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Vivian Aten Long papers, 1911-1968

Ms. Collection No. 13

 

Introduction

Abstract

This collection includes the letters, diaries, manuscripts, notes and published clippings of Vivian Aten Long. Her diary covers childhood and adulthood, covering her daily activities and thoughts on friends, loves, teaching, writing, and more. Also included is the diary of her father when he attended seminary. Her personal papers and notes include such things as her teaching certificate, grade cards, and a wedding invitation. There are 3 folders of published short stories and poetry, clipped from magazines and newspapers. Long wrote both adult and children’s literature; genres include poetry, short stories, and article - length creative non-fiction. Also included is the 1862 diary of her father, Aaron Prince Aten. Correspondents include Margaret Hill McCarter, William Allen White, May Belleville Brown, and various publishers.

Dates

1911-1968

Quantity

2 ft. (6 boxes)

Creator

Long, Vivian Aten, b. 1885

Title

Vivian Aten Long papers

Identification

Ms. Coll. 13

Language

English

Notes

This finding aid describes materials held by the Kansas Historical Society. Materials may be used in the State Archives and Library during regular research hours. Support for telephone, mail, and online reference and research is limited.

In a continuing effort to improve the completeness and accuracy of finding aids, revisions are made as more or new information becomes available. Consequently finding aids in paper format, on microfilm, and on the society’s web site may differ slightly.

Repository

Kansas Historical Society (Topeka)

Biography

Vivan Aten Long was born on July 10, 1885, in Abingdon, Illinois, to parents Aaron and Emma (Crawford) Aten. She graduated from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, in 1911. She taught school in Nebraska until she married Charles Long on April 7, 1912. Known primarily for her literary work, she wrote adult and juvenile serials, short stories, poems, plays, and articles for more than 60 publications. She and Charles moved to Salina, Kansas, in 1929 and in 1931 moved to Abilene, Kansas. She lived in Abilene until her death on August 15, 1968.

Scope and Content

The Correspondence, 1911 – 1968 (series A), consists of letters to and from Vivian Aten Long. It includes records of payments received for her stories and poems as well as acceptance and rejection letters from publications. It also contains personal letters covering such topics as her day - to - day activities and her thoughts on her writing career. Folder 3 includes letters regarding her father’s pension and care in old age. Correspondents include William Allen White (folder 1), her parents, and May Belleville Brown (folder 3).

The Margaret Hill McCarter Letters (series B), are from that famous Kansas author. They encompass two folders and span from 1910 to 1935. Topics include friendship, friends and aquantances; writing; daily activities; Kansas politics; and personal thoughts. Prominent figures mentioned include William Allen White. Letters from the 1930s include references to hardships of the Depression.

Notes on History (series C) contains news clippings, interviews, and typed reminisces from a variety of people. Most are background notes for the manuscript “They Came to Abilene.” Her own thoughts on writing “They Came to Abilene” are included as well. The file also contains newsclippings on Calamity Jane’s daughter; thoughts on Margaret Hill McCarter; a hand - drawn map, perhaps of Abilene; and notes on how the Great Depression affected Long.

The collection also contains the Diary of Vivian Aten Long (series D). It was written throughout her life and covers childhood and adulthood, but the notebooks are not in chronological order. The diary includes autobiographies written at various points in her life, personal expense accounts, gift lists, accounts of daily activities, thoughts on teaching and writing, reflections on her loves, school activities, her mood (“it’s always high on the mountains or low in the valleys”), and similar personal feelings. As a general rule, her diary is both introspective and descriptive. Folder 14 contains the diary of her father, Aaron Prince Aten, at Rochester Theological Seminary (now Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School) (Rochester, N.Y.), 1862.

The series (E) titled “Vivian Aten Long Papers” contains brief biographies of Long, drawings by Long, her teaching certificate, grade cards, family papers, physiology drawings (age 13), sketches, her wedding invitation, a class photo (age 10), the family register, grade cards, an account on life insurance by husband Charles Long, transcripts of letters, a photo of her son Richard and papers from his appointment as assistant curator of the U.S. Marine Corps Museum (now the National Museum of the Marine Corps) (Quantico, Va.), the story “Was a Minister’s Daughter,” poetry, photos, and notes from friends.

