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COLLECTION Identifier: SC 111

Papers of Rachel Field, 1845-1942


Photographs, correspondence, clippings, and drafts of poems, plays, novels, and short stories by Rachel Lyman Field, Radcliffe College Class of 1918.


  • Creation: 1845-1942

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Rachel Field as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1.25 linear feet ((3 boxes) plus 1 folio volume)

This collection consists of manuscript and typescript drafts of Rachel Field's poems, plays, novels and short stories. There are also photographs, clippings about Field, and personal and professional correspondence.


Rachel Lyman Field, author was born in New York City on September 19, 1894, daughter of Matthew Dickinson and Lucy (Atwater) Field. Her father was a physician. The family moved first to Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1895, and then to Springfield, in 1904, so that Field considered herself a New Englander. Summers were spent on Sutton Island off the coast of Maine.

Field went to public schools and attended Radcliffe, 1914-1918, as a special student. She studied playwriting under George Pierce Baker, founder of the "47 workshop," and her plays: "Three Pills in a Bottle," and "The Sentimental Scarecrow" remained popular in repertory theaters throughout her life. In 1918, Field moved to New York and found a job with Famous Players-Lasky, one of the leading producers of silent motion pictures. She worked for this firm preparing digests of books and plays. At the same time, she began to write books for children: Taxis and Toadstools and Hitty: Her First Hundred Years. Hitty was awarded the Newbery medal in 1930.

In 1935, Field married Arthur Pedersen, a literary agent, and moved to Beverly Hills, California. They adopted a daughter, Hannah, and collaborated on a Hollywood novel, To See Ourselves (1937). Field published 21 plays, several books of poetry, 15 children's books and 6 adult novels. Her most popular novel, All This and Heaven Too (1938) was a best seller and was made into a movie by Warner Brothers, starring Bette Davis and Charles Boyer. Her last book And Now Tomorrow was published posthumously.

Field received honorary degrees from the University of Maine and from Colby College, in June 1938. She died in California on March 15, 1942 of pneumonia contracted after an operation. She was buried in Stockbridge.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: R: 91-5

This collection was given to the Radcliffe College Archives on February 5, 1991, by the Pederson estate.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see see Rachel Field Papers, 1924-1942 (SC 91).


  1. Box 1: 1-13
  2. Box 2: 14-22
  3. Box 3: 23-35

Processing Information

Processed: October 1991

By: Isabelle Bland Dry '35

Field, Rachel, 1894-1942. Papers of Rachel Field, 1845-1942: A Finding Aid
Radcliffe College Archives, Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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