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

A Finding Aid to the Robert Hughes Letters, 1993 June 21-2008 October 1, undated

Descriptive Summary

Repository Martha's Vineyard Museum Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
Call Number RU 561
Creator Hughes, Robert H.
Title Robert Hughes Letters
Date [inclusive] 1993 June 21-2008 October 1, undated
Extent 1.5 boxes (0.756 cubic feet).
Location For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's staff.
Language The materials are in English.
Abstract The collection contains letters and their original envelopes written and decorated by Robert (Bob) Hughes and sent to his god child Marlene Joyce Perry and her partner Browne Hollowell.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

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 561, Robert Hughes Letters.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Browne Hollowell in 2015 (Accession no. 2015.038). [Donation]

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared and machine-encoded by Clint Johnson in November 2015.

Related Materials

Related Materials

  • See also, the Theodore and Polly Meinelt Collection, RU 559, which contains letters written by Robert Hughes to Ted Meinelt.

Index Terms


  • Correspondence
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Mail art

Geographic Name(s)

  • Marthas Vineyard (Mass.)
  • Oak Bluffs (Mass.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Hollowell, Browne
  • Hughes, Robert H.
  • Hughes, Ruth
  • Perry, Marlene Joyce


  • Mail art--United States--21st century
  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Oak Bluffs (Mass.) -- History

Biography/Historical Note

Robert (Bob) Hughes was a long time islander, born and raised in Oak Bluffs. He attended Springfield College and then returned to Martha's Vineyard to teach science and math at the Oak Bluffs High School in 1935. He was drafted into the army during World War II and served as a gunnery officer, 1st lieutenant and executive officer. He married Ruth Blankenship and in 1953, became the postmaster of the Oak Bluffs post office. There he stayed until he retired in February 1978. After he retired, he embraced his love of history and practiced as an amateur historian. In his letters, like the ones in this collection, he wrote many of his friends and family letters with news clippings of past and present happenings with his own historical and often comical annotations. He remained on Martha's Vineyard writing letters and loving life until his death in 2012.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains letters that were sent by Robert (Bob) Hughes to his god child Marlene and her partner Browne in the 1990s and early 2000s. Most of the letters still include their original envelopes and are grouped together with a separating piece of permalife paper. The letters are predominately photocopied newspaper clippings, information clippings and photographs with Bob's personal annotations. Topics include Oak Bluffs, storms on Martha's Vineyard, family history, political humor and more. The envelopes are often colorfully decorated and include his pen name "tinkle pink" and are often addressed to "Island People".


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Contents of Collection

Box Folder

Correspondence, 1993 June 21, 1993 August 31 

1 1

Correspondence, 1994 September 25-1994 November 4 

1 2

Correspondence, 1995 May 30, 1995 June 24 

1 3

Correspondence, 1996 January 24-1996 December 18 

1 4

Correspondence, 1997 June 3 

1 5

Correspondence, 1998 January 20-1998 December 26 

1 6

Correspondence, 1999 January 19-1999 December 20 

1 7

Correspondence, 2000 January 4-2000 December 27 

1 8

Correspondence, 2001 January 29-2001 December 1 

1 9

Correspondence, 2002 January 3-2002 November 23 

1 10

Correspondence, 2003 January 6-2003 August 11 

2 1

Correspondence, 2004 January 27-2004 December 1 

2 2

Correspondence, 2005 February 10-2005 August 29 

2 3

Correspondence, 2006 February 11-2006 December 

2 4

Correspondence, 2007 January 15-2007 Septemer 4 

2 5

Correspondence, 2008 March 24-2008 October 1, undated 

2 6