Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Helen Worden Erskine papers, 1860-1984

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0400
Bib ID 4078525 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Worden, Helen, 1896-1984 ; Dixon, Joseph, 1799-1869 ; Charles, Prince of Wales, 1948- ; Bradley, Jenny S., 1886-1983 ; Eisenhower, Dwight D (Dwight David), 1890-1969 ; Lhevinne, Rosina, 1880-1976 ; Niehans, Paul, 1882-1971 ; Vanderbilt, Gloria Morgan, 1904-1965 ; Erskine, John, 1879-1951 ; Barton, Bruce, 1886-1967 ; Bolton, Guy, 1884-1979 ; Hurst, Fannie, 1889-1968 ; Graham, Stephen, 1884-1975 ; Hurston, Zora Neale ; New York world-telegram ; World
Title Helen Worden Erskine papers, 1860-1984
Physical Description 153 boxes (153 boxes 4 oversize portfolios)
Language(s) English .
Other Finding Aids

Card catalog and list (9 p.)

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.

Arrangement

Arrangement

Material is arranged into four series.

Description

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 There are extensive drafts and source materials for her unpublished autobiography.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.

Preferred Citation

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

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of Linda Bradley Cranmer, 1986.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Processed HR 03/16/88.

Revision Description

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.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Crime Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Recluses Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Royal households -- Great Britain Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Travel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women journalists -- United States -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

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.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only CU affiliates may view materials on-site. YOU MUST REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT BEFORE PLACING REQUESTS. Email rbml@library.columbia.edu to request an appointment. You may submit a request for materials once your appointment is confirmed. Affiliates will login with their uni and password, and need to register the first time they make a request.


Series I: Correspondence


Catalogued Correspondence



Box 1 Barton, Bruce


Box 1 Barzun, Jacques


Box 1 Belmont, Eleanor Robson (Mrs. August )


Box 1 Bolton, Guy


Box 1 Bryher, Winifred


Box 1 Caldwell, Erskine


Box 1 Carrington, Hereward


Box 1 Coolidge, Julian Lowell


Box 1 Crothers, Rachel


Box 1 Damrosch, Walter Johannes


Box 1 Davidson, Jo


Box 1 Dulles, John Foster


Box 1 Erskine, Helen Edminster Worden


Box 1 Erskine, John



Box 2 Fadiman, Clifton


Box 2 Farley, James Aloysius


Box 2 Fish, Stuyvesant


Box 2 Frederica, Queen Consort of King Paul of the Hellenes


Box 2 Frohman, Daniel


Box 2 Gish, Lillian


Box 2 Gogarty, Oliver Joseph St John


Box 2 Goldberg, Rube


Box 2 Graham, Stephen


Box 2 Hansen, Harry


Box 2 Harris, Jed


Box 2 Hayes, John Russell


Box 2 Highet, Gilbert


Box 2 Holt, Hamilton Bolton


Box 2 Hurst, Fannie


Box 2 Hurston, Zora Neale


Box 2 Huston, John


Box 2 Kauffer, Edward McKnight


Box 2 Kennerley, Mitchell


Box 2 Knox, Frank


Box 2 Lamont, Thomas William


Box 2 Lindbergh, Charles August us


Box 2 Luce, Clare Boothe


Box 2 Marie Pavlovna, Grand Duchess of Russia


Box 2 Maxwell, Elsa


Box 2 Morris, Lloyd R.


Box 2 Moses, Robert


Box 2 Reid, Helen Rogers (Mrs. Ogden M.)


Box 2 Reid, Whitelaw


Box 2 Rhys, Ernest Percival


Box 2 Robinson, Henry Morton


Box 2 Schwab, Charles Michael


Box 2 Speyer Leonora von Stosch


Box 2 Stewart, William Rhinelander, Jr.


Box 2 Stolberg, Benjamin


Box 2 Sullivan, Frank


Box 2 Swartwout, Gladys


Box 2 Talleyrand-Perigord, Anna Gould de Castellane, Duchesse de


Box 2 Tito, Josip Broz and Jovanka Budisavljevic Broz


Box 2 Trilling, Lionel


Box 2 Troubetzkoy, Amelie Rives Chanler (Princess Pierre)


