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Helen Ann Raiber 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

Helen Ann Raiber was born in 1926 in Pennsylvania to Nicholas Haumann Raiber and Mary Belle Barnhart. She had one older brother, Richard, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II (1942-1946). She spent a good portion of her childhood living in Kingston, Pennsylvania, and attended Kingston High School for at least her first two years of high school. Growing up, she was an avid reader and she aimed to become a published writer. As reported in a 1941 profile on her, which was published in the

Wilkes-Barre Times, Raiber wrote to many writers and artists whom she admired, asking for their advice so she could one day successfully write and illustrate her own novels. She kept an album of responses she received.

Raiber published various writings in the

Seminary Opinator, the weekly publication of Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, where she presumably attended for her last few years of high school. She likely continued to publish into adulthood.

In 1958, she married William Wayne Bewley. She died in 1971.

1930 Federal Census (accessed via on September 8, 2021) 1940 Federal Census (accessed via on September 8, 2021) Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966 (accessed via on September 16, 2021) Dangerfield, Kay. "Palette Vignettes of the Valley." The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, The Evening News, March 12, 1941. "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: Kingston High School; Year: 1940 (accessed via on September 8, 2021) "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: Kingston High School; Year: 1941 (accessed via on September 8, 2021)

This collection contains the adolescent works of Helen Ann Raiber, starting at age eleven and lasting through her teenage years into adulthood, as well as letters from various authors and artists to whom she wrote. The letters are kept in an album with associated photographs and additional items. Most are written and received in response to Raiber's fan mail. Among the correspondents, many are authors, such as Florence Crannell Means, Beulah Marie Dix, Ursula Moray Williams, and Elizabeth Janet Gray. Other correspondents include composer Charles Wakefield Cadman, cartoonist Murat Bernard "Chic" Young, and jazz artist Sidney Bechet. Most of the letters from authors discuss the author's own work, including several stories that were published in the periodical

American Girl. Many of the letters contain advice, comments on Helen's aspiration to be a writer and her writing skills, and questions about her own work. There is at least one letter, the letter from actor George Gaynes in 1953, which briefly discusses an article Raiber published about him.

Raiber's earliest dated work in this collection is a bound journal containing "My Storys and Poems," which was hand-written and -illustrated by her beginning in December 1937. The story is about the adventures of a teddy bear and doll during Christmas time. The collection also contains clippings of some of her published writings, such as poems, essays, and short stories. Most are undated, but one clipping shows that it was published in

The Seminary Opinator on February 19, 1943.

The text of this web page can be reused and modified under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. (

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)

Gift of Raiber family, 2004.

Processed and encoded by Julianna Salak, September 2021.

Sheet music for "Will You Remember (Sweetheart)," written by Sigmund Romberg, was removed because of moldy condition.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections.
Finding Aid Date
2021 October 4
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

Story journal, circa 1937.
Box 1 Folder F1
Clippings--Poems and articles, circa 1943.
Box 1 Folder F2

Scope and Contents

Correspondents are authors unless otherwise indicated.

Kate Seredy, 1938 November 1.
Helen Ferris, 1938 October 3.
William Heyliger, 1938 October 7.
Cornelia Meigs, 1938 November 2.
Margaret E. Sangster, 1938 August 31.
Frances Fitzpatrick Wright, 1939 August 5.
Florence Crannell Means, 1938 October 16.
Beulah Marie Dix, 1938 October 16.
Ursula Moray Williams, circa 1938-1956.
Scope and Contents

Includes one letter (February 21, 1939), one biographical article clipping (circa 1948), and two photographs (the second, depicting all four of her sons, is dated April 1956).

Helen Dore Boylston, 1939 March 27.
Janet Ramsay, 1939 September 20.
Scope and Contents

Includes one letter and one signed photograph of Janet Ramsay.

Elizabeth Janet Gray, 1938 November 4.
Jane Abbott, 1938 December 6.
Marjorie B. Paradis, 1940 January 26.
Clara Hood Rugel, 1939 July 25.
Lenora M. Weber, 1939 January 30.
Inez Haynes Irwin, 1938 October 20.
Esther Melbourne Knox, 1940 January 25.
Edith Ballinger Price, 1939 October 13.
Noel Streatfield, 1938 October 14.
Grace Noll Crowell, 1938 July 20.
Elaine V. Emans, 1940 October 23.
Helen Springs Moran, 1940 July 3.
Mark Simon Reinsberg, 1944 April 20.
Charles Wakefield Cadman, 1939 October 18.
Scope and Contents

Includes one letter and one signed photograph of Charles Wakefield Cadman. Cadman was a composer.

Sigmund Romberg, 1939 April 24.
Scope and Contents

Romberg was a composer.

Andre Kostelanetz, 1943 December 21.
Scope and Contents

Kostelanetz was a Russian-born orchestral music conductor and arranger.

Ruth King, circa 1940.
Scope and Contents

King was an American artist.

Mary Horton, circa 1940.
Chic Young, circa 1939.
Scope and Contents

Contains a signed printed illustration of Blondie, Dagwood, Baby Dumpling and their dog. Young was a cartoonist.

Sidney Bechet, 1949 December 2.
Scope and Contents

Bechet was a jazz musician and composer.

Bertita Harding, 1958 June 9.
Marian King, 1964 September 18.
George Gaynes, 1953 November 30.
Scope and Contents

Gaynes was an actor.

Farley Mowat, 1970 January 12.
Robert Franklin Leslie, circa 1970.

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