Southern Methodist University

Mary Edna Glendinning papers

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Glendinning, Mary Edna
Title: Mary Edna Glendinning papers
Dates: 1922-1977
Abstract: This collection consists of three items: an unpublished book typescript and photocopy of Holding History, written by Deaconess Mary Edna Glendinning, and a large scrapbook documenting her life. Mary Edna Glendinning (1894-1988) worked as an educator and administrator at Holding Institute, Laredo, Texas, 1926-1954, 1957-1962, and 1964-1966. Materials in the collection date from 1922 to 1977.
Accession No: Collection BridArch 3.086
Extent: 1 box (1 linear foot)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Mary Edna Glendinning was a Deaconess in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (later The Methodist Church) from 1926-1962. Glendinning was born November 1, 1894 on a farm near Palmyra, Missouri. She attended Palmyra High School and graduated in 1915, then taught in local schools until 1921-22, when she attended Scarritt Bible and Training School in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1922 she attended Central College (now Central Methodist University) in Fayette, Missouri, graduating in 1926 with a B.A. in History.

In 1926 she was consecrated Deaconess in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was stationed at Holding Institute in Laredo, Texas. Originally named Laredo Seminary, Holding Institute was founded in 1880 as an orphanage and school for Mexican children. Deaconess Glendinning served her first three years at Holding Institute (1926 – 1929) as a history teacher and the rest of her career as the Dean of Girls. During two sabbatical years, 1933-34 and 1950-51, Glendinning studied at George Peabody College, Scarritt College, and Vanderbilt University.

In 1954 the Holding Institute campus was destroyed in a massive flood. From 1954-57 Holding Institute rebuilt and reorganized as a residential coeducational junior and senior high school. During these transitional years, Deaconess Glendinning worked as a dietician at Mather Academy in Camden, South Carolina.

Mary Edna Glendinning resumed her duties at Holding Institute in 1957 and retired in 1962. Central Methodist University honored her with a Distinguished Alumni Award the following year. Glendinning returned to Holding Institute 1964-66 where she managed the kitchen and dining room. In 1967 Miss Glendinning moved back to her home town of Palmyra, Missouri. In retirement she traveled and was an active member of the Palmyra United Methodist Church. Glendinning died on February 18, 1988.

Holding Institute closed in 1983. In 1987 it reopened as a non-profit, faith-based community-learning center in downtown Laredo related to the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Today’s Holding Institute offers a variety of bi-lingual, bi-cultural educational classes, after-school child care, a food pantry, job bank, and other social services.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mary Edna Glendinning papers offer insights into the history of Holding Institute and the life work of Deaconess Glendinning. The collection includes two items: a book manuscript titled Holding History and a scrapbook. The scrapbook contains Glendinning’s consecration service program from 1926, photographs, newspaper clippings, greeting cards, pieces of personal correspondence, and programs from college reunions and church events that she attended. Most items in the scrapbook reflect her retirement years.

Arrangement of the Collection

The Mary Edna Glendinning memoirs and scrapbook constitute a single series: Personal Papers.


Access to Collection:

The collection is open for research use. Patrons must sign the Acknowledgement of Legal Responsibility and Privacy Rights form before using this collection.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Head of Special Collections of the Bridwell Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which Bridwell Library assumes no responsibility.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Glendinning, Mary Edna.
Holding Institute (Laredo, Tex.) -- History.
Women educators -- Texas.
Methodist Episcopal Church, South -- Texas -- Laredo.

Related Materials

A folder of digital images and electronic documents created during the processing of this collection has been placed in the Archives Subject Files (Collection BridArch 208.17).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Mary Edna Glendinning papers, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Acquired prior to 2007.

Processing Information

These papers were arranged and described by Timothy S. G. Binkley and Heather M. Oglevie in 2010. The Holding History table of contents in folder 1 was created by Heather M. Oglevie, who also scanned the memoirs. In processing, the scrapbook was removed from its binding. Jon Speck took reference images of the scrapbook before it was unbound in 2010.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2010.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Personal Papers

Series 1, Personal Papers, consists of a typed manuscript of Mary Edna Glendinning’s memoirs, Holding History, a photocopy of the same, and eight folders of pages from Glendinning’s scrapbook. The oldest item in the collection is a photograph of Glendinning taken in 1922 while she was a student at Scarritt College (Box 2129, folder 4). Most items date from the 1960s and 1970s.
Box Folder
2139B 1 Memoirs: Holding History, 1966
2 Photocopy of Holding History, 1966-1977
3 Scrapbook pages 1-9, 1926-1977
4 Scrapbook pages 10-19, 1926-1977
5 Scrapbook pages 20-29, 1922-1977
6 Scrapbook pages 30-39, 1926-1977
7 Scrapbook pages 40-49, 1926-1977
8 Scrapbook pages 50-59, 1926-1977
9 Scrapbook pages 60-69, 1926-1977
10 Scrapbook pages 70-81, 1926-1977