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Madeleine L'Engle Papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description








Lectures, Addresses, Sermons




Contact us about this collection

Madeleine L'Engle Papers, 1918-2007 | Special Collections, Buswell Library

By The Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections Staff

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Collection Overview

Title: Madeleine L'Engle Papers, 1918-2007Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: SC/003

Primary Creator: L'Engle, Madeleine (1918-2007)

Extent: 360.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by series with folder level control.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1975

Subjects: Adventure stories. - Juvenile fiction., Authors, American. - 20th century - Interviews., Bible. O.T. Genesis., Bible stories, English - O.T. Genesis., Camp, Madeleine Barnett., Children's literature - Authorship., Children's literature - Manuscripts., Christian biography., Christianity and the arts., Christmas - Poetry., Detective and mystery stories - Juvenile fiction., Fantasy fiction., Jesus Christ - Art., L'Engle, Madeleine - Biography - Juvenile literature., L'Engle, Madeleine - Interviews., L'Engle, Madeleine - Manuscripts., L'Engle, Madeleine. Wrinkle in time., Religion - Fiction., Religion in literature., Science fiction., Sermons, American - 20th century., Time travel - Juvenile fiction.

Forms of Material: Articles, Audiotapes, Correspondence, Essays, Filmstrips, Interviews, Lectures, Memorabilia, Microfilms, Photographs, Poetry, Reviews, Sermons

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Madeleine L'Engle Collection is composed of a variety of materials illustrating the life and works of this popular author and speaker. The items date from 1919 to the present and include correspondence, manuscripts, articles, photos, papers written by L'Engle, awards, interviews, book announcements and reviews, biographical and family information, some art work and a number of miscellaneous items. The collection is composed largely of material sent to the college by the author, although the special collections staff has assembled books and other support materials for the collection in addition to those sent by L'Engle.

The collection is organized under three main headings: Biographical, correspondence, and manuscripts. Correspondence is divided into three sub categories: Adult, Children's, and Business. Adult and Children's Correspondence are further categorized into "correspondence with replies" and "correspondence without replies." The individual letters are categorized by year and then alphabetically within each year. The Business Correspondence has six sub categories dealing with L'Engle's Addresses, Play/Screen Rights, Publishers/Magazines, Agents, Collections and General Business. These are also filed alphabetically within years by corporate name, when this is applicable. Articles are each assigned a random number as they are received and are filed numerically. They are categorized as articles, interviews, book reviews, or quotes. An article may be listed more than once if it can be classified under a combination of the above categories. The list of articles is maintained on line. A printed copy is included in this register. The collection contains little biographical material or family correspondence. Most of the family correspondence in the collection was inadvertently sent with other material. L'Engle's diaries and other personal items remain in her possession.  A large portion of the collection is devoted to correspondence, with most of the variety being in the Adult Correspondence. Many of the letters are from personal friends, fans and other authors. There was a decrease in the amount of correspondence with replies in late 1986 and early 1987 because of the illness and death of her husband, Hugh Franklin. The Children's Correspondence contains a significant amount of class assigned "form letters." Business Addresses includes invitations to speak and/or details about her speaking engagements. The General Business category includes items not falling under the specific business titles. The collection of L'Engle's manuscripts contains full Typescripts, Galley proofs, and Page proofs for her published and some unpublished works as well as published poems and addresses. The manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by title and chronologically within title series until 1987. Since 1987, in order to facilitate storage, the manuscripts have simply been added to the end of the series chronologically. The number of manuscript versions is not consistent from one work to the next. Manuscripts for most of Ms. L'Engle's works are found in the collection. We were not sent manuscripts of: The Moon by Night, The Twenty Four Days Before Christmas, Prayers for Sunday, Spirit and Light, The Weather of the Heart and The Anti Muffins.

