Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Grace Kelly Photographs and negatives

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Grace Kelly Photographs and negatives,
Creator: Kelly, G. (Grace)
Inclusive dates: circa 1930-1960, and undated
Extent: 1.75 cubic feet (in 4 boxes)
Photographs and negatives of a Catholic nurse who served in World War II, her family, friends, medical staff, Fort Custer (Mich.), a convent and nuns in Louisiana, World War II sites in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia, and Bureaun, The Philippines.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 68303

Access Restrictions:

Grace Kelly Photographs and negatives are open for research.


Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Grace Kelly Photographs and negatives, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


The collection is organized into two series, Negatives and Photographs and then alphabetically by topic. The images are mostly undated, but date from the 1940s through the 1960s.



Grace Kelly (birth and death dates unknown) grew up in a Catholic family, probably in Michigan. She served as a lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II, first at Fort Custer (Battle Creek, Michigan), in October 1943, in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia, in 1944, and in Bureaun, the Philippines, in 1945.

From the number and frequency of the images in this collection, we can assume that she was probably related to two couples, one with four girls, the second with two boys, and had a sister who was a nun in the Convent of the Holy Family (New Orleans, Louisiana). None of her relatives are identified by name nor by location.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The majority of the collection (1.25 cubic ft.) consists of undated Negatives, mostly of Grace’s relatives. There are many images of a family with four girls playing, eating, celebrating birthdays, going to school, being baptized, preparing for First Holy Communion, with Easter baskets, on vacation, and with extended family. The family traveled overseas, as well as to camp and enjoyed speed boating and fun with a jeep, during the 1950s-1960s. A family dog is in several negatives as well as the girls’ swing set. There are a number of images of a family with two boys, probably also relatives, playing, at a summer camp, and with family members.

There are numerous negatives a nun, who was a family member, first as a novice, and later as a professed nun, by herself, but more often with other nuns or family members, most often the four girls, their parents, and probably the nun’s mother, at church, the convent, visiting shrines, and at family gatherings. A number of the photographs clearly show the address of the convent as 717 Orleans Street. She was a member of the Holy Family Convent in New Orleans (Louisiana). [This information is from an e-news article in the Clarion Herald (the) Official Catholic Newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Vol. 42, No. 14, July 2, 2003. According to the article, the convent moved to another location in 1955 after 80 years at 717. A convent, novitiate, and high school, St. Mary’s Academy, were once located at 717.]

A priest is often in the family photographs, particularly with the family of four girls and with the nun. He may have been a family member as well.

Older negatives show the four girls’ Grandma, a boy often wearing knickers, and other senior family members wearing 1920s-1930s era clothing. Grandma apparently lived in her house all her life, as the four girls visited her there with their parents. Grandma’s backyard, with her birdhouse and swing, with numerous large family gatherings, is featured in many negatives.

One folder of negatives shows Grace and various men in military uniforms with family members before leaving to serve in World War II. A common element in the negatives is the large pile of concrete blocks in the backyard.

Additional negatives show animals, buildings, trips, cars, and flowers, trees, etc.

The rest of the collection consists of Photographs (.5 cubic ft.). Most of the photographs date from World War II and document Lieutenant Grace Kelly’s nursing experience and training at Fort Custer (Battle Creek, Michigan), in October 1943, in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia, in 1944, and in Bureaun, the Philippines, in 1945. The barracks, housing, operating room and equipment, island natives, nurses (working, relaxing, fooling around, on ship, in trucks, hauling equipment, and sightseeing), doctors, medical corpsmen, soldiers, prisoners, patients, animals, scenic wonders, as well as vehicles are documented.

Other photographs document later family barbecues and children in August 1960, and there is one photograph of a nun (Grace’s sister?) with a little girl (Grace’s niece?), dated September 1956.

A few additional, undated photographs of crowds at a Grand Stand, and people in an arena or stadium with loud speakers complete the collection.

All of the negatives that match photographs have been filed with the appropriate photograph.

