Kate Douglas Wiggin Collection, 1883-1997

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Volume: 3 linear feet

Organization/Arrangement: 

This collection is organized into six series:
I. Correspondence, Quotes and Autographs, 1880-1989
II. Publications and Periodicals, 1883-1982
III. California Kindergarten Training School and Froebel Society, 1883-1914
IV. Publicity, Programs and Reviews, 1880-1999
V. Speeches and Readings, 1894-1913
VI. Photographs and Ephemera
Material is arranged chronologically.

Biographical Note:  Kate Douglas Wiggin was born September 28, 1856 to Robert Noah and Helen E. Smith in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Wiggin's father Robert died suddenly while away on a business trip when Kate was three years old.  After Robert's death, Helen Smith moved her family to the small village of Salmon Falls in the town of Hollis, Maine.  In 1863, Helen married Dr. Albion Bradbury, a distant cousin.

Due to the failing health of her stepfather the family was forced to move to the warmer weather of California. Wiggin stayed in Maine to complete her education before joining them in 1875. The family struggled with financial problems, leaving Wiggin and her sister working odd jobs. Wiggin was able to help her family by publishing short stories in St. Nicholas. In California, she studied education for a year with kindergarten teachers, before opening the Silver Street School in San Francisco, the first free kindergarten, on the West Coast, later founding the California Kindergarten Training School.

Working with her sister Nora A. Smith, the two founded the Froebel Society, an alumni organization for the Training School. Wiggin and Smith worked closely together at the kindergarten and to write several books on the topic of early childhood education during this period. Their collaborations continued throughout their lives resulting in anthologies and works of fiction.

In 1881, Wiggin married Samuel Bradley Wiggin, a childhood friend from Boston that moved to California to practice law. They had been happily married for eight years when Samuel Wiggin suddenly died. Wiggin focused on kindergarten work following his death. During Wiggin's teaching at the Silver Street School she created stories and songs for children, including her second novel The Birds' Christmas Carol, first privately printed by Wiggin, which would later receive critical acclaim when released for the second time by Houghton Mifflin. Her subsequent works including Timothy's Quest, the Penelope series, and her most popular work, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

Wiggin continued to lecture on early childhood education and kindergartens, while continuing to write. The income from writing and lecturing afforded Wiggin the ability to travel to Europe in particular the United Kingdom. On one of her voyages she was introduced to wealthy businessman, George C. Riggs, whom she married one year later, in 1895. In 1893, Wiggin returned to Hollis were she and her second husband spent their summers spending the rest of the year in New York City and Europe traveling for Riggs' business. Wiggin's purchased a home in Hollis, Maine situated on the Saco River and named it Quillcote. The home became the site for town fairs and social gatherings up until the present day. Wiggin became involved in the town, creating the Salmon Falls Public Library and founding the Dorcas Society.

For her contributions to literature, Bowdoin College awarded her with an honorary degree in literature. Wiggin died August 24, 1923 at a nursing home in Harlow-on-Hill, England at the age of 66.

Description: The majority of the materials in this collection are items collected by Glenys Tarlow.  The collection includes photographs, flyers and playbills for her works, along with other forms of ephemera, published work and some original correspondence.  Available for reference is a large collection of photocopied correspondence that Tarlow gathered in her research about Wiggin, the originals of which are housed in other libraries.  Those items are marked [photocopies] in the container list below.

Access Restrictions: None

Please cite as: Kate Douglas Wiggin Collection, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, Maine

Container List:
I. Correspondence, Quotes and Autographs, 1880-1989 

Correspondence includes handwritten letters to and from KDW exchanged with family, friends and editors, detailing her life and work. Series includes materials acquired from the Glenys Tarlow Collection in 2004.

