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Wales Hawkins collection of Robert Frost materials

Identifier: C-36

Scope and Contents

The Wales Hawkins Memorial Collection was so named by its donor, Corinne Tennyson Davids of Manchester, VT, to commemorate the friendship of Robert Frost and her fiancee Wales Monroe Hawkins, Frost's neighbor in South Shaftesbury. After Hawkins's death in 1928, the donor, then Corinne Tennyson, decided to build a permanent memorial to Hawkins in the form of a Robert Frost archive, the building of which would last for decades. With the encouragement of legendary professor of American Literature, Reginald L. "Doc" Cook, as well as from the poet himself, the collection found a home in Middlebury.

Discussions regarding the donation of Corinne Tennyson Davids' expansive Frost collection to the Julian W. Abernethy Collection of American Literature began as early as 1947-48. With Frost's active support, Mrs. Davids brought "Doc" Cook, Abernethy Curator Viola White, and College Treasurer Walter E. Brooker, into the negotiations. The first installment of the large and eclectic collection arrived in September 1952, and included inscribed first and later editions, other books by and about Frost, magazines and newspapers containing poetry, articles, and reviews by and about Frost, and other material related to Frost's work, including pamphlets and brochures. Over the next decade, Mrs. Davids continued to collect, organize and donate Frostiana to Middlebury. Added to the collection were unique items including the declaration of Robert Frost as Vermont's First Poet Laureate by Joint House Resolution 54 by the Vermont General Assembly in 1961, a program of the 1961 Presidential Inauguration signed by President John F. Kennedy, an autographed copy of Frost's Inaugural poem, Frost's annual Christmas cards containing original poems, and a copy of Leo Cherne's bust of Frost presented to the American Poetry Society. Among the most outstanding materials in the Wales Hawkins Collection, is a large collection of woodcuts by J.J. Lankes, acclaimed illustrator and friend of Frost, and correspondence between Mrs. Davids and Lankes.

Scope and Contents

Collection contains 31 boxes of materials related to Robert Frost, collected by Wales Hawkins and Corinne Tennyson Davids. Most materials are dated from the 1940s through the 1960s, and include correspondence, publications about Robert Frost, realia, Christmas cards, ephemera, newspaper clippings, and audio recordings of lectures and interviews on reel-to-reel tapes (note that transcripts are available for all of the recordings in this collection).

Among noteworthy materials in the Wales Hawkins Memorial Collection, is a significant collection of woodcuts by J.J. Lankes, acclaimed illustrator and friend of Frost, and including correspondence between Mrs. Davids and Lankes. Note that these materials have been removed from the collection and are now C-54, the Corinne Davids collection of J.J. Lankes woodcuts and letters.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1940-1960


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:


31 Boxes

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged into nine series:

I Records and inventories

II Correspondence

III Publications about Robert Frost

IV Photographs

V Realia

VI Christmas cards

VII Ephemera

VIII Newspaper clippings

IX Audio recordings

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Please email Special Collections at for access to audio materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were donated to Middlebury College by Mrs. Corinne Tennyson Davids, 1952-1962. Mrs. Davids became associated with Middlebury College through the poet Robert Frost, who taught and lectured at the Bread Loaf School of English and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference from 1922-1962.

Related Materials

For J.J. Lankes prints and related materials, see C-54 Corrine Davids collection of J.J. Lankes woodcuts and letters.

Related Materials

See also C-4, the Reginald L. Cook collection, which includes a number of materials on Frost.

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Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States