Sarah Shaw Hannah Collection

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Hannah, John A., 1902-1991
Hannah, Sarah Shaw
Shaw, May Travis
Shaw, R. S., (Robert Sidey), 1871-1953
Sarah Shaw Hannah collection
Date [inclusive]
2.0 Cubic feet , 4 scrapbooks, photographs

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing,Michigan".

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Biographical Note

Sarah Shaw was born on January 27, 1911 to May Travis Shaw and Robert Shaw in #5 Faculty Row on the campus of Michigan State University. May Travis met Robert Shaw at Montana Agricultural College. May Travis was an instructor in the mathematics department at Montana Agricultural College from 1895 to 1900. She became a professor in 1900 but left in 1901 after marrying Robert Shaw. Robert Shaw was an assistant professor at Montana Agricultural College he came to Michigan Agricultural College in 1902 as a professor. In 1908 he became Dean of Agriculture. He served as president from 1928 to 1941.

Sarah Shaw earned a B.S. degree in 1932 and a masters degree in 1933 both from MSU. Sarah married John A. Hannah on June 22, 1938. They had four children Mary, Robert, Thomas, and David. John Hannah was secretary to the MSU Board of Trustees from 1934-1941 and president of MSU from 1941-1969. Sarah Shaw Hannah died on October 23, 1990. John Hannah died February 23, 1991.

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Scope and Contents note

The Sarah Shaw Hannah Collection contains family scrapbooks and a photo album. The photo album was probably created by May Travis (box 2506). The album contains identified and unidentified portraits. Some of the portraits came from Bozeman, Montana photographers. There are also images of May Travis and her mother.

The scrapbook labeled “May Travis Shaw” (box 2507) contains photographs relating the Travis and Shaw families. There are images from Bozeman, Montana, the Travis relations, the Shaw family at Bear Lake, the Shaw children, Sarah Shaw when she was earning her graduate degree, and the Shaw family on the MSU campus. There are also photographs of Montana Agriculture College, and the first graduating class of the University of North Dakota. The MSU related photos include #5 Faculty Row, the Shaw children on campus, students, Robert Shaw at work, faculty members, faculty members’ wives and children, athletic teams, cattle herds, Hesperian Society members, Alpha Gamma Delta members, Kappa Alpha Theta members. Other photos of interest are the Shaw farm and orchard on Harrison Road, and group photogrpahs of students from Central School.

The collection also contains a scrapbook relating the marriage of Sarah and John Hannah (box 2508). It contains photographs of the wedding and reception, marriage certificate and license, articles about the wedding and other events surrounding the wedding. There are also photographs and memorabilia related to their honeymoon to Alaska as well as cards and correspondence about the couple’s one year anniversary.

A second scrapbook contains material relating to Sarah and John’s wedding and their later family life (box 2509). Included are photographs and articles about the wedding, family photographs, vacation photographs, and articles about Hannah as president.

A third scrapbook contains articles about Sarah christening the S.S. Spartan car ferry, articles, photographs and memorabilia related to the trip the family took to California for the 1954 Rose Bowl (box 2510 green cover).

A fourth scrapbook contains articles relating to the lives and deaths of other members of the Shaw and Hannah families including Sarah’s brother and John Hannah’s mother (box 2510 maroon cover).

The collection also contains nine daguerreotype photographs. There are two individual portraits and seven group shots. The images are unidentified although the name Beardslee is on a piece of paper included with the images.

In addition there is a reminiscence by Sarah Hannah Shaw written in 1976. In it she describes some of her family history including her grandparents, parents and siblings. She touches on her child hood on campus, her attendance at Michigan State University, dating and her life with John Hannah, and the death of her father.

See large historical collection 00042 Waldo Family Papers for a folder of photograph christmas cards John and Sarah Hannah sent to Eleanor Waldo. The cards date 1982-1988, undated and are photographs of the Hannahs.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections February 2010

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

A gift of Mary Curzan.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Central School (East Lansing, Mich.).
  • Michigan State University. Faculty Housing.
  • Michigan State University. -- General subdivision--Faculty.;
  • Montana Agricultural College. (Bozeman, Mont.)
  • Rose Bowl (Football game). (1954 : Pasadena, Calif.)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Bear Lake (Kalkaska County, Mich.)
  • Bozeman (Mont.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Hannah, John A., 1902-1991
  • Hannah, Sarah Shaw
  • Shaw, R. S., (Robert Sidey), 1871-1953


  • Orchards
  • Universities and colleges -- Faculty

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Collection Inventory


May Travis Shaw portrait album Undated 


May Travis Shaw scrapbook 1907-1958 


Sarah Hannah marriage scrapbook 1938-1939 


Sarah Hannah marriage and family scrapbook 1938-1956 


Sarah Hannah family and professional scrapbook (green cover) 1952 - 1954, 1962 


Shaw and Hannah families genealogy scrapbook (maroon cover) 1905, 1947 - 1958, 1987 


Portraits- Daguerreotypes Groups and Individuals (unidentified) 

Tape Cabinet Drawer 6
Drawer Folder

Reminiscence by Sarah Shaw Hannah 1976 

F.D. 1