Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 648: MP-55: DVD-60

Papers of Lorraine Maynard, 1850-2013 (inclusive), 1897-1930 (bulk)


Correspondence, writings, photographs, films, etc., of author and actress Lorraine Huling Maynard, her husband, artist Richard Field Maynard, and other Maynard family members.


  • Creation: 1850-2013
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1897-1930

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Lorraine Huling Maynard is held by Sylvia Maynard through December 31, 2010. In the event that Sylvia Maynard dies or becomes incompetent before December 31, 2010, copyright will be transferred to her daughter, Melissa Gill Knox, until December 31, 2010. Copyright will transfer to the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library on January 1, 2011. 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.


14.1 linear feet ((31 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 folio box) plus 5 folio folders, 3 folio+ folders, 1 oversize folder, 1 supersize folder, 48 photograph folders, 13 folio photograph folders, 1 folio+ photograph folder, 5 motion pictures, 2 DVDs, 2 objects)

The collection documents Lorraine Huling Maynard's personal life and her career as a silent film actress, as well as the life of her husband, Richard Field Maynard. Included are Lorraine Huling Maynard's autobiography, diaries, and writings; correspondence, including courtship letters and family correspondence; photographs, including movie stills and multiple generations of the Maynard family; correspondence and other papers of Richard Field Maynard; and notes and reflections on Lorraine and Richard by their daughter Sylvia Maynard. Relatively little material after 1930 is included. Most of the folder headings were created by the archivist; those by Lorraine Huling Maynard and Sylvia Maynard appear in quotation marks. Books by Lorraine Huling Maynard were transferred to the Schlesinger Library book collection.

Additional material received in 2010 and 2013 (accession numbers 2010-M217 and 2013-M125) was added to the collection in May 2018. These materials are housed in Series VI.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1873-1995 (#1.1-4.2, F+D.1, Mem.1-Mem.2), includes diaries (including those kept during Maynard's childhood trips to Europe and during the filming of The Fall of a Nation, and her mother-in-law Margaret Field Maynard's travel and social engagement diaries); notes and letters written by Lorraine Huling Maynard during her therapy with psychologist David Seabury; detailed notes and writings by Sylvia Maynard regarding the Maynard family (and, in particular, her parents' characters and their relationship); address and appointment books; a wooden figurine depicting Lorraine Huling Maynard's character in Prunella; and other memorabilia. The series is arranged with notes on the Maynard papers appearing first, followed by Lorraine Huling Maynard's autobiography; her thoughts regarding aging, and what appears to be her suicide note; and by scrapbooks and articles (including her obituary). The remaining material is organized into several alphabetical groupings.

Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, 1896-2006 (scattered) (#4.3-6.16, FD.1, PD.1), includes Maynard's extensive correspondence with Richard Field Maynard and others. Topics discussed with Richard include their often troubled relationship, Lorraine's experiences in Hollywood, Richard's work as a painter in New York City, and their wedding plans. (Richard bound his and Lorraine's letters into several small volumes. The archivist disbound the volumes but maintained the overall arrangement of the letters. Sylvia Maynard frequently annotated her parents' correspondence, either on photocopied pages or on small strips of paper, and these annotations are interfiled with the letters.) The series also contains letters to Lorraine from her mother, Florence Simmons Huling Young; from her maternal grandparents, Mary Elizabeth Lyman Simmons and S.G. Simmons; from movie fans; from her admirer Theodore Rand "Mac" McNally, a captain in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during World War I; correspondence and publicity regarding Lorraine's film The Fall of a Nation; letters regarding the Maynard's engagement, Lorraine's first pregnancy, and the birth of their daughter Sylvia. The series is arranged with Sylvia Maynard's notes on Lorraine's letters appearing first, followed by a small amount of correspondence of Isaac Newton Maynard and Margaret Field Maynard; by Lorraine Huling Maynard's correspondence; and finally by Sylvia Maynard's correspondence. Sylvia Maynard's correspondents include her sister Beverly Maynard, her daughter Melissa Knox, her grandfather Isaac Maynard, great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth Lyman Simmons, and the Archives of American Art. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically within each group.

