Katherine Biddle

The papers of poet Katherine Garrison Chapin Biddle (1890-1977) comprise part of the Biddle Family Papers which include those of her husband Francis Biddle (a former U.S. attorney general). The collection houses manuscripts and correspondence relating to most of her published works including Outside of the World (1930), Bright Mariner (1933), Time Has No Shadow (1936), Lament for the Stolen (1938), Plain Chant for America (1942), The Other Journey (1959), as well as an unpublished play about African-American reformer Sojourner Truth (1948).

 Some of the poems were set to music by Harl Macdonald for Lament for the Stolen performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1938; and by William Grant Still for And They Lynched Him from a Tree, performed by the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in 1940, and for Plain Chant for America.

As a poet, Katherine Biddle has been noted by B.A. Robie, for her "quiet, unpretentious verse...openly concerned with universal experience and emotions, with the marvels of nature, effects of time, love, birth, and the joy of childhood..." (Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, Volume 5).

Biddle Family Papers

Gift of the Biddle Family


Items exhibited:

Katherine Biddle. Bright Mariner. New York: Duffield and Green (1933). Offprint. Illustrated with woodcuts by Wharton Esherick. The poem was dedicated to the memory of Biddle’s young son, Garrison Chapin Biddle (1923-1930).

Katherine Biddle. Lament for the Stolen. Typed manuscript.

Katherine Biddle. Lament for the Stolen. Philadelphia: The Centaur Press (1938).

Katherine Biddle. Lament for the Stolen. Music score. Autograph manuscript signed by the composer Harl MacDonald, dated July-August 1938.

Katherine Biddle. Outside of the World. New York: Duffield and Company (1931). A collection featuring the title poem. With a printed dedication, "To My Godmother Charlotte Mason these fragmentary aspects of our world." Includes autograph manuscripts for Bright Mariner and Maya Sculpture copied by Biddle onto the rear flyleaves.

Katherine Biddle. Plain Chant for America. New York: Harper and Brothers (1942). Dustjacket for the book.

Katherine Biddle. Plain Chant for America. Typed manuscript for a published collection of poetry by Biddle featuring the title poem. Includes an essay, "The Quality of Poetry."

Katherine Biddle. Plain Chant for America. New York: J. Fischer & Bro. (1941). Music score. With autograph inscription on title page by Biddle to Charlotte Mason: "For Godmother this first copy off the press with gratitude for the inspiration of her great American life -- with lasting love from Katherine. Oct. 1941."

Katherine Biddle. Sojourner Truth. Typed manuscript for a play in two acts. Dated 1944. With autograph annotations by Walter Kerr.


Anna M. Brady

Anna Brady with John Paul II, 1988

Journalist Anna Brady (1901- ), was a veteran correspondent on Vatican affairs. Based in Rome for 29 years, she covered the conclaves that elected Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, as well as all sessions of Vatican II and the early subsequent synods. During her Vatican II years, she was dubbed "dean" of the Vatican Press Corps and was a welcomed member of the daily press corps briefings at each session. Brady was the only woman to accompany Pope Paul VI on his first five pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Bombay, Fatima, the United Nations in New York, and Istanbul. She was also the only woman to travel on the papal plane on the trips to New York and Turkey. In 1928, Brady entered the Catholic Church and became the first American woman to speak on Catholic doctrine as an Evidence Guild member on street corners in Baltimore and New York City.

Through Catherine De Hueck, Brady met Father Felix Morlion, O.P., a Belgian Dominican and founder of the Pro Deo Movement in Europe. Together, Fr. Morlion and Brady founded the American Center Pro Deo, which sponsored seminars and courses concerned with the clarification of spiritual and religious issues in current events. They also established the Catholic International Press (CIP), a news service that circulated the newsletter, CIP Correspondence, dedicated to these issues. Brady served as editor from 1942 through 1950.

In 1943, Brady became acting director of the International Pro Deo Movement with which all CIP Centers were affiliated. During the war the Movement was also responsible for transmission of underground news via CIP Correspondence and other news services. In 1945, Brady attended the opening of the International Institute Pro Deo in Rome, which in 1948 became the International University for Social Studies Pro Deo. From 1952 to 1956, Brady served as vice president and treasurer for the university.

From 1957 until her retirement in 1981, Brady worked as Rome correspondent for the Baltimore Sun and the Long Island Catholic.

