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Helen Winifred Pflueger Papers: Finding Aid
mssPflueger papers  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Helen Winifred Pflueger Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1874-1984
    Bulk dates: 1911-1979
    Collection Number: mssPflueger papers
    Creator: Pflueger, Helen Winifred, 1898-1979.
    Extent: 1,326 items in 11 boxes + 3 rolled items
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the papers of seamstress and unpublished novelist Helen Winifred Pflueger (1898-1979) of Sierra Madre, California. The collection contains Pflueger's writings, including two copies of her manuscript "New Paradise Lost," diaries (dating from 1911-1979), correspondence, and ephemera.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Helen Winifred Pflueger Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of the Estate of Helen Pflueger via Betty Deming, August 20, 1980.

    Biographical Note

    Helen Winifred Pflueger (1898-1979), a resident of Sierra Madre, California, was born in Holman, Wisconsin, in 1898, and was deaf from the time of her childhood. She attended the Minneapolis Academy of Music, Drama, and Expression. In 1930, after her father’s death, she and her mother moved to the Los Angeles area. Helen supported herself as a seamstress during the depression. She wrote a novel called “New Paradise Lost,” which was never published. She died in 1979.

    Scope and Content

    The manuscripts include two complete copies of Pflueger’s book “New Paradise Lost” as well as draft pages and notes for the novel. There are also papers and essays written by Helen in high school and later in life as well as copies of writings and poems by Helen and others.
    The diaries span the years 1911 to 1979. The diaries include daily entries with detailed information about Helens’ daily activities: visits to friends, seamstress work, trips taken, etc. She also talks a lot about her religious beliefs and her struggles to be a good Christian.
    The majority of correspondence is written by others to Helen but there are a few pieces of correspondence by her (retained copies). There are several letters to and from Rev. Gilbert P. Symons of the Forward Movement of the Episcopal Church and others dealing with her religious beliefs and search for a church to attend. There is also one letter by Edgar Bergen (1941, Apr. 15) in response to a letter Helen wrote to him and “Charlie.” There are also a few letters regarding her book “New Paradise Lost” (1940).
    The ephemera includes a variety of material including account books, address books, bank statements, biographical information, financial papers, medical papers, calling cards, church bulletins, dress patterns, family estate papers (including a copy of Helen’s will), greeting cards, newspaper clippings, photographs, school notebooks and a recipe book. Some of the newspaper clippings deal with Sierra Madre, California. There are also three rolled items: two diplomas from the Minneapolis School of Music (1919-1920) and a painting of Helen Pflueger.
    Indexing Subjects
    Episcopal Church
    • Subject in Correspondence (1940-1942). Box 8 (6).
    • Subject in Church Bulletins (1930-1934). Box 10 (9).
    Methodist Church (U.S.)
    • Subject in Church Bulletins (1930-1934). Box 10 (9).


    Arranged in the following manner: 1. Manuscripts (Boxes 1-3); 2. Diaries (Boxes 4-7); 3. Correspondence (Boxes 8-9); 4. Ephemera (Boxes 10-11).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Pflueger, Helen Winifred, 1898-1979.
    Episcopal Church.
    Methodist Church (U.S.)
    Minneapolis School of Music.
    Deaf women -- California -- Archives.
    Depressions -- 1929 -- California.
    Women -- California -- Archives.
    Women in the Episcopal Church.
    Sierra Madre (Calif.)


    Diaries -- California -- 20th century.
    Ephemera -- California.
    Letters (correspondence) -- California -- 20th century.
    Manuscripts -- California -- 20th century.

    Additional Contributors

    Bergen, Edgar, 1903-1978.
    Symons, Gilbert Prower, b. 1879.