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Finding aid to the Esther Herbert and Marvyl Doyle Papers and Photographs, 1921-2011

Finding aid prepared by Jennifer Ansley, (c) 2013

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator
Doyle, Marvyl, 1921-2001
Creator - Creator
Herbert, Esther, 1920-
Title
Esther Herbert and Marvyl Doyle Papers and Photographs
Collection no.
Coll2013.030
Date [inclusive]
1921-2011
Extent
6.4 linear feet., 3 archive boxes + 3 archive binder-boxes + 1 archive shoebox.
Language
English
Abstract
Correspondence, photographs, audiocassettes, manuscripts, professional papers, and other materials, 1921-2011, from lesbian speech pathologist and veteran, Esther Herbert, and her partner, Marvyl Doyle. The correspondence contains letters between Herbert and Doyle written between 1944 and 1996 with the bulk of the letters being exchanged during World War 2 while they were stationed separately in the Women's Army Corps. Also included is an extensive collection of photographs documenting their military service. Among the papers are published materials by both Herbert and Doyle regarding their respective work in speech pathology and writing composition; as well as a collection of Doyle's poetry. The collection also includes recorded interviews with Esther Herbert regarding her experience of living as a lesbian in the 1940s and 1950s.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] Esther Herbert and Marvyl Doyle Papers and Photographs, Coll2013-030, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Biography

Esther Herbert was born in Rochester, New York on May 25, 1920. Herbert graduated from Brooklyn College in 1941 and shortly after, began a Masters Program in Speech Pathology at the State University of Iowa. In 1942, she briefly taught at Boise Junior High School in Boise, Idaho before joining the army in 1943. For most of the war, she worked in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) company administrative office, eventually earning the rank of Technical Sergeant. It was during this period that she met her lifelong partner, Marvyl Doyle.

In 1944, Doyle was transferred to Patterson Field, Illinois, and Herbert began a relationship with Roberta Behr. After the war, Herbert attended the University of Southern California, earning her teaching credential. She began work as a speech therapist in the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1946 and retired in 1980.

Following the war, Herbert and Behr moved to Playa del Rey. Herbert and Marvyl Doyle reunited in 1955 and continued with their relationship until Doyle's death in 2001. As of 2013, Herbert lives in Palm Springs, California.

Source:

Esther Herbert and Marvyl Doyle Papers and Photographs, Coll2013-030, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Biography

Marvyl Doyle was born in Clear Lake, Iowa on May 10, 1921. She graduated from Hampton High School in Hampton, Iowa in 1939 and was later accepted to National Youth America Training Corps to be trained in radio. After completing her training, she joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1942 and became an Advanced Radio Mechanic.

In 1943, she was stationed at San Bernadino Army Airforce Base where she was enlisted in the newly-formed Women's Army Corps and Esther Herbert. In 1944, Doyle was transferred to Patterson Field, Illinois, but continued a regular correspondence and close friendship with Herbert until they reunited again in 1955.

In the mean time, while living with her partner Sue Graff, Doyle attended Drake University, graduating in 1950 with both a master's degree in Reading and Literature. In 1951, after briefly enrolling in a Ph.D. program at Ohio State University, Doyle moved to St. Petersburg, Florida where she taught at South East Junior High School.

In 1955, Doyle and Herbert reunited and in 1956, Doyle began an Ed.D. program at the University of Southern California. She graduated in 1961 and taught at several Southern California community colleges before retiring in 1981.

Marvyl Doyle died in May 2001 and is buried in Memorial Park in Joshua Tree, California.

Source:

Esther Herbert and Marvyl Doyle Papers and Photographs, Coll2013-030, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Scope and Contents

The collection comprises correspondence, photographs, audiocassettes, manuscripts, professional papers and other materials, 1921-2011, from lesbian speech pathologist and veteran, Esther Herbert, and her partner, Marvyl Doyle. The correspondence contains letters to and from Herbert and her longtime partner Doyle from 1944 to 1968 with the bulk of the letters being exchanged during World War II, while Herbert and Doyle were stationed separately in the Women's Army Corps. The photographs document their experiences in WWII as well as their life together after the war. Also included are published and unpublished materials by both Herbert and Doyle documenting their professional careers; as well as a collection of Doyle's poetry. Herbert also wrote notes and recorded interviews about her time in the army, as well as her life with Doyle. The collection also includes papers from Roberta Behr and Sue Graff, friends and former partners of Herbert and Doyle, respectively.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Esther Herbert papers

Series 2. Marvyl Doyle papers

Series 3. Sue Graff and Roberta Behr papers

Series 4. Photograph albums, audiocassettes and DVD

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2013
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

Gift of Esther Herbert, April 23, 2011.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jennifer Ansley, April 2013.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States--Army--Women's Army Corps.

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Poetry

Subject(s)

  • Lesbian couples
  • Lesbian writings
  • Speech therapy
  • Women veterans

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Series 1. Esther Herbert papers 1937-2011 

Series Description

This series consists of correspondence, publications, diplomas and certificates, military records, and professional papers of Esther Herbert. Among the materials in this series are Herbert's own notes regarding the contents of the collection. The correspondence is comprised mainly of letters to and from Herbert and her partner, Marvyl Doyle, with the bulk of the letters being composed during World War II. The publications and professional papers are concerned with Herbert's work as a speech pathologist and membership in the American Speech and Hearing Association.