Box 2 Tynan, Kenneth Peacock


Box 2 Van de Water, Virginia Belle Terhune


Box 2 Van Doren, Irita Bradford


Box 2 Wagner, Robert Ferdinand


Box 2 Willing, John Thomson


Box 2 Winchell, Walter


Uncatalogued Correspondence



Box 3 A-Br



Box 4 Bu-C



Box 5 D-F



Box 6 G



Box 7 H-J



Box 8 K-L



Box 9 M-O



Box 10 P-R



Box 11 S-Th



Box 12 Ti-Woo



Box 13 Wor-Y


Box 13 Unidentified


Box 13 Death of Wilburtine T. Worden, 1949


Box 13 Christmas Cards, 1956


Box 13 Wedding to William HH Cranmer, 1959


Box 13 Get Well Cards, 1979

Series II: Writings by Helen Worden Erskine


Subseries A: Autobiography

Manuscripts, drafts, notes, correspondence, and related items for her projected autobiography which included family history, her grandfather (Col. Wilbert Barton Teters) and his Civil War experiences, her childhood in New York City and in Colorado, life with her mother (Wilbertine Teters Worden), her career in journalism, her travels, her marriages to John Erskine and to William Henry Harrison Cranmer, She published many articles based on her childhood and on her mother's adventures. Guy Bolton's play, Jenny kissed me, was based on her memoirs of her mother. There are also many genealogical notes on the Teters, Worden, and other related families.



Box 14 Typescripts



Box 15 Typescripts



Box 16 Typescripts



Box 17 Typescripts



Box 18 Drafts and Notes



Box 19 Drafts and Notes



Box 20 Drafts and Notes



Box 21 Drafts and Notes



Box 22 Notes and Miscellaneous



Box 23 Notes and Miscellaneous



Box 24 Diaries, 1915-1949



Box 25 Diaries, 1950-1956



Box 26 Diaries, 1957-1961



Box 27 Diaries, 1962-1969



Box 28 Diaries, 1970-1976



Box 29 Diaries, 1978-1983


Subseries B: Biography

Manuscripts, typescripts, memoranda, notes, correspondence, tape cassettes, transcripts, photographs, clippings, and other related materials for her biographical articles and columns for magazines and newspapers and for her books and planned books.



Box 30 Blacks--Liberia, Marian Anderson, and others


Bradley, Jenny Serruys (Mrs. William A.), 1886-1983

The unpublished biography,Many Sinners and a Few Saints, of this French Literary Agent.



Box 31 Typescripts and Transcripts of Tapes



Box 32 Typescripts and Transcripts of Tapes



Box 33 Cassette Tapes and Transcripts



Box 34 Correspondence



Box 35 Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales

A 1955 magazine articles and a projected biographical book.



Box 36 Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales

A 1955 magazine articles and a projected biographical book.



Box 37 Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales

A 1955 magazine articles and a projected biographical book.



Box 38 Dehn, Konrad Detlev, Count von, 1688-1753

The Von Dehn family of California commissioned her in 1958 to write a biography of this Danish and German diplomat. She withdrew from the arrangement in 1961.



Box 39 Dehn, Konrad Detlev, Count von, 1688-1753

The Von Dehn family of California commissioned her in 1958 to write a biography of this Danish and German diplomat. She withdrew from the arrangement in 1961.



Box 40 Dixon, Joseph, 1799-1869

She was commissioned in 1956 byThe Reader's Digestand in 1958 by the Dixon Crucible Co., of Jersey City, NJ, to write a biography of this American inventor. Her article appeared in 1958 but the book was abandoned in 1961 for lack of surviving documentation.



Box 41 Dixon, Joseph, 1799-1869

She was commissioned in 1956 byThe Reader's Digestand in 1958 by the Dixon Crucible Co., of Jersey City, NJ, to write a biography of this American inventor. Her article appeared in 1958 but the book was abandoned in 1961 for lack of surviving documentation.



Box 42 Eisenhower, President Dwight D. and Mrs. Mamie Doud



Box 43-44 Erskine, John, 1879-1951

She wrote several articles about her first husband, Professor of English at Columbia University, 1909-1937 and President of the Julliard School of Music, 1928-1937.



Box 44 Tape Recordings



Box 45 French Celebrities

Gen. and Mme Christian Castries, Genevieve de Galard-Terraube, Andre Geraud-Pertinax, Andre Maurois, the Rothschilds, and Misia Sert.


Hermits and Recluses (mostly in New York City)

Newspaper articles for theNew York World-Telegramand stories for various magazines, later drawn upon for her book,Out of This World(New York, G.P. Putnam's Sons, circa 1953), from which the play,The Girls in 509, was adapted by Howard Teichman.



