Travels with Ida: Letters and Photographs from Abroad Selected from the Ida Noyes Papers in the University Archives

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The letters of Ida Smith Noyes (1853-1912) to her husband, La Verne Noyes (1848-1919), recount her worldwide travels between 1886 and 1899. Lively and detailed, the letters are both erudite and unpretentious, meant for her husband alone, and full of affection and gratitude. Like the other American women whom she met on her travels, she had been freed by prosperity from housekeeping and wage earning, and sought a vocation in the study of the arts and languages of other and older cultures. The exhibit, drawn from the extensive collection in the University Archive presents the world of the late 19th century-Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa, the Holy Land, the Pacific, the Far East-through the eye of an educated and curious American young woman. Beside the voluminous correspondence between Ida and La Verne Noyes, the exhibit presents Ida Noyes's diaries, and the hand-colored photographs she took and developed on the way. The exhibit not only sheds light on the life of one of the most influential women in the University's early history, it also presents a unique view on the world as it looked to one of the privileged travelers able to circle the globe before the beginning of the 20th century.