Today’s post is from Beth Harris, Special Collections Librarian & Archivist at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.
Leila Virginia Cocke Turner (1844-1899) and her daughter, Leila Mason Turner Rath (1872-1937), shared similar lives: both spent most of their lives on campus and attended Hollins Institute (Roanoke, Virginia). Leila Virginia was the second child of Hollins founder, Charles Lewis Cocke, and Susanna Virginia Pleasants Cocke. In 1871, she married Joseph A. Turner, Sr., Professor of Ancient and Modern Languages at Hollins and together they had two children: Leila Masters Turner and Joseph A. Turner, Jr.
While there are a number of records that document their lives in the University Archives, the most interesting items left behind were two scrapbooks filled with beautiful greeting cards. Shown here are just a few of the Christmas and New Year’s cards that they received from various relatives and friends. Leila Virginia’s scrapbook was begun ca. 1882, while her daughter was given a scrapbook when she was thirteen years old, in 1885.
Some of the cards depict images of holly, ivy, and snow, traditional illustrations for modern day cards. However, many others include nautical and floral designs that are not associated with Christmas or New Year’s cards today. Please visit the Hollins Digital Commons for more information and to see more cards.