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Wilda Hamerman papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 217

Scope and Contents

The Wilda Hamerman Papers consist of correspondence, writings, clippings, photographs and other papers related to Wilda Hamerman's work as secretary to Norman Holmes Pearson, a professor of English and American Studies at Yale, as well as faculty advisor to the Yale Collection of American Literature and literary executor of both H. D. and Bryher. The papers span the years 1968-1985. The papers are housed in two boxes and are organized into four series: Correspondence, Writings of Others, Other Papers, and Photographs.

Series I, Correspondence , is arranged alphabetically in folders 1-30. The bulk of the correspondence is from Bryher and Norman Holmes Pearson. Wilda Hamerman's correspondence with Bryher largely concerns the completion of the manuscript for Bryher's The Days of Mars, which Hamerman typed, and includes some carbons of letters from Hamerman to Bryher. The bulk of Norman Holmes Pearson's correspondence to Wilda Hamerman dates from a 1970 trip that included Tahiti, New Caledonia, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taipei, and Japan. Other correspondence includes letters from Helene Brewer as she travelled in Japan in 1974, several thank you notes from Japanese students, and a copy of a letter from Kai Erikson, chair of the American Studies Program, to Norman Holmes Pearson's widow concerning an essay prize established in his name.

Series II, Writings of Others , is arranged alphabetically by author in folders 31-38. Writings include an uncorrected proof of Game of the Foxes by Ladislas Farago, several typescript and printed essays by Norman Holmes Pearson, a copy of a typescript outline for "How I Enjoyed Studying in America" by Tamotsu Nishiyama that mentions and thanks both Hamerman and Norman Holmes Pearson, and a typescript journal of a visit to London, probably kept by Pearson's daughter Elizabeth Tracy.

Series III, Other Papers , is arranged chronologically in folders 39-46. Other papers include an annual report form for the Department of English filled out by Norman Holmes Pearson, a program for an exhibit, "Two Estonian Artists," with an introduction by Pearson, clippings of obituaries of Pearson, a calendar from the State of Connecticut House of Representatives listing a resolution, "Expressing sympathy on the death of Professor Norman H. Pearson," an issue of Yale Library Associates Newsletter noting the presentation of a portrait of Pearson to the Beinecke Library, and a typescript emergency contact list, probably for a housesitter for the Pearsons during their 1970 trip.

Series IV, Photographs , is arranged chronologically in folders 47-52. Photographs include two snapshots of Norman Holmes Pearson, Susan Pearson, Wilda Hamerman, Martin Hamerman and others at a picnic, September 1970, and four photographs of Norman Holmes Pearson, including one of him holding two snakes and another showing him with Susan Pearson and an unidentified man.


  • 1968-1985


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Broadside folder: Restricted fragile material. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The Wilda Hamerman 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

Gift of Wilda Hamerman, 2005.


0.83 Linear Feet ((2 boxes) + 1 broadside folder)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Correspondence, writings, printed materials, clippings, photographs, and other papers related to Wilda Hamerman's work as secretary to Norman Holmes Pearson. Correspondents consist of Bryher, Pearson, and others, including several Japanese students. Bryher correspondence concerns the completion of the manuscript of The Days of Mars, which Wilda Hamerman typed. The bulk of the letters and postcards from Pearson date from a 1970 trip he took to Australia and many parts of Asia.
Writings of others include typescripts and printed essays by Pearson, including a journal of his 1970 trip; an uncorrected proof of Ladislas Farago's Game of the Foxes; and an outline and excerpts from How I Enjoyed Studying in America by Tamotsu Nishiyama. Other papers include clippings of obituaries and printed materials related to Pearson. Photographs all feature Pearson, in individual or group portraits.


During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wilda Hamerman worked as secretary to Norman Holmes Pearson, a professor of English and American Studies at Yale. Pearson was also faculty advisor to the Yale Collection of American Literature and literary executor of both H. D. and Bryher. Wilda Hamerman is married to Martin Hamerman.

Guide to the Wilda Hamerman Papers
Under Revision
by Michael Rush
October 2005
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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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.