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Finding aid for the Elizabeth Corbett papers

Finding aid prepared by Natalie Camacho, 2014 February

Summary Information

Repository
USC Libraries Special Collections
Creator
Burmeister, Laura E.
Creator
Corbett, Elizabeth Frances, 1887-
Title
Elizabeth Corbett papers
Collection no.
0148
Date [inclusive]
1952-1969
Extent
0.42 Linear feet, 1 box
Language
English
Abstract
Correspondence between novelist Elizabeth Corbett (b. 1887, Aurora, Ill., d. 1981, New York, NY) and Laura Burmeister; includes typescript poems.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], Elizabeth Corbett papers, Collection no. 0148, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Biographical note

Elizabeth Corbett was born in Aurora, Illinois in 1887 and lived with her family in the Northwestern Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Milwaukeer. She was awarded a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1910, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Corbett wrote a series of popular historical or period novels. Her books were especially popular among women. She died January 24, 1981 at age 93.

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Scope and Content

This collection consists of writings by Elizabeth Corbett. It includes both correspondence between Corbett and servicemen in Korea who advertised in newspapers requesting letters, and correspondence between Elizabeth Corbett and Laura E. Burmeister. Many of these letters include poems by Corbett and newspaper clippings. The correspondence between Corbett and Burmeister is generally about Corbett's daily life. She often makes references to the Model School, which both Corbett and Burmeister attended. In addition to information about the lives of servicemen in Korea, this collection contains information about the declining state of the newspaper business and newspaper strikes (1.22, 2.11) in the United States.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
2014 February
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189
213-740-5900
specol@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

Gift of Laura Burmeister.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Poems

Personal Name(s)

  • Burmeister, Laura E. -- Archives
  • Corbett, Elizabeth Frances, 1887- -- Archives

Subject(s)

  • Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Correspondence between Elizabeth Corbett and servicemen in Korea 

Box Folder

 Soldiers' Appeal for Letters and Elizabeth Corbett's Response 1952 November 24 

Scope and Content

A group of soldiers in Korea wrote to a newspaper asking for people to write them letters. Corbett responded describing what they would do if they visited her apartment in Greenwich Village.

1 3

 Correspondence between Elizabeth Corbett and John M. Griffin 1952 December 8-1953 January 9 

Scope and Content

Griffin's letter includes a brief history of his life, including his time in the merchant marine that began when he was 15. Corbett's letter includes stories about what was going on at the time and about her neighbors.

1 4

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Mr. Ceely 1952 December 10 

Scope and Content

Corbett's response to an appeal for letters. It describes what they would do if Ceely visited her apartment in Greenwich Village.

1 5

 Correspondence between Elizabeth Corbett and Edward G. Ceely 1952 December 16-1953 January 12 

Scope and Content

Ceely's letter includes biographical information about himself, including information on his service in the Air Force. He describes his warehousing job on a Navy base on the Aleutian islands. Corbett's response addresses some of what Ceely wrote about. She also writes about her holiday season in New York.

Photograph of Ceely enclosed.

1 6

 Marines' Appeal for Letters and Elizabeth Corbett's Response 1953 January 20 

Scope and Content

A group of soldiers in Korea wrote to a newspaper asking for people to write them letters. Corbett responded with information about herself and described what they would do if they visited her apartment in Greenwich Village.

1 7

 Letter from Phill Neeley to Elizabeth Corbett 1953 January 22 

Scope and Content

The letter includes information about Neeley's life before the war.

1 8

 Correspondence betweeen Elizabeth Corbett and Bill Rice 1953 May 17-November 23 

Scope and Content

Rice writes about a letter from Corbett that he read that was not addressed to him. He writes that he was interested in Corbett's writing because he also wrote sometimes. He tells of the uneasiness that the servicemen feel and that letters are the only link they have between where they are and home. Corbett's response tells of the different events going on in her life at the time.

1 9

 Letter from Richard D. Treadwell to Elizabeth Corbett 1953 August 28 

Scope and Content

Treadwell writes about his aspirations of becoming a writer. He studied Journalism for two years until he had to go to Korea.

Photographs from Korea enclosed.

1 10

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Series 2:  Correspondence between Elizabeth Corbett and Laura E. Burmeister 

Box Folder

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1960 August 29 

Scope and Content

The letter includes Corbett's response about the two of them planning to meet. Corbett writes a bit about where she lives.

1 11

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1961 February 5 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about some of the women they knew growing up and about living in New York.

1 12

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1961 March 20 

Scope and Content

Corbett provides information about the Model School, which both she and Burmeister attended, and about some of the children who also attended it. She mentions her new novel, Hidden Island.

Poem "For Your Easter" enclosed.

1 13

 Letter/poem from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1961 December 

Scope and Content

Holiday poem.

1 14

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1962 January 10 

Scope and Content

Corbett expresses her distaste for political correctness.

Newspaper clipping "Through My Bi-Focals" enclosed.

1 15

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1962 March 15 

Scope and Content

Corbett mentions the article that she wrote for The Writer (1.2). She analyzes lines from poems and books she had to read in school. She talks about her grandfather who was adopted into the Oenida tribe.

Poems "Domestic Crisis," "Epitaph," and "Lenten Interlude" enclosed.

1 16

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1962 April 14 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about someone she went to school with.

Poem "All My Best to You" and newspaper clippings "Historic Homes Thrill Retirees" and "Mildred Lindsay No Social Butterfly" enclosed.

1 17

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1962 July 12 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about news that her brother passed on to her about his grandson's high school graduation. She mentions that her new novel The Paige Girls had been published the previous month.

Poems "Continuity," "My Complaints," and "My Prospects" enclosed.

