59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Laura Shelby Lee Papers, 1877-1945, undated

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard Museum
Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441
Call NumberRU 495
Creator - CollectorLee, Laura Shelby, 1877-1948
TitleLaura Shelby Lee papers
Date [inclusive]1877-1945, undated
Extent1 box (0.504 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe collection consists of poetry and writings by Laura Shelby Lee (1877-1948), as well as certificates, correspondence, and other material belonging to Lee.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions to access.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to the library's staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 495, Laura Shelby Lee Papers.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Richard Forster in 1985 (Accession no. 1985.066).

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-4441

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Lara J. Ullman in September 2014.Finding aid machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick in November 2014.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Related Materials

Related Materials

See also, Photograph Archive.

Controlled Access Headings


  • Certificates
  • Correspondence
  • Poetry

Geographic Name(s)

  • West Tisbury (Mass.)


  • Pageants
  • World War II

Biography/Historical Note

Laura Shelby Lee was born on May 2, 1877 in New York, New York to Cornelius Smith Lee and Mattie Walker (Blood) Lee. Laura had two younger brothers: James (1878- ) and Cornelius Smith Jr. (1882- ). Laura first came to Martha's Vineyard with her family in 1888. In 1902 she left New York City and moved to a house she had built in West Tisbury. Laura was a poet and a writer. Her writings on art and interior design were often published in such magazines as "House Beautiful". In 1937 Laura purchased a home in Vineyard Haven where she resided until her death on February 17, 1948.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains certificates, correspondence, a bible owned by Laura Shelby Lee's mother, and poetry and writings by Laura and other authors, among other things.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Collection Inventory


Blank Postcards, undated 


Certificate: Laura S. Lee Received the Apostolic Rite of Laying on of Hands at a Confirmation Held in Grace Church, Vineyard Haven, 1939 September 10 


Correspondence, 1933, undated 


County of London Driver's Licence, 1926-1927 


Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety Civilian Defense Citation, 1944 December 7 


Mattie B. Lee's Bible, 1877 


Mattie B. Lee was Laura Shelby Lee's mother.


Photocopies, 1939-1945, undated 


Poetry, 1928-1945 


Poetry and Writings, undated 


Poetry and Writings by Various Authors, 1899, 1927, undated 


Some material is annotated by Laura Shelby Lee.


Red Cross Home Nursing Course Certificate, 1943 January 


Talk Given by Miss Laura Shelby Lee to The Sewing Circle, circa 1937 


Travel Notes from Voyage on the Laconia, 1933 


"The Trivial Reminiscences of a 19th Century Summer Visitor to the Vineyard" by Laura Shelby Lee, circa 1930-1940 


True Copy of Laura Shelby Lee's Birth Certificate, 1942 March 20 


United States Citizens Defense Corps Tisbury Committee on Public Safety Membership Certificate, 1943 August 1