The series Unpublished Poetry (F) and Unpublished Prose (G) contain the poems and prose of Vivian Aten Long in draft or submitted, but unpublished, form.

The two series Published Poetry (H) and Published Prose (I) contain her published poetry and published prose clipped from magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Long wrote for children as well as for adults. Her prose is primarily article - length creative non-fiction essays and short stories, though there are some longer, manuscript length stories, such as the historical, creative, non-fiction “They Came to Abilene.”

Contents List

Organization of the Papers

Collection no. 13. Organized into 9 series reflecting the type of material.

Contents: Ser. A. Correspondence, 1911-1968 (folders 1-9) - ser. B. Margaret Hill McCarter letters, 1910-1935 (folders 10-11) - ser. C. Notes on history (folder 12) - ser. D. Diary (folders 13-14) - ser. E. Vivan Aten Long papers (folder 15) - ser. F. Unpublished poetry (folders 16-24) - ser. G. Unpublished prose (folders 25-41) - ser. H. Published poetry (folder 42) - ser. I. Published prose (folders 43-44).

 

 

 

Series Descriptions

Correspondence consists of letters to and from Vivian Aten Long. It includes payments received for her stories and poems as well as acceptance and rejection letters from publications. It also contains personal letters covering such topics as her day to day activities and her thoughts on her writing career. Folder three includes letters regarding her father’s pension and care in old age. Correspondents include William Allen White (folder 1), her parents, and May Belleville Brown (folder 3). Margaret Hill McCarter Letters are letters from Margaret Hill McCarter. They encompass two folders and span from 1910 to 1935. Topics include friendship, friends and aquantances; writing; daily activities; Kansas politics; and personal thoughts. Prominent figures mentioned include William Allen White. Letters from the 1930s include references to hardships of the Depression. Notes on History contains news clippings, interviews, and typed reminisces from a variety of people. Most are background notes for the manuscript “They Came to Abilene.” Her own thoughts on writing “They Came to Abilene” are included as well. The file also contains news clippings on Calamity Jane’s daughter, thoughts on Margaret Hill McCarter, a hand - drawn map (of Abilene?), and notes on how the Great Depression affected Long. The collection also contains the Diary of Vivian Aten Long. It was written throughout her life and covers childhood and adulthood, but the notebooks are not in chronological order. The diary includes autobiographies written at various points in her life, personal expense accounts, gift lists, accounts of daily activities, thoughts on teaching and writing, reflections on her loves, school activities, her mood (“it’s always high on the mountains or low in the valleys”), and similar material. As a general rule, her diary is both introspective and descriptive. Folder 14 contains diary of her father, A. P. Aten at Rochester Theological Seminary (now Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School) (Rochester, N.Y.), 1862. The Vivian Aten Long Papers series contains brief biographies of Long, drawings by Long, her teaching certificate, grade cards, family papers, physiology drawings (age 13), sketches, her wedding invitation, a class photo (age 10), the family register, grade cards, an account on life insurance by husband Charles Long, transcripts of letters, a photo of her son Richard and papers from his appointment as Assistant Curator of the U.S. Marine Corps Museum (now the National Museum of the Marine Corps) (Quantico, Va.), the story “Was a Minister’s Daughter,” poetry, photos, and notes from friends.

Unpublished poetry and Unpublished Prose contains the poems and prose of Vivian Aten Long in their draft or submitted (but unpublished) form. Published Poetry and Published Prose contains her published poetry and prose clipped from magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Long wrote for children as well as for adults. Her prose is primarily article length creative non-fiction essays and short stories, though there are some longer, manuscript length stories such as the historical, creative non-fiction “They Came to Abilene.”

