Stella Louise Duncan Papers, 1880-1950

Overview of the Collection

Duncan, Stella Louise
Stella Louise Duncan Papers
1880-1950 (inclusive)
1 linear foot
Collection Number
Mss 656
A few personal papers, photos, a scrapbook of photos and memorabilia from Stella Louise Duncan's student days at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana from 1905 to 1915, and travel diaries of 1927 trip to Europe, including England and Ireland, and 1932 trip to Russia.
University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 4062432053
Fax: 4062434067
Access Restrictions

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana--Missoula.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Stella Louise Duncan, the daughter of Robert Andrew and Jemima Duncan was born in Glendive, Montana on September 29, 1887. Her father was a pioneer physician. The family later moved to Kalispell, Montana. She attended the University of Montana in Missoula from 1904 to her graduation with a B.A. in 1907. Duncan taught school in Glendive, Montana, for at least one year between 1907 and 1910. In 1912 she did graduate work in languages at Northwestern but moved back to Montana for graduate studies until 1914. Her social life included acting in plays, dances and dinners, and attending sports events. She was a member of the Dramatic Club and, in 1909, was a founding member of Theta Phi, a local sorority which later became a chapter of the national sorority Kappa Alpha Theta.

Duncan then studied at Prince School in Boston, a private training school for business women that was affiliated with Simmon College and Harvard University. She received a B.S. degree in 1921 and was then employed as a buyer for five years in two exclusive women's shops in Boston. From there, Duncan established her own fashion import business and travelled extensively to Europe, Asia, and Africa. She collected art objects and fine home furnishings, most of which she donated to The University of Montana.

Duncan married twice, first to a Mr. Malloy in around 1910 and in 1937 to H.H. Johnstone. She died in Pasadena, California on November 26, 1948.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of a few scattered personal papers, photos, a scrapbook and two travel diaries.The personal papers include Duncan's baptism certificate, a record of her parent's marriage, and letters of recommendation. The individual photos are a similarly fragmented record of her life. The scrapbook contains photos and memorabilia about Duncan’s college career at the University of Montana in Missoula from 1905 to 1915. The photos range from studio portraits to a variety of group photos of students as well as some family pictures. The memorabilia includes Dramatic Club play programs, Theta Phi and other fraternity and sorority materials, music recital programs and dance programs, gentlemen’s calling cards, and gift note cards. The first travel diary records Duncan’s 1927 trip to Europe including England and Ireland and the second records her 1932 trip to Russia.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to The University of Montana.

Preferred Citation

[Name of document or photograph number], Stella Louise Duncan Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Custodial History

Custodial history of these materials is unknown.

Acquisition Information

History of the acquisition of these materials by the Archives is unknown. The personal papers and photos were held in Photos by Subject for many years.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Handwritten marriage certificate for Robert Andrew Duncan and Jemima Ann Mason 1880
1/2 Stella Duncan's baptism certificate 1887
1/3 Stella Duncan's University of Montana grades 1907-1912
1/4 Letters of Reference 1907-1911
1/5 Memorabilia from European travels, especially Germany 1936
1/6 Various photos of Stella Duncan 1890-1950
1/7 Various photos of Stella Duncan's friends and relatives undated
1/8 Photos of Stella Duncan in an academic procession honoring the 550th anniversary of the founding of Heidelberg, Germany 1936
1/9 Photos of an academic procession honoring the 550th anniversary of the founding of Heidelberg, Germany 1936
1/10 Travel diary of a trip to Europe 1927
1/11 Travel diary of a trip to Europe 1932
2/1 Scrapbook from student years at The University of Montana - Missoula 1905-1915

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Americans--Europe--Diaries
  • Americans--Soviet Union--Diaries
  • Greek letter societies--Montana--Missoula
  • Women travelers--Europe--Diaries
  • Women travelers--Soviet Union--Diaries

Corporate Names

  • University of Montana (Missoula, Mont.)
  • University of Montana (Missoula, Mont.)--Societies, etc.
  • University of Montana (Missoula, Mont.)--StudentsPhotographs

Geographical Names

  • Europe--Description and travel
  • Soviet Union--Description and travel

Form or Genre Terms

  • Diaries
  • Photographs--Montana--Missoula
  • Scrapbooks--Montana--Missoula


  • Women college students--Montana--Missoula