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Harding family letters

 Collection — Folder: S3056
Identifier: S3056

Scope and Contents

This collection includes letters from Saburoka Ota and T. Ota written in Japan during 1911-1913 as part of a penpal exchange. The letters discuss their experiences attending a Japanese middle school (including subjects taught and structure by terms) and what activities Japanese boys engaged in during their vacations away from school. Some letters discuss matters of dress, customs, language, and Japanese and American variations in these matters. The significance of the death of the Japanese emperor and the naming of the Japanese years (e.g., year of the rat, the year of the ox) are given rather extended exposition. These letters accompanied the exchange of photographs, postcards, and a newspaper, although those objects are not part of collection.

A separate letter from Eva to Grace, written in 1989, explains how this collection of letters came to be and to whom the letters were written.


  • 1911-1913; 1989


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Saburoka Ota and T. Ota were both living in Tsuruoka, Uzen, in the northeast part of Japan, in 1911. Saburoka Ota was a student in Shonai Middle School. T. Ota, The elder brother of Saburoka Ota, had completed middle school and was preparing to take the entrance exam of the First Higher School in Tokyo in 1911. T. Ota was twenty years old and living in Tokyo two years later, in 1913. His younger brother, Saburoka Ota, continued to live in Tsuruoka in 1913.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Verl Whetstine on 1989/09/05.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1999 by Philip Williams. EAD finding aid created 2018/02/13 by Ryan Morgan.


Harding family letters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.