Joyce Butler Collection, 1970-1986

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Volume: .5 linear feet

Organization/Arrangement: Organized as a single series.

Biographical Note: Joyce Butler was born in Portland, Maine on June 27, 1933. She graduated from Westbrook Junior College in 1953 and in 1955 earned her B.A. in English from Boston University. She was married that same year to Robert Butler and the couple moved to Kennebunk in 1967. Raising her three children and restoring their old house gave Butler plenty of writing inspiration. She approached the editor of the York County Coast Star with a short piece about the house, and she was subsequently asked to write a regular column. She continued this column for ten years, detailing her experiences as a housewife and mother in small town Maine.

Her first book, Pages from a Journal (1976) is a collection of these writings. In 1974 she began a second column for the Star on Kennebunkport history. Her fascination with local history culminated in a position as archivist at the Kennebunkport Historical Society, which she held from 1975 to 1979. Her most well known book, Wildfire Loose, was published in 1978, and is an account of the 1947 fire of Maine. The book was chosen as one of Maine's 100 distinguished books by the Baxter Society's 2001 Maine bibliography, Mirror of Maine.

Additionally, Butler served as curator of manuscripts and exhibitions at the Brick Store Museum from 1980 to 1995, appointed town historian for Kennebunk in 1990, and was curator of museum collections at Maine Historical Society from 1996 to 2000. Butler is also a prolific freelance writer, with poems and stories published in magazines and newspapers such as York County Coast Star, Down East, Maine Life, Lady's Circle, Chapters in Local History, and Log of Mystic Seaport.

Description: This collection consists mostly of published articles and essays on Maine history, written by Butler between 1970-1986. Also included are promotional material and reviews for her published books, and one folder of biographical material.

Access Restrictions: None

Please cite as: Joyce Butler Collection, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, Maine

Container List:
001.  Biographical information
002.  Interview 1979
003.  "William E. Barry " Landmarks Observer, November-December 1982
004.  "Bringing Brownie Home" Lady's Circle, March 1978
005.  Tourist News 7-11, 8-8, 8-15 1979
006.  "When Silk Jostled Homespun" from Down East, 9-1980
007.  Brick Store Museum
008.  "A Goodly Heritage: The Maine Women Writers Collection." reprint and typescript from Maine Life, October 1980.
009.  The Log of Mystic Seaport, Summer 1983
010.  Chapters in Local History, 1984/86
011.  Articles from Yankee, 1980's
012.  Published articles
013.  Reviews in Maine Historical Society Quarterly, 1979; 1984
014.  "Abbott Fuller Graves" exhibit catalog and photocopy of article, 1979
015.  "Louis D.  Norton" exhibit catalog, 1982
016.  "The Artist as Historian" exhibit catalog, 1983
017.  Newspaper articles, 1970-1975
018.  Newspaper articles, 1976-1980
019.  A Kennebunkport Album - Promotional broadside
020.  Pages from a Journal - promotional material
021.  "The South Congregational Church. An Architectual History" 1973
022.  Wildfire Loose - Brick Store promotional postcard