William E. and Helen Woodward Papers

Abstract

The William E. and Helen Woodward papers (dated 1892-1965; 6.75 cubic feet; 15 boxes) comprises correspondence, diaries, legal and financial documents, manuscripts, notes and photographs that document William Woodward’s personal, financial, legal, and business matters. Woodward’s wife, Helen Woodward, collected these materials as a means to document William’s life and work as a historian. Materials span approximately from William’s late teens (1892) until well after his death (1965).

Descriptive Summary

Title
William E. and Helen Woodward Papers
Date
approximately 1892-1965
Creator
Woodward, Helen, 1882
Extent
6.75 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Authors and publishers.
Authors, American.
Letters.
Reviews (criticism)
Stock Market Crash, 1929
United States--History--19th Century.
Voyages and travels
World War, 1914-1918.
World War, 1939-1945.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by subject into three series and retains much of its original order: William and Helen Woodward; Helen Woodward; and William Woodward.
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Brittany Netherton
Preferred Citation
2009MS046 : [identification of item], William E. and Helen Woodward Collection, approximately 1892-1965, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
William Woodward was born October 2, 1874, in Ridge Spring, South Carolina. He was educated at The Citadel, which later conferred to him its first honorary LLD. In 1893 he began his newspaper career with The Atlanta Constitution. In 1897, he moved to New York to work as a reporter for The World. From there, he went into magazine and book editing, and advertising, which led to a position as the Vice President of the J. Walter Thompson Company.
In 1912, William organized and published the first syndicated book review section distributed to papers throughout the country. He employed Sinclair Lewis, then unknown and working on his first novel, as its editor. The section was discontinued at the peak of its success in 1914 when publishers backed out on the assumption that World War I would kill book sales. In 1916, William became the vice president of the Industrial Finance Corporation, and in 1919 he gave himself completely to writing. His first book, a satirical novel about the advertising industry was titled Bunk. Bunk was published in 1923 and received with great enthusiasm. He is attributed with coining the term debunk in this novel. Many books followed, with William’s major fame coming with the publication of George Washington, the image and the man in 1926. With this book he introduced a new way of writing the historical biography.
William was also president of the Authors’ Guild; chairman of the Writers League Against Lynching; and the only writer on the Business Advisory Council, appointed in 1933 under the Roosevelt administration. William Woodward died in New York on September 27, 1950.
Helen Woodward was born in 1882 in New York City and educated in Boston, Massachusetts. She spent twenty years in the advertising business specializing in copy, and ten years as an account executive. Helen wrote extensively for magazines, a syndicated newspaper column, and the following books: Through Many Windows, Harper’s, 1925 (autobiographical); Three Flights Up, Dodd Mead (written considerably later than previous book, also autobiographical, covering another period); It’s an Art, Harcourt (advertising and the consumer); The Lady Persuaders, Ivan Obolensky, Inc., 1960; General Billy Mitchell, Duell, Sloan and Pearce (for teenagers); Queen’s in the Parlor, Bobbs-Merrill (a novel); Money to Burn, McKay (a mystery).
She also collaborated on the following works: Way of the Lancer and Lancer Down with Richard Boleslavski, published by Bobbs-Merrill; Way of the Lancer was a literary guild selection and is the account of secret flight of Boleslavki, a member of Moscow Art Theater, with two colleagues across Russia to Poland during the Bolshevik Revolution; 200 Years of Charleston Cooking, Cape Smith; Bowling Green Murders, Random House.
Helen collected the letters, manuscripts, and diaries of her husband, William, after he died in the hopes of publishing a biographical work.
This biographical notes for Helend and William Woodward were written by Helen Woodward and are included within the collection.
Scope and Content
The William E. and Helen Woodward papers (dated 1892-1965; 6.75 cubic feet; 15 boxes) comprises correspondence, diaries, legal and financial documents, manuscripts, notes and photographs that document William Woodward’s personal, financial, legal, and business matters. Woodward’s wife, Helen Woodward, collected these materials as a means to document William’s life and work as a historian. Materials span approximately from William’s late teens (1892) until well after his death (1965).
The bulk of the papers consists of a large amount of correspondence between William and Helen, including correspondence during his time researching and writing an investigative history of Sears and Roebuck; his world travels; the stock market crash of 1929; and his travels, experiences, and personal views during World War I and World War II. Extensive diary entries maintained by William provide additional insight into his work and life. Also included in this collection are correspondence from Upton Sinclair and his wife, Craig; two fan letters written to Woodward from C.S. Forester; notes on Sinclair Lewis, and an anecdote about Woodward’s encounter with Winston Churchill. Correspondence, legal and financial documents, and a large collection of manuscripts and authors notes illustrate Woodward’s writing career, including never before published material for A New American History. Other manuscripts include General Grant, The Gift of Life, Tom Paine, and Years of Madness. The Woodwards’ involvement with the Writers League Against Lynching is also documented. Also includes correspondence and materials that document Upton Sinclair’s run for California governor and Woodward’s Tom PaineThe William E. and Helen Woodward papers (dated 1892-1965; 6.75 cubic feet; 15 boxes) comprises correspondence, diaries, legal and financial documents, manuscripts, notes and photographs that document William Woodward’s personal, financial, legal, and business matters. Woodward’s wife, Helen Woodward, collected these materials as a means to document William’s life and work as a historian. Materials span approximately from William’s late teens (1892) until well after his death (1965).

