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Guide to the Hildegarde Flanner Papers, 1924-1984
BANC MSS 84/123 c  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Hildegarde Flanner Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1924-1984
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 84/123 c
    Origination: Flanner, Hildegarde, 1899-1987
    Extent: Number of containers: 2 boxes, 4 cartons, 1 oversize box. Linear feet: ca. 6 linear ft.
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence, manuscripts of writings, reviews, lectures, and journals (1925-83). Besides Hildegarde Flanner's papers the collection also includes letters and sheet music (printed and manuscript) by her sister, Mary E. Flanner.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft 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], Hildegarde Flanner Papers, BANC MSS 84/123 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.


    Hildegarde Flanner was born in Indianapolis in 1899. She and her older sisters Mary and Janet were raised in an artistic environment. Their father was a woodcarver as well as a humanitarian and patron of local artists and their mother Mary was a playwright and actress. Daughter Mary became a musician and songwriter, and Janet a novelist and writer for the Chicago Tribune, New Yorker, and New York Times, among other publications.
    In 1918 the Flanner family moved to Berkeley, California, where Hildegarde attended the University of California, Berkeley. Hildegarde's poetic talent flourished under the instruction of Witler Bynner in a class with such budding poets as George Atcheson and Genevieve Taggard. The family lived in Berkeley until 1923 when the Berkeley Hills Fire destroyed their home. They relocated to Altadena, California where Hildegarde and her husband, illustrator Frederick Monhoff, whom she married in 1926, lived for many years. Monhoff did illustrations for several collections of his wife's poetry.
    In addition to her accomplishments as a poet, Hildegarde wrote several plays and short stories, and edited a book of illustrations by the Danish artist Kay Nielsen. She was also an active conservationist and wrote many articles on California's wilderness, as well as the book A Vanishing Land, published in 1980.
    Hildegarde Flanner died May 27, 1987.

    Scope and Content

    This collection of the papers of California poet Hildegarde Flanner contains correspondence, reviews of her work, and manuscripts of her poetry, short stories, plays and non-fiction. The correspondence consists mainly of letters from friends, other poets, and publishers concerning Flanner's work, with some letters by Flanner herself. Included in the correspondence are letters concerning the publication of 1001 Night, a book edited by Flanner of illustrations by the Danish artist Kay Nielsen and the formation of the Kay Nielsen Memorial Fund, a scholarship for young artists.
    Included in the collection is an M.A. thesis by Winifred Evelyn Smith written in 1935. It provides a good biography of Flanner's early life and family background, an analysis of much of her early work, and an invaluable bibliography of Flanner's poetry and prose through 1935. Several other bibliographies of Flanner's poetry and prose are also included in the collection, as well as lists of her poems in her writing.
    Untitled poems among the manuscripts have been given a title, enclosed in brackets, consisting of keywords or the first line of the poem. Photographs have been removed to the Pictorial Collection.