The Frost Family Manuscript Collection gives a good picture of upper-class life in both the United States and Europe from the end of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth centuries, including the financial decline that afflicted it toward the end of this period. The papers also provide fascinating glimpses into the stories of several generations of the flamboyant Frost family. The collection contains items dating from around 1850 to 1993, with the bulk: of the material dating from about 1900 to 1935.
Most of the material consists of letters to and from the Frost family and their friends. This Correspondence Series covers descriptions of European conditions during World War I, lives of leisure passed at various villas on the Continent, trips to warm seaside climates to bolster failing health, and the financial and marital troubles of black sheep brother Reginald, whose life was punctuated by failed schemes in the African ivory trade, the Yukon gold fields, and Arkansas diamond mines. Also here are family feuds, affecting death scenes, expressions of loneliness for far-away friends and relatives, and many matter-of-fact chronicles of the vicissitudes of advancing age.
The Ephemera Series provides an accompaniment of religious and memorial cards, prayers, and wedding announcements, while the Photographs Series contains family snapshots, many unfortunately unidentified, as well as views of Hazelwood and its gardens.
Other series such as Certificates, Clippings, and Compositions round out the variety of family documents making up the collection.