Peterson, Virgilia (1904-1966)
Scope:
The Virgilia Peterson collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, printed material, photographs, audio recordings, and personal memorabilia.

Manuscripts by Peterson in the collection include a draft of her book A Matter of Life and Death (Atheneum, 1961; W. A. Allen, 1962); outlines and drafts of numerous speeches, delivered from 1941 to ca. 1966; a work titled “The Lands of Mystery,” written with Jane Abbott and dated 1917; drafts of three book reviews; poems; and a small notebook of poems and story ideas.

The collection also includes short manuscripts by Antoinette Rotan Peterson (Peterson’s mother) and Christine Fremantle (Peterson's daughter, also called Krysia Sapieha).

Correspondence in the collection consists of letters dating from 1919 to 1979. These include letters from Peterson to various people, including her parents (Dr. Frederick Peterson and Antoinette Rotan), Carl Sandburg, C. Gouverneur Paulding (Peterson’s second husband), Christine Fremantle, and Jane Abbott. Also present are letters by various others, including Prince Paul Frederick Sapieha (Peterson’s first husband), C. Gouverneur Paulding, Mathilde Sapieha, Jane Abbott, Marya Mannes, Santha Rama Rau, William L. Shirer, Morris L. West, and others.

Printed material in the collection includes published articles, book reviews, and stories by Peterson dating from 1940 to 1966; publications include The New Yorker, Town and Country, The New York Times Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, American Mercury, The Reporter, Harper’s Magazine, and others. Also present are obituaries for C. Gouverneur Paulding and Peterson, and some other items.

Photographs in the collection include black and white prints of Peterson, as well as photos of Aleksander Fyodorovich Kerensky, C. Gouverneur Paulding, Prince Paul Sapieha, Joan Shepard, and William Fulbright.

Audio recordings in the collection include a record album of Peterson’s appearance as moderator on The Author Meets the Critics (1952); radio appearances by Peterson; and an audio tape of Peterson’s television appearance on Points of View with Harding Lemay (Vice President of Alfred A. Knopf publishers) on Dec. 1, 1966 (her last public appearance before her death).

Also present is a series of records in the “Time for Ideas” series, issued by the Academic Recording Institute; this series is titled “Ashley Montagu Discusses Anthropology with Virgilia Peterson,” and consists of ten albums, dated 1959.

Personal memorabilia in the collection consists of various miscellaneous items. These include the marriage certificate for Peterson and Prince Paul Sapieha, as well as the marriage announcment (1933); a stone bust of Peterson, carved by Marya Mannes in the early 1940s; a framed lithograph by George Biddle, inscribed to Peterson, from 1951; a ceramic plate made by George Biddle (1951); a framed copy of Peterson’s George Foster Peabody Radio Award, given to Peterson for Books in Profile (1957); and other items.

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Notable Figures
1. Peterson, Virgilia, 1904-1966
Associated Subjects
1. Women's Studies Collections -- History and Culture Subject Guide
2. Literary Collections Subject Guide
3. Radio Subject Guide
4. Criticism Subject Guide
5. Helen Deutsch Research Section
6. Women critics
7. American literature--History and criticism
8. American literature -- Women authors
9. Women authors, American
10. American literature--20th century