Anna Dorr Viele
Diaries, 1901-1932

SC23349

Quantity: 3 boxes (1.0 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Purchase: Carmen D. Valentino, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Philadelphia, Pa., December 2015
Processed By: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts & Special Collection, December 2015

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Biographical Note:

Anna Porter Dorr Viele, was born circa February 1857 in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Ebenezer P. and Sarah F. Dorr.  She was married June 5, 1877, to Sheldon Thompson Viele (1847-1916), a prominent attorney in Buffalo, with whom she raised five children: Grace (1878-1969), Dorr (1880-1972), Anne (1884-1967), Laetitia (1890-1972), and Sheldon K. (1892-1934).  She was a prominent socialite, who was quite active in church, charitable, civic, and literary societies and organizations.  She died in Buffalo January 31, 1932.

Scope and Content Note:

Covering almost every year from 1901 until her passing in 1932, this series of diaries contain terse, quickly jotted daily appointment and activity notes of Anna Dorr Viele. The partially printed bound volumes preserve her wide-ranging social appointments, family events, reading interests, and travels. 

On the pages of these diaries, Anna Dorr Viele recorded her daily routine of engagements, including teas, luncheons, dinner parties, receptions, showers, weddings, church events, lectures, and club meetings. Sometimes she included a list of the names of persons who attended these events.  The diaries also include tidbits about the books she was reading, films she had seen at the cinema, and theatrical performances, music recitals and concerts she had attended.

Family activities and events are also chronicled in the diaries, particularly the lives of her children.  With all or part of her family, she frequently traveled by automobile on long vacation trips throughout New York and New England.

The diaries also contain a considerable amount of tipped-in material, including letters, notes, guest lists, recipes, membership cards, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Altogether the diaries and enclosed materials provide a glimpse of the social life of an upper-income family living in Buffalo during the first quarter of the twentieth century.  Personal and place names associated with Buffalo provide additional insights for local history and genealogy.

Related collections:

This repository also includes a small series of letters addressed to Dorr Viele from members of his immediate family while he was a student at Yale College from 1901 to 1902 (SC21574).  The letters detail activities and events at the Pan-American Exposition as well as everyday family life.  An unpublished finding aid to this collection is available.

The Buffalo History Museum (formerly the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society) holds a scrapbook of theater playbills compiled by Grace Viele from about 1890 to 1905, and the Williams L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has a series of five letters written by Sheldon Viele relative to his journey by steamship from New York to Rotterdam (Netherlands) in August 1888.

Container List:


Box Volume Description
1 1 Diary, 1901 (ca. 75 p.; 22 cm.)
1 2 Diary, 1903 (ca. 368 p.; 17 cm.)
1 3 Diary, 1904 (ca. 368 p.; 17 cm.)
1 4 Diary, 1905 (ca. 368 p.; 17 cm.)
1 5 Diary, 1906 (ca. 368 p.; 17 cm.)
1 6 Diary, 1907 (368 p.; 20 cm.)
1 7 Diary, 1908 (368 p.; 20 cm.)
1 8 Diary, 1909 (368 p.; 20 cm.)
1 9 Diary, 1910 (368 p.; 20 cm.)
1 10 Diary, 1911 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
2 11 Diary, 1912 (368 p.; 20 cm.)
2 12 Diary, 1913 (368 p.; 20 cm.)
2 13 Diary, 1914 (368 p.; 20 cm.)
2 14 Diary, 1915 (368 p.; 20 cm.)
2 15 Diary, 1916 (368 p.; 20 cm.)
2 16 Diary, 1917 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
2 17 Diary, 1918 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
2 18 Diary, 1919 (222 p.; 18 cm.)
2 19 Diary, 1920 (ca. 220 p. 13 cm.)
2 20 Diary, 1921 (368 p.; 15 cm.)
2 21 Diary, 1922 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 22 Diary, 1923 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 23 Diary, 1924 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 24 Diary, 1925 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 25 Diary, 1926 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 26 Diary, 1927 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 27 Diary, 1928 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 28 Diary, 1929 (368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 29 Diary, 1930 (ca. 368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 30 Diary, 1931 (ca. 368 p.; 18 cm.)
3 31 Diary, 1932 (ca. 368 p.; 18 cm.)
Last Updated: January 13, 2017