Box 46 Out of This World


Box 46 The Girls in 509



Box 47 The Girls in 509


Box 47 The Collyer brothers--Correspondence and Poetry of the Collyer Family, 1860-1880



Box 48 Other Hermits and Recluses



Box 49 Other Hermits and Recluses



Box 50 Lhevinne, Rosina Bessie, 1879-

A projected biography of this pianist and music teacher.



Box 51 Marks, Gerald

She helped this American songwriter with his autobiography.



Box 52 Miscellaneous Biographical Notes



Box 53 Miscellaneous Biographical Notes



Box 54 Miscellaneous Biographical Notes--Women



Box 55 New York Celebrities



Box 56 New York Celebrities--Women



Box 57 New York Celebrities--Women


Niehans, Paul, 1882-1971

From about 1962 until 1971 she wrote articles about Dr. Niehans' cellular therapy and worked on his biography which failed to find a publisher.



Box 58 Typescripts



Box 59 Typescripts



Box 60 Typescripts



Box 61 Typescripts



Box 62 Drafts and Typescripts



Box 63 Notes, Drafts, and Correspondence



Box 64 Notes, Drafts, and Correspondence



Box 65 Tape Recordings and Photographs



Box 66 Political Figures



Box 67 Royalty



Box 68 Salesmen

Her article on salespeople and correspondence for her projected book,Drummer Boy; a history of the traveling salesman.



Box 69 Princess Soraya (former Empress of Iran)



Box 70 Tito, Jovanka Budlisavljevic Broz--Article for Collier's in 1952 and 1955, 1952, 1955



Box 71 Tito, Jovanka Budlisavljevic Broz--Article for Collier's in 1952 and 1955, 1952, 1955



Box 72 Truman, President Harry S. and Mrs. Bess Wallace--Article for Collier's in 1952 and 1955, 1952, 1955



Box 73 Truman, President Harry S. and Mrs. Bess Wallace--Article for Collier's in 1952 and 1955, 1952, 1955


Vanderbilt, Gloria Morgan (Mrs. Reginald W.); Thelma Morgan Converse Furness (Viscountess Furness) (The Morgan Twins) and Gloria Vanderbilt Cooper

From 1956 until 1958 she worked on the dual autobiography of the Morgan twins; after a disagreement, the book was completed by another author. These files include early materials on the Gloria Vanderbilt custody trial and Thelma's affair with the Duke of Windsor.



Box 74 Drafts and Transcripts



Box 75 Drafts and Notes



Box 76 Transcripts and Tape-recordings



Box 77 Tape-recordings



Box 78 Vanderbilt Family

Her newspaper and magazine articles and clipping files on Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Mrs. Hamilto, McK. Twombly, and other family members.



Box 79 Windsor, Duke and Duchess of

Their courtship, the abdication crisis, and their subsequent lives.



Box 80 Windsor, Duke and Duchess of

Their courtship, the abdication crisis, and their subsequent lives.


Subseries C: Crime

Newspaper articles, drafts, planned books, clippings, notes, and correspondence about crime and trials, primarily in New York City, She was a crime reporter for theNew York World-Telegramfrom 1937 until 1944. Later she appeared on "The $64,000 Challenge" television program with crime as her specialty.



Box 81 Miscellaneous



Box 82 Miscellaneous



Box 83 Card File



Box 84 Juvenile Gangs



Box 85 Organized Crime and Racketeering



Box 86 Rubinstein, Serge



Box 87 Television Shows and Ideas



Box 88 Women



Box 89 Women


Subseries D: Fiction

Drafts, Proofs, Notes, Correspondence, and Publicity Materials



Box 90 Serials for Newspapers and Magazines



Box 91 Short Novel: Prelude to Murder

In 1952 she collaborated with Rita Weiman on this unpublished mystery story which is based on the Parsons' abduction case which she had covered as a crime reporter.



Box 92 Short Stories



Box 93 Short Stories


Subseries E: Funerals and Memorial Societies



Box 94 Articles for The Reader's Digest, 1956-1958.


Subseries F: Magazines

Editorial correspondence about her many magazine articles, along with some drafts, memoranda, contracts, photographs, and printed articles.



Box 95 Magazines, A-Z



Box 96 Magazines--Collier's


Subseries G: Newspaper Columns and Articles


"About People" in the New York Herald Tribune from October 1948 until August 1949.



