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Champe Carter Winston Papers

Identifier: BC20-21

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Champe Carter Winston Letters are a collection of 192 letters exchanged between Champe Carter and her relatives and friends during her four years at Barnard. Penned on a weekly basis, letters sent and received by Champe Carter describe her daily life and experiences in New York City. The bulk of the letters were exchanges between her father, aunt, and brother and focused on various aspects of her social life and academic work. A common thread within these missives is the issue of money; Champe Carter relied on her father to send tuition and allowance funds to Barnard. Her aunt also gifted her money to support outings and travel expenses. Select letters have attachments such as clippings displaying local news. Letters to Champe Carter usually describe the goings on of her hometown as well as general updates on her family’s well being and commentary on her life at college. Together, the letters vividly depict Champe Carter’s private life and social and familial connections before a historical backdrop of Barnard’s campus and city life during the 1930s.

This collection might be helpful for researchers interested in Barnard student life over time, particularly with regard to economic and social life. The collection could also be studied as a collection of textual objects. The letters are well preserved and appear to be mostly complete in terms of keeping written communication in context. Therefore, it could be an excellent candidate for close reading and analysis. Possible disciplinary approaches include history, literature, psychology, art, or object studies.


  • Creation: 1932-09 - 1936-05



This collection has no restrictions. This collection is located on-site.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard College Archives. The Barnard College Archives approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Reproduction Restrictions

Reproductions can be made for research purposes.


Champe Carter Winston (1915-1991) was born in Richmond, Virginia. She attended Barnard College from 1932-1936. She came from a white, educated, middle class family who supported her throughout her studies. While the collection does not deal with any specific historical event, the backdrop of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and America’s turbulent economic and social situation are depicted in subtle ways. This collection encapsulates the subject and experience of a relatively privileged yet tenuously positioned young woman and Barnard student at a crucial historical moment. Other subjects that appear in this collection are Champe’s family members, most notably her father ,John G. Winston, and her aunt, “Dee” (Lavinia Higginbotham), These subjects add framing and context to the overall sketch of Champe’s familial and social life, and thus her economic life, though they were separated geographically at the points of creation of the collection.


.83 Linear Feet (192 letters; two document boxes)




The Champe Carter Winston Letters consist of 192 letters exchanged between Champe Carter Winston and her friends and family members during the four years she attended Barnard College from 1932-1936. The letters document Champe Carter Winston’s familial and social life and sketch a picture of what daily life was like for a relatively privileged Barnard student during the 1930s in New York City. The collection yields insight into the ways that young women represented their college activities to outsiders and how they engaged with and made sense of their lives that were connected to multiple geographies and temporalities.

Collection Arrangement

The arrangement of the collection is chronological.

Physical Location

This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or

Aquisition Information

The collection was donated to the Barnard Archives and Special Collections in 2010 by Champe Carter Winston’s daughter, Barbara Evans Newman.


Additions are not expected.

Processing History

Sometime around 2016, a Barnard archivist performed rehousing and physical arrangement interventions that stabilized the collection and supplied box and folder level information for the 192 letters that Newman delivered to Barnard. There is no clear record of the original order that the collection had when Carter Winston created the records, but the accession record states that the letters were delivered in chronological order and in good condition at the time of donation. Minor preservation interventions included removing letters from their original envelopes and attaching the pages with an archival paperclip. The processing was completed by Lia Warner in 2022, for the NYU class Advanced Archival Description, as part of her Masters coursework in partnership with NYU’s Archives and Public History program and Barnard. The finding aid was workshopped amongst other students of the Masters program and reflects their collective engagement with theories and practices of archival description. Warner’s contribution was purely intellectual and did not entail making any changes to the collection’s present physical arrangement.

Finding aid adheres to rules prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.

Guide to the Champe Carter Winston Papers
Lia Warner
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Barnard Archives and Special Collections Repository

3009 Broadway
New York NY 10027 United States