Skip to main content

Jane Wodening papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1331

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, writings, personal papers, digital files, and other papers by and relating to American writer and artist Jane Wodening. Correspondence includes exchanges with other prominent writers and artists such as Lucia Berlin, Cid Corman, Ed Dorn, Guy Davenport, Merrill Gilfillan, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Carolee Schneemann, Alec Finlay, and Jonas Mekas. Materials, including notes, drafts, and manuscripts, document Wodening's writing career and provide insight into her creative process. Wodening's personal files showcase her other creative pursuits such as amateur radio and drawing. There are also family records that include a collection of writings by Wodening's brother, poet Jack Collom, and materials relating to her former husband, filmmaker Stan Brakhage. The collection spans the years 1907-2019, with the bulk of the material dating from 1969-2019.


  • 1907-2010
  • Majority of material found within 1967-2019


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 23-26 (digital media): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies of electronic files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Jane Wodening Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Granary Books, Inc. on the Alfred Z. Baker, Jr. Fund, 2020.


Organized into four series: I. Correspondence, circa 1974-2019. II. Writings, 1969-2018. III. Personal and Family Papers, 1907-2019. IV. Computer Media, undated.

Associated Materials

Jane Wodening and Stan Brakhage Scrapbooks (YCAL MSS 229). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

The childhood of Stanley Brakhage : 1410 Quince St., Denver, CO, 2007 / by Jane (Brakhage) Wodening (YCAL MSS 282). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.


19.9 Linear Feet (26 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Jane Wodening (1936-)

Jane Wodening is an American writer and artist who has published fourteen books, including short story collections, memoirs, and fiction. She is known for her collaborations with experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage during their marriage from 1957 to 1987, as well as her artistic scrapbooks documenting their early family life in Lump Gulch, Colorado. As the subject of Brakhage's film Window Water Baby Moving (1959), Wodening was filmed giving birth to their first child.

Born Mary Jane Collom in Western Springs, Illinois in 1936, she was known as Jane Brakhage during her marriage, and later adopted the surname Wodening. After separating from Brakhage, she spent the next several years living out of her car before moving to a remote cabin in the Rocky Mountains. These experiences with alternative living became the subject of her memoirs Driveabout (2016) and Living Up There (2009). Wodening began writing in the late 1960s, and self-published her first work, Bird Journal, in 1969; it was later included in her short story collection Mountain Woman Tales (2000). Her other books include her debut biography From the Book of Legends (1989), Lump Gulch Tales (1993), and Brakhage's Childhood (2015), a biography of her former husband.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Jane Wodening Papers
by Nora Soto
May 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.