Detailed Description of the Collection

Archival records are typically organized by series, a group of records that has a common element or function and a distinct organizational structure of its own, for example Correspondence Files, arranged chronologically, or Registers of Military Enlistments, arranged by regiment. Within series, records may be further organized by subseries, such as Letters Received within the series Correspondence Files; or arranged into volumes; folders; or items.

Folder List

Box
Folder
Content
1
 
Correspondence, 1911-1968
 
1
1911-1916
 
2
1921-1929
 
3
1930-1934
 
4
1935-1939
 
5
1940-1944
 
6
1945-1949
 
7
1950-1959
 
8
1960-1968
 
9
no date
2.
 
Margaret Hill McCarter letters, 1910-1935
 
10
dated
 
11
Undated and partial
 
12
Notes on History
 
13
Diary, no in chronological order
 
14
Diary, no in chronological order
 
15
Vivian Aten Long Papers
3.
16
Unpublished poetry
 
17
Unpublished poetry
 
18
Unpublished poetry
 
19
Unpublished poetry
 
20
Unpublished poetry
 
21
Unpublished poetry
 
22
Unpublished poetry
 
23
Unpublished poetry
 
24
Unpublished poetry
4.
 
Unpublished Prose
 
25
“The Claim,” “Spelling Romance in Room Four,” “A Welcome Boomerang,,” “Imperishable Fragment,” “Victorian Poets Could Be Funny Too!,” “Teacher! Teacher!,” “Goodbye to Santa,” “Pansy Blossome and the Apostle,” “Clothes - And Other Things,” “Boxes and Brushes,” “Feathers and Fur,” “Topsy Turvy,” “Goldie Swims In,” “Billy Bob Finds a Pal”
 
26
“April for a Year,” “The Historic Mistletoe,” “The Better Fate,” “How I Write My Poetry,” “A Beret More Marilbel,” “Kearney Takes a Hand,” “All from Discarded Leather,” “Letters from the Men I didn’t Marry,” “Lone Religious Society Is Unique,” “Some Interesting Names,” “Love, Grace and Beauty,” “How to Accept Later Years Gracefully,” “Teacher! Teacher!,” “Chicago Honeymoon,” “Husbands for the Sims Girls,” “The Time I ‘Shot’ Indians,” “Cashing in on Self Advertisement,” “Soliloquy,” “Soliloquies of a Flapper”
 
27
“Ike’s Town Invited the World,” “How a Southern Garden Grew,” “Any Town Can Have One,” “I Edited a Free Newspaper,” “Fashions in Heroes Change,” “Higgledy-Piggledy Place,” “Little Girl of the Sixties,” “Our First Radio Brought Bethlehem,” “The Part my Ancestors Played in the Building of America,” “Precarious Legacy,” “Thanks, Aunt Allie,” “Eating up the Miles,” “The Storm,” “Two Swear Off,” “Variously Yours, Joanne,” “The Tale of the Lincoln-McCoy Frock-Coat,” “By the name of Smith,” “How and Why Abilene, Kansas was Named,” “The Bible Mentions Abilene”
 
28
“Precarious Legacy,” “Even January Claims The Snowdrop,” “Tom Rillington, Copoke,” “Calamity Jane Was a Gourmet?,” “The Daughter of Calamity and Wild Bill Hickok,” “The President’s Grandfather,” “A letter from the General,” “History of the First Christian Church of Abilene, Kansas,” “Elephant Needles Donkey,” “Her Swell Brother,” “The Burning Church,” “How They Made the Brass Ring Smile,” “A Troublous Story,” “The Baker’s Choice,” “A Day of Damsels,” “And He Put in Hist Thumb,” “Impossible, But True,” “Marge Hated Scenes,” “Fish for Supper,” “Finding Mrs. Santa Claus,” “The Bible Mentions Abilene,” “Fred Forgets,” “When White was Black”
 
