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Helen Johnson Martin Papers

Call Number: MS260

Scope and Contents

The materials within this collection are related to the life of Helen Johnson Martin and her friends during their time as undergraduate students at Tufts College from 1943-1947. The collection includes photographs, documents, articles on John Holmes, poetry, books, graded writing assignments completed by Martin, a Tuftonian medallion, materials relating to the class of 1947 50th class reunion, the 1947 Jumbo yearbook, and a scrapbook.

The scrapbook depicts her life as a student on campus with her friends, small drawings, student organization materials, rulebooks for living in the dorms, programs for various events on campus, writing projects, poems, and news articles about World War II. The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, photographs of Martin and her friends, poems, artwork, letters, cards, advertisements, rules for the female dormitories, and more.

Martin took several classes with famed Tufts poet and professor John Holmes and collected a number of materials by him, including handwritten poems and copies of the books Map of My Country (signed) and The Poet's Work.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1943 -- 1947
  • Creation: circa 1940s - 1990s



This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Any intellectual property rights that the donor possesses have been transferred to Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

Helen Eva Johnson Martin was born to Edith Hoesktra and Robert Johnson in North Middleboro, Massachusetts on May 21, 1925. She attended Wakefield High School and enrolled in Tufts College as a student at the Jackson College for Women in 1943. Martin took courses and participated in seminars lead by Professor John Holmes throughout her career at Tufts. As a student Martin attended Tufts on a full scholarship and also worked as a nanny for members of the Tufts community and families in New York City. Martin served as the managing editor and the co-editor in chief of the Tuftonian for the 1946-1947 school year, and was the feature editor (Jackson) of the 1947 Jumbo yearbook. In addition to work on the Tuftonian and the Jumbo, Martin was an active member of the Canterbury Club, the Sociology Club, the Alexander Bain Society, Student Council, and served as house president of her dorm. Martin graduated from Tufts in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

After graduating, Martin began working for the University of Northern Colorado, where she met Albert Martin, whom she married in 1949. They settled in Pasadena, California and raised two children, daughter Laurel and son Tracy. In 1963 Martin received a Master’s in Vocational Counseling from the California State College in Los Angeles, and later worked for the State of California’s Department of Rehabilitation, becoming the Assistant Deputy Director for Field Operations for Southern California. She relocated to Sacramento, California and worked in the Department of Rehabilitation for 30 years. Helen Johnson Martin died in Tempe, Arizona in 2016 at the age of 91.


1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains collected or created by Helen Johnson Martin and pertaining to her time as a student in the Jackson College for Women at Tufts College from 1943-1947.


The materials in this collection are organized in received order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Laurel Martin, daughter of Helen E. Johnson Martin, on October 15, 2020, accession number MS-2021-026.

Related Materials

John A. Holmes Papers, 1813 -- 1998. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Processing Information

This collection is processed.

The Helen Johnson Martin Papers were processed by Archives Assistant Cassandra Anderson in the Summer of 2021 under the supervision of Adrienne Pruitt, Collections Management Archivist. Materials were labeled, described, and a finding aid was created.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States