Collections

The MWWC’s holdings are particularly strong in 19th- and 20th-century resources.  Researchers can examine the only known daguerreotype of Maine’s first novelist, Sally Wood; an early Sarah Orne Jewett manuscript; Josephine D. Peary’s diary recounting her daughter’s birth above the Arctic Circle; a wide span of Marie Peary Stafford’s diaries from childhood through her death; and delicate, hand-painted illustrations that Celia Thaxter added to her Poems.  Modern collections include early drafts of Dahlov Ipcar’s The Nightmare and Her Foal; a significant portion of May Sarton’s personal library (and accompanying notes and clippings); and Donna M. Loring’s notes concerning LD 291 “An Act to Require Teaching Maine Native American History and Culture in Maine’s Schools” (2001).

Our collections document Maine women’s engagement with local, regional, national, transnational and global concerns, including the suffrage and women’s movements, environmentalism, health and sexuality, family culture, women’s education, spiritualism, and Maine and New England history.  The Collection has strong holdings in children’s and nature writing; it also preserves the records of women’s organizations, including the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union’s Maine chapter, the National League of Pen Women Augusta branch, and Maine Media Women.  Equally, researchers will find resources documenting the lives of everyday women and women’s cultural production.  We have extensive holdings of women’s diaries, travel journals, scrapbooks, albums, letters, photographs and memorabilia. Our growing collection of artists’ books includes work by Rebecca Goodale and Martha A. Hall, among others.

Researchers can access our available full finding aids through the Featured Writers selection list.  We are continually adding new finding aids.  A full list of our collections is available on our finding aid page.

Please contact the curator for assistance conducting research in the collections.