001.  Letter to and from KDW re: Kindergarten [photocopies], 1880-1889
002.  KDW to Elizabeth Peabody Emerson [photocopies], 1880-1908
003.  KDW to Cousin Katy re: [photocopies], 1890
004.  DW to James Whitcomb Riley [photocopies], 1890-1915
005.  KDW re: her health [photocopies], 1892-1922 and undated
006.  KDW from Columbian Exposition [photocopies], 1893
007.  KDW writing from Hollis [Me.] and Bronxville [N.Y.] [photocopies], 1893-1895
008- 009.  KDW to Mr. Bok [photocopies], 1894-1910, undated
010.  KDW to Elizabeth (Wiggin) Cooledge and "Ma Wiggins" [photocopies], 1890-1898
011.  KDW writes from 131 Wellet St., NYC [photocopies], 1895
012.  Miscellaneous correspondence [photocopies], 1895-1899
013.  Poem to Bertha Colledge Slade [photocopy], undated
014.  KDW writes from England [photocopies], 1895-1924, undated
015.  KDW to Ma Wiggins [photocopies], 1897, undated
016.  KDW to and from re: Penelope Progress [photocopies], 1897-1920
017.  KDW to and from Houghton Mifflin [photocopies], 1888-1889
018.  KDW to Mr. Pond [photocopies], 1899, undated
019.  Correspondence from KDW [photocopies], 1889-1900, undated
020.  Miscellaneous correspondence from KDW 1889-1921, undated [photocopies], 1889-1921, undated
020a.  Correspondence from KDW to Alfred P. Groves [photocopies], ca. 1900
021.  Correspondence [photocopies], 1901-1914, undated
022.  Correspondence from KDW [photocopies], 1901-1922
023.  Miscellaneous correspondence from KDW [photocopies], 1902, undated
024.  KDW to Mr. Bok re: Findlater sisters--The Affair at the Inn [photocopies], 1903
025.  Correspondence with publishers [photocopies], 1903, 1905
026.  Correspondence re: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm [photocopies], 1903-1905
027.  KDW to Miss Morgan [photocopies], 1905
028.  Correspondence, papers re: lot in Santa Barbara [photocopies], 1905
029.  KDW from Samuel Clemens re: his 70th birthday [photocopies], 1905
030.  KDW to Geraldine Farrar [photocopies], 1907-1922, undated
031.  KDW to Pauline Robinson 1909-1910, undated
032.  Correspondence re: Samuel B. Wiggin [photocopies], ca. 1910
033.  Correspondence to Florence Moser [photocopies], 1911-1920, undated
034.  Correspondence to KDW from Carolyn Wells, 1913
035.  KDW to Dear Sir, 1918
036.  KDW to Kate Libby, 1918, 1922, undated
037.  KDW to George Tarlow [photocopies], 1920
038.  KDW from Nora Smith, 1920, 1922
039.  KDW to Mr. Woolcott [photocopies], 1921
040.  KDW to Dear Sir [photocopies], 1923
041.  Marion Mason letter to Bowdoin [photocopies], 1948
043.  Agnes Willin to Dorothy Healy, 1989
044.  "Do come" postcard from KDW, undated
045.  KDW to Annie Fields, undated
046.  KDW to Albert and Tushue, Boston production "Mother Carey's Chickens" [photocopy], undated
047.  KDW from Ellen Terry [photocopy], undated
048.  KDW to Ms. Webster (?), undated
049.  KDW correspondence re: Polly Oliver's Problem [photocopies], undated
050.  KDW shipping instructions for stage coach [photocopies], undated
051.  KDW to Mildred Ingalls, undated
052.  KDW to “Dear Sirs,” undated
053.  KDW calling card (Mrs. George Christopher Riggs) with notation, undated
054.  Autograph and accompanying letter (1991) of explanation, undated
055.  KDW quote from Penelope's Irish Experiences
056.  KDW quote from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, undated
057.  KDW quote from Half-a-Dozen Housekeepers [photocopy], undated
058.  KDW correspondence from M.M. Dodge 1896, 1896
059.  Scrapes and duplicates of letters from KDW [photocopies], undated
060.  Ink drawing with inscription by KDW, undated
061.  Correspondence “Dear Sir,” with envelope addressed to William L (?), 1923
062.  Poem written by Nora Archibald Smith, signed "From her sister, Kate Douglas Wiggin", 1913

II. Publications & Periodicals, 1883-1982

Publications include magazines and books containing short stories, poems and songs written by KDW. Series includes materials acquired from the Glenys Tarlow Collection in 2004.