Subject Terms

    • Kelly, G. (Grace)
    • Catholic Church--Michigan.
    • Sisters of the Holy Family (New Orleans, La.)
    • United States. Army. General Hospital, No. 44.
    • United States. Army. Nurse Corps--History--20th century.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Medical care.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Hospitals.
    • Nurses--United States--History--20th century.
    • Nurses--United States--Photograph collections.
    • Military nursing--United States--20th century.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Grace Kelly Photographs and negatives. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Negatives, Animals (Cows, Dogs, Elephants), undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Negatives, Children, Babies’ Holy Baptism (family in images), undated
    Box   1 F   3
    Negatives, Children, Babies, Toddlers, undated
    Box   1 F   4
    Negatives, Children, Boys and Girls, undated
    Box   1 F   5
    Negatives, Children, Boys, Groups, undated
    Box   1 F   6
    Negatives, Children, Boys, Groups, undated
    Box   1 F   7
    Negatives, Children, Boys, Portraits, undated
    Box   1 F   8
    Negatives, Children, Girls, First Holy Communion (some images of a couple), undated
    Box   1 F   9
    Negatives, Children, Girls, Groups, undated
    Box   1 F   10
    Negatives, Children, Girls, Portraits, undated
    Box   1 F   11
    Negatives, City Buildings, Miscellaneous, Cars, undated
    Box   1 F   12
    Negatives, Houses, Yards, Trees, Bushes, Flowers, undated
    Box   1 F   13
    Negatives, Man or Men and Children, undated
    Box   1 F   14
    Negatives, Men and Women, undated
    Box   1 F   15
    Negatives, Men and Women and Children (folder 1 of 3), undated
    Box   1 F   16
    Negatives, Men and Women and Children (folder 2 of 3), undated
    Box   1 F   17
    Negatives, Men and Women and Children (folder 3 of 3), undated
    Box   2 F   1
    Negatives, Men, Groups, undated
    Box   2 F   2
    Negatives, Men, Portraits, undated
    Box   2 F   3
    Negatives, Nun with Other Nuns, Family (folder 1 of 2), undated
    Box   2 F   4
    Negatives, Nun with Other Nuns, Family (folder 2 of 2), undated
    Box   2 F   5
    Negatives, People (Difficult to Identify), undated
    Box   2 F   6
    Negatives, Priest and Family, Nativity Set in Church, undated
    Box   2 F   7
    Negatives, Teenage Girls (Women?), By Image of Madonna and Child, undated
    Box   2 F   8
    Negatives, Teenage Girls (Women?), In Classroom Setting, undated
    Box   2 F   9
    Negatives, Teenage Girls (Women?), In Dormitory Rooms, undated
    Box   2 F   10
    Negatives, Teenage Girls (Women?), In ‘Little Women’ Play Costumes with Scenery, undated
    Box   2 F   11
    Negatives, Teenage Girls (Women?), In Wicker Chairs, undated
    Box   3 F   1
    Negatives, Woman or Women and Children, undated
    Box   3 F   2
    Negatives, Women, Groups, undated
    Box   3 F   3
    Negatives, Women, Portraits, undated
    Box   3 F   4
    Negatives, Women, Portraits, , Graduation, 1930s?
    Box   3 F   5
    Negatives, World War II, People in Uniform, some with Family, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   6
    Photographs, Children at Sunset, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   7
    Photographs, Crowd at Grand Stand, Flagpoles, Parade (and Negatives), undated
    Box   3 F   8
    Photographs, Family Barbecue (and Negatives), August 1969
    Box   3 F   9
    Photographs, Nun with Little Girl (and Negatives), September 1969
    Box   3 F   10
    Photographs, People at Arena or Stadium? (and Negative), September 1969
    Box   3 F   11
    Photographs, World War II, Animals (Horses, Monkey, Dogs, Goat, Cows), [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   12
    Photographs, World War II, Army Barracks, Bases, 44th General Hospital, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   13
    Photographs, World War II, Church, Services, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   14
    Photographs, World War II, Filipinos, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   15
    Photographs, World War II, Japanese Prisoners, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   16
    Photographs, World War II, Medical Staff Party, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   17
    Photographs, World War II, Nurses, Grace Kelly, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   18
    Photographs, World War II, Nurses, Groups, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   19
    Photographs, World War II, Nurses, Portraits, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   20
    Photographs, World War II, Nurses, With Soldiers or Medical Staff, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   21
    Photographs, World War II, Operating Room, Equipment, Operations, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   22
    Photographs, World War II, Patients, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   23
    Photographs, World War II, Scenic Views, Australia, Philippines, unidentified, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   24
    Photographs, World War II, Soldiers, Medical Staff, Groups, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   25
    Photographs, World War II, Soldiers, Medical Staff, Portraits, [1939-1945]
    Box   3 F   25
    Photographs, World War II, Vehicles (Boats, Planes, Helicopter, Trucks, Train), [1939-1945]