Unraveling Workers’ Letters: The Voices behind Nelly Don


This exhibit was curated by students enrolled in English 309WI:  Rhetorics of Public Memory at UMKC during the spring semester, 2023. The course was designed and taught by Dr. Jane Greer, Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of English.


Dede Davenport, Genevieve Ismert, Sarah Kirk, Ashley Moreno, Darius Stewart, Karen Hughes, Regan Johnston, Emma Sauer, Ella Whitfield, Halle Hartman, Kate Holt, Lauren Leetch, Charlie Sheckells, Rin Convery, Doris Graves, Mara Huck, Ethan Ryan, Molly Sloan, Sarah Battle, Daryian Berymon, Gloria Carson, and Joslyn Ross.

For support and technical assistance, the curatorial team would like to thank:

Whitney Heinzmann, Lucinda Adams, Stuart Hinds, Buddy Pennington, Sean McCue, Garth Tardy, Mēgan Oliver, Sandy Rodriguez, Tamara Falicov, and Hannah Hohenstein.

UMKC's  Digital and Public Humanities Fellows for 2022/23 served as an important community of inspiration and support as this exhibit was beign created:   Virginia Blanton, Mitch Bryant, David Trowbridge, and Ye Wang.  Much gratitude as well to Jeff Rydberg-Cox and Diane Mutti-Burke who serve as co-directors of the Digital and Public Humanities at UMKC.

Photo Credits:

Images of women workers and interior of Donnelly Garment Company are from the Ellen "Nell" Quinlin Donnelly Reed Papers (K0444) and appear courtesy  of the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Exeterior mage of the Donnelly Garment Company factory courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

National Archives at Kansas City
Record Group: 21
Creator: U.S. District Court for the Western (Kansas City) Division of the Western District of Missouri.
Series: Equity Case Files, 1913 to 1938
National Archives Identifier: 572373