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J. Otis Swift papers (M318)

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Title:
J. Otis Swift papers
Creator:
Swift, J. Otis, 1871-1948
ID:
M318
Date [bulk]:
Bulk, 1910-1947
Date [inclusive]:
1871-1989, undated
Extent:
5.0 linear feet
Language:
English
Repository:
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Abstract:
Papers (ca. 1871-1989) documenting the life and work of J. Otis Swift (1871-1948), nature columnist and leader of the Yosian Brotherhood of Nature Philosophers, including: articles (such as News Outside the Door, scrapbooks, memoirs, correspondence, biographical materials, and other writings.
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Preferred Citation:

J. Otis Swift Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

Josiah Otis Swift (1871-1948) was a nature columnist and founder of the Yosian Brotherhood of Nature Philosophers. The son and grandson of two leading newsmen from Maine, Swift began his career at the age of twelve as a reporter for the Lewiston Journal and became city editor soon after. He became a writer for the New York Evening World in 1900 where he started a daily nature column called "News Outside the Door" that was published with few interruptions from 1918 until his death in 1948. He organized nature walks with his friends in New York before he began writing "News Outside the Door," tapping into his roots growing up in Maine's great woods. These walks and his daily columns engendered the Yosian Brotherhood of Nature Philosophers. At their peak, the Yosians boasted more than 150,000 members worldwide and their movement was covered in magazines including the "New Yorker."

Papers (ca. 1871-1989) documenting the life and work of J. Otis Swift (1871-1948), nature columnist and leader of the Yosian Brotherhood of Nature Philosophers, including: articles, scrapbooks, memoirs, correspondence, biographical materials, and other writings. Includes published and unpublished poems and short stories. Also included are images from various sources, both of J. Otis Swift, his family, Yosian outings, flowers, insects, and the landscape. Additionally, personal materials of J. Otis Swift, such as his diary, confirmation and marriage certificates, as well as address and date books are included. His most voluminous work is the article series "News Outside the Door," which spans more than four volumes.

This collection is arranged in three series: Writings, Correspondence, and Biographical and Personal Materials. Writings contains two sub-series, Nature Writings and Other Writings. Nature Writings are primarily of articles written by J. Otis Swift, while Other Writings include his poems and short stories; both series are organized alphabetically and chronologically when applicable. The Correspondence series consists of letters written by J. Otis Swift and letters written to him organized chronologically. The Biographical and Personal Materials series is the most diverse in terms of materials, including autobiographies, journals, obituaries, and even music books.

Arrangement:

The materials in this series are divided into two sub-series, Nature Writings and Other Writings, and their respective materials are arranged alphabetically and by draft number followed by the final draft when appropriate.

Series Description:

The Nature Writings series includes drafts and published versions of Swift's daily "News Outside the Door" column published in the New York World, and various articles written by Swift about the Yosians in magazines and newspapers. Additional material about the Yosian Brotherhood can be found in the scrapbooks in the Biographical and Personal Materials series. The Other Writings series includes poems, stories, and miscellaneous prose pieces written by Swift, some of which were published in newspapers. Includes drafts and final versions of four short stories, "Mary Hudson's Son" and "The Pursuit of Happiness" (published) and "A Romany Witch" and "The Psychophone" (unpublished).

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically then chronologically.

Catskill aqueduct walk

Box 1 Folder 1

"Free Healing"

Box 1 Folder 2

Joseph Pulitzer: "The World"

Box 1 Folder 3

"News Outside the Door" annotated drafts, bulk 1918-1948

Box 1 Folder 4-6

"News Outside the Door" published clipped articles in scrapbooks," bulk 1928-1948

Box 3 Volume 1-4

"Seeing Eyes"

Box 1 Folder 7

Speech notes

Box 1 Folder 8

"The Yosians Go Afield"

Box 1 Folder 9

"Under That Inverted Bowl Men Call the Sky"

Box 1 Folder 10

"Wizard of Enchantment"

Box 1 Folder 11

Yosian nature walk advertisements

Box 1 Folder 12

Arrangement:

This sub-series is arranged alphabetically by title and drafts of the same work are organized sequentially.