The collection includes correspondence and manuscripts relating to Brady’s work during Vatican II and with the Catholic International Press. Eight scrapbooks feature clippings of articles she wrote for the Baltimore Sun and Long Island Catholic.

Anna M. Brady Papers

Gift of Anna M. Brady


Items Exhibited:

Anna M. Brady. Scrapbook. Clippings of articles written for the Long Island Catholic (1963-65).


Anna M. Brady. TWA in-flight menu and guest list for the Journey of Peace by Pope Paul VI from the Vatican to the United Nations, October 4, 1965.

Anna M. Brady. Photograph of Brady with Pope John Paul II following Mass in his private chapel, February 3, 1988.


Sophy Burnham

Ms. Burnham is the author of several books about angels and paranormal experience, including the bestsellers, A Book of Angels (1990) and Angel Letters (1991). Her personal association with angelic phenomena occurred at the age of twenty-eight when an angel saved her life. Since then, so many inexplicable forces and coincidences have affected her life that she decided to write about them. Her research into such phenomena has gained her enormous attention from a reading public that hastens to acknowledge and share its own experience with the paranormal. This unique collection consists of correspondence received by Ms. Burnham from people from all over the United states, as well as England and South Africa, who have read her books. Almost every letter includes an account of some first-hand experience with the paranormal. The collection includes the complete manuscript, drafts, and copious research notes for A Book of Angels.

Sophy Burnham Papers

Gift of Sophy Burnham


Sophy Burnham. A Book of Angels. Typed manuscript (c.1990).


Sophy Burnham. A Book of Angels. New York: Ballantine Books (1990). First edition. Inscribed.


Elizabeth Jennings

It was at Oxford that Jennings found her artistic niche. After her university years she settled permanently in the area for there she "found the most congenial kind of atmosphere in which a poet can write - friends who were themselves poets and who also seemed to be as interested in my work as they were in their own. I received ruthless criticism, certainly, but I always felt that the people who criticized my work really wanted me to write better, really believed in and cared about me..." (Dictionary of Literary Biography, 27). These friendships were the beginning of what J.D. Scott, in an article in The Spectator (October 1, 1954), would term "The Movement."

The "angry young men" usually referred to as comprising The Movement, were Kinglsey Amis, Robert Conquest, Donald Davie, D.J. Enright, Thom Gunn, John Holloway, Philip Larkin, John Wain, and Elizabeth Jennings. Having already been published in Oxford Poetry 1948, Jennings found that her work suited the taste of the new editors for 1949, namely Amis and James Michie, who called for toughness and modernity. Blake Morrison, now the main source of information on The Movement, notes that "Jennings’ part in The Movement has sometimes been disputed..." (ibid.). However, Robert Conquest recalls that "someone once described her association with us as comparable to that of a schoolmistress in a non-corridor train with a bunch of drunk marines -- slight slander on both sides..." (ibid.)

The collection includes correspondence and manuscript notebooks of Jenning’s prolific writings dating from 1972 to 1983.

Elizabeth Jennings Papers

Acquired from Elizabeth Jennings.

Elizabeth Jennings. Autograph manuscripts. Notebook, January 1978.

[Note: The Elizabeth Jennings Papers include letters from other important women writers such as Margaret Drabble, Laurie Lee, Ruth Pitter, Anne Ridler, Enid Starkie, and historian Dame Cicely Veronica Wedgewood.]


Julie Kernan

The papers of Julie Kernan (1901-1988), contain correspondence and manuscripts relating to her work as an editor and author. She was editorial secretary for the French Book Club from 1931 to 1935, and resided in Paris for a year from 1934 to 1935. When she returned to the U.S. she took a variety of editorial and managerial positions with publishers in New York, including Longmans, Green & Company (1935-50); David McKay & Co. (1950-53); and P.J. Kenedy & Sons (1953-66).

One of Kernan’s most notable works is her reminiscence of her long friendship with Jacques and Raissa Maritain in her book, Our Friend Jacques Maritain (1975). Kernan’s papers include some 20 letters and cards written to her and her brother Thomas from Jacques and Raissa Maritain. There is also a typed manuscript of Kernan’s translation of Raissa Maritain’s work, The Divine Ways: A Little Work of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Julie and Thomas Kernan Papers

Gift of Julie Kernan

Emmet Lavery. Typed letter signed to Julie Kernan, dated April 14, 1975. Reference to Kernan’s book on Jacques Maritain.

