Summary Information

Repository
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Creator
Wiggin, Kate Douglas Smith, 1856-1923
Title
Kate Douglas Wiggin collection
ID
M187
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1891-1917
Date [inclusive]
1867-1985, (bulk 1891-1917)
Extent
3.5 linear feet
Language
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."

Preferred Citation

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


Biographical/Historical Note

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.


Scope and Content

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.


Administrative Information

Publication Information

 George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011

3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine, 04011
(207) 725-3288
scaref@bowdoin.edu

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.


Other Finding Aids

Unpublished chronological list of correspondents available in library; item level control.


Note

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.


Collection Inventory

 M187.1 Correspondence, 1891-1922   0.25 linear feet

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.

Box Folder
1 1-5

1891-1917 

1 6

Re the Society of Bowdoin Women, 1922 

1 7

Undated 


 M187.2 Journals, manuscripts, notebooks, etc., 1867-1919   1.25 linear feet

Series Description:

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Volume
1

The Birds Christmas Carol [in braille] 

2

Commonplace books: Quotations 

3

Commonplace books: Q[uotations] 

4

Commonplace books: The Saco River 

5

Commonplace books: Thoughts on Singing from Waitstill Baxter 

6

Journals: Daily Journal for 1867 

7

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

7

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

8

Journals: Daily journal, 1900 

9-11

Journals: Lectures on the Gifts of Froebel, manuscript 

Box Folder
1 8

Manuscripts: Daughters of Zion [a Rebecca story] 

1 9

Manuscripts: Daughters of Zion - envelope 

Volume
12-16

Manuscripts: Love by Express 

17

Manuscripts: The Music of the Century 

Box Folder
1 10

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

Volume
18

Notebooks: Notes for Children's Stories 

19

Notebooks: Notes International [and] Foreign 

20

Notebooks: Notes for Love Stories 

21

Notebooks: Notes Miscellaneous (I) 

22

Notebooks: Notes Miscellaneous II 

23

Notebooks: Notes on New England 

24

Notebooks: Notes on New England I 

Box Folder
1 11

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

1 12

Notes: Daft Davy 

1 13

Notes: Mr. & Mrs. Popham's remarks 

Volume-folio
25

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

26

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


 M187.3 Clippings, scrapbooks, etc., 1885-1983   1.5 linear feet

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.

Box Folder
2 1

Clippings: 1904-1911 

2 2

Clippings: 1912-1983, and undated 

Volume-folio
1

Scrapbooks: In Memoriam: Kate Douglas Wiggin 

2

Scrapbooks: Juvenilia Miscellaneous 

3-4

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

5

Scrapbooks: Mother Carey's Chickens 

6

Scrapbooks: The Old Peabody Pew, Press Notices 

7

Scrapbooks: Readings: Criticisms of [and] Programmes for 

8

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

Volume
9

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Notices 

10

"Rebecca" Notices 1909 

11

"Rebecca" Notices 1909-1910 

Volume-folio
12

"Rebecca" Notices 1911-1912 

13

"Rebecca" Notices 1911-1912 

14

Short Stories 

15

The Story of Waitstill Baxter, Press Notices 

16

Susanna and Sue 

Volume
17

Title and Suggestion Book 

Volume-folio
18

Scrapbook: "Rebecca" Notices 1912 


 M187.4 Pamphlets and printed material, notes, etc., 1884-1985, n.d.   0.25 linear feet

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.

Box Folder
2 3

Assorted pamphlets - fiction 

2 4

Excerpts from assorted printed works 

2 5

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

2 6

"Queens of Avalon" [printed] 

2 7

Re Irish literary pilgrimage 

3 1

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

3 2

Printed ephemera: Promotional material 

Ovsz-Box Object
E 1

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

E 2

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


 M187.5 Images, 1904, 1910, n.d.   0.25 linear feet

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.

Box Folder
3 3

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

3 4

London, Jack - autographed photo, n.d. 

3 5

Quillcote, n.d. 

3 6

Wiggin, 1910, n.d. 

Ovsz-Box
E

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

Box Folder
3 7

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