29
“Midget TidBits,” “A Musical Joke,” “Big No’s and Littls No’s,” “Brethren in Christ Hold National Convention in Rural Church,” “What’s more Fun Than Children?,” “Bibliography, They All Come to Abilene,” “Dickinson County’s Indian Battle,” “Apologies to Our President,” “The President’s Grandfather Trekked West,” “Legacy to Our President,” “Fashions in Heroes Change,” “Elephant Needles Donkey,” “A School of Firsts,” “Dreams Fulfilled,” “The Rest-Cure,” “The Mirror,” “Wigs is Wigs,” “Where Are Your Accusers?,” “Johny Decides”
 
30
“The Way I Do It,” “A Sketch of the Life of A Pioneer,” “My Phony Excuse,” “Camay Contest Entry,” “Gold O’Dreams,” “What Skelgae Would Mean to Me,” “Untitled,” “Goldie Swims In,” “Kid Days,” “Being a Japanese Lady,” “Little Wanderers in the Gobi,” “Nina Drives with Doctor-Dad,” “Goslings,” “New Tablets,” “The Land of Eats,” “Toodles the Unwise,” “Borrowers,” “Fears in Dunce Caps,” “The Soul Mother,” “The Gathering of the Cliches,” “The Vine and the Bush,” “A Deal in Diamonds”
5.
 
 
 
31
Post Grad Summer
 
32
Little Gan’Ma Stories
 
33
They All Came to Abilene
 
34
They All Came to Abilene
 
35
They All Came to Abilene
 
36
They All Came to Abilene
6.
 
 
 
37
The Hole in the Attic Wall
 
38
Variously Yours Joanne
 
39
Cam Changes
 
40
Tumbleweed Town
 
41
Rhyming Robinsons
 
42
Published Poetry
 
43
Published Prose
 
44
Published Prose
 
45
Published Prose
 
46
Published Prose

Related Records and Collections

Brown, May Belleville: multiple holdings, please check catalogs at the Kansas Historical Society

McCarter, Margaret Hill

  • Johnston, Lucy Browne manuscript collection, no. 61 (Margaret Hill McCarter letters)
  • Libraries history collection, no. 615 (Traveling libraries: history of the movement in Kansas)
  • Scott, Charles F., manuscript collection, no. 71 (Margaret Hill McCarter letters)

Ware, Eugene Fitch, collection, no. 86 (Abby Ware Nies Collection: Poems and Prose)

White, William Allen: multiple holdings, please check catalogs at the Kansas Historical Society

Other Aten family holdings are at the Disciples of Christ Historical Society (Nashville, Tenn.)

Other Finding Aid

Copies of this finding aid are available in the Kansas Historical Society’s State Archives & Library.

Index Terms

Persons

Aten, Aaron Prince, 1839-1932. (subject and co-author)
Long, Vivian Aten, b. 1885.
McCarter, Margaret Hill, 1860-1938. (subject and co-author)
White, William Allen, 1868-1944. (subject and co-author)

Corporate Names

Disciples of Christ-Clergy.

Geographic Names

Abilene (Kan.)
Kansas-History.
Kansas-History-Juvenile literature.

Subjects

American literature-Women authors.
American literature-Kansas-Abilene.
American poetry-Women authors.
American poetry-Kansas-Abilene.

Document Types

Manuscripts, American-Kansas.

Occupations

Authors, American-Kansas-Abilene.
Poets, American-Kansas-Abilene.
Teachers-Nebraska.

Additional Information for Researchers

Restrictions on Access

None

Restrictions on Use

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this collection may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights derive from the principle of common law, affirmed in the copyright law of 1976 as amended, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right; the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of a user or his or her publisher to secure the permission of the owner of literary property rights in unpublished writing.

At the time of donation, no mention was made about copyright by either the donor or the Kansas State Historical Society. Consequently, literary rights presumably belong to the heirs or assigns of Vivian Aten Long.

Preferred Citation

Citations should include Vivian Aten Long ms. collection, no. 13, Kansas Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Gift: Estate of Vivian A. Long, 1968.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Elizabeth Shirley, Lela Barnes intern, 2008.

Accruals

No additions to the collection are expected.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some brittle paper; please handle with care. Diaries (ser. D) have insect damage.