001.  "The Story of Patsy", 1883
002.  "Cuddle Down Dolly" musical composition in St. Nicholas, 1892
003.  "A Valentine" musical composition in St. Nicholas, 1888-1889
004.  "Penelope's English Experience" from Atlantic Monthly, 1893
005- 007.  "Nine Love Songs and a Carol" (3 copies), 1896
008.  "God's Promise" song from Ladies Home Journal, 1906
009.  "Penelope's Irish Experience" from Atlantic Monthly, 1901
010.  Copy of photography of KDW in The Lamp, 1903
011.  "An Affair at the Inn" in Brooklyn Life, 1904
012- 014.  "Rose O' the River" in Century Magazine (2 copies), 1905
015.  "Susanna and Sue" in Woman’s Home Companion, 1905
016.  Mark Twain's 70th birthday Harper's Weekly Supplement, 1905
017.  Pamphlet The Girl and the Kingdom, 1907
018.  Pamphlet Kate Doulgas Wiggins and her Books, 1907
019.  "Penelope in Venice" in Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, 1909
020- 021.  "Susanna and Sue" in Woman’s Home Companion (2 copies), 1909
022.  "The Bookman” with Presentation Plate Portrait of Kate Douglas Wiggin, 1910
023.  Mother's Day greeting card with KDW quote, ca 1910
024.  "The Admiral's Niece" Part I in Woman’s Home Companion, 1911
025.  Broadside Epilogue to Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, 1911
026- 027.  Review of My First Book, New York Times (2 copies), 1912
028.  Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm sheet music, 1913, 1914
029.  "Journey With Rebecca" calendar and box, 1914
030.  "When I was a little girl" from Ladies Home Journal, 1915
031.  "Miss Thomasina Tucker" from Scribner, 1915
032.  "The Rebecca Calendar", 1918
033.  A monologue "A Thorn in the Flesh" in Poet Love 1925; see also p. 188 "A KDW Garden Party", 1925
034.  "Mark Twain, Notes On His Life and Work" KDW pp. 29-31, 1928
035.  "A Journey With Dickens" in Golden Book, 1934
037.  "A Child's Journey With Dickens" in Yankee, 1970
038.  "Susanna and Sue" in Bittersweet, 1982
039.  "A Child Is Born" from Birds Christmas Carol in Victoriana Magazine, 1992
040.  "My First Book" by Kate Douglas Wiggin (photocopy), 1912
040.  "Serenade" sheet music, 1884, 1912

III. California Kindergarten Training School and Froebel Society, 1883-1914

California Kindergarten Training School and Froebel Society includes playbills, graduation programs and teaching texts used at the Silver Street Kindergarten. The Froebel Society materials include informational booklets and the society's manual. Series includes materials acquired from the Glenys Tarlow Collection in 2004.

001.  “A History of Our Beginnings” (Tract no. 1), 1883
002.  Booklet "The Free Kindergarten Work of the Pacific Coast", 1885
003.  Song book "Kindergarten Chimes", 1885
004.  Program of California Kindergarten Training School, Class of 1886--commencement exercises, 1886
005.  Booklet "Fifth Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society", 1886
006.  Commencement Programme (2 copies), 1887
007.  Sixth Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society (2 copies), 1887
008.  “Froebel's Hymn” (souvenir pamphlet), 1888
009.  Commencement Programme, 1888
010.  Silver Star Kindergarten Society reception flyer, 1889
011.  California Kindergarten Training School (prospectus), 1889
012.  Eighth Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society, 1889
013.  Graduating Exercises, 1890
014.  Ninth Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society, 1890
015.  Graduating Exercises, 1891
016.  Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society, 1891
017.  Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society, 1892
018.  "Chips from a Kindergarten Workshop" Class of, 1892
019.  Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society, 1893
020.  Froebel Society [handbook], 1893-1894
021.  Graduation Invitation, 1894
022.  Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society, 1894
023.  Froebel Society [handbook], 1894-1895
024.  Invitation to Christmas Exercises, 1895
025.  Graduation Invitation, 1895
026.  Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society, 1895
027.  Graduation Invitation, 1896
028.  Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society, 1896
029.  Souvenir program: the 17th Play-Day of the California Kindergarten Training School,
1897
030.  Graduation Programme, 1897
031.  Annual Statement of the Silver Street Kindergarten Society, 1897
032.  Froebel Society [handbook], 1897-1898
033.  Newspaper clipping re: rooftop playground on top of old Waldorf Astoria and KDW; also picture postcard of hotel, 1900, 1909
034.  “Hymns for Kindergartners”, undated
035.  Wisconsin museum brochure "The Octagon House" and "First Kindergarten in the United States", undated
036.  KDW as contributing life member to York County (Me.) Children's Aid Society, 1914

IV. Publicity, Programs, Reviews, 1880-1999

Publicity, Programs, Reviews includes promotional materials from publishers, newspaper articles featuring Wiggins, programs from her plays, and book reviews. The series includes materials acquired from the Glenys Tarlow Collection in 2004.

