Main content

Katharine Pyle papers


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Artist, illustrator, and author Katharine Pyle (1863-1938), was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. Pyle achieved recognition through her short stories, poems, and plays for children. She also compiled and retold several volumes of fairy tales and myths.

The youngest of four children, her brothers included well-known artist and writer Howard Pyle (1853–1911). She attended the Women's Industrial School and the Drexel Institute, where she studied with her younger brother. She also studied at the Philadelphia School of Design and the New York Art Students' League. She exhibited work at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and was a member of the Wilmington Society of Fine Arts.

Her works include

The Counterpane Fairy (1898), The Christmas Angel (1900), Once Upon a Time in Delaware (1911), Tales of Wonder and Magic (1920), Tales from Greek Mythology (1928), and Charlemagne and his Knights (1932). Pyle illustrated many of her own works as well as those of other authors, including her brother. She also painted portraits for prominent people, such as members of the DuPont family.

Burke, W.J. and Will D. Howe, ed. American Authors and Books: 1640 to the Present Day. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1972. 521. Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art. Sound View Press, 1985. 498. Who Was Who in America. Vol. 1. Chicago: The A.N. Marquis Company, 1942.

The Katharine Pyle papers, spanning approximately 1904–1929, consists of material related to her artistic, business, and personal affairs. The collection contains typed and handwritten manuscripts of her plays, poetry, short stories, and longer works; examples of her illustrations; and correspondence.

The manuscripts provide insight into the early stages of Pyle's many works, recording corrections and alterations. The correspondence between Pyle and her publishers and editors notes disagreements on style, theme, deadlines, and payments. Many letters also concern research she conducted on Charlemagne for her short story. The collection includes photographs as well, possibly of models Pyle studied for her illustrations.

Series I contains typed and handwritten manuscripts of the chapters to Charlemagne and his Knights. Not all the chapters from the published version are represented and others Pyle decided not to include. Series II consists of similar manuscripts pertaining to Pyle's work, Tales from Norse Mythology, while those to Greek Mythology comprise Series III. Found in Series IV are manuscripts of Pyle's poems, short stories, plays, larger books and essays, and commercial jingles. Series V consists of a manuscript by Margaret Churchman Paynter Pyle, and examples of Pyle's illustrations comprise Series VI. Series VII contains correspondence; Series VIII photographs and cancelled checks.

Boxes 1-4: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxesRemovals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches)


Processed by Kim Sebold. Revised by Rhonda Newton, August 1993, and Kelly Baum, January 1994. Encoded by Thomas Pulhamus, February 2010.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2010 February 12
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

F 1_. Forward.
Box 1 Folder F1
F 2_. Charlemagne and His Paladins.
Box 1 Folder F2
F 3_. Charlemagne and Fastrada's Magic Ring (Chp 1).
Box 1 Folder F3
F 4_. The Story of Roland (Chp 2).
Box 1 Folder F4
F 5_. A Roland for Oliver (Chp 3).
Box 1 Folder F5
F 6_. Ogar the Enchanted Knight (Chp 4).
Box 1 Folder F6
F 7_. The Prince and Princess of Cathay (Chp 7).
Box 1 Folder F7
F 8_. The Jousting Bout (Chp 8).
Box 1 Folder F8
F 9_. Adventures of Rinaldo (Chp 9).
Box 1 Folder F9
F 10_. Rinaldo and Flordelis (Chp 11).
Box 1 Folder F10
F 11_. Roland Destroys Falenna's Gardens (Chp 12).
Box 1 Folder F11
F 12_. The Saracens Prepare for Invasion (Chp 13).
Box 1 Folder F12
F 13_. Mandricardo's Story (Chp 15).
Box 1 Folder F13
F 14_. Angelica and the Orc (Chp 19).
Box 1 Folder F14
F 15_. Astolpho Destroys the Magic Castle (Chp 20).
Box 1 Folder F 15
F 16_. Rogero's Combat with Braclamant (Chp 26).
Box 1 Folder F16
F 17_. Ogier Revolts Against Charlemagne (Chp 30).
Box 1 Folder F17
F 18_. Death of Rinaldo (Chp 31).
Box 1 Folder F18
F 19_. Ogier Returns to France (Chp 34).
Box 1 Folder F19
F 20_. The Pursuit of Angelica (Chp 10) and The Forest of Arden.
Box 1 Folder F20
F 21_. The Seizure of Albacca.
Box 1 Folder F21
F 22_. Brunello Steals the Magic Ring.
Box 1 Folder F22
F 23_. Unidentified handwritten notes and manuscripts.
Box 1 Folder F23
F 24_. Additional notes, drafts, and manuscript material.
Box 1 Folder F24

