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Kate Sanborn Papers

 Collection
Identifier: CA-MS-00113

Scope and Contents

The Kate Sanborn Papers contain biographical material, personal correspondence, lecture notes, publications and photographs. Among her publications are two verse collections, Grandma's Garden and Purple and Gold as well as a complete set of the Round Table of English Literature series. Photographs include portraits of Sanborn while she was a professor at Smith College and scenes of daily life at Breezy Meadows.

Dates

  • 1878 - 1996

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

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

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

Smith College retains copyright of materials created as part of its business operations; however, 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 instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Smith College, 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

Katherine "Kate" Abbott Sanborn was born in 1839 in Hanover, New Hampshire. Her father, Edwin David Sanborn, was professor of classics at Dartmouth College. Her mother, Mary Webster, was a relative of Daniel Webster. Sanborn did not attend school, but was educated at home. In Memoirs and Anecdotes, she wrote of an intellectually rich childhood in which she was exposed to the politicians, academics, and writers who visited her father.

After starting a day school for faculty children, Kate Sanborn continued her teaching career at Mary Institute in St Louis, Mo. when her father became president of Washington University, and later at the Packer Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She was also a newspaper and magazine correspondent who reviewed books for Scribner's Magazine. In 1880, she was invited to teach English literature at Smith College. She left Smith in 1883.

A popular lecturer who became known for presenting literary topics in a humorous, entertaining manner, Sanborn traveled extensively throughout the country on speaking tours. In 1885, she wrote The Wit of Women, a collection of anecdotes and commentary that examined how women's humor was shaped by social attitudes. She also edited several illustrated collections of verse and published the Sunshine Calendar series, a set of small calendar books featuring quotes from famous Americans. She designed and wrote a series of study guides to literature that were published by James R. Osgood and Co. of Boston as the Round Table Series of English Literature. The set of 25 study packets ranges from ancient Celtic literature to Alfred Lord Tennyson and includes essay topics, quick reference material and special readings.

In 1888, Sanborn bought a dilapidated farm in Metcalf, (Holliston) Massachusetts, 25 miles from Boston. She wrote of her experiences and misadventures as a novice farm manager in Adopting an Abandoned Farm. Other farming books followed. She later wrote of selling that farm and moving to a nearby farm, Breezy Meadows, in Abandoning an Adopted Farm. Breezy Meadows, the setting of several light depictions of farm life, was Sanborn's home until her death at 78 in 1917.

Extent

0.438 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

The Kate Sanborn Papers contain biographical material, personal correspondence, lecture notes, publications and photographs. Among her publications are two verse collections, Grandma's Garden and Purple and Gold as well as a complete set of the Round Table of English Literature series. Photographs include portraits of Sanborn while she was a professor at Smith College and scenes of daily life at Breezy Meadows.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into five series:
  1. I. Biographical Materials
  2. II. Correspondence
  3. III. Lecture Notes
  4. IV. Photographs
  5. V. Publications

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Kate Sanborn Papers were acquired over the years from various sources.

Processing Information

Processed by Lee Appelbaum.

Processing Information

Please note that prior to 2018, folder inventories were not always updated when new material was added to the collection. As a result, folder inventories may not be complete and folder numbers may be incorrect.
Title
Finding aid to the Kate Sanborn Papers
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Author
Lee Appelbaum
Date
2003
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)
  • 2005-09-23: manosca113 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2018-11-13: Containers added and finding aid updated as part of the College Archives Survey

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063