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Irma Firestone papers, 1937-1939

Summary Information
Title: Irma Firestone papers
Dates: 1937-1939
Creator: Firestone, Irma
Extent: 1 box (0.20 cubic feet)
Language: Collection materials in English.
Collection Number: umja0009
This collection consists of letters to Ruth Firestone Brin from her parents--mother, Irma Cain Firestone, and father, Milton Firestone--while Ruth was attending Vassar College and her parents resided at home in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Repository: University of Minnesota Libraries. Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives.

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by Brin, David

Access Restrictions:

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives; please contact the archives for more detailed copyright information.

Preferred Citation:

Irma Firestone papers, Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.


This collection is listed below by folder title and organized by creator.

Historical Note

Irma Cain Firestone was born in Milwaukee in 1886 and grew up in Chicago. Her paternal grandparents left the Alsace region of France in the 1850s and settled in Brazil before immigrating to Whitehall, New York. Irma's mother's family emigrated from Germany. Both German and English were spoken at home. Irma graduated from Vassar College in 1907 at a time when there were few fellow Jewish students. She married Milton Firestone in 1914; they resided in St. Paul and had three children, the youngest of whom, Ruth, was born in 1921. Ruth went to Vassar in 1937 when she was only 16 years old. Her brother George Firestone and her future husband, Howard Brin, were at Harvard College that same year, while her older brother, Linn, was at Harvard Law School. Irma, who spoke German, was involved with bringing German Jewish refugees to St. Paul and was very active in advocacy groups, serving as a volunteer with Jewish Family Service in St. Paul. She passed away in 1957. Ruth went on to become a well-known writer and book reviewer for both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the American Jewish World . Ruth passed away in 2009.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists entirely of correspondence on personal stationary, dated 1937 to 1939, and were written by Irma and Milton Firestone to their daughter Ruth while she was studying at Vassar College.

Subject Terms
Index Terms
  • This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
  • Brin, Ruth Firestone
  • Firestone, Milton
  • Firestone, Irma
  • Vassar College
  • Jews
  • Education
  • Women in higher education
Collection Contents
 Location  Title
Box 1
Correspondence from Irma Firestone, 1937-1939 Box 1 , Folder 1
Correspondence from Irma Firestone, undated Box 1 , Folder 2
Correspondence from Milton Firestone, 1937 Box 1 , Folder 3