F 25_. Rough plan of chapters.
Box 2 Folder F25
F 26_. How the World Was Made (Chp 2).
Box 2 Folder F26
F 27_. Sif's Golden Hair (Chp 4).
Box 2 Folder F27
F 28_. How the Gods Once Made War and Peace with One Another (Chp 6).
Box 2 Folder F28
F 29_. Idun's Magic Apples (Chp 7).
Box 2 Folder F29
F 30_. Thor and Loki in Geirrod's House (Chp 8).
Box 2 Folder F30
F 31_. How Odin Became the Wisest of Wise (Chp 9).
Box 2 Folder F31
F 32_. How Loki Saved the Peasant's Son (Chp 10).
Box 2 Folder F32
F 33_. How Freya Won a Necklace for Herself (Chp 11).
Box 2 Folder F33
F 34_. The Charming of the Ferris Wolf (Chp 13).
Box 2 Folder F34
F 35_. How Frey Won a Bride and Lost a Sword (Chp 15).
Box 2 Folder F35
36_. How the Magic Mead Was Brought to Asgard (Chp 18).
Box 2 Folder F36
F 37_. Thor Loses and Finds His Hammer (Chp 19).
Box 2 Folder F37
F 38_. Thor, the Thunderer (Chp 20).
Box 2 Folder F38
F 39_. Thor Battles with Hrungnir (Chp 21).
Box 2 Folder F39
F 40_. The Fate of Balder (Chp 22).
Box 2 Folder F40
F 41_. The One Who Would Not Weep for Balder (Chp 23).
Box 2 Folder F41
F 42_. The Punishment of Loki (Chp 24).
Box 2 Folder F42
F 43_. Ragnarok, The Twilight of the Gods (Chp 25).
Box 2 Folder F43
F 44_. Unidentified manuscript material.
Box 2 Folder F44

F 45_. Forward.
Box 3 Folder F45
F 46_. The War of the Gods and Titans.
Box 3 Folder F46
F 47_. Deucalion and Pyrrha.
Box 3 Folder F47
F 48_. Pyramis and Thisbe.
Box 3 Folder F48
F 49_. Arachne.
Box 3 Folder F49
F 50_. The Golden Touch.
Box 3 Folder F50
F 51_. The Story of Thesus.
Box 3 Folder F51
F 52_. Bellerophon and Pegasus.
Box 3 Folder F52
F 53_. The Labors of Hercules.
Box 3 Folder F53

F 54_. The Prisoner.
Box 3 Folder F54
F 55_. Baking Day.
Box 3 Folder F55
F 56_. Failure.
Box 3 Folder F56
F 57_. Playmates.
Box 3 Folder F57
F 58_. Verses.
Box 3 Folder F58
F 59_. Adam and Eve.
Box 3 Folder F59
F 60_. Several untitled poems.
Box 3 Folder F60
F 61_. Tear sheet from Prose and Verses for Children.
Box 3 Folder F61
F 62_. Rhymed couplets on the Old Testament.
Box 3 Folder F62
F 63_. The Golden Bird.
Box 3 Folder F63
F 64_. Rift in the Lute.
Box 3 Folder F64
F 65_. An Episode.
Box 3 Folder F65
F 66_. Ulysses.
Box 3 Folder F66
F 67_. Uncle Eph and the Money Chest.
Box 3 Folder F67
F 68_. The Green Bell.
Box 3 Folder F68
F 69_. The Black-Eyed Puppy.
Box 3 Folder F69
F 70_. Adventures of Elizabeth and Richard.
Box 3 Folder F70
F 71_. Unidentified and incomplete stories.
Box 3 Folder F71
F 72_. The Witch's Daughter.
Box 3 Folder F72
F 73_. The Grandmother of Wind.
Box 3 Folder F73
F 74_. The Christmas Rose.
Box 3 Folder F74
F 75_. The Garden of Make Believe.
Box 3 Folder F75
F 76_. The Land of Nowhere.
Box 3 Folder F76
F 77_. Dogs.
Box 4 Folder F77
F 78_. Weather signs and old superstitions.
Box 4 Folder F78
F 79_. Notes towards a Swedenborgian Parable.
Box 4 Folder F79
F 80_. Epilogue.
Box 4 Folder F80
F 81_. Jingles.
Box 4 Folder F81

F 82_. A Little Country Girl.
Box 4 Folder F82

F 83_. Drawing proof sheets.
Box 4 Folder F83
F 84_. Original watercolor.
Box 4 Folder F84
F 85_. Pen and ink drawing.
Box 4 Folder F85

F 86_. Correspondence.
Box 4 Folder F86

F 87_. Photographs and checks.
Box 4 Folder F87

Print, Suggest