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Elizabeth Yates papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SSC-MS-00179

Scope and Contents

The Elizabeth Yates Papers consist primarily of material related to her writing career including drafts, manuscripts, galley proofs, and publicity for her books. Also included is a scrapbook which belonged to Effie Douglass Putnam, a well-known harpist and aspiring author who lived in Paris. The scrapbook contains notes, letters, autographs, drawings, and photographs from various notable individuals including August Rodin, Victor Hugo, Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and others.

Dates of Materials

  • 1829-1964

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. 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. 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

Elizabeth Yates was born and educated in Buffalo, New York. She married William McGreal in 1929 and for ten years they traveled extensively and lived in London. After their return to the U.S., they made their home on a farm in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Yates was the author of more than twenty-one books for adults and children. Her best-known work is Amos Fortune: Free Man (1950) which won the Newberry Medal, the Herald Tribune Award, and the William Allen White Children's Award. Her book Rainbow Round the World won the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Award. In addition to writing, Yates served as staff member for various writers' conferences (such as those at the University of Connecticut, the University of Indiana, and the University of New Hampshire ), as a lecturer, and as the Director of the New Hampshire Association for the Blind.

Effie Douglass Putnam was the sister of Loretto Putnam, the second wife of Elizabeth Yates' grandfather. Effie was born in Flint, Michigan and went as a young girl to Paris to study the harp and remained there until she died in 1943. She published several books, including Margaret and The Singer's Story (1888) and Cirillo (1903).

Extent

1 boxes (.75 linear feet)

Abstract

Author. The Elizabeth Yates papers consist primarily of material related to her writing career such as drafts, manuscripts, galley proofs, and publicity for books. Also included is a scrapbook which belonged to Effie Douglass Putnam, a well-known harpist and aspiring author who lived in Paris. The scrapbook contains notes, letters, autographs, drawings, and photographs from various notable individuals including August Rodin, Victor Hugo, Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and others.

General

Notes on Elizabeth Yates and Effie Douglass Putnam, from Julie Bowker - May, 2008:

"...Elizabeth Yates was my grandfather's first cousin. I met her a few times at her farm in New Hampshire. She was an interesting, intelligent woman, but aloof.

Elizabeth and my grandfather were both born in 1905; their mothers were sisters. "Betty" as she was known by her cousins, was set up by her father in an apt. in Cambridge in proximity to my grandfather and his sister who were both enrolled at Harvard (c. 1923). Consensus among her Bostonian cousins was that she was a bit of a pampered snob with no sense of humor and a bottomless bank account, and they all kept their distance from one another. Eventually, both Elizabeth and my grandfather landed in NH, but I don't think they visited ever, although she always sent a copy of her latest book with an inscription (to remind him that she'd made it as an author, he used to chuckle).

I see that Elizabeth's papers included the diary of Effie Douglass Putnam. Stories of the legendary Aunt Effie had come down to me from my grandfather and his sister. My great-aunt had an old framed photograph of a portrait of "Aunt Effie" hanging in a back bedroom. I was told that the original portrait of Effie hangs in the Louvre, although I've never verified. Up to her death in 1968, the photograph had always been a treasured keepsake of my great- grandmother's.

The Effie Putnam - Elizabeth Yates nexus is step niece - step great aunt.

Elizabeth is the niece of my great-grandmother Antoinette Duffy Riordan (1877-1968).

Effie's sister Loretto Putnam married Antoinette's widowed father (Elizabeth's grandfather) Walter Bernard Duffy of Rochester in the 1890's. Apparently, my great-grandmother and her new stepmum weren't on the warmest of terms, so my great-grandmother was sent to school in Paris, where she was taken under the wing of "wicked" stepmother's sister, Effie Putnam. Effie was living in Paris where she was, as you know, a well-known harpist and aspiring author, having published a book of poems and a romance novel, Cirillo, around 1911 or so. My great-granny adored Aunt Effie, and according to great-granny's children, the Aunt Effie annecdotes were endless.

I'm guessing that Elizabeth Yates who lived in London for a decade (1930's) may have been part of Effie's illustrious cultural orbit as well. And they had their love of books and writing in common. I'd always thought of Effie as being the exclusive property of my great-grandmother...never occurred to me that Elizabeth also would have known her.

I've recently tracked down a copy of Effie's book Cirillo...dedicated to Elizabeth's grandparents Walter and Loretto...."

Title
Elizabeth Yates papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Date
2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
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 (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:16-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-07-09: Added 1 page of 'General' notes.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063