The Mary Katherine Woodworth papers is comprised of the personal, professional, and financial papers of Mary Katherine Woodworth, Bryn Mawr class of 1924 and professor of English at the school. The collection, which includes materials from 1787 to 1989, highlight Woodworth’s time at Bryn Mawr, both in her capacity as a student and a professor.
The collection includes four boxes of material collected from Woodworth's home after her death in 1988. The papers are arranged thematically and chronologically. They begin with papers relating to her early life and include educational records. The second section contains a large volume of both incoming and outgoing correspondence between the sisters written throughout their lives. Letters are filed chronologically with major correspondents filed separately. The third section contains materials from Woodworth's research including early drafts, notes, and correspondence pertaining to her research. This section contains other materials relating to her professorship at Bryn Mawr as well, especially her correspondence with famous authors soliciting lectures and readings at Bryn Mawr. The fourth section deals primarily with paperwork pertaining to Woodworth including passports, tax records, house deeds, and information on the sale of her estate. There are additional materials on Mary Katharine Woodworth in various other collections in the Bryn Mawr College Library.
The first portion of the collection contains family papers and materials on the education of Woodworth and her sister. The educational papers relate to both girls' careers at Philadelphia Girls High School and Bryn Mawr College. There is also a scrapbook made by Woodworth, a number of report cards and attendance cards from Girls High and the Tilghman School, some short papers and notes, two Girls High Yearbooks from 1920 and 1921, Bryn Mawr notebooks, pictures, and a songbook from 1925. The papers of Woodworth's mother, Elizabeth Katharine Woodworth, include letters from her husband written in 1898, journals from her trips to Germany and England in 1906 and 1911 addressing the architecture and social life in these countries, and genealogical materials.
Personal Correspondence and Travel:
This section makes up the bulk of the Mary Katharine Woodworth papers. The major portion is correspondence between Woodworth, her sister, and their mother written between 1920 and 1939 while the sisters were at Bryn Mawr and during their trips to London in the 1930s. Correspondence from 1920-1925 details the social and academic life at Bryn Mawr College. The letters from 1929 to 1939 and the sisters' travel journals, describe art, architecture, and cities, especially London, Paris, and Rome. Other correspondence includes letters from friends and acquaintances such as Alys Russell, Wyncie King, Hortense Flexner, Samuel Chew, Sir Sydney Cockerell, and Edith Finch. In addition there are papers collected during their frequent trips to Europe including brochures, maps, and programs from Paris, Scotland, and England. In particular there are several maps of Scotland and a large number of pamphlets from cathedrals and parish churches as well as papers, handbooks, and guides to art and art exhibits.
This section contains papers from Woodworth's professional activities. Records of her involvement in professional associations (specifically the MLA and Johnsonian society) are included as well as copies of exams that she gave during her career at Bryn Mawr. It houses papers and correspondence relating to her pursuit of famous writers and artists to lecture at Bryn Mawr. These papers include letters by E. E. Cummings, Marianne Moore, Dylan Thomas, Eudora Welty, Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Bowen, D. H. Lawrence, William Faulkner, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, E. M. Forster, and V. S. Pritchett. At the time of her death she was completing work for a major research project on William Haley (1745-1820) and George Romney (1734-1802), numerous drafts, notes, and transcriptions related to this project are included in this part of the collection. These also include notes on related artists such as John Flaxman and George Engleheart. Additionally, there are papers relating to William Blake and correspondence between Woodworth and various collecting institutions requesting and transmitting information for her research.
Financial and Business Paperwork:
This section houses many of Woodworth's legal and financial papers. There is a sizable volume of papers relating to a 1976 tax audit following her sister's death and the ensuing estate tax. In addition this section includes her passports and several deeds, mortgages, and titles on her house in Haverford dating back to 1862. The final portion of this section contains records of her donations to various institutions including the donation of a picture of Mt. Hood to the Portland Museum of Art, and of books to the Bryn Mawr College Library. This section also contains many papers produced by the college after her death relating to the sale of The Wounded Soldier and her estate.
The Mary Katherine Woodworth papers provide interesting insight into Bryn Mawr’s history, covering both Woodworth’s career as student from 1920-1924, and her teaching career from 1935-1964. The correspondence from E.E. Cummings, Marianne Moore, Dylan Thomas, and other poets and authors is especially notable.