Isabel Bayley (1911-1993) met Katherine Anne Porter at the Kansas University Seminar, where Porter was teaching, in 1948. They became good friends, and Porter encouraged Bayley to write professionally. Her first published story, "The Great White Owl," appeared in Accent in 1954. In 1953, Porter authorized Bayley to work on the marginalia in her personal library for possible publication, a project that was never completed. In 1974, Porter named Bayley trustee of her literary estate; she assumed this position in 1983. Bayley selected and edited the Letters of Katherine Anne Porter, published on May 15, 1990, by the Atlantic Monthly Press. Bayley's papers include correspondence, manuscripts, legal documents, memorabilia, photographic materials, publications, videotapes, and work papers. Her correspondence with Porter dates from July 16, 1948, to September 3, 1980.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
39.00 Linear Feet
The papers of Isabel Bayley consist of materials from approximately 1900 to 1993 that Isabel Bayley created, received, or collected during her lifetime (1911-1993). The materials include correspondence; manuscripts and drafts of both published and unpublished literary works, notes, and research materials; legal and financial documentation; personal materials; newspaper and magazine clippings; print material; serials; manuscripts written by other individuals; video recordings; three-dimensional memorabilia; and photographs.
Isabel Bayley was born Isabel Levin on January 14, 1911, in Titusville, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology with a B. S. in 1931 and from the University of Pittsburgh with an M. A. in 1933. She married William Hewitt Bayley on October 17, 1940. During World War II, she served as First Lieutenant in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) in Buffalo, N.Y. In 1946 and 1947, she completed the first compilation from the journal of Arthur M. Young, inventor of the Bell Helicopter, which Young revised and later published as The Bell Notes, a Journey from Physics to Metaphysics. Isabel Bayley met Katherine Anne Porter at the Kansas University Seminar, where Porter was teaching, in 1948. They became good friends, and Porter encouraged Bayley to write professionally. In 1953, Porter authorized Bayley to work on the marginalia in her personal library for possible publication, a project that was never completed. Bayley's published short story, "The Great White Owl," appeared in Accent in 1954. In 1974, Porter named Bayley trustee of her literary estate; she actively assumed this position in 1983. Bayley selected and edited the Letters of Katherine Anne Porter, published on May 15, 1990, by the Atlantic Monthly Press. Isabel Bayley died at her home in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, Canada, on July 17, 1993.
Organized as thirteen series.
W. Hewitt Bayley donated the largest portion of the Papers of Isabel Bayley to the University of Maryland Libraries in 1994. Additional materials were acquired in 1998 and 2002.
Among the materials that W. Hewitt Bayley donated to the Libraries in 1994 was Glenway Wescott and Monroe Wheeler correspondence with W. Somerset Maugham, Alan Searle, Wallace Stevens, Robin Maugham, and Nelson Rockefeller that previously had come into his wife's possession. In 2008, that correspondence was separated from Bayley's papers and united with other Glenway Wescott materials. Now fully processed, those materials constitute the Libraries' Glenway Wescott Collection. Also among the materials donated to the Libraries was correspondence between Desmond Willson and Katherine Anne Porter and related items. In 2008, those materials were separated from Bayley's papers and named the Desmond Willson Papers.
Metal paper clips and metal fasteners were removed. When necessary, staples were removed from items, and fragile documents were placed in sleeves to prevent damage from handling. All materials were placed in acid-free folders and acid-free boxes. Oversize materials were housed in a mapcase and oversize box.
Duplicate copies of the correspondence of Isabel Bayley and Katherine Anne Porter were discarded. Clippings collected by Bayley that were not related to herself or to Porter were also discarded. Clippings on which there was correspondence or notes were incorporated into Series 1 and Series 3, respectively.
Bayley's original arrangement was maintained where possible. However, her notecards were in disarray and were acquired in several accessions. Where possible, Bayley's arrangement of them was maintained.
Some of the photographs were removed from the albums in which Bayley had placed them. Photographs enclosed in correspondence were separated and incorporated into Series 11. Although a large number of books from Bayley's personal library were originally part of the materials donated, only those by, about, or relating to Katherine Anne Porter were retained in Bayley's papers.