Archival Collections
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Helen Follett papers, 1919-1969 bulk 1928-1939 

Follett, Helen (Helen Thomas),
Phys. Desc: 
2.94 linear feet (2.94 linear feet 7 document boxes)
Call Number: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Biographical Note

Helen Thomas Follett was born in 1893 and was an early twentieth-century author of young adult books. Her first two books, Magic Portholes and Stars to Steer By, were based on her sailing trip to the Caribbean and the South Seas islands during the late 1920s with her teen-age daughter, Barbara. Follett advocated the use of typewriters in elementary schools as a teaching tool for young students to help learn words and form sentences. She had moderate success with her writings and had two more works published, Third-Class Ticket to Heaven and House Afire! in 1939 and 1941 respectively. She was married to Wilson Follett, an English professor and writer. They divorced in the early 1930s. They had two daughters, Barbara and Sabra. Barbara was a child prodigy author who disappeared in 1939 at the age of 25. Follett died in 1970 in New York City at the age of 76.

Scope and Contents

Helen Thomas Follett’s papers consist primarily of personal letters and business correspondence, manuscripts of published and unpublished works, publicity items for her books, newspaper clippings, photographs, and postcards. In addition, there are manuscripts, correspondence, and newspaper clippings related to her oldest daughter, Barbara Newhall Follett. Follett's papers primarily consist of personal letters, manuscripts of published and unpublished works, research materials and notes, publicity and promotional items, educational articles, photographs and postcards of her travels, and newspaper clippings. In addition, the collection contains correspondence, writings, and newspaper clippings of her daughter, Barbara Newhall Follett.