Adelaide Crapsey Papers

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Collection Overview
Title: Adelaide Crapsey Papers
Creator: Crapsey, Adelaide, 1878-1914
Call Number: A.C89
Dates: 1878-1934
Physical Description: 4 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation

Biographical/Historical Note
Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914) was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Algernon Sidney Crapsey and Adelaide (Trowbridge) Crapsey. Her father was assistant minister of Trinity Church, Brooklyn, but within the first year after Adelaide's birth he became rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Parish, Rochester.

Adelaide Crapsey attended public schools in Rochester, then entered Kemper Hall, Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1893. She graduated in 1897 at the head of her class, and entered Vassar College, from which she graduated in 190l. At Vassar she was the class poet for three years and editor-in-chief of the 1901 Vassarion.

Before beginning her planned teaching career Adelaide Crapsey took a year's vacation to regain her strength and to recover from the shock caused by the death of her sister Emily in 1901. She then taught literature and history at Kemper Hall from 1902 to 1904, and Miss Lowe's School in Stamford, Connecticut from 1906 to 1908. In the meantime she had spent the year 1904-05 in Rome studying at the School of Classical Studies of the American Academy. She returned to Rochester in time to attend her father's trial for heresy, at the end of which he was deposed from the ministry.

The strain of the trial, with the death of her eldest brother Philip in May 1907, left Adelaide Crapsey in poor health. She accompanied her father to the Hague Peace Conference in June, but her health did not improve from the trip, and it was decided that she should return to Rome in December 1908. In the following two years she lived in Rome and London, with short periods in Paris and Fiesole. She continued her study of English prosody at the British Museum in 1910, and corresponded with T.S. Omond, an English prosodist, concerning possible publication of her work.

Adelaide Crapsey obtained an appointment as an instructor in poetics at Smith College in 1911, and returned to the United States immediately to begin work in February. Her health continued to be poor, and she was frequently overcome with fatigue. In the summer of 1911, her condition was diagnosed as tuberculosis. She did not tell her family, but continued to teach at Smith. In July 1913, she collapsed and was sent to a private nursing home at Saranac Lake, New York, where she stayed until August 1914. She then returned to her family home in Rochester, grew suddenly worse, and died October 8, 1914.

Her poetry was published after her death by Claude Bragdon (Verse, Manas Press, 1915) and the completed portion of her work on prosody as A Study in English Metrics in 1918. A second edition of Verse was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1922, reprinted in 1926 and 1929, and a third edition was published in 1934, reprinted 1938.

The ADELAIDE CRAPSEY PAPERS is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact the Rare Collections & Preservation Department prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.

In consultation with a curator, reproductions may be made upon request. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from a curator. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.

Scope and Content
The collection consists of correspondence, manuscript and typed copies of poems, manuscript and typed drafts of the studies of metrics, reading notes, critical notices of Verse, published and unpublished articles about Adelaide Crapsey, photographs and memorabilia.

Crapsey, Adelaide, 1878-1914
Poets, American
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of: Paul B. Crapsey January 23, 1961; Esther Lowenthal January 23, 1961, June 8, 1965, and November l, 1966; Arthur H. Crapsey, Jr., March 24, 1970; John S. Marsh March 20, 1978. Also various purchases.

(Name of item, if applicable), ADELAIDE CRAPSEY PAPERS, 1878-1934. Dept. of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester.

Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055

Content List
Box 1: Correspondence and Scrapbooks
Folder 1. Scrapbook. Compiled by Mrs. Adelaide (Trowbridge) Crapsey. Adelaide Crapsey 1878-1914. "This book contains the collected data covering the period 9 Sept. 1878 - Oct. 1914 and extracts from her Mother's journal". Transcripts of letters in scrapbook, 1893-1912
Folder 2. Correspondence: Transcripts of letters in scrapbook, 1893-1912
Folder 3. Correspondence: Adelaide Crapsey to Esther Lowenthal, July - December 1913
Folder 4. Correspondence: Adelaide Crapsey to Esther Lowenthal, January - February 1914
Folder 5. Correspondence: Adelaide Crapsey to Esther Lowenthal, March - May 1914
Folder 6. Transcripts of Crapsey-Lowenthal correspondence
Folder 7. Correspondence: 1909 - 1914
Folder 8. Correspondence: 1930 - 1933
Folder 9. Enlarged photographic reproduction of Adelaide Crapsey's graduation picture, Vassar College, 1901 (original in scrapbook in folder 1); Graduation photograph, 1901; Photograph of Adelaide Crapsey, 1909
Folder 10. Cyanotypes (5).
Adelaide Crapsey at Alice Ward's house, College Avenue, Rochester, NY, n.d. Adelaide Crapsey, Hawley Ward, Alice Ward, and "Bandit" at Ward house, n.d. Ward House, College Avenue, Rochester, NY, n.d. Alice Ward. Adelaide Crapsey and Carl Gordon at Ward house, College Avenue, Rochester, NY, n.d.
Folder 11. Scrapbook. Compiled by Mrs. Adelaide (Trowbridge) Crapsey. Adelaide Crapsey 1878-1914. "This book contains the collected data covering the period 8th Oct. 1914 to date [ca1933]"
Box 2: Poems
The arrangement of material in this box follows that suggested by Susan Sutton Smith in her book The Poems of Adelaide Crapsey, pp.viii-xxii, xxxix-xlvi.
Folder 1. Poems. Holograph manuscripts
Folder 2. Poems. Drafts of "Nor moon..." and "Snow"
Folder 3. Poems. Drafts of longer poems
Folder 4. Bound manuscript volume of "Verse"
Folder 5. Notebooks
Folder 6. Translations, Holograph copies
Folder 7. Arrangements of poems for "Verse" made by Adelaide Crapsey
Folder 8. Typed copy of Verse. "Presentation Copy"
Folder 9. Poems. Typed copiescorrected by Adelaide Crapsey
Folder 10. Poems. Typed copies. Imperiale Parchment
Folder 11. Poems. Manuscript copies in hand of Esther Lowenthal
Folder 12. Poems. Typed copies, Hammermill Bond
Folder 13. Poems. Typed copies in Scrantom, Wetmore Co. binder
Folder 14. Typed copies of "The Fiddler"
Folder 15. Poems. Typed copies, Berkshire Linen USA
Folder 16. Poems. Typed copies, Ravelstone Bond
Folder 17. Poems. Typed copies, Mount Tom Bond
Folder 18. Poems. Typed copies, No watermark, blue ribbon, elite typewriter
Folder 19. Poems. Typed copy, Berkshire Parchment Linen USA
Folder 20. "The Witch". Clipping. Published in The Century Illustrated Magazine, November 1914
Folder 21. Esther Lowenthal's notes concerning "Verse"
Box 3: Other Writings
Folder 1. "Experiment in Prosodic Analysis,"Holograph draft
Folder 2. "Experiment in Prosodic Analysis," Typed draft
Folder 3. "Metrics and Phonetics," Two typed drafts
Folder 4. "A Study in English Metrics," Rough drafts
Folder 5. "A Study in English Metrics," Rough drafts
Folder 6. "A Study in English Metrics," Holograph draft
Folder 7. "A Study in English Metrics," Typed drafts
Folder 8. "A Study in English Metrics," Typed final draft
Folder 9. Metrical analysis, Book lists
Folder 10. Metrical analysis, Notes
Folder 11. Stories and poems published at Vassar, Photocopies
Folder 12. Readers' tickets, British Museum Reading Room, 1909-1910
Folder 13. The Poems of John Keats. Copy annotated by Adelaide Crapsey
Box 4: Writings about Adelaide Crapsey
Folder 1. Nathaniel Schmidt. "Adelaide Crapsey". Typescript. 5pp.
Folder 2. Hideo Kawanami. "Adelaide Crapsey and Michel Revon: Their Connection with Japanese Literature". Printed version (in Japanese) and typescript copy of English translation (16pp)
Folder 3. John Rothwell Slater. "The Adelaide Crapsey Collection". Typescript of article published in the University of Rochester Library Bulletin, vol 16, no.3 (Spring, 196l). 4pp.
Folder 4. Sister M. Edwardine. "Adelaide Crapsey: A Biographical Study". Thesis, 1929. Bound typescript. 39pp.
Folder 5. Walter O. Loescher. "The Personality and Poetry of Adelaide Crapsey". M.A. thesis, University of Rochester, 1947. Bound typescript. 87pp.
Folder 6. Volume of Verse owned and inscribed by Louise Townsend Nicoll with three letters regarding Adelaide Crapsey: John S. Van E. Kohn to Bob [Robert Kolvoord?] (May 19, 1976), Louise Townsend Nicholl to John S. Van E. Kohn (May 8, 1976), and Louise Townsend Nicholl to R[obert?] Kolvoord (June 2, 1976). Also a letter found in Cecila Beaux's copy of Verse and mistakenly attributed to Adelaide Crapsey.
Folder 7. Karen Alkalay-Gut. "Death, Order, and Poetry: 'The Presentation Copy' of Adelaide Crapsey". Computer print-out of article published in American Literature, vol. 57, no. 2 (May, 1985). 32pp. An offprint copy of the article has been cataloged for the book collection.
Folder 8. Karen Alkalay-Gut. "'Keeping the Edge of Deprivation Sharp': Adelaide Crapsey's 'To the Dead in the Grave-yard Under My Window'". Computer print-out. 5pp.
Folder 9. Karen Alkalay-Gut. "The Dying of Adelaide Crapsey". Computer print-out. 35p.
Folder 10. Volume of Verse owned by Medora Addison Nutter. Two letters from Adelaide Crapsey to Medora Addison are tipped in (a third letter was not attached and has been added to the correspondence in Box l, folder 6) and a photograph of Adelaide Crapsey is pasted on the title-page.
Folder 11. Jean Webster. "Poems by Adelaide Crapsey," Century (February, 1916), p.5ll.
Folder 12. Mary Elizabeth Osborn. "The Vocabulary in Adelaide Crapsey's Verse," reprinted from American Speech, vol. III, no. 6 (August,1928), pp. 457-459.
Folder 13. Winifred Wells. "'The Shimmering Shroud'". [Review of Knopf 1922 edition of Verse removed from an unidentified periodical]
Folder 14. W.S.B. "Adelaide Crapsey", Transcript, March 8, 1916.
Folder 15. F.H. "'The Immortal Residue'", The New Republic (January 22, 1916), pp.312-313.
Folder 16. Charles Kenfield. Score for "Six Cinquains." Poems by Adelaide Crapsey set to music for soprano and piano by Charles Kenfield. Included are notes by the composer.
Folder 17. James Brasic. Score for "Triad for Bass Voice, Flute and Piano." Words by Adelaide Crapsey; music by James Brasic. 1974.
Folder 18. Jean Mason. "Tuberculosis as Muse: Three Poets on North America's 'Magic Mountain.'" Ars Medica, vol.1, no. 1 (Fall 2004).
Folder 19. Karen Alkalay-Gut. Alone in the Dawn: The Life of Adelaide Crapsey. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1988.

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