Series III, WRITINGS, 1906-ca.1967 (scattered) (#6.17-9.10), contains stories by Lorraine Huling Maynard, including one co-written with Richard Field Maynard, and drafts of her unpublished autobiographical novel A Continental Breakfast. Several of the stories were written for creative writing classes at Columbia University and include instructor and classmate comments. The series is arranged with an essay Maynard wrote re: her 1909 trip to Europe, correspondence, and a list of works sold appearing first, followed by an alphabetical arrangement.

Series IV, RICHARD FIELD MAYNARD, 1876-1928, 1964, 2005-2006 (#9.11-26.9, FD.2-FD.4, F+D.2), includes Cornell University and Harvard College yearbooks and essays, scrapbooks, etc.; correspondence with parents, classmates, and friends; and drawings and small oil paintings. The series consists of five subseries, each arranged chronologically.

Subseries A, Personal, 1894-1898, 1912, 1964 (#9.11-10.5), consists primarily of material from Richard Field Maynard's years as an undergraduate at Cornell University and Harvard College and includes scrapbooks, Cornell and Harvard yearbooks with illustrations by Maynard, and his obituary.

Subseries B, Correspondence with parents, 1876-1928 (#10.6-21.5, F+D.2), includes extensive correspondence with Margaret Field Maynard and Isaac Newton Maynard, beginning with the birthday greetings Margaret sent Richard every year. (Subsequent to his marriage in 1917, most letters are addressed to both Richard and Lorraine.) Topics include daily life in Utica, New York; trips taken by Isaac and Margaret; their health and that of other family members; financial matters; Richard's experiences at Cornell and Harvard; and his work as a portrait painter. Some letters from 1915 include references to Lorraine Huling, whom Richard had met that year, and his letters from December 1916 refer to their intention to marry, objections his parents had raised to the marriage, and wedding preparations.

Subseries C, Correspondence with others, 1893-1939 (#21.6-25.2), consists largely of letters received by Richard Field Maynard, though some letters by him are also included, as well as some sketches, diary entries, and short stories. Correspondents include maternal grandmother Margaret Telfair Field; author (and daughter of William Dean Howells) Mildred Howells; college friends; children with whom Maynard exchanged fairy tales; and fellow artists. Of particular note are photocopies of letters from Richard to Anaïs Nin and David Seabury, in which he reflects on his own and Lorraine's emotional difficulties and unhappiness, and a letter from Otto Rank to Richard, regarding the possibility of Anaïs Nin offering psychological help to Lorraine. Some correspondence refers to the "Maynard easel," a folding easel invented by Richard, and to art exhibits in which his paintings were featured.

Subseries D, Coursework, 1894-1901, 1919 (#25.3-25.11), includes essays and stories written at Cornell University and Harvard College, and correspondence from the Art Students' League of New York.

Subseries E, Artwork, 1891-1925, 2005-2006 (#25.12-26.9, FD.2-FD.4), includes charcoal and pencil sketches and oil sketches (created in preparation for larger oil paintings), primarily of Lorraine Huling Maynard. Some information on art exhibitions in which Maynard's work appeared is also included, as well as some photographs and print-outs of digital images of his paintings.

Series V, AUDIOVISUAL AND PHOTOGRAPHS, ca.1850-1970 (MP-55.1 - MP-55.5, DVD-60.1, PD.2-PD.61), contains film reels, a DVD, and photographs.

Subseries A, Audiovisual, 1916, n.d. (MP-55.1 - MP-55.5, DVD-60.1), contains a DVD of the 1916 film King Lear, in which Lorraine Huling Maynard played Cordelia, and several film reels, consisting of home movies and travel footage.

