Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Helen Follett papers, 1919-1969, bulk 1928-1939

Summary Information


Helen Thomas Follett's papers consist primarily of personal letters and business correspondence, manuscripts of published and unpublished works, publicity items for her books, newspaper clippings, photographs, and postcards. In addition, there are manuscripts, correspondence, and newspaper clippings related to her oldest daughter, Barbara Newhall Follett.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0440
Bib ID 4078772 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Follett, Helen
Title Helen Follett papers, 1919-1969, bulk 1928-1939
Physical Description 2.94 linear feet (7 document boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in seven series.



Follett's papers primarily consist of personal letters, manuscripts of published and unpublished works, research materials and notes, publicity and promotional items, educational articles, photographs and postcards of her travels, and newspaper clippings.

In addition, the collection contains correspondence, writings, and newspaper clippings of her daughter, Barbara Newhall Follett.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

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 Follett papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Material-- at Columbia

Barbara Newhall Follett Papers, Rare Book & Manuscript Libary, Columbia University.


No additions are expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 06/--/89.

Papers processed by Marilyn Chin (Queens College, 2011).

Finding aid written by Marilyn Chin (Queens College, 2011) April 2011.

Collection is processed to folder level.

Revision Description

2011-05-03 File created.

2011-05-12 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

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.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Follett, Barbara Newhall, 1914-1939 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Follett, Wilson, 1887-1963 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sperry, Armstrong, 1897-1976 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Helen Thomas Follett was born in 1893 and was an early twentieth-century author of young adult books. Her first two books, Magic Portholes and Stars to Steer By, were based on her sailing trip to the Caribbean and the South Seas islands during the late 1920s with her teen-age daughter, Barbara.

Follett advocated the use of typewriters in elementary schools as a teaching tool for young students to help learn words and form sentences. She had moderate success with her writings and had two more works published, Third-Class Ticket to Heaven and House Afire! in 1939 and 1941 respectively.

She was married to Wilson Follett, an English professor and writer. They divorced in the early 1930s. They had two daughters, Barbara and Sabra. Barbara was a child prodigy author who disappeared in 1939 at the age of 25.

Follett died in 1970 in New York City at the age of 76.