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MS Eng 1579

Kingdon, Mary Kathleen Weld, 1874-1953. Mary Kathleen Weld Kingdon papers, 1901-1969: Guide.

Houghton Library


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Eng 1579
Repository: Houghton Library
Title: Mary Kathleen Weld Kingdon papers
Date(s): 1901-1969
Quantity: 1 linear feet (2 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Papers of Henry James's secretary, Mary Kathleen Weld Kingdon, primarily relating to James.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2003M-38. Purchased with the Louis J. Appell Junior Fund for British Civilization in the Harvard College Library and the Bayard Livingston and Kate Gray Kilgour Fund; received: 2003 December 17 and 2004 January 13.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Mary Kathleen Weld Kingdon Papers, 1901-1969 (MS Eng 1579). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Kathleen Weld Kingdon, also known as "May" (1874-1953), was a professional typist, one of the principal secretaries to American-born author and literary critic Henry James (1843-1916). She worked for James from 1901 April 16 through the summer of 1904 when she left to be married (1905 Feb. 14). Kingdon was his secretary during the period between secretaries William MacAlpine and Theodora Bosanquet. James dictated his literary works of this period to Kingdon, who typed them as he spoke, including his novels: Wings of the dove (1902), The golden bowl (1904), and the last part of The ambassadors (1903). Kingdon was also a bookbinder.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Primarily letters from Henry James to Mary Kathleen Weld Kingdon (MKWK) 1901-1908 and correspondence between MKWK and others concerning James. Also includes MKWK's pocket diaries for 1901-1904, kept during the years she worked with James and annotated with her comments about the work they did together and his activities at the time. All other materials are about Henry James including: fliers, leaflets, pamphlets, clippings, obituaries, and photographs. Materials dated after Kingdon's death, were assembled by her family.

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