Edna Worthley Underwood papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US US kmk P1993.05

Level of description

Collection

Title

Edna Worthley Underwood papers

Date(s)

  • 1889-1946 (Creation)

Extent

2.50 Linear Feet, 5.00 Boxes

Name of creator

(1873-1961)

Biographical history

Edna Worthley Underwood was a writer and author who published original works of poetry, prose, plays, and short stories, as well as translated the works of other authors into English, as she was fluent in 6 languages. After graduating from Arkansas City High School in Arkansas City, Kansas in 1888, Underwood attended Garfield University in Wichita for two years. She then attended the University of Michigan and graduated in 1892. Underwood spent time teaching in Arkansas City schools before moving to Kansas City prior to 1904 and living there until approximately 1910-1912. From 1911 to 1938, Underwood wrote much of her works of poetry and prose and translating various works into English while living in New York City. After moving back to Arkansas City in 1938, Underwood spent her time traveling between Maine, Boston, and Arkansas City until 1953 but did not publish any more writings. Underwood died in 1961.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Edna Worthley Underwood Papers (1889-1946) covers the period of her most active publishing. Underwood wrote original works of plays, poetry, prose, short stories, and news articles. She also translated various author's works into English.
The first series, Correspondence (1910-1944), is divided into Personal Correspondence, letters from friends and admirers; Business Correspondence, letters regarding the publishing of books and reviews; Postcards; Telegram; Robert Earl Underwood's Correspondence; and a Letterbook, letters, and poems used for background information for her book of translation of poets of Haiti. The poets include Madame D. Viard, M. Leon Laleau, Victor Mangones, and Maurice A. Casseus. She corresponded with many of the authors, often asking for a biographical sketch and a photograph. After 1938, not much is known of her life. She did not publish but traveled within the U.S.  Photographs have been transferred to the photograph collection of the University Archives. 
Literary Works (1927-1938) is divided into several sub-series. Original Works contains works by Underwood; criticism of other authors; news articles on points of interest; notes; poems; prose; play, A Petersburg Night; short stories, "The Shudder of Don Giovanni", "Madame Dorette and Nature", and three untitled. The sub-series: 1) Translations, includes translations of short stories put into the book Flemish Short Stories; 2) plays, The Yellow Tent and Improvisations in June poems; 3) short stories, "The Van Helmers", "The Beggar Minar", "Tramp and Peasant", "Vaudrevil", "If Life is White", "Exile", "A Game of Chess", "Martha Timar", "Father, A Portrait", "The Trick", "Christmas Eve", and "The Wedding". Also included are original works by Aberto Zum Felde, Fernand Knopf, Robert Earl Underwood, and works by unknown authors. The last sub series contains miscellaneous items.
The series Individuals (1918-1939) contains folders on individuals that Underwood corresponded with and whose works she translated. The folders contain correspondence and original works of poetry and prose. The individuals include Max Dickman, Fabio Fiallo, Germaine Lassara-Bouchecourt, Coelho Netto, Luis Felipe Rodriguez, Daniel Thaly, and Cesar Vallejo.
The series Scrapbooks (1905-1940) contains three scrapbooks. Scrapbook #1 covers 1905-1939. It contains newspaper clippings, letters, and various printed materials. Scrapbook #2 covers the literature of South America. It contains correspondence and original works of poetry. Individuals included are Julio Herrera, Xavier Abril, Carlos Wyld Ospina, Lartigau Lespada, Juan Borch, and Fernando Torregrosa. Scrapbook #3 contains correspondence and poetry from individual poets included in Underwood's translation of poets from Haiti. The poets include Emile Roumer, Clement Magloire, Maurice Casseus, Carl Brouard, Milo Riguad, Jacques Romain, Justinien Ricot, Jean F. Brierre, and Timothee Paret.
The series Notebooks (1889-1924) contains seven notebooks. They cover the time Underwood attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. These are handwritten notes from lectures. Notebook #5 contains prose written in 1924, thirty years after her graduation from the University. The last series, Printed Material, contains booklets, "El Pais Lilac", "Revista de Las Indias", "The Hobart Guild", "De Godsdienstige Keinst Van Rubens", "La Poesia Sorprendida", and "Requiem Por Los Muertos De Europa"; translations: newspaper clippings: and miscellaneous.
Twelve photographs were removed and filed in the University Archives photograph collection under the heading of Underwood. The photographs include Maurice Andre Casseus, Concepcion Monterrosa, Cesar Vallejo (2), Xavier Abril de Viver, Jorge Luis Borges, Germaine Lassara-Bouchecourt, Coelho Netto, Helery, Balleitein de Martin, and unknown.

System of arrangement

The Underwood Papers are contained in five document boxes (2.1 linear feet) and span the years 1889-1946.They are divided into six series: 1)Correspondence, 1910-1944; 2) Literary Works, 1927-1938; 3) Individuals, 1918-1939; 4) Scrapbooks, 1905-1940, 5) Notebooks, 1889-1924; and 6) Printed Material, 1895-1946.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

No access restriction: All materials are open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

The collection is identified as University Archives accession number P1993.05. The processing of the collection was completed by Deborah Wallis, student intern, in May 1993.

Immediate source of acquisition

Acqusition Source: Donation

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

The Edna Worthley Underwood Papers (1889-1946) covers the period of her most active publishing. Underwood wrote original works of plays, poetry, prose, short stories and news articles. She also translated various author's works into English. She corresponded with many of the authors, often asking for a biographical sketch and a photograph. After 1938, not much is known of her life. She did not publish but traveled in the U.S.
The bulk of the collection consists of original works by Edna Worthley Underwood that includes poems, prose and short stories. It also contains numerous translations done by Underwood of various authors. The collection also contains three plays by Underwood's husband, Robert Earl Underwood.
A related manuscript collection of Underwood's is held by Fort Hays State University. A detailed description can be found in Mrs Underwood by Carol Ward Craine.

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Notes element

General note

Preferred Citation: [Item title], [item date], Edna Worthley Underwood papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Preferred Citation: [Item title], [item date], Edna Worthley Underwood papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Alternative identifier(s)

Archon Collection ID

203

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding Aid Author: Deborah Wallis, student intern 1993
Processing Info: The processing of the collection was completed by Deborah Wallis, student intern, in May 1993.
Archon processing by Edward Nagurny, Graduate Research Assistant, June 2015.
Publication Date: 2015-06-25

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Physical storage

  • Box: Boxes
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 1, A83412052255
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 2, A83412052247
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 3, A83412052116
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 4, A83412052124
  • Box: Box 5,