Arrangement

Esther Herbert's notes about this collection are at the beginning of this series. The remaining folders are arranged chronologically with undated files at the end.

Box Folder

 Herbert's notes about the collection 2011 

1 1

 Correspondence, Esther Herbert and Marvyl Doyle 1944-1968   [16 folders]

1 3-18

 Correspondence, Sue Graff and Marvyl Doyle February-September 1956   [3 folders]

1 19-21

 Correspondence, family 1953 

1 22

 Correspondence, general 1944-1996   [2 folders]

2 1-2

 Clippings 1945-1967 

2 3

 Military records 1945 

2 4

 Diplomas and certificates 1937-1977 

2 5

 Publications on speech pathology 1949-1971   [5 folders]

2 6-10

 Professional records 1963-1977 

2 12

 Poem Undated 

2 19

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Series 2:  Series 2. Marvyl Doyle papers 1921-1997 

Series Description

This series contains manuscripts, notebook journals, publications, and personal papers of Marvyl Doyle. Her personal papers include her birth certificate, military discharge records, and employment contracts. The manuscripts consist primarily of Doyle's unpublished poems and college papers. Her dissertation for the Doctoral Program in Education at the University of Southern California is also included in this series. The publications are concerned with Doyle's poetry, as well as later work as a reading and composition instructor and include a pamphlet series that Doyle co-wrote, titled "Lessons for Self-Instruction in Basic Skills." Note that Doyle correspondence can be found in Series 1: Esther Herbert papers.

Arrangement

Folders are arranged chronologically.

Box Folder

 Personal papers 1921-1977 

3 1

 Clippings 1938-1939 

3 2

 Poems 1943-1997   [2 folders]

3 3-4

 Military papers 1946 

3 5

 College papers 1948-1957 

3 6

 Poetry journals and anthologies 1949-1956 

3 7

 Notebooks circa 1952-1974   [7 folders]

3 8-14

 Lecture notes, Remedial and Diagnostic Reading 1954 

3 15

 Gotham Book Mart Pamphlet 1956 

2 11

 Dissertation 1961   [2 folders]

3 16-17

 Publications on writing instruction and reading comprehension 1962-1979   [4 folders]

3 18-21

 Miscellaneous notes and writings Undated 

3 22

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Series 3:  Series 3.  Sue Graff and Roberta Behr papers 1925-2007 

Series Description

This series comprises personal papers, property records, and books belonging to Herbert's lifelong friends, Sue Graff and Roberta Behr. Included in these materials are the military discharge records, diplomas and certificates, and art work of Sue Graff. The series also consists of clippings, pamphlets, and photographs regarding Zaca Lake, a property once owned by Behr. The books included in the series are in reference to Patience Worth, a spirit that allegedly contacted Behr's stepmother, Pearl Curran.

Arrangement

Books regarding Patience Worth have been placed at the end of this series. The remaining folders are arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder

 Roberta Behr manuscript Undated 

2 14

 Sue Graff papers 1946-1999 

2 13

 Zaca Lake property papers 1970-2007 

2 18
Box Item

 The Case of Patience Worth, by Walter Franklin Prince, University Books 1964 

2 15

 The Pot Upon the Wheel, by Patience Worth, Patience Worth Publishing 1927 

2 16

 Patience Worth: A Psychic Mystery, by Casper S. Yost 1925 

2 17

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Series 4:  Series 4. Photograph albums, audiocassettes and DVD 1943-1993 

Series Description

This series includes photographs albums, photographs and slides that document the lives of Esther Herbert, Marvyl Doyle, and friends and family from 1943 through 1993. The bulk of the photographs document the women and their time in the Women's Army Corps. This series also includes seven audiocassettes of interviews with Esther Herbert; as well as one DVD, titled "Playa del Rey," which includes a slideshow of images of Herbert's home in Playa del Rey, California.

Arrangement

Photographs and slides are at the beginning of this series, followed by recorded interviews on audiocassettes, and one digital photograph slideshow on DVD.

Box-binder

 Photograph album 1 1943-1951 

Scope and Contents note

Includes 179 black and white photographs and 40 color postcards.

4

 Photograph album 2 1944-1945 

Scope and Contents note

Includes 132 black and white photographs.

4

 Photograph album 3 1943-1951 

Scope and Contents note

Includes 218 black and white photographs.

5

 Photographs and slides found loose 1944-1993 

Scope and Contents note

Includes 46 slides and 152 photographs.

6
Box Item

 Herbert interview, with Ellie Dozier 2006   6 audiocassettes.

7 AC1824-AC1829
Box Folder

 Herbert's notes about the interview with Ellie Dozier 2006 

1 2
Box Item

 Herbert interview, with Joseph Hawkins 2011   1 audiocassette.

Scope and Contents note

Ellie Dozier, Dan Luckenbill, and Toshhide Kawai are also present during this interview.

7 AC1830

 "Playa Del Rey, 1946-1961" Undated   1 DVD.

Scope and Contents note

Slideshow of Herbert's home in Playa del Rey and Ballona Creek, California.

7 1

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