Guide to the Ina Coolbrith Circle Records, 1921-1969

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California Historical Society
North Baker Research Library
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, California 94105-4014
Phone: (415) 357-1848, ext. 220
Fax: (415) 357-1850
Email: reference@calhist.org
URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
© 2000
California Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Ina Coolbrith Circle Records, 1921-1969

Collection number: MS 457

California Historical Society



North Baker Research Library

San Francisco, California

Contact Information:

  • California Historical Society
  • North Baker Research Library
  • 678 Mission Street
  • San Francisco, California 94105-4014
  • Phone: (415) 357-1848, ext. 220
  • Fax: (415) 357-1850
  • Email: reference@calhist.org
  • URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
Processed by:
California Historical Society staff
© 2000 California Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ina Coolbrith Circle Records,
Date (inclusive): 1921-1969
Collection number: MS 457
Creator: Ina Coolbrith Circle, 1919-1969
Extent: 3 boxes
Repository: California Historical Society, North Baker Library
San Francisco, California 94105-4014
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The North Baker Research Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The North Baker Research Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ina Coolbrith Circle Records. MS 457, California Historical Society, North Baker Research Library.

History

The Ina Coolbrith Circle was organized in 1919 in memory of Ina Coolbrith, California's first poet laureate. The stated purpose of the Circle was the study of the history and literature of California, the discussion of member's works, and the assembling and presentation of their personal and literary reminiscences.
The Circle was patterned after the California Literature Society, which was itself an outgrowth of a neighborhood youth club founded by Ella Sterling Cummins Mighels, a California literary historian. The California Literature Society was informal and met once a month at Coolbrith's home until 1916.
The Ina Coolbrith Circle met once a month, first at the St. Francis Hotel, then in the Assembly Room of the San Francisco Public Library, and later at the Western Women's Club. More of a social club than a platform for established poets, the Circle sponsored lecture presentations, poetry readings, musical programs and annual poetry contests. The members also maintained a library and engaged in campaigns to save Ina Coolbrith Park in San Francisco, to name a Sierra Nevada peak after Ina Coolbrith, and to prevent the state legislature from naming an unpublished poet (and member of the legislature) California poet laureate.
Ina Coolbrith was living in New York at the time the Circle was formed and met with its members for the first time in 1920. In 1923 Coolbrith moved back to California and, between then and her death in 1928, journeyed each month to the St. Francis Hotel to read poetry, discuss literature, and listen to lectures. The Circle continued after Coolbrith's death largely through the efforts of Ina Peterson Cooke and Ina Cook Craig, her niece and grandniece respectively.
Ina Coolbrith, J. D. Rhodehamel and R. F. Wood. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young Univ. Press, 1973.

Scope and Content

The Ina Coolbrith Circle collection contains correspondence, announcements, newsletters, legal papers, financial statements and newspaper clippings concerning the Circle, its members and activities between 1921 and 1969.

Added Entries

  • Bland, Henry Meade, 1863-1931
  • Coolbrith, Ina Donna, 1841-1928
  • Literature - Competitions
  • Literature - Addresses, essays, lectures
  • McGroarty, John Steven, 1862-1944
  • Norris, Gordon W., 1907-1961
  • Poetry - Addresses, essays, lectures
  • Poets -- San Francisco
  • Poets -- California
  • Women Authors -- California
  • Women in California

Material Transferred

Six photographs, three of Ina Coolbrith's grave, one of Anne Monroe, one of Ina Coolbrith Circle members in 1955, and one showing the Circle conferring the 1955 poetry contest award, have been transferred to California Historical Society photograph collection.

List of Containers

Box 1, Folder 1

History of the Ina Coolbrith Circle

Folder 2

A Brief Biography of Ina Coolbrith by Ina Craig

Folder 3

Ina Coolbrith Circle Correspondence, 1921-1959

Folder 4

Ina Coolbrith Circle Correspondence, 1960-1969

Folder 5

Poetry, speeches, skits

Folder 6

Newspaper clippings, articles

Othertype Binder

Poem, July Fourth, 1895 by Ina Coolbrith (handwritten)

 

Photograph, document in Spanish concerning Monterey, California, 1830-1831

Box 2, Folder 7

Ina Coolbrith Circle announcements, minutes, newsletters, and contests, 1927-1952

Folder 8

Ina Coolbrith Circle announcements, minutes, newsletters, and contests, 1953-1957

Folder 9

Ina Coolbrith Circle announcements, minutes, newsletters, and contests, 1958-1959

Folder 10

Ina Coolbrith Circle announcements, minutes, newsletters, and contests, 1960-1969, nd

Folder 11

Ina Coolbrith Circle legal papers, constitutions

Folder 12

Ina Coolbrith Circle membership, 1930-1960

Folder 13

Ina Coolbrith Circle financial reports, 1942-1962

Folder 14

Miscellaneous

Box 3, Volume Vol 1

Ina Coolbrith Circle financial ledger, 1932-1951

Volume Vol 2

Ina Coolbrith Circle Library ledger

Volume Vol 3

Ina Coolbrith Circle meeting registrar, 1943-1944

Volume Vol 4

Ina Coolbrith Circle meeting registrar, 1950-1958

Volume Vol 5

Scrapbook with Ina Coolbrith Circle minutes, records, newspaper clippings, 1941-1944

Othertype Tape

Record of program from Southern California praising Ina Coolbrith, 1954 or 1955