The primary guide to the collection's contents is the container list. Other finding aids include: an article listing, a first name list of selected correspondents, and a frequent correspondent list. These are included in this guide. Children's artwork, if sent with a letter is filed with the Children's correspondence. If the work is oversized, it is filed separately with other artwork and a note is placed with the letter indicating that artwork was included. Artwork by Madeleine L'Engle's placed in a box separate from other artwork. Oversized items are stored separately. Other mementos are kept with the covering correspondence. Photos received with letters are kept together unless L'Engle is in the photo. Photos of L'Engle are assigned a number and filed numerically in a separate series.

Biographical Note

Madeleine L’Engle was born on November 29, 1918, and spent her earliest formative years in New York City. Early on as a child, L’Engle discovered a love for writing, recording her thoughts in stories, poems and journals. At age 12, Madeleine and her parents moved to the French Alps, where she continued to nurture her passion for writing. She flourished during her high school years back in the United States at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina.

L’Engle next attended Smith College where she studied the classics of literature and continued her own creative writing. She graduated with honors in English and afterwards moved to Greenwich Village in New York City. She published her first two novels by 1946, before meeting her future husband, Hugh Franklin.

After their marriage, Madeleine had a baby girl and kept on writing, eventually moving to a small Connecticut country village to raise their family away from the city. Eventually they moved back to New York City with their three children, and Hugh revitalized his professional acting career. The family has kept their Connecticut country home, Crosswicks, and continues to spend summers there.

As the years passed and the children grew, Madeleine continued to write and Hugh to act, and they both enjoyed each other and life. Since 1966 L’Engle has been writer-in-residence and librarian at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. After Hugh’s death in 1986, Madeleine’s writing and lecturing sustained her, along with her ever growing family. After her husband's passing L'Engle enjoyed spending time with her friends, children, grand-children, and great grandchildren. After an extended illness Madeleine L'Engle died September 6th, 2007.

Subject/Index Terms

Adventure stories. - Juvenile fiction.
Authors, American. - 20th century - Interviews.
Bible. O.T. Genesis.
Bible stories, English - O.T. Genesis.
Camp, Madeleine Barnett.
Children's literature - Authorship.
Children's literature - Manuscripts.
Christian biography.
Christianity and the arts.
Christmas - Poetry.
Detective and mystery stories - Juvenile fiction.
Fantasy fiction.
Jesus Christ - Art.
L'Engle, Madeleine - Biography - Juvenile literature.
L'Engle, Madeleine - Interviews.
L'Engle, Madeleine - Manuscripts.
L'Engle, Madeleine. Wrinkle in time.
Religion - Fiction.
Religion in literature.
Science fiction.
Sermons, American - 20th century.
Time travel - Juvenile fiction.

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections, Buswell Library

Alternate Extent Statement: 140 linear feet

Access Restrictions:

The majority of the collection is open for research. However, a portion of the collection is restricted in order to protect the privacy of Madeleine L'Engle's correspondents. Prior permission must be given from the executor of Madeleine L'Engle's estate to access unpublished letters that were written to Madeleine that are within the collection.

Rights of publication must be secured from the executor of Ms. L'Engle's estate, or from the appropriate author or agent in the case of secondary works.

Use Restrictions: Duplication may be restricted if copying could cause damage to items.

Acquisition Source: Gift

Acquisition Method: In 1975 Professor Clyde S. Kilby of the English Department approached Madeleine L'Engle concerning the possibility of depositing her papers at Wheaton. She consented and in January 1976 the Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the collection. Since that time the Special Collections has received regular shipments of material from L'Engle.

Preferred Citation: Madeleine L'Engle Papers (SC-3), Wheaton College Special Collections, Wheaton, Illinois.

Processing Information: Last verified: Spring 2018

Other Note: The papers of Madeleine L'Engle (nee Madeleine L'Engle Camp), popular writer and lecturer, form a growing collection which presently occupies nearly 150 linear feet. The collection is comprised of personal papers, correspondence, manuscripts and galley proofs, articles, art-work, book reviews and announcements, photographs, and secondary source material. Copies of books by L'Engle are also stored in the Special Collections as part of the collection.

