Guide to the Mary Carolyn Davies Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Davies, LintonDavies, Mary CarolynWells, Grace Ella Davies
Title: Mary Carolyn Davies papers
Dates: 1910-1934 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet (1 container)
Collection Number: Ax 407
Summary: Mary Carolyn Davies was a prolific Oregon writer who wrote lyric poems, children’s verse, a novel, short stories, and several one-act plays. The collection (1910-1934) contains manuscripts, correspondence with publishers, published volumes, a scrapbook, photographs, and the manuscripts and college notebooks of Grace Ella Davies Wells.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical Note

"Mary Carolyn Davies was a prolific Oregon writer best known for her lyric poems and children's verse. Davies also wrote a novel, short stories, and several one-act plays.

Born in 1888 in Sprague, Washington, a tiny town about forty miles southwest of Spokane, Davies moved to Portland at age twelve. She graduated from Washington High School in Portland in 1910 and spent a year teaching school on the Crooked River and in Rockaway. She entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1911.

At Berkeley, Davies was the first freshman to win the Emily Chamberlin Cook Prize for Poetry and the first woman to win the Bohemian Club prize, but she left the university after a year and moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village.

Davies eventually moved back to Portland, where she was named president of the Women's Press Club of Oregon in 1920 and president of the Northwest Poetry Society in 1924. Her marriage to Leland Davis in 1918 ended in divorce.

During the 1920s, Davies published short stories and poems that appeared in magazines such as Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, McClure’s, and Poetry and in prominent anthologies, including the Bookman Anthology of Verse and Modern American Poetry, edited by Untermeyer. She published little after that time, however, and largely disappeared from public life after she moved back to New York City during the 1930s.


Content Description

The collection contains manuscripts, correspondence with publishers, published volumes, a scrapbook, photographs, and the manuscripts and college notebooks of Grace Ella Davies Wells.

Manuscripts include material for poetry and stories. There are also galley proofs for one title.

The manuscripts section also contains folders of biographical data, publishers correspondence (1920-1926), letters to Grace Ella Davies Wells, a highschool notebook, newspaper reviews, photographs, and a scrapbook of published poems and stories.

Published volumes include books by Davies, books containing poetry by Davies, and books "associated" with Davies.

The collection also includes manuscripts and college notebooks of Grace Ella Davies Wells, and newspaper clippings and a published version of poetry by Linton Davies.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Mary Carolyn Davies papers, Ax 407, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Material within this collection is minimally arranged. Any arrangement is either derived from the records' creators or custodians or from staff at the time of initial processing. It may be necessary to look in multiple places for the same types of materials.

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by staff, 1970s.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

This collection received a basic level of processing including minimal organization and rehousing.

Description information is drawn in part from information supplied with the collection and initial surveys of the contents

Additional Reference Guides :  

Paper finding aid with additional information is available in Special Collections & University Archives.


  • Personal Names :
  • Davies, Mary Carolyn
  • Davies, Mary Carolyn--Correspondence
  • Wells, Grace Ella Davies--Correspondence
  • Subject Terms :
  • American poetry--20th century
  • Authors and publishers--Correspondence
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Poetry--Authorship
  • Poets, American--20th century
  • Poets, American--Oregon
  • Short stories, American--Authorship
  • Women authors, American--20th century
  • Women poets, American--20th century
  • Women poets, American--Oregon
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Correspondence
    • Manuscripts for publication
    • Scrapbooks

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