From the late 1940s through the early 1970s Katharine Van Etten Lyford  (1897 - 1976) travelled throughout Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. In addition to documenting her journeys in diaries and letters, she also captured the moments of her trips in rough sketches and detailed drawings. She transformed her personal experiences into articles, short stories, and travel memoirs. As a freelance writer, she successfully published several pieces inspired by her travel in newspapers and magazines, such as The Christian Science MonitorThe Horn Book, and Woman's Day.

The aim of the Lyford Project is to produce an interdisciplinary analysis of Lyford’s life and work through the integration of new methods of digital scholarship and traditional academic research practices. This flagship project provides Hope College Mellon Scholars with access to a digital repository of Lyford's archival collection, which is housed at the prestigious Boston Athenaeum. This diverse collection enables students to conduct original research in a variety of fields, such as art history, communications, fashion, gender studies, history, Latin American studies, literature, and journalism. 


Due to the breadth of Lyford’s interdisciplinary work, a lone undergraduate scholar cannot undertake this project without the support of a diverse community of advisors and colleagues. Rather, the multifaceted nature of Lyford’s life and work provides the Mellon Scholars Program with an excellent opportunity to support a student directed, interdisciplinary, cross-cohort research project. As members of an academic community, Mellon Scholars will conduct archival research, produce substantial scholarly papers, and create complementary digital components. 

Funding for the Lyford Project was provided by the Hope College Andrew W. Mellon Scholars Program and a Jacob Nyenhuis Faculty Development  Grant. Special thanks to Jonathan Hagood,  PhD, Patricia  Boulous, MLS, and the Boston Athenaeum's Digital Laboratory.

ALL images and documents are the property of the Boston Athenaeum and are for RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.


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