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Mary Lou Karch, Collection on Edith Lewis

Title: Mary Lou Karch, Collection on Edith Lewis

Collector: Karch, Mary Lou

Dates: 1916-1971

Quantity: 1 box (0.2 linear feet)

Collection Number: MS 0395

Language: English

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Historical Records Statement: Please see our statement on historical records and materials.

Preferred Citation: Mary Lou Karch, Collection on Edith Lewis (MS 0395). Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.


Willa Cather was born in Back Creek Valley, Virginia, on 7 December 1873, the first child of Charles Cather and Mary Virginia Boak Cather. In 1883, when Cather was nine, the family relocated to Nebraska. In 1890, Cather graduated from high school, moved to Lincoln, and enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. In 1893 she began working as the theater and drama critic for the Nebraska State Journal and the Lincoln Courier. While attending classes she wrote for the student newspaper, The Hesperian, and became the managing editor in 1893. She graduated from the University in 1895.

Cather wrote short stories, essays, and novels that focused on her Nebraska experience, her early years in Virginia, her life in New York and Pittsburgh, and her travels to New Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Her novels include Alexander's Bridge (1912), O Pioneers! (1913), The Song of the Lark (1915), My Antonia (1918), A Lost Lady (1923), One of Ours (1922), The Professor's House (1925), My Mortal Enemy (1926), Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), Shadows on the Rock (1931), Lucy Gayheart (1935), and Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940). Her short story collections include The Troll Garden (1905), Youth and the Bright Medusa (1920) and Obscure Destinies (1932).

Edith Lewis was born on Dec. 22, 1882, in Lincoln, Nebraska. She worked as an editor at Every Week and McClure's magazines. Lewis wrote a memoir on Willa Cather titled Willa Cather Living, published by the University of Nebraska Press in 1953. Lewis died on Aug. 11, 1972.

For more biographical information on Cather and Edith Lewis, please visit The Willa Cather Archive

Scope and Content:

The majority of the correspondence and items in the collection are associated with Edith Lewis. It includes letters between Lewis and Earl Brewster, Stephen Tennant, Alfred Knopf, and others. The Olav Paus Grunt correspondence includes permissions to use a Willa Cather quote in an article on Sigred Undset published in the Norwegian magazine URD. The typescript list of Cather's personal library is paginated by sections on "Novelists and Playwrights," "Poetry," "Poems, Novels and Letters - In French," "History," "Criticism and Essays," "Biography and Letters," "Science," "On Religion" "Travel and Miscellaneous," "General Literature" and "Books about modern American authors, including herself, that were sent to her." The list includes a column for authors, title, and a third column that sometimes includes a publication date, comments on the books, or how they were received. There is no clear indication on who created this list. The collection includes three photographs, two of Willa Cather in the southwest and one of adobe buildings.


Cather, Willa, 1873-1947

Lewis, Edith

Cather, Willa, 1873-1947 -- Criticism and interpretation

Cather, Willa, 1873-1947. A Lost Lady

Container List: Box 1. Folder 1. Correspondence, Willa Cather to Yehudi Menuhin, 1936, Oct. 12 Box 1. Folder 2. Front and title pages, A House of Gentlefolk, incribed by Cather, 1919 Box 1. Folder 3. Floral card, dated by Willa Cather, 1934, Easter Box 1. Folder 4. Envelope, note on Yehudi Menuhin by Cather, 1939 Box 1. Folder 5. Correspondence, Earl Brewster, 1916, 1942, 1946, undated Box 1. Folder 6. Correspondence, Knopf, 1947-1971, undated Box 1. Folder 7. Correspondence, Lattan, Mabel, undated Box 1. Folder 8. Correspondence, Mnuchin, Marutha, 1938-1963, undated Box 1. Folder 9. Correspondence, Mnuchin, Moshe, 1958-1959 Box 1. Folder 10. Correspondence, Menuhin, Yehudi, 1931-1947 Box 1. Folder 11. Correspondence, Menuhin, Yalta, 1935-1938, undated Box 1. Folder 12. Cards, Redgrave, Rachel, Michael, undated Box 1. Folder 13. Correspondence, Stephen Tennant, 1953, undated Box 1. Folder 14. Correspondence, article, on Olav Paus Grunt, 1947 Box 1. Folder 15. Correspondence, 1937-1963, undated Box 1. Folder 16. Correspondence drafts, to Kashland, undated Box 1. Folder 17. Typescript list, Cather's personal library, undated Box 1. Folder 18. Programs, Menuhin, Yehudi, 1937, undated Box 1. Folder 19. Admissions ticket, recipe, 1939 Box 1. Folder 20. Book review, news clips, on Oliver Wendell Holmes, undated Box 1. Folder 21. News clips, on Menuhins Box 1. Folder 22. Photographs, Cather, Willa, undated Box 1. Folder 23. Photographs, Mnuchin, Marutha, undated Box 1. Folder 24. Photographs, Menuhin, Yehudi, undated Box 1. Folder 25. Photographs, Menuhin, Yalta, undated Box 1. Folder 26. Photographs, Menuhin, Hepzibah, undated Box 1. Folder 27. Photographs, Menuhin, Zamira, Krov, undated Box 1. Folder 28. Photographs, Menuhin family, Italy, undated Box 1. Folder 29. Photographs, Menuhin family, undated
Related Material and Resources: Additional Willa Cather materials appear in several collections in the Archives & Special Collections. A list of these materials is available in the repository. The Archives & Special Collections also contains several collections of Willa Cather books, including selected items from her personal library. These books can be located through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries on-line catalog.

If you have questions about the Archives & Special Collections, please email "archives@unl.edu."
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