Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

For Participating Institutions

Louise Harris papers (Ms.2012.013)

Brown University Library

Box A
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Tel: 401-863-2146

Scope & content

The Louise Harris papers consist mostly of correspondence, research materials and galley proofs related to her writings concerning C.A. Stephens, The Youth's Companion, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. The papers also include personal correspondence, certificates and plaques, scrapbooks, printed material such as magazines, journals, and newspapers, and items related to her interest in genealogy. The material in these papers is dated from 1890 to 1990. Most is dated from 1960 and 1985.

The papers have been organized into the following series:

Series 1. Correspondence includes personal letters to friends and family members, letters to political leaders, and letters to and from organizations and businesses concerning Miss Harris' historical and genealogical research. The letters are dated from 1961 to 1990. Most were written between 1960 and 1980. Copies of letters written by Louise Harris are included in this series. It has been organized into two subseries:

Subseries 1. General correspondence contains correspondence that Louise Harris had organized by the name of the correspondent. Correspondence found in other parts of her papers has been interfiled in this subseries, with the exception of correspondence in Series 2. Writings. Most of the correspondence is to various book dealers, libraries, historical societies and newspapers. A large number of letters were written to the Library of Congress regarding her research; to Senator Claiborne Pell and other members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation; and to Algie Elton, a woman who made the Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls that Miss Harris brought with her to entertain children who were patients at Rhode Island Hospital. The correspondence to the book dealer Dr. Milton Kronovet includes a card with the Pledge of Allegiance handwritten and signed by Francis Bellany, who claimed authorship of the Pledge.

Subseries 2. Direct mail contains correspondence from various organizations, most of which are associated with the Republican Party or with conservative political causes. These organizations include the Republican National Committee, the United States Justice Foundation and the Committee to Re-Elect Ronald Reagan. The letters include requests for donations as well as information about the organization's activities. This material, most of which is dated from 1980 to 1990, has not been arranged by organization or date and is not in folders.

Series 2. Writings is dated from 1898 to circa 1972. It has been arranged into three subseries:

Subseries 1. C.A. Stephens research materials contains audiovisual material (audiocassettes and microfilm) as well as a variety of printed material related to Miss Harris' books about C.A. Stephens. The audiovisual material is housed in two shoeboxes. It includes microfilm copies of the Charles Asbury Stephens Collection, housed at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, as well as copies on microfilm of a Ph.D. dissertation and a Master's thesis about C.A. Stephens. Some of the audiocassettes were recorded at meetings of organizations or contain notes regarding Miss Harris' books. Others are commercially produced. They include Great American Speeches and two cassettes of the series You Are There. The printed material includes copies of newspaper articles, biographical information about Stephens, and copies of some of Stephens' stories. The material in this subseries is dated from 1898 to 1977.

Subseries 2. Articles by Louise Harris contains articles written by Miss Harris, chiefly about C.A. Stephens, as well as some correspondence related to the articles. This subseries is dated from 1965 to 1970.

Subseries 3. Books by Louise Harris consists mostly of galley proofs, research material, and correspondence related to each title written by Miss Harris. This subseries is arranged alphabetically by the title of the book with the exception of the six scrapbooks entitled A Chuckle and a Laugh: A Tale of the C.A. Stephens Collection. Volume two of the scrapbooks is disbound and is housed in a box separate from the other volumes. The material in this subseries is dated from circa 1967 to 1981.

Series 3. Personal papers is dated from 1890 to 1989. It has been organized into three subseries:

Subseries 1. Photographs, biographical materials and other papers includes photographs, biographical materials related to Miss Harris and her family, and Miss Harris' applications and acceptances to various biographical directories. Other papers in this series include material from the International Biographical Centre conventions in 1975 and 1976, lists of gifts to Brown University and the C.A. Stephens Collection, maps of Norway, Maine, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and ephemera such as membership cards and greeting cards. The program from Miss Harris' Service of Dedication at her baptism in 1907 and her address book are also included. The material in this subseries is dated from 1907 to 1980.

Subseries 2. Printed materials consists mostly of magazines, journals, newspapers and photocopies from newspapers. Some of the magazines are political publications, such as First Monday, which is published by the Republican National Committee. Others such as The Youth's Companion are related to Miss Harris' research on C.A. Stephens. Some of this material contains articles about Miss Harris' work with the C.A. Stephens Collection. Other printed material includes a music score for organ and a copy of The Youth's Companion Bird Portfolio. The material in this subseries is dated from 1980 to 1989.

Subseries 3. Awards and certificates contains plaques and certificates given to Miss Harris by various organizations, including the International Who's Who of Music, the International Who's Who of Community Service, the National Register of Prominent Americans, The World Who's Who of Women, and Brown University. The plaques are dated from 1973 to 1977. The certificates are dated from 1975 to 1984.