As we’ve stated before, one of our major goals in publishing this blog is to bring to the forefront smaller collections, lesser known items, and interesting gems embedded within larger collections of manuscript materials here in the Southern Historical Collection.
An example of the “embedded gem” variety has just reemerged and been called to our attention. It’s a wonderful scrapbook that was kept by a woman named Nell Battle Lewis. The scrapbook is embedded within the Kemp Plummer Lewis Papers, Collection #3819 (Nell’s brother’s papers).
Nell Cornelia Battle Lewis (1893-1956) was a journalist, feminist, lawyer, educator and a strident human rights advocate in Raleigh, N.C., in the early twentieth century.
In 1918, Nell Battle Lewis, joined the YWCA’s canteen service with the American Expeditionary Force in France. Her scrapbook from this year in Nice, France, contains Nell Battle Lewis’s passport, the Nice area “leave rules” for women, ration cards, portions of love letters and pictures from servicemen whom she met during service, photographs and post cards of Nice, and a fragment of a flag.