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Nellie Talman Papers

Identifier: mss-532

Scope and Contents

This collection contains letters and items that belonged to Helen Talman, known most commonly as Nellie. The letters are mostly from her future husband, Herbert McIntosh, while others are from friends and the University of Vermont. The collection also includes two printing plates, a few photographic prints, and a newspaper which contains an early ad for the McIntosh and Crandall engineering company, formed in 1905.

It is important to note that Nellie's maiden name is spelled multiple different ways throughout this collection (ex. Tolman and Tallman). The spelling of "Talman" for the official collection title was decided upon due to it being one of the most common iterations in the collection, and also because of a personalized stationery card of Nellie's, dated December 1894, since she would have chosen the spelling herself.

The handwriting on the letters also make it difficult to ascertain who exactly they are from. The bulk of them being from Herbert McIntosh are assumed due to their being married shortly after the letters stop, as well as their tone and content (addressed to "my dearest N" and signed "always and forever yours"). The author's name is often unclear due to the cursive, but in various letters one is able to make out "Mac" or "M", a nickname of McIntosh.

The two printing plates depict a portrait of Herbert Miller McIntosh. They measure approximately 3.5" x 2" and 4" x 2.5". The smaller one also has McIntosh's name written on the sides in pencil and the name of the engraving company that made them.


  • 1887-1909

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 Note

Helen “Nellie” McIntosh was born in 1868 to Clarissa and Edward Tallman in Essex County, New York. She attended the Mary Fletcher Hospital Training School for Nurses in Burlington, VT. She travelled frequently around Vermont and upstate New York as part of her nursing duties. In 1897, she married Herbert McIntosh (1861-1942), an engineer and surveyor for the state of Vermont who went on to run the H.M. McIntosh engineering company. The two had a daughter, Jane P. McIntosh (1899-1987), who became the first woman to graduate from the University of Vermont’s Civil Engineering Program. Nellie died in 1943 and is buried in New York.


0.63 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection contains materials belonging to Nellie Talman, predominantly letters from her fiance, friends, and the University of Vermont. Also contains newspaper, photographs, and printing plates.


Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Related Materials

The letters appear to have been written by Herbert Miller McIntosh, whose professional life is documented in the H.M. McIntosh Company Records, also at the University of Vermont Special Collections.

Guide to the Nellie Talman Papers
2019 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)