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Jeannette Marks papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS 0567

Scope and Contents

The Jeanette Augustus Marks Papers include correspondence, writings, clippings, course materials. Includes material pertaining to her literary career, her teaching career as a member of the Mount Holyoke College Department of English Literature and Drama, 1901-1941, and the Play and Poetry Shop Talk Series; subject files reflecting her interest in contemporary theater; and extensive correspondence with authors, playwrights, editors, publishers and Mount Holyoke faculty, alumnae and students. Correspondants include Katherine Lee Bates, Hamlin Garland, Marsden Hartley, Robert Hillyer, Arthur C. Jacobson, Alfred Kreymborg, Louis V. Ledoux, Richard Le Gallienne, Vachel Lindsay, Amy Lowell, Channing Pollock, Lola Ridge, Charles W. Stork, Marguerite Wilkinson, Stark Young and Mary E. Woolley.

Dates

  • 1901-1947

Conditions Governing Access

Unrestricted.

Biographical Note

Jeannette Augustus Marks was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on August 16, 1875. Her father, William Dennis Marks met and married her mother, Jeannette Colwell, while running a factory in Tennessee. He later went on to become professor of engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and president of the Philadelphia Edison Company. Jeannette Marks was educated at boarding schools in the United States and Europe and went on to attend Dana Hall and then Wellesley College where she received her B.A. in 1900. It was here that Marks met Mary Emma Woolley, then a Wellesley professor, who was to remain her companion for the next fifty years. Soon after her inauguration as president of Mount Holyoke, Woolley appointed Marks instructor in the English Department, which she would eventually chair. While at the college, Marks founded the Play and Poetry Shop Talks lecture series inviting notable authors and poets to Mount Holyoke to discuss modern literature. She also started the Laboratory Theatre in 1928, which would become her primary focus at the college until her retirement in 1941. Marks began writing short stories while a student at Wellesley and continued to publish throughout her career. Most notable among her writings were "The Family of the Barretts", a biography of the family of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and "The Life and Letters of Mary Emma Woolley". She also conducted a great deal of research on narcotics and published several books pertaining to drug addiction. She was a member of the National Women's Party, the first organization to support the Equal Rights Amendment. Her political activities also included advocacy for Sacco and Vanzetti and Eugene V. Debs. While it is unclear if Marks identified herself as a socialist, she corresponded with and donated money to local and national socialist causes throughout the 1920s. After her retirement in 1941, she moved permanently to her childhood home, Fleur De Lys, on Lake Champlain in New York with Mary Woolley. Marks died on March 15, 1964 in Westport, New York at the age of 88.

Extent

14.3 Linear Feet (38 boxes)

Abstract

Marks, Jeannette Augustus, 1875-1964; Author and college teacher. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1901-1941. Papers contain correspondence, writings, clippings, and course materials. Primarily documenting her literary career and work at Mount Holyoke through correspondence to faculty and writers and subject files on her theater interests.
Title
Marks papers, 1901-1947.
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Status
Edited Full Draft
Date
© 2004
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Encoding funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA
413-538-3079