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Vera Frances Ingerson papers

Identifier: Ax 516

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains personal and business papers: correspondence, travel and personal notes, mission reports, miscellaneous publications, diaries, and photographs. Some of the highlights of this collection are the pictures and stories of Korea, particular accounts of wartime and civil unrest. The diaries may be a great source of information, but are difficult to peruse.

Series I, Correspondence, is made up of outgoing and incoming correspondence and divided into subseries by content. Subseries A contains general correspondence. The outgoing correspondence extends from 1922 to 1946 and is addressed to family, friends, and mission associates. Most of the letters were written from Korea, although Ingerson’s trip to Europe in 1931 is detailed. One letter from Colombia is present, written in 1946. The letter of July 20th, 1926 describes anxiety amongst Korean workers. The letter of January 30th, 1930 relates conflict between Japanese and Koreans. The incoming correspondence, extending from 1945 – 1960, was written by Blanche Stevens, Wilbur Ingerson, and John Smith. John Smith’s letter contains a note from Richard Baird, who gives an eyewitness account of the end of Seoul riots, following the resignation of leader Syngman Rhee. Subseries B contains Ingerson’s Annual Reports on her missionary activity from 1916 to 1944. Subseries C consists of Ingerson’s Christmas letters sent during her retirement years. Subseries D contains letters relating events of the Korean War from an American chaplain and two North Korean Christians. The chaplain Harold Voelkel writes from a POW camp, and notes an uprising. The two Koreans, Han Joon Myung and Kim Yoon Chan, relay their escapes from Communist persecution.

Series II, Travel Papers, contains a variety of travel identification and information: cost estimates, timetables, tourist brochures and pamphlets, and reservation confirmation. There is a tourist brochure of Geneva and a colorful Trans-Siberian Express timetable.

Series III, Handwritten Notes, contains Ingerson's notes on religion, travel, and an educational seminar. Subseries A consists of brief notes on various religious subjects. Subseries B contains a journal of Ingerson's travel in Korea with brief entries. Subseries C contains the papers regarding a seminar on a university's tour of Asia.

Series IV, Publications and Ephemera, contains yearbooks from Korean schools and other publications. Subseries A contains two yearbooks of Ingerson's school, the Pusyong Girl's Academy. Subseries B contains various pamphlets: one on Korea, one on Korean Churches, and one taken from an Ingerson annual report. There is also a book of photos with descriptions of Korean tourist destinations.

Series V, Diaries, consists of Ingerson's Line-a-Day diaries, which contain brief entries of the day's most basic events.

Series VI, Photographs, contains a number of photographs and a photo album. Subseries A consists of loose photographs of Ingerson, her friends, her associates, her students, and her environs. There is a great deal of attention devoted to the Korean school she taught at and the students. Subseries B is a photo album. The first part contains large group photos of Korean mission members from 1916 to 1937. The end of the book contains photos of smaller groups of missionaries in various states of repose, along with many photos of Korean landscape and native Koreans.


  • 1916-1967


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Vera F. Ingerson was born in 1890 in Denver, Colorado. She attended nursing school at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1916, she went to Korea as a nurse at the Presbyterian mission station in Syenchun. She later became the superintendent of nursing at In His Name Hospital, as well as a teacher at the Posyung Girl's Academy, serving for a time as interim principal. On a furlough in 1931, she traveled through Siberia to Europe and visited Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, France, England, and Italy.

In 1942, Ingerson left Korea due to the war and started missionary work in Barranquilla, Colombia. She worked as a nurse and teacher there. By 1957, she was retired and living in California.


3.5 linear feet (5 containers)

Language of Materials



Vera F. Ingerson (b. 1890) was a Presbyterian missionary and nurse who served in Korea from 1916-1942, and Colombia from 1942-1957, and toured Europe and Siberia in 1931. The collection contains a variety of personal and business papers, highlighted by images and stories of Korea during of wartime and civil unrest.

Arrangement note

Organized into the following series: Series I. Correspondence; Series II. Miscellaneous travel papers; Series III. Handwritten notes; Series IV. Publications and ephemera; Series V. Diaries; and Series VI. Photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Vera Frances Ingerson in 1968

General Physical Description note

5 containers

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Vera Frances Ingerson Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Matthew Kirnlinger, Manuscripts Processor
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA