Scope and Contents
Title: Catherine Cooper papers
Dates: 1927 November 11 - 1976 January 24
Collection number: H.Mss.1108
Creator: Catherine Cooper
5 Linear Feet
(2 records boxes, 1 document box, 1 oversized document box, 1 flat box)
Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library. Claremont, CA 91711
Abstract: The Catherine Cooper Papers offer an in depth insight into the life of one woman living in the early 20th Century, preserving
her reflections on life, love, and education. Cooper was an avid writer from an early age who submitted essays to the Pioneer
Press paper and wrote short stories. She also kept detailed diaries from her teenage years and the letters she wrote to her
friends and families, which make up the bulk of the collection. There is also an abundance of ephemera she collected throughout
her life to remember her time as a student at the University of Minnesota and as a teacher at Marshall High School, Minnesota.
Physical Location: Please consult repository.
Language of Material:
Collection open for research.
All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.
[Identification of item], Catherine Cooper Papers (Collection H.Mss.1108). Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges Library,
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Gift of Stewart S. Johnson, 2018.
No additions to the collection are anticipated.
Processed in 2018 by Katriona Lawrenson in the Special Collections branch of the Honnold Mudd Library with assistance from
Sara Chetney. Materials have been rehoused in acid free folders and boxes. Materials have been organized alphabetically by
type, and then chronologically within each type.
Biographical / Historical
The Catherine Cooper papers came to the library though a donor who came across the materials while clearing out an old storage
unit. The collection begins with Catherine Cooper's diaries at the age of 12, in which she writes about her time at school,
her relationships with teachers, friends and family and her hopes for the future, including becoming a teacher and a writer.
The scrapbook of her essay submissions to the Pioneer Press newspaper also reflect this, as she enthusiastically contributed
to the competition in order to improve her writing. From there, she went on to study at the University of Minnesota in the
late 1930s. Her scrapbooks demonstrate she was actively involved in student life, both socially and politically, as well as
the theater department. Around 1940, she began working as an English teacher at Marshall High School in Minnesota, helping
to direct school plays. In April of that year, she was involved in a serious car crash which resulted in medical treatment
and a legal battle. When America joined World War II in 1941, Cooper exchanged letters with her past students, as well as
her brother Gus Cooper, who were all drafted, with her brother serving in North Africa. In that same year, her letters detail
how she fell in love with and eventually married a man called Arthur Raine. The rest of the collection mainly comprises of
their correspondence to each other and correspondence with his family. In January 1945, she suffered a miscarriage and had
to go into hospital, and she kept all of the letters she exchanged in that time. Into the 1950s and beyond, the collection
is sparser, but she kept newspaper clippings which discussed the involvement of school students in the Vietnam War protests
as well as a few letters and articles.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains materials related to the personal life of Catherine Cooper. The majority of the collection is comprised
of her diaries and correspondence between family and friends. There are also two scrapbooks, containing items laid-in such
as newspaper clippings and programs from productions at the University of Minnesota and Marshall High School, Minnesota. Other
folders also contain playbills, theatre programs and magazines, reflecting her interests. She collected assorted ephemera
from her life including newspaper clippings, postcards, photographs of friends, leaflets from her travels, tickets from transport
and shows, receipts and napkins. Also contains ephemera from her time as a teacher, including test papers, copies of students
work and announcements, and drafts of her own writing.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library’s online public access catalog.
Genre and Form of Materials