Other URL: http://library.wheaton.edu

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical],
[Series 2: Photographs],
[Series 3: Correspondence],
[Series 4: Books],
[Series 5: Journals],
[Series 6: Poems],
[Series 7: Articles],
[Series 8: Lectures, Addresses, Sermons],
[Series 9: Secondary],
[Series 10: Media],
[Series 11: Memorabilia],

Series 11: MemorabiliaAdd to your cart.
Box 331Add to your cart.
Item 1: Waterman Pen inscribed with: "The Writer Award 2002" and "Madeleine L'engle"Add to your cart.
Item 2: Photographic etching printer's block depicting CrosswicksAdd to your cart.
metal plate bearing a photographic image attached to a wood block; small (4.75 x 3.25 in.)
Item 3: Photographic etching printer's block depicting CrosswicksAdd to your cart.
metal plate bearing a photographic image attached to a wood block; large (5.75 x 4 in.)
Box 351Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Five Personalized note cards bearing L'Engle's nameAdd to your cart.
All contain quotes or sayings apparently attributed to L'Engle, one of which is a verifiable quotation.
Folder 23: L'Engle, Shaw, Braver:  Trip to Ireland, Scotland, and England, 1995 July 10-26Add to your cart.
itineraries, receipts, map, letter
Box 354Add to your cart.
Item 23: Photos, prayer cards, notes, etc., 1968-1970Add to your cart.
items originally kept between the pages of the prayer book
Item 22: Prayer book with an embroidered cover bearing L'Engle's name, undatedAdd to your cart.
black three-ring binder inside cover
Box 352Add to your cart.
Item 1: Necklace composed of plastic beads, undatedAdd to your cart.
Item 2: Student-made collage (banner, flag?), undatedAdd to your cart.
Box 357Add to your cart.
Item 13: Medal--The Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion, 1972Add to your cart.
Ralph Menconi; enclosed in box, which is stamped: Presidential Art Medals, Inc., Vandalia, Ohio
Item 14: Medal--Leningrad Spiritual Academy and Seminary, undatedAdd to your cart.
in hinged wooden box
Item 15: Medal depicting an Orthodox church (in Odessa, Ukraine) which commemorates a 150th (1837-1987) anniversary, 1987Add to your cart.
reverse side features an iconic depiction of
Item 16: Medal--Jacksonville University Patron, undatedAdd to your cart.
Item 17: Crucifix in holder--opens like an arched doorway with double door, undatedAdd to your cart.
inscription: G. Desprez, 191 Rue St. Honore (Paris, France)
Item 18: Pyx (holder/carrier for communion wafer), undatedAdd to your cart.
polished brass, in black neck pouch
Item 19: Cross necklace, undatedAdd to your cart.
cross is composed of 4 points facing inward; between the points are lions and unicorns; long chain--over 18 in.
Item 20: Ring with cross design, undatedAdd to your cart.
cross is composed of 4 points facing inward; between the points are lions and unicorns. in black hinged box
Item 21: Cross necklace, 1980Add to your cart.
inscribed: Faith, Hope, Love, Peace; 12 in. chain; in black hinged box
Item 22: Cross brooch/pin (costume jewelry), undatedAdd to your cart.
cross is composed of 4 points facing inward; in black hinged box
Item 23: Giraffe pendant (no chain), undatedAdd to your cart.
in black hinged box
Item 24: Glass jar: "Anti-Echthroi Treatment", undatedAdd to your cart.
student creative work
Box 358Add to your cart.
Item 10: paperweight--Society of the Alumni of St. Luke's (centennial: 1891-1991), 1991Add to your cart.
medal contained inside transparent plastic disk
Box 360Add to your cart.
Item 7: Unicorn--Volume One, Number 1, undatedAdd to your cart.
Item 8: Cross-stitch by Gail Farrell (gift to L'Engle on her 80th birthday), 1998 November 29Add to your cart.
framed, 14.5 x 16 in.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical],
[Series 2: Photographs],
[Series 3: Correspondence],
[Series 4: Books],
[Series 5: Journals],
[Series 6: Poems],
[Series 7: Articles],
[Series 8: Lectures, Addresses, Sermons],
[Series 9: Secondary],
[Series 10: Media],
[Series 11: Memorabilia],

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