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Rebecca Timbres Clark photographs

Identifier: SFHL-PA-113

Scope and Contents

This collection is primarily composed of loose black and white photographs, along with some color photographs. There is also an album and some card photos. Most photographs are portraits or group photos, though there are also some snapshots of Poland and RUssia.


  • 1853 - 1999


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

This collection is available for research use, although Rabindranath Tagore by Doris Ulman, with inscription for Rebecca, 1931 is RESTRICTED: SEE CURATOR.

Copyright and Rights Information

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

Biographical / Historical

Rebecca Sinclair Janney was born May 6,1896, in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of O. Edward Janney and Anne B. Webb and a birthright member of Baltimore Monthly Meeting. She was the granddaughter of Joseph and Rebecca (Sinclair) Turner, weighty Baltimore Friends involved in social causes and the founding of Swarthmore College. Her parents were also active in Quaker concerns; her father retired from his medical practice in 1907 to devote himself to social causes.

Rebecca Janney attended Goucher College for one year, then graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1918 and finished a nurse's training course at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia. Pa., in 1920. In February 1921 she left for Poland to serve as a typhus nurse and child refugee worker under the auspices of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), where she met Harry Garland Timbres, a fellow Quaker relief worker. Harry Timbres was born on April 3, 1899, in Missouri, but raised in Canada. He attended Leland Stanford University for a year and joined the Society of Friends and then transferred to Haverford College in Pennsylvania where his position as a conscientious objector was more welcomed. As a C.O. he was assigned to Poland in March 1921. Rebecca and Harry soon began their courtship, during which they enjoyed the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore ("Gurudev") who influenced Harry's own poetry.

They were married by civil service in Dansig and then by Quaker service on March 29, 1922, in Warsaw, Poland. They were immediately sent to Russia to aid in famine relief, returning to the U.S. in November of the same year. Harry Timbres earned a medical degree at Johns Hopkins in 1928, planning to return to Russia to practice medicine. To help pay for medical school, the couple lectured and performed Russian and Polish folk dances. They had three daughter: "Nancy" Anne Janney Timbres (1923-1927), "Nicky" Eleanor Carter Timbres (1924-1989), and "Nadya" Rebecca Sinclair Timbres (born 1928). While the couple awaited the issue of visas, they spent the five year interval in England and India and then in Baltimore where Harry was on the staff at Johns Hopkins. In India (1931-1934), they joined Rabindranath Tagore in Bengal and organized a medical cooperative, but had to return to America due to Harry's continuing problems with malaria. In 1936, Harry Timbres left for Russia to work towards the eradication of malaria. His family, including two small daughters, joined him soon after and lived in Soviet Russia until Harry's death of typhus, complicated by malaria, on May 12, 1937.

Rebecca Timbres returned to America and earned a M.A. in Social Work from Columbia University in 1941. She worked for the AFSC in Philadelphia and in 1943 became Dean of Nursing at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. She was married (second) to Edgar Sydenham Clark (1885-1961) on July 2,1943, at Providence Monthly Meeting (United), Media, Pa., and the couple moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1947, where Rebecca worked as a medical social worker. Edgar Clark died May 12, 1961, and Rebecca Timbres Clark moved first to California and then Media, Pa. On May 4, 1963, she was married (third) to Richard Robb Taylor (1901-1974), a member of Gunpowder Monthly Meeting, Maryland. They divorced in 1970, and Rebecca resumed her former married name of Rebecca Timbres Clark and moved to Moorestown, NJ, where she continued to serve on various Quaker boards and committees. In 1972-73, she served briefly as a member of the Board of Directors of Friends Hall at Fox Chase, a Friends Retirement Home in Fox Chase. She died February 7, 2000, at Medford Leas, a retirement community in New Jersey.


1 Cubic Feet (3 boxes plus 2 oversized photographs)




Rebecca Timbres Clark (1896-2000) was a Quaker nurse and social worker. She and her first husband, Harry Garland Timbres (1899-1937), performed relief work under the auspices of the AFSC in Eastern Europe in 1921-22 and worked with Rabindranath Tagore in Bengal, India, in 1931-34. In 1936-1937, the couple worked in the malaria unit in Soviet Russia. After Harry Timbres' death, Rebecca returned to the U.S. She married Edgar Sydenham Clark (1885-1961) on July 2, 1943, and the couple moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1947, where Rebecca worked as a medical social worker. This collection includes photographs of family and friends as well as snapshots of Russia and Poland.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Rebecca Timbres Coleman, Acc. 2000-027. Part of Rebecca Timbres Clark Papers, RG5/026.

Separated Materials

This collection was removed from the Rebecca Timbres Clark Papers, RG5/026.

Zoe Peyton Jones
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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