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access note Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
Property rights reside with the University of Kentucky. The University of Kentucky holds the copyright for materials created in the course of business by University of Kentucky employees. Copyright for all other materials has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky. For information about permission to reproduce or publish, please contact Special Collections.

Contents of the Collection

William and Helen Woodward, approximately 1902-1965

Primarily comprises correspondence, notes, and photographs that are addressed to or related to both William and Helen Woodward, including correspondence from mutual friends, notes on Sinclair Lewis, and a photograph of the Woodwards. Correspondence between the Woodwards from 1929 and regarding William's investigations into the Sears and Roebuck company comprise a large portion of this subseries. A large amount of letters between the Woodwards and their long-time friends Julia and Julian Harris are also included.

Correspondence, approximately 1902-1965

William and Helen Woodward, 1929

  • Box 1, Folder 1
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William and Helen Woodward (Sears), 1936-1937

  • Box 1, Folder 2
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Moore and Hazel Achenbach, 1921-1947

  • Box 1, Folder 3
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Mary Bancroft, 1948-1951

  • Box 1, Folder 4
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Charles and Mary Beard, approximately 1924-1947

  • Box 1, Folder 5
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Julia and Julian Harris, 1902-1924

  • Box 1, Folder 6
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Julia and Julian Harris, 1925-1929

  • Box 1, Folder 7
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Julia and Julian Harris, 1930-1950

  • Box 1, Folder 8
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Dave S., undated

  • Box 1, Folder 9
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Renee Weiner, circa 1928-1947

  • Box 1, Folder 10
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Writers League Against Lynching, 1934, 1965

  • Box 2, Folder 1
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Notes, 1925-1964

Sinclair Lewis, 1925-1964

  • Box 2, Folder 2
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Photographs, undated

  • Box 2, Folder 3
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Publications, 1962

  • Box 2, Folder 4
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Helen Woodward, approximately 1913-1965

This series comprises correspondence, a diary, notes, publications, and various other documents created by or addressed specifically to Helen Woodward. Letters written by Helen to William form the bulk of this series. Also included are letters sent to Helen regarding a request she sent out to William's friends, acquaintances, and partners asking for any material written about or by William to be sent to her for a biography she was creating. Her correspondence with Craig Sinclair and John Rogers provide a glimpse into her friendships, and her notes on the Sinclair family and The Nation illustrate her writing interests. The included publication is a memoir Helen wrote about Richard Boleslavski, a member of Moscow Art Theater, with conducted a secret flight across Russia to Poland during the Bolshevik Revolution. The memoir was published in the March 1932 issue of WINGS, a monthly publication of the Literary Guild.

Correspondence, Approximately 1916-1962

William Woodward, Bulk, 1928, 1926-1928

  • Box 2, Folder 5
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William Woodward, approximately 1932 June-August

  • Box 2, Folder 6
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William Woodward, approximately 1932 August-October

  • Box 2, Folder 7
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William Woodward, Bulk, 1936, 1934-1936

  • Box 2, Folder 8
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William Woodward, 1937

  • Box 2, Folder 9
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William Woodward, 1939 February-May

  • Box 2, Folder 10
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William Woodward, undated

  • Box 3, Folder 1
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Correspondence to Helen Woodward, circa 1926-1962

  • Box 3, Folder 2
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Correspondence regarding William Woodward's death, 1950

  • Box 3, Folder 3
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Georgette C., 1930-1934

  • Box 3, Folder 4
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John Rogers, approximately 1916-1962

  • Box 3, Folder 5
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Craig Sinclair, undated

  • Box 3, Folder 6
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Henrick Van Loom, circa 1926-1945

  • Box 3, Folder 7
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Diary, 1929 October-November

  • Box 3, Folder 8
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Notes, approximately 1913-1962

The Nation, approximately 1936 May

  • Box 3, Folder 9
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Craig and Upton Sinclair, approximately 1913-1962, bulk undated

  • Box 3, Folder 10
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Miscellaneous Writings by Helen Woodward, circa 1929, bulk undated

  • Box 3, Folder 11
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Publications, 1932

  • Box 3, Folder 12
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Assorted, 1933-1965, bulk undated

, 1933-1965, bulk undated

  • Box 3, Folder 13
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Agenda, 1963

  • Box 3, Folder 14
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William Woodward, approximately 1892-1964

Includes correspondence, diaries, notes, and publications created by William Woodward. Also includes legal and financial documents and photographs, as well as correspondence addressed to William Woodward. An extensive collection of handwritten and typed diaries document William's life from 1924 until his death in 1950. These diaries along with William's correspondence and postcards he gathered during his travels abroad provide a multi-faceted glimpse into his personal and professional life. Of specific interest are never published manuscripts, such as the updated material for A New American History; two fan letters from C.S. Forester; and an anecdote about William Woodward's experience meeting Winston Churchill. Manuscrips include The Gift of Life, radio broadcasts, Sears, Tom Paine, The Way Our People Lived, Years of Madness, and more. Extensive authors notes give insight into Woodward's writing process and historical interests. Also included are letters regarding his life during the stock market crash of 1929 and his thoughts on World War I and World War II. A large amount of fan mail and criticism of his publications is included, as is correspondence between William and different publishing agencies. A small portion of this series comprises advertisements for his publications and newspaper clippings containing book reviews.

Correspondence, approximately 1906-1962

Helen Woodward, approximately 1911-1913

  • Box 4, Folder 1
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Helen Woodward, approximately 1913 May-June

  • Box 4, Folder 2
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Helen Woodward, 1914-1917

  • Box 4, Folder 3
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Helen Woodward, 1918

  • Box 4, Folder 4
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Helen Woodward, 1919-1921

  • Box 4, Folder 5
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Helen Woodward, 1928 March-April

  • Box 4, Folder 6
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Helen Woodward, 1931 December 8-13

  • Box 4, Folder 7
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Helen Woodward, 1932 June-July

  • Box 4, Folder 8
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Helen Woodward, approximately 1932 August-October

  • Box 5, Folder 1
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Helen Woodward, 1933-1934 April and August

  • Box 5, Folder 2
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Helen Woodward, 1936 March 17-31

  • Box 5, Folder 3
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Helen Woodward, 1936 April-May

  • Box 5, Folder 4
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Helen Woodward, 1937 May-June

  • Box 5, Folder 5
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Helen Woodward, 1937 July-August

  • Box 5, Folder 6
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Helen Woodward, 1939 February-March

  • Box 5, Folder 7
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Helen Woodward, 1939 February-May

  • Box 5, Folder 8
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Helen Woodward, 1946 March 10

  • Box 5, Folder 9
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Business Advisory Board, circa 1933-1942

  • Box 6, Folder 1
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The Citadel, 1936-1950

  • Box 6, Folder 2
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Fan Mail and Criticism (A-E), 1924-1960

  • Box 6, Folder 3
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Fan Mail and Criticism (F-L), 1923-1957

  • Box 6, Folder 4
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Fan Mail and Criticism (M-R), 1923-1957

  • Box 6, Folder 5
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Fan Mail and Criticism (S-Y), 1923-1957

  • Box 6, Folder 6
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Letters Regarding Publication, 1923-1943

  • Box 6, Folder 7
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Letters Regarding Publication, 1944-1962

  • Box 6, Folder 8
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William McAdoo and Vera Ward, approximately 1929-1939

  • Box 6, Folder 9
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Mother and Father, 1916-1917

  • Box 6, Folder 10
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John Rogers, 1916 August 17-23

  • Box 6, Folder 11
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Trancribed Letters from William Woodward, 1945-1946

  • Box 6, Folder 12
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"Two", 1916

  • Box 6, Folder 13
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H.A. Woodward, 1930-1944

  • Box 7, Folder 1
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Assorted, approximately 1906-1911

  • Box 7, Folder 2
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Diaries, 1924-1950

Assorted Entries, 1924-1925

  • Box 7, Folder 3
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Corrected Diary, 1925

  • Box 7, Folder 4
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Uncorrected Diary, 1925

  • Box 7, Folder 5
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Handwritten Diary, 1926

  • Box 7, Folder 6
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Typed Diary, 1926

  • Box 7, Folder 7
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Assorted Typed Entries, 1926

  • Box 7, Folder 8
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Handwritten Diary, 1927 April-December

  • Box 7, Folder 9
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Typed Diary, 1927

  • Box 7, Folder 10
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Typed Entries with Comments, 1927 January-March

  • Box 8, Folder 1
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Typed Diary, 1928

  • Box 8, Folder 2
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Handwritten Diary, 1929

  • Box 8, Folder 3
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Handwritten Diary, 1930

  • Box 8, Folder 4
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Typed Diary, 1931

  • Box 8, Folder 5
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Handwritten and Typed Diary, 1932

  • Box 8, Folder 6
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Handwritten Diary, 1933-1934

  • Box 8, Folder 7
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Handwritten and Typed Diary, 1934

  • Box 9, Folder 1
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Handwritten Diary, 1935

  • Box 9, Folder 2
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Handwritten Diary, 1937

  • Box 9, Folder 3
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Handwritten Diary, 1938

  • Box 9, Folder 4
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Supplement to Diary, 1938

  • Box 9, Folder 5
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Handwritten Diary, 1940

  • Box 9, Folder 6
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Handwritten Diary, 1941

  • Box 10, Folder 1
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Handwritten Diary, 1942

  • Box 10, Folder 2
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Handwritten Diary, 1943

  • Box 10, Folder 3
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Handwritten Diaries, 1944-1945

  • Box 10, Folder 4
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Handwritten Diary, 1945 May 6-December 31

  • Box 10, Folder 5
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Handwritten Diary, 1946

  • Box 10, Folder 6
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Handwritten Diary, 1947

  • Box 11, Folder 1
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Handwritten Diary, 1948

  • Box 11, Folder 2
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Handwritten Diary, 1949

  • Box 11, Folder 3
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Handwritten Diary, 1950

  • Box 11, Folder 4
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Legal and Financial Documents, 1927-1964

Assorted, 1923-1950

  • Box 11, Folder 5
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Royalty Statements, 1927-1964

  • Box 11, Folder 6
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Notes, approximately 1910-1963

About William Woodward, approximately 1927-1963

  • Box 11, Folder 7
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Anecdotes, 1928-1938

  • Box 12, Folder 1
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Assorted, circa 1928-1945

  • Box 12, Folder 2
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Clippings about William Woodward's Death, 1950

  • Box 12, Folder 3
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Theodore Drieser, 1927-1945

  • Box 12, Folder 4
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William McAdoo, approximately 1910-1931

  • Box 12, Folder 5
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Newspaper Scrapbook, 1923-1927

  • Box 12, Folder 6
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On Authors and Writing, 1923-1927

  • Box 12, Folder 7
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People, approximately 1927-1945

  • Box 12, Folder 8
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Summer Residences, undated

  • Box 12, Folder 9
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Women in American History, undated

  • Box 12, Folder 10
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Photographs, 1892, bulk undated

Camp Kennedy, Sumter, S.C., 1892

  • Box 12, Folder 11
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Thomas Paine, undated

  • Box 12, Folder 12
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Postcards, undated

  • Box 12, Folder 13
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Publications, approximately 1928-1964

Advertisements, circa 1939-1963

  • Box 13, Folder 1
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Andrew Johnson, undated

  • Box 13, Folder 2
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The Citadel Commencement Address, 1928 June 5

  • Box 13, Folder 3
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General Grant Appendices, undated

  • Box 13, Folder 4
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The Gift of Life Manuscript, Chapters 1-5, 1947

  • Box 13, Folder 5
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The Gift of Life Manuscript, Chapters 6-13, 1947

  • Box 13, Folder 6
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A New American History, New Material, before 1950

  • Box 13, Folder 7
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A New American History Notes, circa 1936

  • Box 13, Folder 8
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Newspapers and Magazines, approximately 1930-1947

  • Box 13, Folder 9
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Radio Broadcasts, 1944 February-June

  • Box 13, Folder 10
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Sears Manuscript, Preface-135, undated

  • Box 13, Folder 11
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Sears Manuscript, 136-271, undated

  • Box 13, Folder 12
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Sears Manuscript, 1936

  • Box 14, Folder 1
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Tom Paine Manuscript, Beginning-Chapter IX, 1945

  • Box 14, Folder 2
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Tom Paine Manuscript, Chapters X-end, 1945

  • Box 14, Folder 3
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The Way Our People Lived Reviews and Advertisements, 1944-1964, bulk 1944

  • Box 14, Folder 4
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Years of Madness Manuscript, Beginning-Chapter 4, undated

  • Box 14, Folder 5
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Years of Madness Manuscript, Chapters 4-9, undated

  • Box 14, Folder 6
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Years of Madness Manuscript, Chapters 11-13, undated

  • Box 14, Folder 7
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Years of Madness Manuscript, Chapters 15-17, undated

  • Box 15, Folder 1
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Years of Madness Manuscript with Font Notes, Beginning-p.194, 1951

  • Box 15, Folder 2
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Years of Madness Manuscript with Font Notes, p.195-Bibliography, 1951

  • Box 15, Folder 3
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Years of Madness Reviews, 1951-1952

  • Box 15, Folder 4
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Assorted, approximately 1916-1950

Clippings and Documents, approximately 1916-1950

  • Box 15, Folder 5
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If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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