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Lola Ridge papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00131

Scope and Contents

The Lola Ridge Papers consist of manuscripts, correspondence, art work, biographical material, clippings, diaries, memorabilia, photographs, reviews, and her published works. The manuscript material consists of drafts of the poems published in Firehead (1929). There is substantial correspondence to Louise Adams Floyd and with Ridge's husband David Lawson.

Dates of Materials

  • 1900-1941


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Elaine Sproat has retained copyright in the works of Lola Ridge donated to Smith College. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Ridge, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

American poet Lola Ridge was born Rose Emily Ridge in Dublin, Ireland in 1873. At age three she and her mother moved first to Sydney, Australia and then to New Zealand. She took classes through Trinity College (England) and studied art under Julian Ashton at the Academie Julienne in Australia. She moved to New York in 1908. Her radical poetry appeared in The Ghetto and Other Poems (1918), Emma Goldman's monthly, Mother Earth, as well as in more mainstream periodicals. She wrote poetry on radical themes, and about her anarchist friends Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. After World War I, Ridge revived Alfred Kreymborg's magazine, Others, and served as the American editor of Broom. In 1923 she won Poetry magazine's Guarantor's Prize. During her lifetime, Ridge published five books of poetry, including Firehead, about the Crucifixion. She completed Firehead in 1929 at the Yaddo retreat. In the 1930s she visited Paris and Baghdad, and a Guggenheim fellowship enabled her to travel to Taos, New Mexico, and parts of Mexico. She received the Shelley Memorial Award in 1934 and 1935. Lola Ridge died of cardiomyopathy in 1941.


10.521 linear feet (19 containers)

Language of Materials



The collection contains the papers of Lola Ridge, poet. Papers include manuscripts of poetry published in Firehead (1929); correspondence, art work, biographical material, clippings, diaries, memorabilia, photographs, reviews, and published works.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the collection was donated by her husband David Lawson in 1977. Additional donations were made by her literary executor Elaine Sproat in 2006, and 2013.

Finding aid to the Lola Ridge papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:15-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2018-10-19: Updated to conform to DACS
  • 2019-11-22: Container inventory and notes added from draft 2008 Word finding aid

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063