Jacques Maritain. Autograph letter signed to Julie Kernan, dated February 10, 1945. Maritain expresses regret that he must decline an invitation to write the preface to the French edition of a book by Thomas Kernan, Now with the Morning Star, published as Etoile du Matin, translated into French by Simone Maurois (Editions de la Maison Francaise, Inc., 1945; R. Juliard, 1946).

Julie Kernan. Our Friend Jacques Maritain. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. (1975). Typed manuscript.

[The Julie and Thomas Kernan Papers include letters from writers Helen Iswolsky and Marie Belloc Lowndes.]


Mary O’Hara

The papers of the beloved children’s author of My Friend Flicka, include complete manuscripts for an autobiography, Flicka’s Friend, and a musical, The Catch Colt. Mary O’Hara was a gifted pianist and composer as well as an author, and her musical was performed in 1961 at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., as well as at the Lincoln Theatre in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In 1963, the musical was leased out by the Dramatists Play Service of New York, and was published in 1964. Her great love for the piano inspired Mary O’Hara to compose many pieces for that instrument including, Esperan (1943), Green Grass of Wyoming (1946), May God Keep You (1946), and Wind Harp (1954).

Mary O’Hara Papers

Gift of Colonel and Mrs. Kent Kane Parrot


Mary O’Hara. Flicka’s Friend. Typed manuscript (1978). Originally entitled, "Prodigal Daughter."

Alfred Newman. My Friend Flicka. Facsimile of music score composed by Alfred Newman for the soundtrack to the 1942 motion picture of My Friend Flicka. Inscription from Newman’s son, Tim (on front flyleaf): "To Mary O’Hara, whose filly gave me such joy. Now I have "Flicka" and the music that Pappy wrote for Flicka and me. Tim Newman. Beverly Hills, Cal., Aug. 6, 1943."


Lisa Sergio

Lisa Sergio (1905-1989) accepted an invitation, in 1932, from Mussolini to become a news commentator for 2RO Radio in Rome. She did so at the urging of an old family friend, Count Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the wireless, and became the first woman broadcaster in Europe. Known as the "Golden Voice of Rome," Sergio was instrumental in establishing short-wave radio programs in 21 languages. In addition to her work as translator of Mussolini’s speeches and government bulletins her programs included Italian lessons broadcast to England via the BBC.

Lisa Sergio 

On March 10, 1937, Mussolini signed an order for Sergio’s dismissal. In the five years of her broadcasting service she had grown increasingly critical of the government and the dispatches she was required to air. Sergio began to tamper with certain official bulletins and her anti-Fascist friendships with newsmen and intellectuals drew the attention of the authorities. With the advice and assistance of Marconi, Sergio left Italy days before a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Sergio arrived in New York on July 1937. Her English and French broadcasts and several appearances on "The Magic Key" program of WJZ radio, had made her well-known to American radio men. David Sarnoff, president of the Radio Corporation of America, invited her to serve as guest commentator for NBC. She hosted the NBC programs "Let’s Talk it Over," and "Tales of Great Rivers" (1937-39); she was news commentator for WQXR radio (New York City) (1940-47), hosting a popular program, "Column of Air"; and was news commentator for ABC radio (1942-47). In the early sixties Sergio hosted "Frontiers of Faith" for NBC-TV, and "New Nations of Africa" for ABC-TV. She continued to host popular radio programs such as "Prayers through the Ages" on WMAL radio (Washington, D.C.) from 1962 until her death.

The Lisa Sergio Papers form an important holding on women in radio journalism, spanning the career of a remarkable woman (1937 to 1988), and including correspondence, manuscripts of her articles and books, lectures and radio broadcasts.

Lisa Sergio Papers

Bequest of Lisa Sergio


Edna St. Vincent Millay. Christmas card to Lisa Sergio, dated 1930. Inscribed by Millay: "Happy New Year! Edna." Includes inscription possibly by her husband Eugene Jan Boissevain: "Merry Christmas to you [signature illegible]."

Eleanor Roosevelt. 2 typed letters signed to Lisa Sergio, dated February 2, 1956 and April 20, 1960.

Lisa Sergio. "Art Talks All Languages." Typescript for address given at the Western Arts Association Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 8, 1948.

Lisa Sergio. "Women -- the Power We Are Not Using." Typescript of a memoranda dated August 1961.

