eshelman, Frances (ca. 1924-31)

Index to the Frances Eshelman Papers

Note: The numbers following the name/subject entry –e.g. 1:1 – indicate in which Series#:Folder# (or, if no “:”, Series only) that name/topic can be found. Dates of the items are given in parenthesis for an individual Series/Folder or, if at the end, for the entire subject/name entry. The abbreviation GSO indicates a Greensboro association.

Auditorium Theatre (Winston-Salem): 4 (1928)
Aycock Auditorium: 4 (ca. 1929-31)

Carolina Coach Company: 4 (ca. 1928-31)
Carolina Theatre (GSO): 4 (ca. 1928-31)

Eshelman, Frances: 1-4 (ca. 1924-31)

Greensboro Civic Music Association: 4 (ca. 1928-31)

Jackson, Mrs. Walter L.: 4 (ca. 1931)

King Cotton Hotel: 4 (ca. 1928-1931)

National Theatre (GSO): 4 (ca. 1928-31)
North Carolina College for Women: 1,3-4 (ca. 1928-31)

O. Henry Drug Stores: 4 (ca. 1928-31)
Opera (Grand Opera Week): 4 (ca. 1929-31)

Peace Institute (Raleigh): 4 (1930)

Trollinger’s Inc.: 4 (ca. 1928-31)

Union Bus Station (High Point): 4 (ca. 1928-31)