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Norreys Jephson O’Conor Letters to Grace Hazard Conkling

Identifier: MRBC-MS-00311

Scope and Contents

The Norreys Jephson O'Conor letters to Grace Hazard Conkling are arranged chronologically. The letters span the years 1918 to 1932. They deal almost entirely on literary matters, with reference to Amy Lowell, Robert Frost, Siegfried Sassoon and Conkling's daughter Hilda.


  • 1918-1932


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Mortimer Rare Book Room.

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 ( 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 Norreys Jephson O'Conor Letters to Grace Hazard Conkling, 1918-1932, are the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.

Biographical / Historical

Norreys Jephson O'Conor was born in New York City on December 31, 1885, the son of John Christopher and Maria Jephson (Post) O'Conor. He graduated from Harvard University (A.B., 1907 and M.A., 1911). After working as an editor in various publishing companies, he taught in the English Department at Harvard (1911-1913) and at Radcliffe College (1918-1919). He also taught at Grinnell College (1922-19230), Mount Holyoke College (1923-1924) and at Bryn Mawr College (1924-1926).

O'Conor was known for his work on early Irish literature, as well as his own poetry and prose. He worked in civil defense during World War II in California.

O'Conor married Grace Edith Corson, in Cambridge, Mass., on June 27, 1917. They had two daughters, Moria and Cathleen. Following his divorce from Grace in 1935, he married Evangelia Hawley in the same year. He died in Santa Barbara, California on October 24, 1958.

See: National Cyclopedia of American Biography, v. 37, p. 391.

Grace Hazard graduated from Smith College, Class of 1899. She studied music and studied in Europe before her marriage to Roscoe Platt Conkling in 1905. She had two children with him, but was divorced from him in 1914, at which time she accepted a teaching position at Smith College. Besides her teaching responsibilities, she wrote poetry and short stories that were published in the popular journals of the day. She died on November 15, 1958.


1 boxes (.5 linear feet)


The letters of O'Conor to Conkling are largely about literary matters, with reference to Amy Lowell, Robert Frost, Siegfried Sasson and Hilda Conkling.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Norreys Jephson O'Conor letters to Grace Hazard Conkling, 1918-1932, were given to the Mortimer Rare Book Room by the George C. Gordon Library, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass., in November 1980. The Head Librarian at that time, A. G. Anderson, Jr., acknowledged that he was uncertain as to how Worcester Polytechnic Institute came into possession of these letters but that they did not fit the Institute's collection or needs.

Related Materials

Other manuscripts of Norreys Jephson O'Conor are to be found at:
  1. Papers of Norreys Jephson O'Conor, 1890-1964 at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California.
  2. Margaret Clapp Library, Wellesley College, letters to Katherine Lee Bates and Jeannette Augustus Marks.
  3. The Library of the University of Pennsylvania, letters to Maxwell Struthers Burt and Van Wyck Brooks.
  4. Harvard University Library, letters and manuscripts to Amy Lowell.
  5. The New York Public Library.
  6. The Library of the University of Virginia.
  7. Syracuse University Library, letters to Horace Gregory.
The major manuscript collections of Grace Hazard Conkling's work are held in the Smith College Archives and in the Smith College Mortimer Rare Book Room.


Norreys Jephson O'Conor's published work includes:
Battles and Enchantments, Retold from Early Gaelic Literature (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1922)
Beside the Blackwater (New York: John Lane Company, 1915)
Celtic Memories, and other Poems (London: E. Mathews, 1913)
Changing Ireland: Literary Backgrounds of the Irish Free State, 1889-1922 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1924)
The Child's Hansel and Gretel; a Fairy Tale Opera Adapted from the Libretto of Adelheid Wette; Tr. by Norreys Jephson O'Conor (New York: F. A. Stokes, 1909)
The Fairy Bride = TheLennan Shee : a Prologue to Irish Drama in Three Acts (New York: S. French, 1916)
Godes Peace and The Queenes-Vicissitudes of a House, 1539-1615 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1934).
Late Offering (Los Angeles: W. Ritchie Press, 1952)
A Servant of the Crown in England and in North America, 1756-1761, Based Upon the Papers of John Appy, Secretary and Judge Advocate of His Majesty's Forces (New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1938)
Songs of the Celtic Past (New York: John Lane Company, 1918)
There was Magic in Those Days (New York: F. A. Stokes, 1928)

Processing Information

Processed by Melvin Carlson, Jr., 2009
Norreys Jephson O’Conor Letters to Grace Hazard Conkling, 1918-1932.
Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by Melvin Carlson, Jr..
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Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (

Repository Details

Part of the Mortimer Rare Book Collection Repository

Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063