Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Elizabeth Henley Collection, 1886-2000

Scope and Content Note

The Elizabeth Henley Collection documents Henley's life and work as a poet and English professor at Oregon State University. The collection includes poems, newspaper clippings, publications, and photographs. Three handwritten and typed poems are included with the collection. Three anthologies that include poems by Henley are part of the collection: The March 1960 issue of the journal Poetry (v. 95, no. 6); Unique: 66 Poems by 66 Poets, a 1969 anthology of Oregon poems collected and edited by Ruth McCorkle; and Birthday Candles Burning Bright by Sara and John E. Brewton (1960).

The photographs consist of b/w and color photographic prints depicting Henley and her family. The photographs include several portrait photographs of Henley and her home at 826 NW 34th Street in Corvallis.

An addition to the collection (Accession 2015:009) consists of materials generated and collected by Elizabeth Henley that document her poetry, family life, and research. Henley's poetry is reflected in a number of publications in this accession, including the posthumously published book To Hear Unspoken Things. There are also poetry journals featuring Henley's work and a newspaper clipping honoring "Oregon's Poetry Day" with one of her poems. A handmade booklet by Henley called My God-Daughter's Book also contains a poem. Henley's interest in children's literature and work on an unfinished book about writer Walter De La Mare is documented in research notes compiled on index cards, sound recordings, and chapter drafts. Some of these materials reference children's literary works such as The Maid of Kent.

The sound recordings consist of 7 cassette tapes. Photographs, numbering 14 prints and 1 negative, depict Henley in portrait shots and with various members of her family. Artifacts found in this transfer include: a portable writing desk, a camera referenced in Bernard Malamud's book A New Life, a framed embroidery of a flower, and a pair of baby mittens. Henley used the desk outdoors for composing pastoral poems while in Corvallis. A copy of the novel Class Notes, written by Henley relative Catharine Stimpson, is also part of the collection.

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