Box 97 Correspondence from Readers



Box 98 Clippings of the Column



Box 99 "The Dorothy Dix Column"



Box 100 "The Dorothy Dix Column"



Box 101 "The Dorothy Dix Column"



Box 102 "The Dorothy Dix Column"



Box 103 "The Dorothy Dix Column"



Flat Box 537 "The Dorothy Dix Column"

This advice column was distributed by The Bell Syndicate from 1959 until 1964. In some papers it appeared over other signatures: Clara Valli; Muriel Nissen; Kitty Kelly; and Gladys Parker. She was succeeded by Joyce Brothers. There is correspondence from readers, manuscripts and drafts of her replies, business correspondence and memoranda about the column, her subject files for replies, and promotional materials.



Box 103a The New York World-Telegram--Clippings of her columns and articles



Box 104 "That's Life"

This column of commentary was distributed by the Hall Syndicate in 1955 and 1956. Correspondence, manuscripts, drafts, memoranda, contracts, and related materials.



Box 105 "That's Life"

This column of commentary was distributed by the Hall Syndicate in 1955 and 1956. Correspondence, manuscripts, drafts, memoranda, contracts, and related materials.



Box 106 Miscellaneous columns: "About Society"; "The Art World"; "Belle Brummell"; "Heart Line"/"Heart Beat'--U.S.A."; "In New York"; "Of Men and Women"; "Reporter's Notebook"; and other unidentified columns and related materials


Subseries H: Travel

Articles, book manuscripts, drafts, correspondence, journals, memoranda, photographs, printed and other related materials about her travels.


Colorado and the Surrounding Area

Articles about her childhood family, travels, and history of the Colorado area and its people.



Box 107 Mile High Country--Proposed Book--Draft and Correspondence



Box 108 Counties and Towns



Box 109 Counties and Towns



Box 110 Miscellaneous



Box 111 Miscellaneous



Box 112 Miscellaneous



Box 113 Europe



Box 114 Europe


New York City

She wrote several guidebooks to New York City and many series of newspaper articles on New York City history.



Box 115 New York City--General



Box 116 New York City--General



Box 117 New York City--General



Box 118 Books on New York City


Box 118 Hotels



Box 119 Old Houses



Box 120 Photographs and Illustrations



Box 121 Saudi Arabia and the Middle East

From 1951 to 1956 she wrote many articles about the Middle East and in 1953 she covered the Middle Eastern tour of John Foster Dulles, the American Secretary of State.



Box 122 Saudi Arabia and the Middle East

From 1951 to 1956 she wrote many articles about the Middle East and in 1953 she covered the Middle Eastern tour of John Foster Dulles, the American Secretary of State.



Box 123 Saudi Arabia and the Middle East

From 1951 to 1956 she wrote many articles about the Middle East and in 1953 she covered the Middle Eastern tour of John Foster Dulles, the American Secretary of State.



Box 124 United States



Box 125 United States


Box 125 Latin America, the Orient, and Other Places


Subseries I: Writings as a Subject

Notes, articles, correspondence and clippings on fiction, composition, vocabulary, correspondence-courses, criticism, playwriting, suggested topics, and scrapbook pages.



Box 126 Writings as a Subject



Box 127 Writings as a Subject


Subseries J: Miscellaneous



Box 128 Miscellaneous Articles by Erskine--Manuscripts, Notes, and Clippings



Box 129 Miscellaneous Notebooks and Address Books


Subseries K: Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks of her newspaper articles and columns along with articles of interest to her. There is also some correspondence included.



Box 130 1923-1951



Box 131 1929-1966



Box 132 1940-1958



Box 133 1949-1968



Box 134 1926-1970



Box 135 1943-1969



Box 136 1951-1969



Box 137 1954-1969



Box 138 1961-1969



Box 139 1927-1933



Box 140 1934-1939



Box 141 1937-1940



Box 142 1940-1944


Subseries L: Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Documents, and Tapes (not articles by Erskine)



Box 143 Manuscripts



Box 144 Miscellaneous--Passports, Documents, Lists, Awards, Ideas, Horoscopes, Publicity, Financial, Real Estate



Box 145 Miscellaneous--Passports, Documents, Lists, Awards, Ideas, Horoscopes, Publicity, Financial, Real Estate



Box 146 Subject Files



Box 147 Subject Files



Box 148 Tapes

Series III: Artwork



Box 149 Artwork



Flat Box 632 Artwork by Others

Series IV: Photographs



Box 150 Photographs and Albums



Box 151 Photographs and Negatives



Box 152 Photographs of H.W. Erskine



Flat Box 632 Photographs of H.W. Erskine



Oversize Folder 3 Photographs