1 18

 Poem by Elizabeth Corbett with note addressed to Laura E. Burmeister 1962 Decemeber 6 

Scope and Content

Poem "Compliments of the Season."

1 19

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1963 February 5 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about going through the papers that have accumulated in her home over the years. She says that the newspaper strike makes it difficult for her to keep up with public news.

1 20

 Easter holiday card from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1963 April 9 

1 21

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1963 April 16 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about how writing books has changed with technology. She writes that the newspaper strike has ended.

Poems "Invocation" and "Today's Concession" enclosed.

1 22

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1963 September 9 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about fan letters and her neighbors. She mentions that she had a new novel, The Heart of the Village, published earlier that year.

1 23

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1963 October 2 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about a World Series game that occurred on that day and about her birthday celebrations. She mentions that she has enclosed letters from servicemen and copies of her responses to them.

1 24

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1963 November 9 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about some of her and Burmeister's former classmates. She writes about the recent events in her life and talks about the decline in the number of newspapers and magazines in New York.

1 25

 Poem by Elizabeth Corbett with note to Laura E. Burmeister 1963 December 14 

Scope and Content

Poem "Yuletide."

1 26

 Poem and note from Elizabeth Corbett 1964 

Scope and Content

Poem "It's Coming!"

1 27

 Postcard from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1964 June 25 

Scope and Content

Coliseum, New York, New York.

1 28

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1964 July 2 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about her and Burmeister's recent events. She mentions that her newest book, Lisa Kennerley's Husband, was just published earlier that year.

Poems "De Senectute" and "Answering THOSE Questions" enclosed.

1 29

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1964 October 7 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about the publishing of her most recent book, "Anniversary." She writes about the death of her brother. She mentions that her apartment was burglarized and that her typewriter was stolen. She writes about the World Series and the presidential campaigns.

Poem "A Case History" enclosed.

1 30

 Empty envelope addressed from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1964 December 8 

1 31

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1965 April 28 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about Burmeister's possible publication of her written works. She says that her own book, The Continuing City, is due to be released that week. She writes about her new television set.

1 32

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1965 July 10 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about an obituary for Burmeister's friend, Robert Ruark. Ruark was a writer. She writes about a macaw that belongs to her neighbors.

Newspaper clippings "More Quotations From Trove of Memories" and "Columnist Robert Ruark, 'Last Safari' Ends at 49" enclosed.

1 33

 Postcard from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1965 October 11 

Scope and Content

Corbett denies writing a magazine article and says that she has a new book that will be published.

Washington Mews, Greenwich Village, New York, New York.

1 34

 Poem by Elizabeth Corbett with note to Laura E. Burmeister 1965 December 2 

Scope and Content

Poem "Holiday Greetings."

1 35

 Poem by Elizabeth Corbett with note to Laura E. Burmeister 1966 

Scope and Content

Poem "Which Holiday?"

1 36

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1966 May 9 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about the recent newspaper strikes and the closing of the New York Herald Tribune. She mentions the record-breaking cold weather.

1 37

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1966 May 26 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes that the New York Journal American has ceased publication.

1 38

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1966 September 12 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about the origins of last names and about recent events in her life, such as a visit from her nephew.

1 39

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1967 May 8 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about events in her life and about mutual friends. She mentions the newspaper collapse in New York.

Poem "To the Comrades" enclosed.

1 40

 Newspaper clipping with note from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1967 August 15 

Scope and Content

Newspaper article "Pigeons Are for the Birds."

1 41

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1967 October 2 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about her newest book, Harry Martin's Wife, and about her eightieth birthday party.

1 42

 Poem by Elizabeth Corbett with note to Laura E. Burmeister 1967 December 6 

Scope and Content

Poem "Again!"

1 43

 Empty envelope addressed from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1968 May 7 

1 44

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1968 July 5 

Scope and Content

Corbett responds to a letter from Burmeister and writes about people she knows in Philidelphia. She mentions her books The Distant Princess and In Miss Armstrong's Room.

1 45

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1968 October 4 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about her new book, Ladies' Day. She writes about her familiarity with panhellenic organizations as she was in Alpha Gamma Delta and was a panhellenic delegate for some time.

1 46

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1968 Novmeber 18 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes that her books are sometimes criticized because "they are about decent people." She writes about her Thanksgiving celebrations and dinner.

1 47

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1968 December 26 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about a poem that Burmeister wrote and about a childhood "green Christmas."

1 48

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1968 December 30 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes about wrapping up her affairs for the end of the year.

1 49

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1969 April 9 

Scope and Content

Corbett makes a reference to a an autograph from Charles L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) that she gave to her nephew. She writes about recent events in her life, including Easter and her goddaughter's upcoming wedding.

1 50

 Letter from Elizabeth Corbett to Laura E. Burmeister 1969 May 6 

Scope and Content

Corbett writes to Burmeister about Emmy Sonnemann-Goering, wife of Hermann Goering. She includes a quote about her from Louis Lochner's translation of The Goebbels Diaries. She writes about the difficulties of starting a new novel.

1 51

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Box Folder

 Notes from Laura E. Burmeister re Corbett collection 

Scope and Content

Notes about the collection.

1 1

 On the News Stand March 24 

Scope and Content

This appears to be a game similar to a crossword puzzle where one is given a theme and a series of clues. The person must find a connection between the clue given and the theme. In this case, the theme is "On the News Stand," alluding to newspapers and magazines. For example, when given the clue "One Hundred Years," the person playing the game answered "Century."

1 52

 The Writer 1962 March 

Scope and Content

The Writer is a monthly literary magazine founded in Massachusetts in 1887. It publishes articles that could be of interest and help to writers of different levels. The March 1962 issue includes articles by Elizabeth Corbett and Betty Friedan.

1 2

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