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Kate Douglas Wiggin Collection M187

Title:
Kate Douglas Wiggin collection
Creator:
Wiggin, Kate Douglas Smith, 1856-1923
ID:
M187
Date [bulk]:
Bulk, 1891-1917
Date [inclusive]:
1867-1985, (bulk 1891-1917)
Extent:
3.5 linear feet
Language:
English
Repository:
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Abstract:
The collection contains correspondence, journals, book and story manuscripts, commonplace books, notebooks and notes related to Wiggin's writing; also includes lectures on kindergarten subjects, clippings, photographs and material concerning her Irish "literary pilgrimage."
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Preferred Citation:

Kate Douglas Wiggin Collection, Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856-1923) lived in Hollis, Maine, New York City, and Santa Barbara and San Franciso California. She received her education through "dame school", home study, district school, female seminary, and academy, later attending a kindergarten training class.

Wiggin started teaching kindergarten in 1877, and founded San Francisco's Silver Street training school in 1880. She supported kindergarten movement throughout her life; the Story of Patsy and The Birds' Christmas Carol, Wiggin's first books, were written as fundraising efforts. She co-wrote several books with her sister, Nora Archibald Smith.

Out of her travels to Europe in the 1890s came books for adults, including Penelope's Progress and Penelope's English Experiences. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Wiggin's most famous book, was written in 1903.

In 1904, Bowdoin College presented an honorary degree to Wiggin, the second such degree the College granted to a woman. Soon after, she founded the Society of Bowdoin Women, a social and fundraising organization.

Wiggin was married twice, first in 1881 to Samuel Bradley Wiggin, who died in 1889, then to George Christopher Riggs in 1895. She died in Harrow England, August 24, 1923.

The collection contains correspondence, journals, book and story manuscripts, commonplace books, notebooks and notes related to Wiggin's writing; also includes lectures on kindergarten subjects, clippings, photographs and material concerning her Irish "literary pilgrimage." Correspondence is mostly with family including her sister Nora Archibald Smith and mother Helen Elizabeth Smith, and with Bowdoin community members including William De Witt Hyde, George T. Little, and members of the Society of Bowdoin Women. Other correspondents include: Frances Hodgson Burnett (1 letter), W.D. Howells (3 letters), Helen Keller (1 letter), and Jack London (1 letter). Loose clippings concern Wiggin, her homes, and special interests, while scrapbooks contain notices and reviews of her published works, especially Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Some photographs and reproductions of photographs in the collection are of Wiggin, her Maine home (Quillcote), the Scottish highlands, and Jack London (autographed). The collection is supplemented by first editions of Wiggin's works and autographed presentation volumes from her private library.

Unpublished chronological list of correspondents available in library; item level control.

More than 150 volumes of the writings of Kate Douglas Wiggin, including both her children's tales and works on the kindergarten movement in America, and 300 volumes inscribed to her by friends such as Helen Keller, James Whitcomb Riley, James M. Barrie, Eugene Field, Kenneth Graham, Sinclair Lewis, and Booth Tarkington are cataloged as part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives' rare book holdings.

Series Description:

Wiggin's correspondence, 1891-1922, much of it with family members, especially her sister Nora and her mother, or with members of the Bowdoin community, including President William De Witt Hyde, Librarian George T. Little and fellow members of the Society of Bowdoin Women. Also includes letters from Francis Hodgson Burnett, W.D. Howells, Helen Keller (Feb 12, undated), and Jack London and a letter from Ms. Wiggin to Ms. True, referencing a theatrical production of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm". Further letters written to Kate Douglas Wiggin can be found in the miscellaneous scrapbooks, volume 4. An unpublished chronological list of correspondents available in the Department.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

1891-1917

Box 1 Folder 1-5

Re the Society of Bowdoin Women, 1922

Box 1 Folder 6

Undated

Box 1 Folder 7

Series Description:

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

The Birds Christmas Carol [in braille]

Volume 1

Commonplace books: Quotations

Volume 2

Commonplace books: Q[uotations]

Volume 3

Commonplace books: The Saco River

Volume 4

Commonplace books: Thoughts on Singing from Waitstill Baxter

Volume 5

Journals: Daily Journal for 1867

Volume 6

Journals: Daily Journal for 1867 Life Letters [kept during trip to Europe, 1890]

Volume 7

Journals: Daily Journal for 1867 Life Letters [kept during trip to Europe, 1890]

Volume 7

Journals: Daily journal, 1900

Volume 8

Journals: Lectures on the Gifts of Froebel, manuscript

Volume 9-11

Manuscripts: Daughters of Zion [a Rebecca story]

