Morley Family papers
Scope and Contents
This collection focuses on the personal and professional life of Christopher Darlington Morley. Morley was a professor's son, and he began writing for pleasure very early in life. This collection includes material from his successful academic career, at Haverford College and as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, which consists primarily of notebooks and essays. The bulk of the collection, however, focuses on Morley's professional creative writing, including newspaper columns, essays, novels, lectures, and poetry. Much of Morley's correspondence is also included, both professional and personal, and some writing and corresponcence from other Morley family members.
Contents of the collection include:
Christopher Darlington Morley: childhood and adolescence, early school.
CDM Haverford College: manuscripts, notebooks, memorabilia, Rhodes Scholarship testimonials.
CDM Oxford: notebooks, essays, photos.
CDM Young Manhood: manuscripts, typescripts, other writing, biographical material, newspaper clippings.
CDM: realia, memorabilia, poetry, material re exhibition on CDM, photographs.
CDM Additions and Letters to FMM: letters and postcards.
CDM Additions to Papers: letters, Morley Alcove material.
CDM Additions to Manuscripts: manuscripts (by/about CDM), writings, material about/connected to CDM.
CDM Additions to Pictures: miscellaneous images, notes on material given to Haverford College (by FMM, EPA).
FVM and LJBM: writing by FVM, letters (FVM), writing by LJBM.
CDM Manuscripts: manuscripts, typescripts, essays, poems.
CDM Drafts of The Man Who Made Friends With Himself: images of dust-jacket, draft sections of work.
CDM Photos, Clippings, Logbook, etc.: photographs, lecture notes, newspaper clippings, material re publicity of work, The Small Fry logbook.
CDM Miscellaneous Material: material re CDM/presented with collection, Haverfordiana, published work, newspapers.
CDM Printed Items: material printed at Haverford, other printed CDM material.
CDM Correspondence and Letters.
CDM Printed Items.
CDM Miscellaneous: typescripts, newspaper clippings, images, letters (re Morley Alcove), correspondence.
CDM Selected Works: manuscripts, typescripts.
CDM Additions to Material By and About CDM: writing by CDM, manuscripts, schoolwork, printed items, material from after CDM's death.
CDM Additions to Letters and Images: drawing, photos (CDM and Morley family), ephemera, correspondence, letters.
FVM Works: typescripts.
FVM Miscellaneous Writing: writing, puzzles/games, essays.
FVM Lectures and Biographical Information.
FVM Notebooks: notebooks, other material.
FVM and LJBM: writing by FVM, writing by LJBM.
CDM and FMM: typescripts (by CDM, FMM, other), photos.
CDM, FVM, FMM Correspondence and Letters. Restricted.
FVM Material re Biography of CDM.
CDM Letters and Correspondence.
FMM Correspondence and Papers: diary, correspondence, essays, photos, postcards, published material.
- Morley, Lilian Janet Bird (Person)
Language of Materials
This collection is primarily in English, but there are select documents (poetry, letters and schoolwork) in French.
This collection is open for access.
Box 10, "CDM Additions and Letters to FMM," in which all letters to Harrison Hires are not to be used or quoted without librarian's permission.
Boxes 48-50, "Christopher, Frank, and Felix Morley Correspondence and Letters," which are restricted until January 1, 2026.
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).
Biographical / Historical
Edward "Page" Allinson met Christopher Morley at Haverford College, and they were close life-long friends. Allinson married Mary, also a close friend of Morley, and they lived much of their life together in West Chester, Pennsylvania. In this collection, he is sometimes referred to as "EPA."
Henry Tatnall Brown (1871-1938) was Vice-Chairman of the American Friends Service Committee and Chairman of the relief work in Spain. He was married to Mary Scattergood Brown, and had three sons. He and Christopher Morley were good friends for much of their lives. In this collection, he is sometimes referred to as "HTB."
Christopher Darlington Morley (1890-1957), was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania, the son of Frank Morley and Lilian Janet Bird Morley. In 1900, the family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, but Morley enrolled at Haverford College in 1906. There, he published in the school's Haverfordian, was on its editorial board, edited his class yearbook, helped write, produce, and act in plays, and was a member of the cricket and soccer teams. After graduating in 1910 as valedictorian of his class, he became a Rhodes Scholar at New College, Oxford University, where he studied modern history. Returning to the United States, Morley began a versatile career as poet, novelist, essayist, critic, and editor, supporter of theatrical ventures, book-club judge, and friend of neglected old writers and emerging new ones. In 1914, he married Helen Booth Fairchild; they had four children. They moved to Philadelphia in 1917, but moved permanently to Roslyn Heights, Long Island, in 1920. Morley's career began with an editorial position with Doubleday, Page and Co., publishers, on Long Island, New York. He also edited the Ladies' Home Journal, and cofounded and edited the Saturday Review of Literature. Morley wrote for many papers, including the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger and the New York Evening Post. Though he thought of himself as a poet first, Morley was a prolific author of both novels and poetry, publishing his first book of poems in 1912 while he was at Oxford. In total, Morley published at least ten books of verse, and many celebrated novels including Kitty Foyle (1939), which made the bestseller list and was the basis of a 1942 movie starring Ginger Rogers and The Man Who Made Friends With Himself (1949). Morley wrote introductions and prefaces for works by other authors such as Walt Whitman, H.H. Munro, William Shakespeare, and Laurence Sterne, and edited material by Whitman, Sir Francis Bacon, his close friend the humorist Don Marquis and Bartlett. In addition to volumes of published essays, Morley gave countless lectures, some of which were published. Morley was involved in the Book-of-the-Month Club and cofounder of the Baker Street Irregulars, a club for lovers of Sherlock Holmes. In this collection, he is sometimes referred to as "CDM."
