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Horace B. Eldred Papers

Identifier: mss-620

Scope and Contents

Eldred Papers trace the history of the 1918 alumni with a significant amount of correspondence, official and casual, but also with class photographs (some signed L.L. McAllister), obituaries, newsletters, financial records, and a variety of memorabilia.

The collection holds some programs of university events including Kake Walk. Also present are three programs from the Champlain Shakespeare Festival, some from the time that the festival was held at the Arena Theater in the Fleming Museum. The collection holds a few photographs of University of Vermont buildings, including some of the dedication ceremony of the Fleming Museum in 1931. Eldred may have taken these photographs himself; some may be found in the alumni publication The University of Vermont Bulletin. Most are black and white prints. An additional photograph appears to be a portrait of Eldred.

The culmination of Eldred's work with alumni is represented by a small poster designed to present the gift of the 1918 class to the University of Vermont in 1968, the year of its 50th class reunion. This gift consisted in the creation of the John Dewey Lounge in a space that had previously served as a chapel. The 1918 class provided all the furnishings for this new lounge. Shortly after 50th class reunion and the official presentation of the class gift in 1968, this major renovation received a "Merit Certificate for Architectural Preservation and Improvement" from the Chittenden County Historical Society. The collection houses a photograph of this certificate, as well as a booklet presenting a brief description of all the portraits decorating the lounge, and the stained glass windows that embellish the architecture. Among the latter there is a distinctive Tiffany window.

Another alumni initiative is demonstrated through correspondence related to the granting of an honorary degree to a prominent scientist who was member of the 1918 class: Dr. Hiram Rupert Hanmer, a chemist who had devoted most of his life to research on tobacco. This correspondence dates back to 1941, and it contains a copy of Dr. Hanmer’s Curriculum Vitae. In 1963, at the time that the 1918 class met to celebrate their 45th Reunion, Mr. Hanmer received a Distinguished Service Award from the University of Vermont.

A small amount of personal and professional correspondence relates to his scout-related duties as well as work at the Fleming. The material may be of particular interest to researchers as Eldred was employed at both UVM museums during the transition from a focus on natural history, geology, and anthropology to solely fine art.


  • 1902-1973


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical / Historical

Horace Byron Eldred was born in Manchester, Vermont on January 28, 1895, the son of Mark H. Eldred and Minnie Norcross. He attended the University of Vermont as a member of the class of 1918. He worked at the University’s Billings Library and museum. He served as class treasurer while an alumnus.

He was an accomplished violinist and maintained a strong relationship with music throughout most of his life including membership in several local choirs in the Burlington area. In 1933, he married Helen Hager in Vergennes, Vermont. She was a graduate of the Maryland Institute of Fine Arts. That same year, he became Assistant Director of the Fleming Museum and helped to establish the Vermont Film Library, which began with a total of 15 films. In 1937-1938 he spent six months at the Brooklyn Museum as a "loaned assistant." This museum was considered one of the largest and most active museums combining art and natural history at that time. While there, Eldred also forged links with the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. This connection strengthened the Fleming’s programming for children. While in New York, Eldred secured equipment and arranged important loans and exchanges for the Fleming. Newspaper articles of the time attest to this when announcing that the Fleming Museum had received an "indefinite" loan of Greek and Egyptian materials from the Brooklyn Museum.

In 1933, he rose to the position of Assistant Director of the Fleming; he became its director, serving from 1949 until 1954. At the same time, he worked as manager of the Audio Visual Department at the University of Vermont from 1954 to 1964. This position included oversight of Student Photo Services. From 1964 to 1973, held the same post at Champlain College.

In the community, Eldred was a long term scoutmaster and commissioner for the district of Burlington in the Long Trail Council. He was also the secretary of the Queen City Park Association from July 21, 1944 until the Association’s official dissolution in 1951. An active member of the Burlington community, he served as town moderator and as school director. He died in December 5, 1982. At that time, the family consisted of sons Philip, Charles, and Wesley and seven grandchildren.


2 Linear Feet (1 carton, 1 box, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Collection contains photographs (presumably by Eldred, a photographer); UVM alumni, fundraising, and reunion materials for the class of 1918; Kake Walk and other UVM programs; and photo prints of Dewey Lounge, which was furnished as the class gift.


Panoramic photographs were received rolled. They were treated in-house to humidify and unroll. They remain fragile.

Physical Location

Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Related Materials

Related material may be found in the records of the Fleming Museum (RG 36), UVM Alumni Relations (RG 75), and the Queen City Park Associaiton Records, all at UVM Special Collections.

Ancestors of Eldred's wife Helen are documented in the Sawyer, Peaslee, Keeler, and Hubbel Family Papers, also at UVM Special Collections. A family tree is available.

Separated Materials

A ledger that mainly contains meeting minutes from the Queen City Park Association was placed with those records. Eldred served as the association's secretary and used the same volume to note information about films presumably held by the UVM audio-visual department.

Documents related to Lucy Sawyer Hager, Edward Sawyer, and Joshua Sawyer were removed to the Sawyer, Peaslee, Keeler, and Hubbel Family Papers.

Guide to the Horace Eldred Papers
2018 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)