Box 1 Folder 8

Manuscripts: Daughters of Zion - envelope

Box 1 Folder 9

Manuscripts: Love by Express

Volume 12-16

Manuscripts: The Music of the Century

Volume 17

The Old Peabody Pew by Kate Douglas Wiggin (Hollis, Maine July 1905)

Box 1 Folder 10

Notebooks: Notes for Children's Stories

Volume 18

Notebooks: Notes International [and] Foreign

Volume 19

Notebooks: Notes for Love Stories

Volume 20

Notebooks: Notes Miscellaneous (I)

Volume 21

Notebooks: Notes Miscellaneous II

Volume 22

Notebooks: Notes on New England

Volume 23

Notebooks: Notes on New England I

Volume 24

Notes: Bubbling Betty - a serial for young women [and other tales]

Box 1 Folder 11

Notes: Daft Davy

Box 1 Folder 12

Notes: Mr. & Mrs. Popham's remarks

Box 1 Folder 13

Notes: "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," 1903 [in electrotype]

Volume-folio 25

Notes: "The Story of Patsy," 1889 [in electrotype]

Volume-folio 26

Series Description:

Newsclippings, loose and in scrapbooks, 1885-1983. Loose clippings, many collected by the College, concern Wiggin, her homes and special interests; scrapbooks compiled by Wiggin contain notices and reviews of her published works. Researchers are asked to use photocopies of the more fragile scrapbooks.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Clippings: 1904-1911

Box 2 Folder 1

Clippings: 1912-1983, and undated

Box 2 Folder 2

Scrapbooks: In Memoriam: Kate Douglas Wiggin

Volume-folio 1

Scrapbooks: Juvenilia Miscellaneous

Volume-folio 2

Scrapbooks: [Misc: Notices, programs, letters, notes, prose, etc.]

Volume-folio 3-4

Scrapbooks: Mother Carey's Chickens

Volume-folio 5

Scrapbooks: The Old Peabody Pew, Press Notices

Volume-folio 6

Scrapbooks: Readings: Criticisms of [and] Programmes for

Volume-folio 7

Scrapbooks: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Kate Douglas Wiggin, Press Notices

Volume-folio 8

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Notices

Volume 9

"Rebecca" Notices 1909

Volume 10

"Rebecca" Notices 1909-1910

Volume 11

"Rebecca" Notices 1911-1912

Volume-folio 12

"Rebecca" Notices 1911-1912

Volume-folio 13

Short Stories

Volume-folio 14

The Story of Waitstill Baxter, Press Notices

Volume-folio 15

Susanna and Sue

Volume-folio 16

Title and Suggestion Book

Volume 17

Scrapbook: "Rebecca" Notices 1912

Volume-folio 18

Series Description:

Material collected by Wiggin and supplemented by Special Collections, including pamphlets and excerpts on various subjects, fiction and non-fiction; lists of autographs; and notes, clippings and advertising material concerning an Irish "literary pilgrimage."

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Assorted pamphlets - fiction

Box 2 Folder 3

Excerpts from assorted printed works

Box 2 Folder 4

List of Authors of Autographed Books belonging to Wiggin; autographs written on Kate Douglas Rigg's dinner cloth

Box 2 Folder 5

"Queens of Avalon" [printed]

Box 2 Folder 6

Re Irish literary pilgrimage

Box 2 Folder 7

Printed ephemera: Miscellaneous, 1894-1985, n.d.

Box 3 Folder 1

Printed ephemera: Promotional material

Box 3 Folder 2

"She is so fair," music composed by Wiggin and published in 1884

Ovsz-Box E Object 1

Translations of the books by Wiggins, (list on poster board), n.d.

Ovsz-Box E Object 2

Series Description:

Undated photographs and reproductions of photographs of Wiggin, Quillcote, and of Scotland, especially the Scottish Highlands, the last of which relate to "Daft Davy." Also included is an autographed photo of Jack London, a photograph of Wiggin in cap and gown commemorating her 1904 honorary Bowdoin degree, and a 1910 silhouette of Wiggin by H. M. Parker, signed by Wiggin.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Highlands and Scotland (contributing factors to "Daft Davy"), n.d.

Box 3 Folder 3

London, Jack - autographed photo, n.d.

Box 3 Folder 4

Quillcote, n.d.

Box 3 Folder 5

Wiggin, 1910, n.d.

Box 3 Folder 6

Wiggin in cap and gown, with title "Kate Douglas Wiggin, Litt. D. Bowdoin College, 1904"

Ovsz-Box E

Wiggin silhouette by H. M. Parker, 1910, signed by Wiggin

Box 3 Folder 7
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