Subseries B, Photographs, ca. 1850-1970 (#PD.2-PD.61), contains images of Lorraine Huling Maynard from babyhood to old age, alone, and with others. Publicity photographs and stills from her movies are included, as well as photographs of extended family and friends, and of the Maynard's apartment in New York City. The subseries is arranged with photographs of Lorraine Huling Maynard appearing first, followed by Richard Field Maynard; Isaac Newton Maynard; Margaret Field Maynard; other family (including daughters Sylvia and Beverly Maynard, and Lorraine's mother Florence Simmons Huling Young and grandmother Mary Elizabeth Lyman Simmons, and members of the Maynard and Field families); and finally, photographs of friends.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].

Series VI, ADDENDA, 1896-2013 (#27.1-32.19, 33FB.1, FD.5, F+D.3, OD.1, SD.1, PD.62, DVD-60.2,) consists of material donated to the Schlesinger Library by Sylvia Maynard between November 2010 and July 2013. The series includes biographical information about Maynard, correspondence (largely letters received by her), stories and poems by Maynard, and photographs. Some material related to Richard Field Maynard, Beverly Maynard, and Sylvia Maynard, such as a short film featuring Sylvia, is also included.

Of particular note is Maynard's correspondence with her therapist, David Seabury, which reveals her admiration and love for him, as well as her dependence on his guidance and her concern as to his opinion of her. The letters address Maynard's conflicted feelings towards her husband and children; her lack of fulfillment in the role of wife and mother and her resultant guilt and self recrimination; and the idea of her finding fulfillment in work outside the home, which Seabury encouraged her to do. Other topics include their joint and separate writing projects; Maynard's fear that her mother would have her committed to an asylum and seize control of her children; her fear that her mental and emotional health would deteriorate; Seabury's divorce from his second wife and his feelings towards his first wife; and his health. Of particular note is a letter in which Maynard discusses their differing feelings about masturbation. Seabury's letters often include thanks for gifts (including of money) Maynard sent him and his third wife, Evelyn Uhler Seabury. The bulk of Maynard's letters to Seabury are undated and some were apparently never sent.

Also of note is Maynard's correspondence with her husband Richard. Series II of this collection includes some correspondence between Richard and Lorraine, but the bulk of it dates from their courtship. The correspondence in Series VI dates almost entirely from after their wedding and thus provides a look at their marriage. The majority of the letters are from Richard to Lorraine, frequently from Utica, New York, where he was visiting and caring for his parents, who were in failing health. Richard frequently addressed his letters to "Lorreindearest" and the letters reflect his concern for the well being of Lorraine and their children and his regret at hearing from her less frequently than he'd hoped. Many letters also include detailed accounts of his daily activities. The series arrangement mirrors the arrangement of the existing collection. Some overlap with earlier series may exist.


Actress Lorraine Huling Maynard was born in Oaksdale, Washington, on January 20, 1897, the daughter of Clarence Floyd Huling and Florence Simmons Huling. The Hulings divorced when Lorraine was five, and her mother worked in Chicago, Illinois, as a nurse/receptionist for Edmund James Doering, who became her lover as well as a father figure for Lorraine. Lorraine attended Chicago public schools and a convent school for the first few years of her education; her mother later placed her in a variety of boarding schools in the United States and abroad. Lorraine spent several summers in Westbrook, Connecticut, with her grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Lyman Simmons, and also frequently traveled abroad with her mother and Doering. When Lorraine was 15, Florence's relationship with Doering ended and she married Charles Young, who drank heavily and made advances to Lorraine on at least one occasion.

Encouraged by her mother to go on the stage, Lorraine made her Broadway debut in 1913, playing the role of "Doll" in Prunella; she began acting in silent films produced by the Thannhauser Company in New Rochelle, New York, the following year. In 1915, while working as a model in New York City, she met Richard Field Maynard, a portrait painter and Harvard College graduate. A romantic relationship developed between them but was opposed by Richard's parents, who were concerned about the age difference between Richard (born in 1875) and Lorraine, and also about Lorraine's career as an actress. Lorraine's mother also objected to the match, and moved to Hollywood, California, with her daughter. Lorraine appeared in several more films, including King Lear, in which she played Cordelia, and The Fall of a Nation, a response to D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. (The two films were based on books by the same author, Thomas Dixon, who directed The Fall of a Nation.) Lorraine and Richard corresponded during their separation and married in 1917, with Lorraine retiring from the screen. They had two daughters, Sylvia (born in 1921) and Beverly (born in 1923).

