Guide to the Madeline DeFrees Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: DeFrees, Madeline, b. 1919
Title: Madeline DeFrees Papers
Dates: 1952-1975 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 0.7 linear ft.
Collection Number: Mss 599
Summary: This collection contains some of poet Madeline DeFrees’s correspondence and writings from 1952 to 1975.
Repository: University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Contact Information: Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 406-243-2053
Fax: 406-243-4067
Languages: Materials are in English 

Biographical Note

Madeline DeFrees is a noted author of poetry and short fiction who has taught creative writing at the elementary, high school, and college levels for over fifty years. She was born in Ontario, Oregon, in 1919, and moved to Hillsboro in 1923. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland and entered the Sisters of Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, where she was known as Sister Mary Gilbert. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Maryhurst College and a Master of Arts from the University of Oregon. She taught at Holy Names College in Spokane, Washington, from 1950 to 1967. While still a nun, she taught at the University of Montana, in Missoula, from 1967 to 1979. She was dispensed from her religious vows in 1973. She taught at the University of Massachusetts from 1979 to 1985, after which she retired to Seattle, Washington.

DeFrees has penned seven poetry collections, including Blue Dusk: New and Selected Poems, 1951-2001 (Copper Canyon Press, 2001). She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry and a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts.

Content Description

This collection contains some of poet Madeline DeFrees’s correspondence and writings from 1952 to 1975. Some of the correspondence is organized by publisher, correspondent, or book project. Other correspondence and writings are arranged chronologically by year. The collection also contains copies of literary digests featuring Madeline DeFrees’s poetry.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and the University of Montana--Missoula.

Restrictions on Use :  

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to The University of Montana

Preferred Citation :  

[Name of document or photograph number], Madeline DeFrees Papers, Archives and Special Collections, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information :  

Donated through Richard Gercken, UM Humanities Librarian, 1973 and Madeline DeFrees, 1977.

Processing Note :  

The author’s original arrangement and folder descriptions were maintained whenever possible. Unlabeled materials were organized and described during processing.

Related Materials :  

The W.E.B. DuBois Library at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst also holds a collection of Madeline DeFrees’s papers, circa 1950-1986.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1/1 Certificates 1958-1959
1/2 Notes about writing projects, submissions 1960-1972
1/3 Book contracts and royalty reports 1952-1967
1/4 Springs of Silence, correspondence 1960-1964
1/5 Bobbs-Merrill Publishers correspondence on Later Thoughts and From the Darkroom 1961-1966
1/6 Correspondence with Bobbs-Merrill Publishers and others 1962
1/7 Correspondence grouped by publisher or correspondent 1959-1970 and undated
1/8 1960-1965
1/9 1966-1969
1/10 1970-1973
1/11 Undated
1 Ten literary journals that include DeFrees writing, mostly poetry 1960-1975


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Corporate Names :
  • Montana State University --Missoula--Faculty
  • Subject Terms :
  • American poetry--20th century
  • Hugo, Richard, 1923-1982
  • Logan, John, 1923-
  • Wright, James Arlington, 1927-1980
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Poems
    • Occupations :
    • Women poets, American

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