Scope and Contents
Collection consists entirely of diaries, mostly of the "line-a-day" variety, kept by Browning from the age of 17 until her 69th year (with a few gaps). Also included are two diaries of her adopted daughter, Marian (1910 and 1928). Additions include correspondence from Marian to her parents from 1910-1930, photographs, tintypes, family history notes, and miscellaneous items related to the Browning and Scurrah families.
Dates of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Access
Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (email@example.com) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.
Conditions Governing Use
To the extent that they own copyright, Abby Burnett has assigned the copyright of Browning's works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Browning, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.
From the donor's detailed notes: "Katherine A. Browning (1855-1936)...was born June, 1855, in New York State. Her widowed mother was living with the Brownings on the 1880 and 1900 censuses, giving her name as Mary Bliven and Mary D. Bliven, respectively, born July, 1830 in New York; according to the 1900 census she had given birth to two children, with only one living. Based on the census, the journals, and what my mother told me, she and her husband farmed. As you can see from the diaries, her days were spent doing the jobs required of a farm wife, including laundry, gathering eggs, trips to town, etc." She married William Q. Browning (1846-1936) at the age of 18 (1873). In 1900, the Brownings, who had no living biological children, adopted Marion Lamson when she was five years old. Again, according to the donor: "After the Brownings adopted Marian...[they] did not adopt other children. They gave Marian piano lessons and she went on to play the organ and piano professionally, to give lessons and to teach music in the Sodus, NY school system. She married Fred O. Scurrah, a Presbyterian minister, and served as organist in the churches he pastored. She was Fred Scurrah's second wife (the first, Celestia Swain, was killed shortly after their marriage) and Marian and Fred had two children, my mother, Mary Catherine (Scurrah) Boewe, born 1921, and Mark Scurrah, now deceased."
2.75 linear feet (2 letter document boxes, 3 half letter document boxes, 3 legal document boxes)
Language of Materials