Creator: Oscar O. Westerback (1921-2000) & Claire Quintal
Abstract: Papers concerning Elise Rocheleau and Corinne Rocheleau and the family Rocheleau.
Language: French and English.
Extent: 1.35 linear feet (1 box), 3 scrapbooks, and 3 bound volumes.
Access: Materials are available to researchers without restriction unless otherwise noted.
Separated material: The scrapbooks and bound volumes are stored separately and are made available upon request.
Source: Donation, Claire Quintal
Preferred Citation: Rocheleau Collection, French Institute, Assumption College
Additional Information: For a more complete collection of Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau’s papers, Rivier University in Nashua, New Hampshire was the heir to the majority of Rocheleau-Rouleau’s personal and professional papers.
Scope and Content: The majority of the collection is made up of newspaper clippings, especially the documents concerning Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau. In addition to the clippings, there is a manuscript of a translation of Françaises d’Amérique, one of Rocheleau-Rouleau’s most successful works. There are also personal papers of Elise Rocheleau including photos and correspondence. Involved in many aspects of la vie franco-américaine, Elise Rocheleau’s papers give a glimpse in to the cultural activities of a Franco-American woman. The documents concerning the Tougas family association are mostly reports on the activities of the group. Biographical Notes: Elise Rocheleau: Elise Rocheleau was born in Worcester on Christmas day 1886 to Louis Rouleau and Phœbé Tougas. In 1919 she received her Bachelors from Université Laval in Québec City. She taught French in a wide variety of places including, Connecticut, Cuba, Rhode Island and her native city of Worcester. At Worcester’s North High, she created the Cercle français that saw over 500 members and had the honor of receiving Paul Claudel famous French poet and ambassador to the United States. Alongside her teaching career Rocheleau was very active in the Franco-American community. She was a founding member of the Cercle Jeanne-Mance in Worcester and the secretary of the Tougas Family Association from its foundation. She received La Croix de 3 Chevalier from the Légion d’Honneur in 1957 to honor her acheivements in promoting the French language and its culture. She died in Worcester in 1958. Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau: Corinne-Évangeline Rocheleau was born in Worcester in 1881. Deafened after a bad fever at nine years old, she was sent to the Institution des Sourdes-Muettes in Montréal. When she returned from Montréal, her parents had passed away leaving two young children behind. Corinne Rocheleau raised them. When they were ready to leave home, she took the civil servants exam and went to Washington D.C. However, she was not happy in Washington, so she returned to Worcester to become a part of the family business and later spent a year in Europe. In August 1930, Rocheleau married Wilfrid Rouleau and returned to Washington D.C. with him. She spoke of the few years (1930-1932) that they spent in Washington as the happiest of her life. Her husband fell sick and they moved to Worcester in 1932 and then Montréal in 1936. Wilfrid Rouleau died in 1940 and Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau decided to stay in Montréal. She passed away there in 1963, she left the majority of her papers to Rivier University in Nashua.
Series 1: Elise Rocheleau
Series 2: Tougas Family Association
Series 3: Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau
Series 4: Volumes
Series 1: Elise Rocheleau This series contain various documentation about Elise Rocheleau and some of her personal papers. The photos and the correspondence, though limited in number, present an interesting sample of Mrs. Rocheleau’s papers. The clippings and other documentation about Mrs. Rocheleau presents an interesting look at a Franco-American teacher and prominent member of the Franco community.
Series 2: Tougas Family Association The documents from the Tougas Family Association show a different aspect of the Rocheleau family than what is available in other collections. These documents could interest anyone looking into the Tougas family genealogy.
Series 3: Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau The documents concerning Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau contain very little personal papers. The majority of the documentation is an ensemble of clippings about Rocheleau-Rouleau and her works. There is also a typescript of Françaises d’Amérique and its translation.
Series 4: Volumes The published volumes contained in this collection concern Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau. The scrapbooks contain clippings about Le Cercle Jeanne-Mance. The Rocheleau sisters were both closely involved in the activities if this Franco-American group.
Full Finding Aid:
The French Institute follows the academic calendar of Assumption College. Exceptions to our regular hours may be found here.
For reasons of preservation, the French Institute Collection does not circulate; however, non-rare materials are allowed to circulate through the d’Alzon Library or inter-library loan with the director’s permission.
It should be noted that the Institute’s collection includes a number of Franco-American newspapers from the New England region. Most consist of bound copies and nearly all have been microfilmed. To preserve the bound volumes, the Institute encourages scholars to consult the microfilm copies whenever they are available, for example, at the American Antiquarian Society or the Boston Public Library.