Collection ID: MG 227

Collection context


The collection contains photographs, programs, correspondence, and materials related to the life of Nina Saunders Derby.
1 box


Scope and Content:

The collection contains family photographs of Nina Saunders Derby’s family, home, and life events as well as a number of programs from her performances. The collection also includes Nina Derby’s wedding souvenir book and a few pieces of correspondence.

Biographical / Historical:

Nina Saunders Derby (c. 1890-1952) was an elocutionist who lived and worked in Albany until 1910. Nina worked as a clerk in a number of civil service offices during which time she performed as an elocutionist, “impersonator, monologist, and musical recitationist”. Nina performed at a number of churches and reception halls as a solo act and as part of the“VanDer-Gof Trio” which included Miss Edna Van Auken, a vocalist who worked as a music teacher, and Miss E. Louise Goffe, an instrumentalist who worked as a stenographer. In 1910, she moved to New York City. Two years later, on September 10, 1912 she married William Fillmore Palmer of New York City at the home of her uncle and aunt, Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Avery Tracy in Norwich, Connecticut. After her marriage to William Palmer, there is evidence Nina continued to affiliate herself with theater and entertainment. In 1923, she was mentioned in Theater Magazine as Social Director of a production. In 1932, a radio sketch titled “installment 1” was copyrighted February 23rd by a Mrs. Nina Saunders Derby Palmer. Little else is known about Nina’s life other than she moved to Florida around the time of her death (circa 1952).

Acquisition information:
Accession: # LIB.2011.7 Accession Source/Date: Purchase from Dennis Holtzman, April 2011
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: a Content Standard



This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Albany Institute of History & Art without any additional restrictions.


The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the Albany Institute of History & Art Library will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Archivist/Librarian.

125 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12210, United States