"A Romany Witch" first draft

Box 1 Folder 13

"A Romany Witch" second draft

Box 1 Folder 14

"A Romany Witch" final draft

Box 1 Folder 15

"A Romany Witch" sketches

Box 1 Folder 16

Early published poetry

Box 1 Folder 17-18

Early unpublished poetry

Box 1 Folder 19-21

"Mary Hudon's Son"

Box 1 Folder 22

"Michael and the Little People of Westchester"

Box 1 Folder 23

Miscellaneous prose

Box 1 Folder 24-26

"The Psychophone" draft

Box 1 Folder 27

"The Psychophone" final draft

Box 1 Folder 28

"The Pursuit of Happiness" first draft

Box 2 Folder 1

"The Pursuit of Happiness" second draft

Box 2 Folder 2

"The Pursuit of Happiness" third draft

Box 2 Folder 3

"The Pursuit of Happiness" final draft & supplement

Box 2 Folder 4

"The Track of the Six Toed Man"

Box 2 Folder 5

Unpublished poetry, bulk 1900-1948

Box 2 Folder 6-9

"Woodland Magic & Enchanted Forest"

Box 2 Folder 10

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Arrangement:

The correspondence in this series is arranged chronologically.

Series Description:

This series contains letters sent to J. Otis Swift, the bulk concerning his work as the leader of the Yosian Brotherhood of Nature Philosophers; also includes personal correspondence with friends and family.

1850-1899

Box 2 Folder 11

1900-1909

Box 2 Folder 12

1911-1916

Box 2 Folder 13

1917-1919

Box 2 Folder 14

1920-1929

Box 2 Folder 15

1930-1939

Box 2 Folder 16

1940-1948

Box 2 Folder 17

Undated

Box 2 Folder 18

Series Description:

Personal materials pertaining to the life of J. Otis Swift, including his journal, poems written by other people, photographs of Swift and his family, Swift family genealogy, articles about his friends, and drafts of his autobiography. There are family scrapbooks and scrapbooks concerning the activities of the Yosian Brotherhood, as well as biographical articles about J. Otis Swift and obituaries.

Arrangement:

This series is arranged alphabetically by each item's title.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Address and date books

Box 2 Folder 19

Autobiographies

Box 2 Folder 20

"Beyond the Pavement"

Box 2 Folder 21

"Father Nature"

Box 2 Folder 22

Journals of J. Otis Swift

Box 2 Folder 23

"Life Walks the Beach with a Nature Lover"

Box 2 Folder 24

Marriage, confirmation & property Certificates

Box 2 Folder 25

"Memoirs of the Swift Family"

Box 2 Folder 26

Miscellaneous articles about J. Otis Swift

Box 2 Folder 27

"News Outside the Door" tribute signed by friends of J. Otis Swift

Box 2 Folder 28

Obituaries

Box 2 Folder 29

Photographs of J. Otis Swift and his family

Box 2 Folder 30

Research materials for the "Memoirs of the Swift Family"

Box 2 Folder 31

"The Chronicles of the Swift Family, Tribe of Josiah"

Box 2 Folder 32

"The Sassafras Hawk"

Box 2 Folder 33

U.S. Publisher biography, Feb 1926

Box 2 Folder 34

Vanity Fair: "Yosians, Let's Go!"

Box 2 Folder 35

"Walking with a Philosopher"

Box 2 Folder 36

"Walks of Life"

Box 2 Folder 37

Who's Who, 1883 and 1948

Box 2 Folder 38

Scrapbooks: Yosian Brotherhood and family materials

Box 4 Volume 1-5

"Gelang und Melodienbuch 1883" - German Melodies Book

Box 5 Volume 1

"Report to the Secretary of Agriculture, 1892" Scrapbook

Box 5 Volume 2

Poems collected by J. Otis Swift

Box 5 Volume 3

Articles collected by J. Otis Swift

Box 5 Volume 4

Scrapbook with Postcards, Articles, Correspondence (1934-'46)

Box 5 Volume 5
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