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Katharine Edith Brand papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00248

Scope and Contents

The Katharine Edith Brand Papers consist of 4.5 linear feet and contain subject matter related to her professional career, her personal life, and a small amount of material about family members. Types of materials include oral histories and other biographical materials, correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, manuscripts, published writings, printed materials, and memorabilia.

The Papers date from 1881-1988, but the bulk of them range from the 1920s through the 1960s and focus on Brand's work with Ray Stannard Baker and in the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress, though there is also significant documentation of her personal life, especially her adolescence. Major subjects found throughout these papers include Woodrow Wilson, Ray Stannard Baker, the Library of Congress, adolescent development, and family relationships. Correspondence comprises a little less than half the collection, the rest being fairly evenly divided among the other series.

Dates of Materials

  • 1881-1988
  • Majority of material found within 1965-1980

Creator

Language of Materials

English.

Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Some of the oral histories in this collection have restrictions on access. Please see the notes attached to an individual interview for information about restrictions that apply to it.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to Katharine Brand's unpublished works. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Biographical / Historical

Katharine Edith Brand was born on March 18, 1900 in Huron, South Dakota. She was the only child of Phebe Relief Crafts and Charles Brand, a Congregational minister and journalist. In 1901 Charles Brand left the ministry to become editor for the Congregational publishing house in Winthrop, Massachusetts. In 1908 he became manager of a fruit ranch and the family relocated to Roseburg, Oregon. Brand's parents divorced in 1909 and she moved with her mother to Oberlin, Ohio to stay with her aunt and uncle, Katharine and Earl Adams. In 1911 Brand returned to Oregon. She began high school in Portland, Oregon, then when they moved again, continued in Milford (Connecticut) High School, and finally graduated from New Haven High School. She was graduated from Smith College in 1921 with a B.A. in English and History, and then attended the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston, receiving her secretarial certificate in 1923.

Brand held several short-term secretarial positions until 1925 when Ray Stannard Baker, journalist and author, hired her as a researcher and editorial assistant. She moved to Amherst, Massachusetts where Baker was working on his multi-volume biography of Woodrow Wilson. Brand remained with Baker, doing everything from the taking care of clerical details to interviewing Wilson associates, and basically being Baker's right hand until the project's completion in 1939. For the duration of his work on the biography, Baker had the bulk of Woodrow Wilson's papers in his possession. He convinced Edith Bolling Wilson, the President's widow, to deposit the Wilson Papers in the Library of Congress in 1939. Brand was hired by Wilson to be "Special Custodian" of the Wilson Papers, and in 1944 she became an Assistant in the Division of Manuscripts, specializing in contemporary manuscripts. During her tenure she wrote bibliographies, collection inventories, and articles on archival issues. Wilson scholars frequently consulted Brand for her expertise on both Wilson and his papers. While at the Library of Congress she devised the register system for handling large collections of contemporary manuscripts. In 1950 she was promoted to Head of the Recent Manuscripts Division. Brand experienced periods of illness, and a heart attack convinced her to retire in 1956, but she continued to correspond with Wilson scholars and remained involved in organizations such as the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation among others. She was also on the editorial advisory board of the Papers of Woodrow Wilson and was active in the Friends of the Library, Vienna, Virginia.

Shortly after moving to Washington, D.C., Brand met Carol Piper, a Federal government employee, who at that time worked for the Federal Reserve Board. The two shared an apartment beginning in 1941 until 1950 when they built a home in Vienna, Virginia. They remained there until they moved to a retirement home a few years before Brand's death.

Extent

11 boxes (4.5 linear feet)

Overview

Researcher, Editorial assistant, Archivist. The Katharine Brand Papers include biographical information; diaries from childhood and her Smith College years; published and unpublished writings; correspondence, and photographs. The bulk of the papers range date from the 1920s through the 1960s and focus on Brand's work with Ray Stannard Baker and in the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress, though there is also significant documentation of her personal life, especially her adolescence. Major subjects found throughout these papers include Woodrow Wilson, Ray Stannard Baker, the Library of Congress, adolescent development, and family relationships.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into five series:
  1. I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL
  2. II. CORRESPONDENCE
  3. III. WRITINGS
  4. IV. PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
  5. V. PHOTOGRAPHS
  6. OVERSIZED MATERIALS

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Delight Wing Dodyk, the daughter of Brand's cousin, Phebe Wing, donated Brand's papers to the Sophia Smith Collection from 1988 to 1992. Additional materials came from Carol Piper. Jacqueline Van Voris completed oral history interviews with Wing and two friends of Brand's in 1988.

Processing Information

Processed by Amy Hague, 2005.
Title
Katharine Edith Brand papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Amy Hague
Date
2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2005-10-12: mnsss185 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:12-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-05-12: Updated oral history interviews (3) with access and use notes.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063