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Guide to the Marianne Moore Papers, 1924-1965

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Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972
Title: Marianne Moore Papers
Dates: 1924-1965
Quantity: .1 cubic ft (62 items)
Abstract: Fifty-eight letters to Fanny Borden, Vassar College Librarian, 1924-1954.
Forms of Materials: Correspondence

Biographical Note

Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was born in Kirkwood, MO, and grew up in a happy atmosphere of familial affection and intimacy. With the exception of her years at Bryn Mawr, Miss Moore lived almost constantly with her mother and was never far from her brother, John Warner Moore. After graduation from Bryn Mawr in 1909, Miss Moore studied at the Carlisle Commercial College and went on to work as an indexer for Melvil Dewey and to teach commercial subjects at an Indian school. Marianne Moore did not seriously begin to write poetry until after 1914. Her poems appeared in Poetry, Others, The Dial, and The Egoist. Soon Moore began to attract attention despite her habitual self-disparagement. In 1924 her observations won The Dial Award; and from then until its demise in 1929, that magazine absorbed much of Moore's energy both as a writer and editor. Her Selected Poems was published in 1935, with an introduction by T.S. Eliot; and in the next two decades she continued to publish volumes of poetry - Pangolin and Other Verse, What Are Years, and Nevertheless - establishing her as a first-rate poet. In the early 1950s Marianne Moore was showered with prizes, including the Bollingen, the Pulitzer, and the National Book Award. In 1955 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In her later years she was a popular celebrity, known for her tricorn hats and love of baseball.

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Scope and Content Note

Fifty-eight letters to Fanny Borden, Vassar College Librarian, 1924-1954, discussing THE DIAL, her mother's health, friendship with Elizabeth Bishop, Vassar College, aiding refugee children during World War II, experiences of Louise Lucas and family in France in 1941, including typescript copy of a letter describing a fire in their home while it was occupied by German troops, Moore's visits to the Vassar College Library, and other personal issues; two letters and a telegram to William K. Rose regarding an appointment, 1965; and one letter by her mother Mary W. Moore regarding the death of Mary Norcross, 1938.

NOTE: These letters form part of the Autograph Files.

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Access and Use


This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

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Related Material

  • There are a number of Marianne Moore letters to Elizabeth Bishop in Vassar's Bishop Collection. See the "Correspondence" series of in the Guide to the Elizabeth Bishop Papers for more information:

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Subject Headings


  • Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-1979.
  • Borden, Fanny.
  • Lucas, Louise.
  • Moore, Mary W.
  • Norcross, Mary, d. 1938.
  • Rose, W. K.


  • Vassar College. Library.


  • Charities.
  • Children--Europe.
  • Editors.
  • Lucas family.
  • Refugees.
  • Social work with children--Europe.
  • Women poets.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Children.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Civilian relief.
  • World War, 1939-1945--France.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Refugees.


  • France--History--German occupation, 1940-1945.

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Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, February 2007.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Marianne Moore Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the estate of Fanny Borden (VC 1898), and estate of William K. Rose.

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Container List

There is no container list currently available for this collection.