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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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Series II: Writings by Helen Worden Erskine
At a Glance
Material is arranged into four series: Series I: Correspondence; Series II: Writings Subseries A: Autobiography; Subseries B: Biography; Subseries C: Crime; Subseries D: Fiction; Subseries E: Funerals and Memorial Societies; Subseries F: Magazines; Subseries G: Newspaper Columns and Articles; Subseries H: Travel; Subseries I: Writings as a Subject; Subseries J: Miscellaneous; Subseries K: Scrapbooks; Subseries L: Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Documents, and Tapes (not by Erskine); Series III: Artwork; Series IV: Photographs
Scope and Content
Correspondence, manuscripts, drafts, notes, documents, drawings, photographs, audio tapes, clippings, and other printed materials covering every aspect of her life and career. There are extensive biographical files on: Jenny S. Bradley, Prince Charles of England, Joseph Dixon, President and Mrs. Eisenhower, Rosina Lhévinne, Paul Niehans, the Morgan twins (Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt; Thelma Furness, Jovanka Tito, President and Mrs. Truman, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor; and large files on crime, recluses, New York City history, and travel. There are extensive drafts and source materials for her unpublished autobiography. There are pencil sketches, pen-and-ink drawings, watercolors, charcoal sketches, photographs, and printed copies by H.W. Erskine and by others. See also 2 oversize portfolios (Oversize 3 and 4)
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Other Finding Aids
Card catalog and list (9 p.)
Restrictions on Access
Series I: Catalogued Correspondence, boxes 1-2, is located on-site.
Series II, III, and IV are located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Helen Worden Erskine papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Selected Related Material--at Columbia
Her mother, Wilburtine Teters Worden (Ms Coll Worden), Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Her aunt, Lue Ellen Teters Bussenius (Ms Coll Bussenius), Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Her husband, John Erskine (Ms Coll Erskine), Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Processed HR 03/16/88.
2014-07-11 xml document instance created by Adrien Hilton
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Helen Worden Erskine, 1896-1984, journalist and author. Reporter and columnist, The World (later New York World-Telegram), 1926-1944; wrote for many magazines, 1944-1956; wrote the "Dorothy Dix Column," 1959-1964; published books on New York City and recluses; ghost writer for several books and many articles. She studied drawing at the University of Colorado from 1915 until 1919 and, in Paris, with Andre Lhote, 1885-1962 in 1925 and 1926. She often incorporated sketches in her columns. Married John Erskine, author and professor of English at Columbia University, 1945 until his death in 1951; and to William Henry Harrison Cranmer, a mining engineer, 1959 until his death in 1967.