Felix Morley (1894–1982) was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania. Morley graduated from Haverford College in 1915, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford. He joined the American Red Cross as an ambulance driver during World War I. Morley married in 1917, and had four children. He worked at the Baltimore Sun and held editorship of the Washington Post, 1933-1940. Morley served as president of Haverford College, 1940-1945. Over the years, Morley produced a considerable body of writing: a half-dozen books, one novel, hundreds of political and literary essays and book reviews, editorials, and opinion pieces. His memoirs, For the Record, were published in 1979. In this collection, he is sometimes referred to as "FMM."
Frank Morley (1860-1937) was born in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, to Quaker parents. Morley entered King's College, Cambridge in 1879, but only completed his undergraduate studies in 1884 due to illness. He then attended Bath College, 1884-1887. Morley then came to the United States to serve as professor of mathematics at Haverford College until 1900. In 1889, he married Lilian Janet Bird; they had three sons: Christopher, Felix, and Frank. In 1900, Morley was called to the Johns Hopkins University as professor and head of the mathematics department, a position that included editorship of the American Journal of Mathematics. The program was in disarray, and Morley was largely successful in remedying the situation. Morley served as professor and department head until his retirement in 1928, and continued to supervise doctoral students until 1931. Morley was a celebrated mathematician and professor. As well as presidency of the American Mathematical Society, 1919-1920, Morley made many contributions to the field of mathematics, including the book Inversive Geometry (1933), which was the product of a twenty-year collaboration with his son, Frank V. Morley.
Frank Vigor Morley (1899-1980) was the youngest son of Frank Morley and Lilian Janet Bird Morley. He graduated from Haverford College and studied at New College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. While Morley shared his father's natural interest in mathematics, his greatest passions were literature and publishing. In addition to writing, Morley founded and directed Faber and Faber Publishers, for which he moved to London. Morley subsequently adopted England as his own country. A Sherlock Holmes enthusiast like his brother Christopher, Morley was also a member of the Baker Street Irregulars. In this collection, he is sometimes referred to as "FVM."
Lilian Janet Bird Morley (c. 1866-1939) was born in Hayward's Heath, Sussex, England. She married Frank Morley in 1889, and had three sons: Christopher, Felix, and Frank. Morley had a lifelong appreciation for music and literature, and taught her eldest son to read before he entered school. Morley wrote a full manuscript of her memoirs, Bygones, but it was never published. In this collection, she is sometimes referred to as "LJBM."
(Source: Oakley, Helen McKelvey. Three Hours for Lunch: The Life and Times of Christopher Morley. New York: Watermill Publishers, 1976.)
(Source: American National Biography Online Feb. 2000. Access Date: Wed Feb 08 2012 12:43:47 GMT-0500 EST. Copyright © 2000 American Council of Learned Societies. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.)
(Source: Dictionary of Quaker Biographies. Source: The Friend, vol. 96 (1938) p. 774)
26 Linear Feet (53 boxes)
This collection focuses on the personal and professional life of Christopher Darlington Morley. Morley was a professor's son, and he began writing for pleasure very early in life. This collection includes material from his successful academic career, at Haverford College, and as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, which consists primarily of notebooks and essays. The bulk of the collection, however, focuses on Morley's professional creative writing, including newspaper columns, essays, novels, lectures, and poetry. Much of Morley's correspondence is also included, both professional and personal, and some writing and corresponcence from other Morley family members.
This collection was acquired over a lengthy period of time. Because of this, material is arranged based on when it was added to the collection, and not all material of one kind is housed together.
This collection was donated over a lengthy period of time. Portions of collection donated by Blythe M. Brennan and J. Donald I. Morley.
Lilian Janet Bird, mother of Felix Morley, Christopher Morley, and Frank Morley, preserved much juvenilia of Christopher Morley, along with letters, and newspaper articles relevant to her children. She left it to her son Felix Morley, who then donated it to Haverford College.
Quantities of extent items are estimations.
Processed by Janela Harris; completed February, 2012.
- Morley Family papers, 1852-1998
- Janela Harris
- February, 2012
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Generally English, including few materials in French.
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