Olive Beaupré Miller Papers
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Olive Beaupré Miller Papers consist of five linear feet (twelve document boxes) of notes and research materials, published and unpublished writings, business documents, correspondence, literary manuscripts and typescripts, memorabilia, drawings, and photographs, dating from 1864-1992. The bulk of the material dates from 1894-1958.
The Biographical series fills one box and includes clippings, articles, and unpublished biographical sketches of Olive and other Beaupré and Miller family members. There is also miscellaneous correspondence, Smith College Alumnae material, and photographs. Biographical and genealogical material of other family members appear after material about Olive. Olive transcribed stories that her aunt, Mary Marsh Beaupré, dictated about her uncle, Arthur Matthias Beaupré, who served as Consul-General to Guatemala and U.S. Minister to Colombia, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Cuba. There are also typescripts of autobiographies by her maternal grandfather, Lorenzo Dow Brady, and her husband, Harry Edward Miller.
Miller's writings and related papers make up aproximately one third of the collection. The Writings series consists of both unpublished and published works. The unpublished writings are arranged chronologically, and separated into two parts: the creative short stories and paper dolls of her youth and typescripts of extensively researched historical novels of her later years. Olive's writings and research materials provide a clear chronological progression of her development as a writer and researcher. Her writing displays a strong sense of personal style which can be traced from her childhood writings on. The Paper dolls and drawings are included with the childhood writings because they were an integral part of Olive's early story-making endeavors. She considered the drawings her way of creating stories before she learned the alphabet.
Also of interest in the Writings series is the correspondence between Edwin Read, Jr. and Margaret Pratt concerning sales tactics and the sales women for The Book House. The collection includes a signed, first edition copy of Engines and Brass Bands. Business documents and correspondence relating to published works are filed in the Writings series under each work.
The Notes and Research series is arranged by subject and encompasses approximately two-thirds of the collection (seven boxes). Olive's class notes, mostly of Smith College literature classes, fill one and a half boxes. There are three boxes of material from her last unpublished work, America, Johannes. Much of this is historical accounts of the first Dutch settlers in the United States. There are two boxes of research material for various writings which focus on the history of the Midwest, including maps and brochures from historic sites. In addition, there are notebooks which Olive kept of lists, plot summaries, and reviews of the books she read, dating from 1904 to 1962. Similar summaries are found among the research notes.