Shortly after their marriage, Lorraine began taking creative writing classes at Columbia University. A number of her stories were published in magazines for children; in both 1929 and 1930, her stories were included in anthologies of "best" children's stories. She also wrote the children's books Twinkle Little Movie Star (1927), which drew on her knowledge of Hollywood and moviemaking, and Dilly Was Different (1932). In the 1930s, Lorraine began therapy with David Seabury, a consulting psychologist based in New York City, and formed a deep attachment to him. While he did not return her feelings of love, they formed a close friendship. He helped her effect a separation from her mother, who attempted to exert control over Lorraine even after her marriage. She worked with him on his books, transcribing at least one into Braille, and he provided the introduction to her Genius in Chrysalis: Locked Doors on Greatness Within (1936). In the mid 1940s, Seabury relocated to the West Coast, but he continued to correspond with Lorraine and offer guidance and counsel. Lorraine's last book, Bellevue, written with Dr. Laurence Miscall, was published in 1940. Richard Field Maynard died in 1964 and Lorraine, who suffered from depression and was increasingly dismayed at growing old, committed suicide in her home in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, in late November, 1971.


The collection is arranged in six series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and personal, 1873-1995 (#1.1-4.2. F+D.1, Mem.1-Mem.2)
  2. Series II. Correspondence, 1896-2006 (scattered) (#4.3-6.16, FD.1, PD.1)
  3. Series III. Writings, 1906-ca.1967 (scattered) (#6.17-9.10)
  4. Series IV. Richard Field Maynard, 1876-1928, 1964, 2005-2006 (#9.11-26.9, FD.2-FD.4, F+D.2)
  5. Series V. Audiovisual and photographs, ca.1850-1970 (MP-55.1 - MP-55.5, DVD-60.1, PD.2-PD.61)
  6. Series VI. Addenda, 1896-2013 (#27.1-32.19, 33FB.1, FD.5, F+D.3, OD.1, SD.1, PD.62, DVD-60.2)

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 94-M57, 94-M75, 2007-M71, 2008-M78. Accession numbers: 2010-M217 and 2013-M125 were added in May 2018.

The papers of Lorraine Huling Maynard were given to the Schlesinger Library by her daughter, Sylvia Maynard, between May 1994 and July 2013.

Related Material:

Correspondence, coursework, and diaries of Richard Field Maynard at the Harvard University Archives.


Donor: Sylvia Maynard

Accession numbers: 94-M57, 94-M75

Processed by: Susan Earle

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library book collection:

  1. Maynard, Lorraine and Laurence Miscall. Bellevue. New York: Julian Messner, Inc., 1940
  2. Maynard, Lorraine. Dilly Was Different. New York: Samuel Gabriel Sons & Company, 1932
  3. Maynard, Lorraine. Genius in Chrysalis: Locked Doors on Greatness Within. New York, London, Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co., 1936
  4. Maynard, Lorraine. Twinkle Little Movie Star. New York: The Century Co., 1927

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodicals collection:

  1. Junior Home: The Something to Do Magazine for Mothers and Children, November 1927; March 1928; April 1928
  2. Junior Home: The Magazine for Parents and Children, September 1930

Processing Information

Processed: October 2010

By: Susan Earle

Updated and new material added: May 2018

By: Susan Earle with assistance from Ashley Thomas

Maynard, Lorraine, 1897-1971. Papers of Lorraine Maynard, 1850-2013 (inclusive), 1897-1930 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from the Radcliffe College Class of 1957 and by the Ware Acquisitions Fund at the Schlesinger Library and the Archival Processing Fund.

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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA