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Margaret Widdemer Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Widdemer, Margaret.
Title: Margaret Widdemer Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1923-1963
Quantity: 7.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American author, novelist, poet. Appointment books (1923-1962); manuscript poems and novels; articles, clippings, reviews, and scrapbooks.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Margaret Widdemer (1884-1978) was an American author, novelist and poet.

Born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Ms. Widdemer attended Drexel, Bucknell, and Middlebury College. She began writing as a child and by 1916 had received the Trimmed Lamp prize for the best lyric. That same year she shared the American Poetry Society Pulitzer prize with Carl Sandburg. Her career as an author and poet continued, and she began to write essays, reviews, and short stories which were published in American magazines. Widdemer served as vice-president of the Poetry Society of America, and wrote several popular books, including Lady of the Mohawks, The Basic Techniques of Fiction, and Collected Poems. As an author she lectured widely and spoke on NBC radio in a series of talks titled "Do you Want To Write?" She spent most of her life in New York City.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Margaret Widdemer Papers consists of subject files, poems, poems set to music, manuscripts, microfilm, notes, published materials, clippings and scrapbooks.

All correspondence was returned to the donor in 1965, therefore Correspondence-subject files contains only subject files; these include appointment books, book reviews, royalty statements, some poems written by Ms. Widdemer's students, and assorted biographical and other material.

Poems contains more than fifty poems by Widdemer, while Poems set to music contains twenty or so of her poems that have set to music by various composers. In some cases, there are several different musical versions of a single poem.

Manuscripts contains those of novels and poems as well as an incomplete autobiography. This is followed by one reel of Microfilm (negative), containing "The Old Road to Paradise," and a small collection of Notes, both research and miscellaneous.

Published materials consists of published version of Widdemer's poems in a variety of publications, including Women's Day, Voices, Wisconsin Poetry Magazine, and The Lyric. Clippings include book reviews, articles, poetry, and other items.

Eighteen Scrapbooks (clippings, poems, recipes, and one on telepathy) complete the collection.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The series are in no particular order, but within each series material is arranged alphabetically by subject, type or title, as appropriate.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Folder "Poems, articles and proofs" in Box 6 marked on original finding aid as restricted (reason unknown). Thorough investigation turned up no documentation on this and Ms. Widdemer has been deceased for more than thirty years, therefore restriction lifted 3/4/09 (Michele Combs).

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

See also the papers of her sister-in-law, Mabel Cleland Widdemer.

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Subject Headings


Widdemer, Margaret.


American literature -- 20th century.
American poetry -- Women authors.
Women authors, American.
Women novelists, American.
Women poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Appointment books.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.
Reviews (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Margaret Widdemer Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: 1960
Revision history: 6 Mar 2009 - converted to EAD, restriction lifted (MRC); 9 Mar 2009 - box numbers 5/6/6A corrected (MRC)

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Correspondence-subject files
All correspondence returned to donor, 1965
Appointment calendars
Box 1 1923-1930 (8 folders)
Box 2 1931-1942 (12 folders)
Box 3 1945-1962 (13 folders)
Book reviews
Box 4 The Dark Cavalier
Box 4 The Golden Wildcat
Box 4 The Graven Image
Box 4 Lincoln pennies
Box 4 Royalty statements 1957, 1959
Box 4 Student poems to Margaret Widdemer
Widdemer, Margaret
Box 4 Autobiographical and biographical
Box 4 Miscellaneous
Box 4 Advice to a Poem
Box 4 Alcaeus' Shell
Box 4 Am I a Billiken
Box 4 The Angel
Box 4 Any Woman
Box 4 Arabian Nights' Tale
Box 4 Archetype
Box 4 Ball Game
Box 4 A Ballad of Drunken Honesty
Box 4 Ballade of Discreet Ladies
Box 4 Books
Box 4 Barter Folder
Box 4 Born Thus
Box 4 Bright Journey Folder
Box 4 Bugle
Box 4 A Carol of Homecoming
Box 4 Change of Lights
Box 4 The Clever Ones
Box 4 Convent Burial
Box 4 Conversation of Skeletons
Box 4 The Conquered Elm
Box 4 The Costumer
Box 4 Cycles
Box 4 Dawn-Ship
Box 4 Decoration: Driftwood
Box 4 Delicious Landscape
Box 4 Delta Night
Box 4 Departure
Box 4 Deus et Gladius
Box 4 Diary for Bereavement
Box 4 Exit
Box 4 Fellow Traveler
Box 4 Flight-1959
Box 4 The Flower of Sound
Box 4 For the New Year
Box 4 For an Old Clock with Roman Numerals
Box 4 For Lack of Stars
Box 4 For a Young Japanese Artist
Box 4 Forward to Great Ladies
Box 4 Forward to The Other Place
Box 4 Forward to Queens
Box 4 Funerals, Black and White
Box 4 God and the Strong Ones
Box 4 Grace During Living
Box 4 Happiness is not a Ring
Box 4 I Have Been Birds Here
Box 4 Helen's Heart
Box 4 A House by a River
Box 4 Hurricane
Box 4 It's a Living
Box 4 The Jade Carver
Box 4 Janua Vitae
Box 4 Journey
Box 4 Journey Toward Light
Box 4 The Knights Return
Box 4 Land's End
Box 4 A Letter was Received
Box 4 Light
Box 4 Little Roads
Box 4 The Lost People
Box 4 Lullaby of the Bomb
Box 4 Lullaby for Loneliness
Box 4 Manet
Box 4 Matilda's Woolwork
Box 4 Mention My Name
Box 4 Miyeko
Box 4 Mirage
Box 4 Modern Hymn for Grief
Box 4 More Sinned Against Than Sinning
Box 4 The Mourner
Box 4 Night Before Harvest
Box 4 The Not-Quite Spring
Box 4 Old Books
Box 4 Old Ladies
Box 4 Old Music
Box 4 Older Women
Box 4 On the Sweat of the Toilers
Box 4 On Walking
Box 4 Once Upon a Time a Cow
Box 4 Only the Word Survives
Box 4 Orange Birds
Box 4 Petition
Box 4 The Place
Box 4 The Pleasure of Waiting
Box 4 Plurale Tantum
Box 4 Poem for a Gravestone
Box 4 A Poem Is Less Than A Child
Box 4 Poems by Margaret, written when a young girl
Box 4 Portrait Framed in Driftwood
Box 4 Return
Box 4 Return
Box 4 Revisitants
Box 4 The Road to Downderry
Box 4 Romantic
Box 4 Romantique
Box 4 Round
Box 4 Search
Box 4 Search
Box 4 Seaside Summer
Box 4 Sea Story
Box 4 Shell
Box 4 Sired by Old Singers
Box 4 Snow at Night
Box 4 Some Erring Ladies Explain
Box 4 Some was Reality
Box 4 Song: I wish I were old now
Box 4 Song of a Swimmer
Box 4 Song Without Words
Box 4 Spanish Ladies
Box 4 Spring Moment
Box 4 Stars
Box 4 Stopover: Frankfurt
Box 4 The Sun Will Rise Once More
Box 4 Survivor
Box 4 Tally Card
Box 4 Thou art That
Box 4 To Sleep, Perchance
Box 4 To Stones From a New England Beach-An Ode
Box 4 A Thought, Perhaps
Box 4 Toward the Light
Box 4 Triumph
Box 4 Untitled
Box 4 Vivien's Lesson
Box 4 The Voice of Youth
Box 4 Warning
Box 4 The Well
Box 4 White Bird Flying
Box 4 Wisdom
Box 4 With Aching Wooden Heart
Box 4 Words for Blowing of the Ram's Horn
Box 4 World's End
Box 4 The Worthiest Go Down
Box 4 The World I Walk In
Box 4 Your Love Will Live
Poems set to music
Box 5 After, music by Ann Gardner
Box 5 After, music by Homer Grunn
Box 5 Ballad of St. John (Cathile)
Box 5 A Carol of the Star, music by Caroline Dietz
Box 5 Changed, music by Harry A. Anik
Box 5 A Cyprian Woman, music by Mildred T. Ross
Box 5 The Dark Cavalier, Music by S. W. Dotz
Box 5 The Dark Cavalier, music by M. Wood-Hill
Box 5 The Dark Cavalier, music by Florance H. (?)
Box 5 Every Town's Your Home Town, music by Gena Branscombe
Box 5 If You Should Tire of Loving Me, music by Louis Drakeford
Box 5 If You Should Tire of Loving Me, music by Edward Mack
Box 5 Jester's Bells, music by Homer Grunn
Box 5 John of the Wanderings, music by Margaret Widdemer
Box 5 Little Roads, music by Louise H. Snodgrass
Box 5 Lord, Gods We Lift to Thee, music by Clarence Dickinson
Box 5 Marching Feet, music by Martha Cook Hulett
Box 5 Mary, Helper of Heart Break, music by Harold Barrett, Jr.
Box 5 Mother, music by Richard Hageman
Box 5 A New Spinning Song, music by Louis Drakeford
Box 5 The Old Gods Dream
Box 5 Organ Music in the Rain, music by Charles W. Cadman
Box 5 The Quest Eternal, music by Clarence Dickinson
Box 5 Roses Breathe into the Night, music by Marion Bauer
Box 5 Singing Wood
Box 5 Swanhild's Song (What Shall I Do with My Heart)
Box 5 Unsung Hour, music by Cyril de Brant
Box 5 Where Go Ye, music by Hugh A. Mac Kinnon
Box 5 The Willow-Cats, music by Sandor Harmati
Box 5 The Watcher, music by Louis Nicholas
Box 5 The Watcher, music by Edna Randolph Worrell
Box 5 The Watchers, music by Edward Shippen Barnes
Box 5 The Watchers, music by Henrietta E. Enners
Box 5 Untitled (My heart is very quiet now), music by Lois Mosby
Box 5 Breast the Wave, music and words by Rev. E. S. Widdemer
Box 5 Autobiography, incomplete
Box 6 Buckskin Baronet, novel - chapts. 1-21 (3 folders)
Box 6 The Dark Cavalier, Collected poems - pp. 1-283 (3 folders)
Box 5 Golden Friends I Had - galley proof
Box 6A Lady of the Mohawks, incomplete - typescript carbon
Box 6A MacDowell Colony - galley proofs
My Mother Used Cliches, incomplete (missing as of 3/9/09)
Box 6A Poems, articles, and proofs
Box 6A The Soft Touch, incomplete
Box 6A Strange Woman's Son, incomplete - original manuscript
Box 6A Untitled, also Sonnet For a Buried Season (33 pages)
Cabinet 5, Drawer 1 "The Old Road to Paradise" - negative (1 reel)
Box 7 Fort Ontario Indian Research (2 folders)
Box 7 Reasons for the Revolutionary War
Box 7 Miscellaneous (found with music of Margaret Widdemer)
Published Materials
Box 7 "As I Lay Quiet"
Box 7 "The Baby Liked 'Greensleeves" Plays December, 1943
Box 7 "A Ballad of Queen Elizabeth" Voices September-December, 1951
Box 7 "Blessing"
Box 7 "Bright Journey" Christian Herald 1957
Box 7 "City Spring","Light Heart", "Heaven" Wisconsin Poetry Magazine November-December, 1958
Box 7 "Do You Secretly Fear Love?" Your Life December, 1943
Box 7 "Forbidden", "Promise" Wisconsin Poetry Magazine March-April, 1959
Box 7 "Four Women Lyricists"
Box 7 "The Great Ships Come"
Box 7 "Heaven"
Box 7 "How To's for Happiness" Woman's Day June, 1959
Box 7 "I'm a Bonga Woman" Woman's Day 1956
Box 7 "Judith's Father" Plays, April, 1944
Box 7 "The Man Says Yes" Liberty Magazine 1939
Box 7 "No Master Dog" Classmate, vol. L, no. 37 September, 1943
Box 7 "Old House" Wisconsin Poetry Magazine November-December, 1958
Box 7 "Old Village" Wisconsin Poetry Magazine January-February, 1959
Box 7 "Paragraph" Five Modern Poems, Kane 1936
Box 7 "Picnic" Classmate vol. L, no. 23 June 1963
Box 7 "Prince in Buckskin" American Heritage
Box 7 "Return" The Poesy Book, vol. 1, no. 3 Winter, 1942-1943
Box 7 "St. Martin's Summer" Voices 1957
Box 7 "So I Sent My True Love" Pictorial Review
Box 7 "Song" The Lyric Winter 1959
Box 7 "To an Old Day" Wings 1957
Box 7 "Youth Laughs"
Box 8 Biography and engagements
Box 8 Book reviews
Box 8 Book reviews, miscellaneous, short articles
Box 8 Poetry and biography
Box 8 Reviews, poems, biography
Box 8 Teaching
Box 9 Biographical
Box 9 Poems, biographical
Box 10 Biographical, poems
Box 10 Miscellaneous
Box 11 Poetry scrapbook no. 1
Box 11 Poetry scrapbook no. 2
Box 11 Poetry scrapbook no. 3
Box 11 Poetry scrapbook no. 4
Box 11 Poetry scrapbook no. 5
Box 11 Poetry scrapbook no. 6
Box 12 Poetry scrapbook no. 7
Published material
Box 12 [Untitled]
Oversize 1 No. 2 November, 1914-March, 1918
Oversize 2 No. 3 October, 1918-November, 1923
Oversize 1 No. 4 1923-1929
Box 13 Recipes
Box 13 Scraps
Box 13 Telepathy

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