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Zelda Gould collection of Amy Otis Earhart correspondence and photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 79

Scope and Contents

The Zelda Gould collection of Amy Otis Earhart correspondence and photographs documents the thoughts and feelings Amelia Earhart's mother, Amy Otis Earhart, was experiencing after the disappearance of her daughter, and then coming to terms with her fate. Topics also include World War II and the events following the war, politics and elections, current events of the era, hobbies, personal concerns, thank-you notes, among other topics.

There are some newspaper clippings about Amelia Earhart among the letters. The letters begin on January 14, 1939 and run through January 10, 1950. Gould and Amy Otis Earhart were pen pals during this time, and the collection of seventy-five letters received by Gould were given to Purdue in 1992.

There are a few issues of The Centerville Crusader, the community newspaper from the town where Gould resided. The papers contain a column about Amelia Earhart, Zelda Gould's connection to Earhart's mother, Amy Otis Earhart, and a photograph of the letters being delivered to Purdue. Also included with the collection are five framed photographs of Amelia Earhart that were given to Gould by Mrs. Earhart.


  • 1930 - 1950
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 1949


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyright held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Historical Information

Amy Otis Earhart and Zelda Gould were pen pals for eleven years. Represented here are the letters that Earhart sent Gould from January 14, 1939 to January 10, 1950. A friendship via the United States mail was formed between the two women. Earhart shares many of her feelings about having lost her daughter, Amelia, and other things that were on her mind during this time period.


0.745 Cubic Feet (One letter-size full-width manuscript box and one flat box)


The collections is arranged into two series. The letters are arranged in chronological order.
  1. Letters to Zelda Gould from Amy Otis Earhart
  2. Framed photographs

Acquisition Information

Collection materials donated by Zelda Gould on July 9, 1992.

Processing Information

All materials have been housed in acid-free folders and acid-free boxes. The envelopes and postage stamps have been retained.



Zelda Gould collection of Amy Otis Earhart correspondence and photographs
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description first completed 2017-02-01.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States