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Anna Marble-Pollock cat collection

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1541

Scope and Contents

The collection contains photographs and other visual materials, objects, papers, printed material, and sound recordings relating to cats, Anna Marble-Pollock, and Carl Van Vechten.

Photographs depict cats at home and outdoors, in art, and with human companions, including Marble-Pollock, Van Vechten, Leonor Fini, and Anna May Wong. Photographers include Van Vechten and Sanford Roth. Visual materials consist of pen and wash and pencil drawings, watercolor paintings, lithographs, etchings, engravings, color prints from woodblocks, printed ephemera, playing cards, postage stamps, a kakemono, and other works depicting cats. Among the artists present in the collection are Leonor Fini, Francisco Goya, Hiroshige, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Édouard Manet, Théophile Alexandre Steinman, and Florine Stettheimer. Objects and papers contain ceramic and porcelain cat figurines collected by Van Vechten; a ceramic sugar bowl; a brass door knocker; a wool blanket, neckties, and handkerchiefs; slate and Mercer tiles; a sterling silver bottle stopper; gold and silver brooches; calendars and greeting cards; and various cat-themed decorative items. Also included are a cat scratching post invented in the 1950s and cat show prize ribbons from 1908 and 1909. Other materials in the collection include index cards with bibliographic information and notes on works about cats, possibly used by Van Vechten for research; a set of miniature children's books by Dorothy Kunhardt titled Tiny Nonsense Stories; and three phonograph records with readings and music relating to cats.


  • 1827-circa 1966


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 30 (sound recordings): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Anna Marble-Pollock Cat Collection 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

Received from various sources, and gift of Carl Van Vechten.


Organized into five series: I. Photographs, 1880s-1960. II. Visual Materials, 1827-1964, undated. III. Objects and Papers, 1908-circa 1966, undated. IV. Index Cards and Printed Material, 1949-1950s, undated. V. Sound Recordings, circa 1922-1950s.


32.16 Linear Feet ((27 boxes) + 15 art, 2 roll, 1 broadside, 1 record album storage)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The collection contains photographs and other visual materials, objects, papers, printed material, and sound recordings relating to cats, Anna Marble-Pollock, and Carl Van Vechten.

Anna Marble-Pollock (1881-1946)

Anna Marble-Pollock was a writer and theatrical press agent. Born in Chicago in 1881, she began a career as a newspaper reporter in New York City in 1899. Marble-Pollock also authored short stories and the vaudeville sketch In Old Edam. In the early 1900s, she began a career as a publicity agent for actors, producers, theaters, and playhouses. Among her clients were Elsie de Wolfe and Oscar Hammerstein. Marble-Pollock also bred cats. She died in 1946. After her death, her friend Carl Van Vechten founded the Anna Marble Pollock Memorial Library of Books about Cats at Yale University.

Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964)

Carl Van Vechten was a writer, photographer, collector, and patron of the arts. Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on June 17, 1880, Van Vechten developed an early interest in literature and the fine and performing arts. He attended the University of Chicago, and wrote for several Chicago newspapers before moving to New York City in 1906. Over the next five decades, Van Vechten established himself as a journalist, critic, novelist, and photographer. He published The Tiger in the House, a treatise on cats, in 1920. He was also a collector of cat-themed artwork. In 1947, Van Vechten established the Anna Marble Pollock Collection of Books about Cats at Yale University.

Van Vechten married Fania Marinoff, an actor who had immigrated to the United States as a child from Russia, in 1914. They were married for fifty years.

Processing Information

Former call number: Uncat MSS 1312

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.

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.

Box 8, a repository created container, was discarded, creating a gap in the box number sequence.

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 Anna Marble-Pollock Cat Collection
by Brooke McManus
January 2023
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.