Guide to the Papers of Kathleen Morrison, 1938 - 1985Manuscript MS-1211

Full Finding Aid


Guide to the Papers of Kathleen Morrison, 1938 - 1985

Call Number:

Manuscript MS-1211

Collection Dates:

1938 - 1985

Size of Collection:

1 box (.25 linear ft.)


Kathleen Morrison (1898-1989), secretary-manager to poet Robert Frost. The papers document Morrison's relationship with Frost and include many letters from Frost to Morrison. Also included are a number of letters from Frost's official biographer Lawrance Thompson, personal correspondence, and a few notes and writings related to Frost.

Access to Collection:


Use & Access

The materials represented in this guide may be accessed through the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College. Rauner Library is located in Webster Hall. The materials must be used on-site and may not leave Rauner Library.

Rauner Special Collections Library is open to the public and in most cases no appointment is necessary. The exception is in the case of materials stored off site for which there may be a delay of up to 48 hours in retrieval. Please consult the Access to Collection statement below or contact Rauner Reference.

Access to Collection


Use Restrictions

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

The Papers of Kathleen Morrison contain correspondence, manuscript notes, comments on writings about Robert Frost, and recipes. The bulk of the collection is related to Morrison's work as poet Robert Frost's secretary-manager during the last twenty-five years of Frost's life. Of note are many letters and letter fragments from Frost to Morrison, as well as a number of letters from Frost's official biographer Lawrance Thompson to Morrison. Morrison's comments on writings about Frost clarify some of the poet's opinions and biographical details.


Kathleen "Kay" Johnston Morrison (1898-1989) was secretary-manager to the poet Robert Frost from 1938 until Frost's death in 1963.

Morrison met Robert Frost for the first time in 1918 while she was a member of the Bryn Mawr "Reelers and Writhers" literary club, which invited Frost to speak on campus. She married Theodore Morrison in 1927, and they had two children, Robert and Anne. The Morrisons hosted Frost when he delivered the Norton Lectures at Harvard in 1936, and after the death of Frost's wife in 1938, the Morrisons invited Frost to participate in the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference at Middlebury, Vermont. At Bread Loaf, Frost asked Morrison to divorce her husband and marry him; she refused, but agreed to serve as his secretary. She remained in that position and was a close friend of Frost until his death in 1963. Morrison served as Frost's literary executor after his death.

Series, Box & Folder List

Series 1, Correspondence, 1938-1985

Contains personal and professional correspondence including a number of letters from Robert Frost. Also includes correspondence with Frost's official biographer, Lawrance Thompson.

Box: 1, Dates: 1938-1985

Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, Correspondence with Robert Frost, 1938-1957 and undated

    Robert Frost, Kay Morrison

  • Folder: 2, Correspondence with Lawrance Thompson, 1940-1973 and undated

    Lawrance Thompson, Kay Morrison

  • Folder: 3, General Correspondence, 1940-1969

    Hervey Allen, Edward Hyde Cox, Clifton Waller Barrett, Robert Frost, Edward Thomas, Newton F. McKeon, Edward Weeks, Charles E. Feinberg, Francis Sweeney S.J., C. Lamont, William Hazlett Upson, Katharine S. White, Glenway Wescott, John Pillsbury, Stewart Udall, Milton Seldin, Wallace Stegner, V.Y. Kantak, Edward Connery Lathem, John S. Van E. Kohn

  • Folder: 4, General Correspondence, 1970-1985 and undated

    Al, Sister Marie Philomene, Wallace Stegner, Roger B. Hickler, Theodore Wood Jr., Reginald L. Cook (Doc), Wyllis E. Wright, Louise Waller, Kenneth C. Cramer, William A. Sutton, Helen Hill Miller, Richard Eberhart, Charles H. Foster, Vera White Harvey, Katharine Sergeant White, Stewart Udall

Series 2, Writings, circa 1961-1966 and undated

Contains a recipe for birch beer and switchell, note cards with reminders referencing Norton Lectures, comments on a magazine article about Robert Frost, and comments on the final 12 pages of "The Letters of Robert Frost and Louis Untermeyer."

Box: 1, Dates: 1938-1985

Box Contents

  • Folder: 8, Copy of the final 12 pages of The Letters of Robert Frost and Louis Untermeyer, with notes by Kathleen Morrison, undated
  • Folder: 5, Recipe for Birch Beer and Switchell, undated
  • Folder: 6, Note cards, undated
  • Folder: 7, Comments on an article about Robert Frost, "Greatness," by Ramond C. Swain, circa 1966

Finding Aids