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Anna Hempstead Branch papers

Identifier: MS-014

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of scrapbooks, correspondence, manuscripts and ephemera of the American poet Anna Hempstead Branch, manuscripts and correspondence of her mother, the children's author Mary Bolles Branch, and correspondence of family members who lived in the Hempstead Houses in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


  • 1712 - 1995


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical History

Anna Hempstead Branch was born in New London in 1875 to the poet Mary Lidia Bolles Branch and her husband John Locke Branch. Though she spent much of her youth in New York City where her father practiced law, Anna maintained a strong attachment to the city of her birth. This was due in no small part to her ancestry, which included many of the most prominent families of Southeast Connecticut, and her family homestead, the Hempstead Houses, among the oldest houses in Connecticut.

Because there was as yet no women's college in New London, Anna left home for Smith College in 1893. Though she made some attempts at writing in publishing prior to college, it was at Smith that she began to devote herself to poetry. In 1898 she won a competition held by Century Magazine for the best poem by a recent college graduate. She followed this success with regular publication in national magazines. Her first of four collections was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1901.

Anna lived much of her life in New York City where she participated in literary life and volunteered at the Lower East Side settlement house, Christodora House. There she formed the Poets' Guild to teach classes, form writing groups, and encourage the residents of the area tenements in their poetic efforts. She brought in other poets to support the Guild, including Pulitzer prize winners E.A. Robinson, Margaret Widdimer, and William Rose Benét.


4.793 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Correspondence, ephemera, scrapbooks and manuscripts of the American poet Anna Hempstead Branch and correspondence of the residents of the Hempstead Houses.


The collection is organized into five series:

Series I: Manuscripts Series II: Correspondence Series III: International Poets Association and Hempstead House Series IV: Christodora House publications Seris V: Unbound Anthologies publications

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquisitions source and date unknown.

Processed By

Benjamin Panciera

Guide to the Anna Hempstead Branch papers
J. Ishee (2023)
c.2009, 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04: Revised and migrated into ArchivesSpace by Rose Oliveira, Lear Staff, and Christian Salguero, student assistant.
  • 2023-10: Revised and updated collection and ArchivesSpace entries by J. Ishee

Repository Details

Part of the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives Repository

Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave
New London CT 06320 United States