001.  Misc. articles about KDW from U. of Virginia, 1891-1971
002.  KDW newspaper articles, 1893-1999, undated
003.  Assembly Herald, August 12, 1893
004.  The Village Watchtower review, 1895
005.  Nora A. Smith article, The Outlook, Dec. 1897
006.  MS "Legend of Saranca Inn" [photocopy], 1888
007.  Promotional flyer, Penelope's Progress [Photocopy], 1898
008.  Review (1st) of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm in "The Literary World", 1903
008a.  Promotional brochure for The Posey Ring c. 1903
009.  Advertisement for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm in Houghton, Mifflin & Company's The Literary World (photocopy), 1903
010.  New Chronicles of Rebecca advertisement, 1907
011.  Cover photo + 3 stories about KDW Book News Monthly, 1907
012.  Misc. program of Dorcas Society, 1909, with notes Newspaper clipping, 1909, 1940
013.  Articles and playbill for RSF stage version by Charlotte Thompson, 1909, 1940
014.  Invitation opening Salmon Falls Library [photocopy], 1911
014a.  Newspaper clipping re: KDW at Quillcote from Portland Express Advertiser, 1914
014b.  Epilogue spoken by Miss Edith Taliaferro at the last performance of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Republic Theatre, New York (photocopy), April 8th, 1911
015.  The Old Peabody Pew Program, 1916
016.  "Makers of Modern Fiction (women)", The Mentor, 1917
017.  1920 State of Maine Centennial Celebration Program, 1920
018.  Timothy’s Quest handbill [photocopy], 1922
019.  Promotional card for 1923 London production of Rebecca, 1922
020.  Reviews of My Garden of Memory [photocopy], 1923-1924
021.  Articles about Nora A. Smith [photocopies], 1924-1934
022.  Nora Archibald Smith clippings, 1924; 1990
023.  Quillcote Fair announcement, 1928
024.  The Old Peabody Pew Program, 1928
025.  Article by Rachel Field, "History Repeats Itself," in American Girl, Nov. 1934
026.  Program York County Tercentenary, The Old Peabody Pew performance, 1936
027.  Misc. The Old Peabody Pew performance clippings, 1941-1975
028.  The Old Peabody Pew programs, various years, 1950-1971
028a.  The Old Peabody Pew cast postcards, various years, 2000
029.  The Old Peabody Pew promotional materials, 1961-1990
030.  The Old Peabody Pew advertising cards, 1961-1979
031.  Quillcote clippings, Maine Sunday Telegram, 1962, 1966
032.  Society of Bowdoin Women Kate Douglas Wiggin Room, 1968
033.  "The Brick House"/ Sunnybrook Farm, 1971
034.  Interview Alice Cousens and Olive Hannaford, 1969
035.  The Old Peabody Pew TV promotional script, 1971
036.  "The Lady of Quillcote" Down East Magazine by Rada Fuller Nalon, 1975
037.  Newspaper article re: open house exhibit, 1978
038.  "Remembering the author of RSF" Maine Life, 1978
039.  "KDW and The Old Peabody Pew" and "Susanna and Sue," Bitter Sweet, 1982
040.  Article Agnes Innes Wiggin, Journal Tribune, 1982
041.  "Old Peabody Pew", Journal Tribune, 1990
042.  "The Birds Christmas Carol" article by Glenys Tarlow, Martha's Kidlit [Photocopy], 1990
043.  Timothy's Quest Saco River Grange, 1992
044.  RSF Stamp, 1993
045.  Rebecca Playscript copy from Children's Theatre Co. by Marisha Chamberlain Part 1 of 2, 1993-1994
046.  Rebecca Playscript copy from Children's Theatre Co. by Marisha Chamberlain Part 2 of 2, 1993-1994
047.  Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Children's Theatre Production, 1993-1994
048.  Quillcote articles from Portland Monthly, 1994, 1996
048a.  “A Little Book of Dorcas Dishes” 18-month calendar, 2005
049.  Saco River Grange Hall program, 1996
050.  Bowdoin College Collection Materials, 1996
051.  Portland Press Herald article [photocopy], 1996
052.  "Romance of the Christmas Card" Magazine of Antiques, 2000
053.  Newsletter KSW Society #5, Summer 2006
053a.  The Quill: in celebration of the life and work of Kate Douglas Wiggin” (1856-1923), Winter 2005
054.  Children's Crimson Classics pamphlet, undated
055.  Nora Archibald Smith Children's Crimson Classics flyer, undated
056.  Promotional brochure for Children's Crimson Classics--possibly missing, undated
057.  Promotional brochure The Birds' Christmas Carol, undated
058.  Houghton Mifflin promotional bookmark, undated
059.  Promotional brochure A Child's Journey with Dickens, undated
060.  Postcard Penelope's Postscripts, undated
061.  Brochure The Princess Pourquoi by Margret Sherwood, undated
062.  Bookmark Susanna and Sue, undated
063.  Promotional brochure Susanna and Sue, undated
064.  Book Dust Cover Ladies in Waiting, undated
065.  Mother Carey's Chickens dusk jacket, undated
066.  Photo- Timothy's Quest clipping, undated
067.  Review from "The Congregationalist" of Penelope's Postscripts, undated
068.  Article "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" by Perri Klass NYT, undated
069.  Poem to Slade, Bertha Coolidge [photocopy]--folder missing 9/8/08, undated
070.  "KDW at Quillcote," Pine Tree Magazine, undated
071.  Ms. "A Christmas Card" [photocopy], undated
072.  KDW: Reference/ biography material, undated
073.  Lecture "Kate Douglas Wiggin's Garden of Childhood" by Susan D. Franzosa, 2004
074.  Kate Douglas Wiggin Publicity Booklets, 1911, undated

V. Speeches, Readings, 1894-1913

The series includes materials acquired from the Glenys Tarlow Collection in 2004.

001.  Program: "Reading by KDW” 10/8/1894
002.  Program of reading by KDW at Buxton (ME) Lower Corner Church (photocopy), 1906
003.  Manuscript and program: Setting of the Weather Vane on the Barn at Quillcote, 7/4/1906
003a.  KDW speech "A plea for play", 1908
004.  Transcript of KDW's "Votes for Women" U.S. Senate testimony, 1913
005.  Poem read by KDW at Dinner of Society of Author in London, undated
006.  "Soiree pour les dames" program, including KDW; autographed, undated
007.  "Uncut leaves" L.J.B. Lincoln announcement of speaking programs in NYC, including KDW, undated
008.  Mss. KDW "Liberty Day Speech", 1917

VI. Photographs and Ephemera

This series includes signed photographs of KDW, invitations and obituaries of family members. The series includes materials acquired from the Glenys Tarlow Collection in 2004.

001.  Photo of KDW and small child, 1923
002.  Photo postcard from Timothy's Quest, undated
003.  B/w photo of KDW inscribed to President Sills, undated
004.  B/w mounted photo copy of KDW and sister, Nora Smith, signed by both, undated
005.  B/w copy of photo of KDW, signed by KDW, undated
006.  B/w signed copies (2) of photos of KDW, one dedicated to her cousin Florence Stowell, undated
007.  Photos of KDW (photocopies) (2), undated
008.  Photo of 3 unnamed people, undated
009.  Gideon Bradbury photos (2) and postcards (10), undated
010.  Postcards of Old Tory Hill Meeting House (4), undated
011.  Postcards of Quillcote interior (12), undated
012.  Postcard of Preble House, Portland (Me.), 1908
013.  Postcard (20) Quillcote (duplicates ?), undated
014.  Postcard of Saco and Saco River, undated
015.  Postcard (4) of Salmon Falls and Saco River, undated
016.  Postcard (1) KDW's childhood home in Hollis, undated
017.  Postcards (10) of Quillcote and postcards (2) of Quillcote, gift of Richard and Virginia Carr, undated
018.  Postcards (5) of Quillcote as gift to Kate Douglas Libby from KDW; gift to MWWC from Kate Libby Mason, 1959, undated
019.  Description of Bramhall Hall, 1895
020.  Wedding invitation, KDW and George Riggs, 1895
021.  George C. Riggs calling card with note on reverse, undated
022.  George Riggs verse inscribed in Quillcote guest book [photocopy], 1896
023.  Reprint of NYT 1912 article re: Titanic disaster; also photo print of Capt. Edward Smith, Capt. of Titanic cut from NYT Sunday magazine section, 1912
025.  KDW will, estate papers
026.  George Riggs obituary [photocopy of Portland Evening Standard], 1925
027.  Flyer "Why America Has Prohibition" c. 1924
028.  Geraldine Farrar autograph, 1924
030.  NYT article re: Mary Pickford's death, played Rebecca in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm silent film version; also manuscript note, 1979
031.  Newspaper obituaries of Randolph Scott and Phyllis Brooks, 1987
032.  Newspaper obituary for Helen Jerome Eddy, 1990
033.  Newspaper clipping re: 25th anniversary of KDW's death, 1948
034.  Newspaper clipping re: 50th anniversary of KDW's establishing Bowdoin College prize, 1953
035.  Newspaper article re: Abbot Academy, 1988
036.  Casa Frollo, Venice photos and letter, 1994
037.  Tarlow slides of KDW book and their locations, 1996, 1997
038.  Photo postcards of KDW headstone in Buxton (Maine) cemetery   undated, undated
039.  Wiggin's travel abroad information, undated
040.  Concord Coach postcards, undated
041.  Correspondence with British Library re: KDW resources, 1993
042.  "Kate Douglas Wiggin's Garden of Childhood" by Susan D. Franzosa, 2004