Lisa Sergio. Photograph. Autograph caption in scrapbook containing the original reads: "Second broadcast from NBC, July 20, 1937, 11 p.m." (see above)

Edith Sitwell

Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), was one of the more charismatic figures in the British literary world. For almost fifty years, Sitwell and her siblings Sir Osbert and Sir Sacheverell were regarded as the first family of British literature and leaders of the avant-garde during the twenties when they were known as the "stormy petrels" of the London scene. Sitwell was a prolific poet with many published collected works. She was described in The Times (London) as a writer who: "... writes for the sake of sound, of colour, and from an awareness of God and regard for man..." (Contemporary Authors). She was outspoken and rebelled against accepted modes of behavior. Her famous work, Facade (1923), a combination of musical and poetic styles, was criticized and derided when first performed in London. Sitwell recalled hiding behind a curtain because " old lady was waiting to beat me with her umbrella..." (ibid.). Sitwell refused to learn the typewriter claiming that she was able to write only in bed. She maintained that, "Every woman, no matter what the circumstances, should have a day a week in bed..." (ibid.).

The Sitwell-Searle Collection consists of 30 letters (1949-61) from Sitwell to composer Humphrey Searle (1915-1982) whose works include ballets, operas, symphonies and film/television scores. He collaborated with Sitwell on several of her works, including, Gold Coast Customs (1949), The Shadow of Cain (1952), and The Canticle of the Rose (1965).

Acquired from H. Wohlmuth bookseller, London.

The Sitwell-Cohen Collection consists of 13 letters (1950-52) from Sitwell to John M. Cohen, critic and translator. The correspondence reveals Sitwell’s growing respect for Cohen’s criticism. The collection includes the manuscripts for her work, The Road to Thebes, which she must have sent for Cohen’s perusal and review.

Acquired from Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., London


Edith Sitwell. Autograph letter signed from Sitwell to Humphrey Searle, dated February 24, 1949 with envelope. Reference to an upcoming performance of Searle’s composition for Gold Coast Customs, and to lunch at the Sesame Club to discuss the work.

Sitwell-Searle Collection.

Edith Sitwell. Autograph letter signed from Sitwell to John M. Cohen, dated May 26, 1950, with envelope. Sitwell expresses her pleasure in a proposed broadcast by Cohen about her poetry, and writes: "...I am indeed deeply grateful to you. It is a great moment in the life of a poet, when ones motives are understood with such completeness. This is one of those very rare occasions, and I thank you..." She goes on to propose lunch: "I have long wanted to meet you - ever since reading what you had to say about Arthur Waley’s "Chinese Poems" - it gave me as much pleasure as it gave him, and that is saying a very great deal. There are only a small handful of people, now, who understand poetry. But you go to the very roots and springs from which poetry begins...It would be a great pleasure to me if you could come and lunch with me..."

Sitwell-Cohen Collection.


Edith Sitwell. Autograph manuscript signed. "The Road to Thebes." Sitwell-Cohen Collection.


Barbara Ward (Baroness Jackson)

Barbara Ward (1914-81) was a leading economist and dedicated humanitarian whose tireless efforts to foster a system of international cooperation for solving worldwide economic and environmental problems were aided by her powerful and persuasive books. She was an editor, later becoming foreign editor, for The Economist (1938-50). In 1950 she married Sir Robert Gillman Jackson, an Australian working for the United Nations, and moved with him to the Gold Coast (Ghana). Ward was appointed president of the International Institute for Environment and Development, in 1973, a position that afforded her an active role in almost every UN conference on global issues in the 1970s.

Ward was presented the title of Dame Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the British Empire (D.B.E.) in 1974, and was named a Life Peer, receiving the title Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth, in 1976. The latter entitled Ward to a seat in the House of Lords, thus expanding her impressive political influence as an informal advisor to eminent world figures including Willy Brandt, Indira Gandhi, and Pierre Trudeau, as well as U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter.

The collection consists of correspondence and manuscripts for principal works by Ward, including, Only One Earth (1972), The Home of Man (1976), and Progress for a Small Planet (1979).

Barbara Ward Papers

Gift of Hon. Robert Jackson

Indira Gandhi. Typed letter signed to Barbara Ward, dated March 20, 1975. Reference to Ward’s proposal to nominate Mother Teresa for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Barbara Ward. The Home of Man (1976). Autograph and typed manuscripts.

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