Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Chapin, Irene A.

Irene A. Chapin Diaries, 1926-1935.
4 vols. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 585

Irene Chapin and friends(?)
Irene Chapin and friends(?)

In March 1926, Irene A. Chapin (1901-1987) left La Crescenta, Calif., having lost her job in the office of Certain-Teed Corp., and returned home to Chicopee, Mass. Resuming work at the Fisk Tire Co., where she had begun at age 18, Chapin led an active social life, playing bridge and tennis, going to the theatre, and dining with friends. In 1927, she and a fellow stenographer at Fisk, Marion E. Warner (1904-1989), developed an intense friendship that blossomed into a same sex relationship.

Irene Chapin’s pocket-sized diaries include a brief, but densely written record of daily life, from the weather to work and the ebb and flow of a young woman’s social relations. Concerned about her ability to make a success of her job and personal life, Chapin remained sociable and possessed of a wide circle of friends, mostly women. Her diary records a long succession of bridge parties, hikes in the hills, vacations, hockey games, and Chapin alludes frequently to her increasingly intimate intimacy with Marion. Several passages written in shorthand provide additional details on the developing relationship. A photograph laid into the diary for 1927 depicts three women standing in front of a house, one of whom is presumably Chapin.

Subjects
  • Chicopee (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Lesbians--Massachusetts
  • Women--Diaries
Contributors
  • Chapin, Irene A
  • Warner, Marion E
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Photographs
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