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Oregon State University
Special Collections and Archives
Research Center

Elizabeth Henley Papers, 1918-2000View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates: 1955-1981
The Elizabeth Henley Papers document the life and work of Elizabeth Henley, a Pacific Northwest poet and member of the Oregon State University faculty from 1959 to 1975. The collection is comprised of research materials; manuscript and audio-recorded drafts of Henley's work; published and pre-publication poetry; and personal materials including photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and yearbooks.
ID: MSS Henley
Extent: 1.05 cubic feet
More Extent Information
Scope and Content Notes
Biographical / Historical Notes
Statement on Access: This collection is open for research.
Statement on Description: The Elizabeth Henley Papers were processed in 2010. The collection was reprocessed in 2018 to include recently accessioned materials.
Preferred Citation: Elizabeth Henley Papers (MSS Henley), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.
Acquisition Note: Materials in the Elizabeth Henley Papers were donated to the Oregon State University Archives in 2009 by Elizabeth's son, John Henley. Additional accessions were received in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The collection now resides in the OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center.
Languages of Materials

Container List

Series 1: Research Materials, circa 1975-1980 Add to Shelf

Series 1 is comprised of materials documenting Henley's research and writing processes, predominately relating to her unfinished book on author Walter de la Mare. Though largely undated, the materials in this series appear to have been generated after Henley's retirement in 1975.

The majority of series 1 is comprised of 9 notebooks which include partial drafts and notes about draft revisions, transcribed works from other poets, and bibliographic references. The notebooks also contain tipped-in items, including newspaper clippings, typed drafts, and other notes. In addition to the notebooks, the series contains 7 audiotapes with draft dictations and a series of typed transcripts likely produced using the included audiotapes. These transcripts appear to include near-final drafts of portions of Henley's de la Mare work. The series also contains a set of bibliographic note cards which appear to mirror, in part, bibliographic references in the notebooks.

Box-Folder 1.1: Notebook 1 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.2: Notebook 2 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.3: Notebook 3 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.4: Notebook 4 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.5: Notebook 5 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.6: Notebook 6 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.7: Notebook 7 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.8: Notebook 8 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.9: Notebook 9 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.10: Bibliographic notes Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.11: Draft audiotapes Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.12: Draft audiotapes Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.1: Draft transcripts Add to Shelf
Series 2: Written Works, 1928-2000 Add to Shelf

Series 2 is comprised of published and pre-publication written works authored by Henley. The majority of the series is dedicated to Henley's poetry, though it does includes a "how-to" booklet for written exams, likely created for use by Henley's students at Oregon State College.

Extant poetic works include the unpublished collection of poems titled A Northwest Childhood; two collections of her works including a published volume titled To Hear Unspoken Things, a volume produced posthumously by her son, John Henley, and two nieces; three anthologies in which her work appeared: Whatcom Verse (1930), Birthday Candles Burning Bright (1960), and Unique: 66 Poems by 66 Poets (1969); and five literary magazines in which she was published: Poetry (1954 and 1960), The New Orleans Poetry Journal (1959), and The Horn Book Magazine (1979 and 1980). The series also includes two handmade books (one titled My God-daughters Book with poetry by Henley and a small book of Biblical verses) and five loose poems including one partial, handwritten draft.

Box-Folder 2.2: "Aristotle's Mittens: A Self-help Manual for Written Examinations", circa 1950 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.3: A Northwest Childhood, undated Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.4: The Selected Works of Elizabeth Watts Henley, ed. Ellen Watts Lodine, circa 2000 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.5: To Hear Unspoken Things: Poems by Elizabeth Henley, ed. Ellen Watts Lodine, 2000 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.6: Anthologies, 1930-1969 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.7: Literary magazines, 1954-1980 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 3.1: Loose poems, 1928-1964 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 3.2: Handmade booklets, circa 1955 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 3.3: "Discovering Oregon Originals" event materials, 2000 Add to Shelf
Series 3: Personal Records, circa 1918-1981 Add to Shelf

Series 3 includes a small amount of correspondence and greeting cards, newspaper clippings, photographs, a catalog from the State Normal School in Bellingham, Washington, and yearbooks from Whatcom High School and the University of Washington.

The newspaper clippings include Henley's marriage announcement and her obituary, several articles about local writers, and six articles about the disappearance of Thomas L. Gatch, Jr. (great-grandson of Oregon Agricultural College president Thomas Gatch) during his attempt to cross the Atlantic via air balloon. The photographs include portraits and candid shots of Henley throughout her life, images of friends and family, and views of Henley family homes.

Box-Folder 3.4: Correspondence and greeting cards, circa 1974-1980 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 3.5: Newspaper clippings, circa 1940-1981 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 3.6: Photographs, circa 1930-1980 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 4.1: Photographs (oversized), circa 1930-1956 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 3.7: State Normal School Catalog, Bellingham, Washington, 1918 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 3.8: Kulshan, Whatcom High School, Bellingham, Washington, 1927 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 3.9: Tyee, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1931 Add to Shelf