Aline Kilmer / Eleanor Gould Correspondence

Biographical Note

This collection contains family photographs and correspondence written to Eleanor Gould by Aline Kilmer and her literary executor, Robert Cortes Holliday. Eleanor Lois Antonia Gould (later Packard) was born in Newark, N.Y. in 1917 and grew up in East Palestine, Ohio before attending Oberlin College. In 1945 she began work as a copy-editor at The New Yorker. She was quickly recognized for covering galley proofs in queries and suggested corrections. Her employers eventually created the title of “Grammarian” for the incredibly talented editor. Since her retirement from The New Yorker in 1999, her name has become a verb for the staff and writers, proofs at the publication are not simply edited or revised, they are “goulded.” Her professional papers, including letters to her from E.B. White, J.D. Salinger, and others, can be found at the New York Public Library.

Aline Murray Kilmer was an American poet, children’s book author, and essayist. She was also the wife of poet and journalist Joyce Kilmer. Born in Virginia, Kilmer was educated at Rutgers College grammar school in New Jersey, where she would remain for the rest of her life. Kilmer began publishing poetry only after the death of her husband in World War I in 1918. She published four volumes of poetry, two children’s books, and one collection of essays from 1919-1929.

Scope and Content

Gould began her correspondence with Aline Kilmer when she was only 15 years old. The collection includes a series of letters written to Gould from American poet Aline Kilmer and her literary executor Robert Cortes Holliday, which date from 1931 to 1943.

These letters will give the reader a sense of country and suburban life during the Great Depression along with the prevailing literary, cultural, medical, economic, and religious attitudes and the language used to express them.

Manuscripts generously donated by Susan H. Packard.

Processed by Kenneth Guay, February 2017

AKEG Series 1 - Correspondence

Series Folder Title Notes
1 1 Letters from Aline Kilmer to Eleanor Gould Packard, 1931 - 1934 March 2 letters from 1931, 3 letters from 1932, 19 letters from 1933, and 11 letters from 1934.
1 2 Letters from Aline Kilmer to Eleanor Gould Packard, 1934 April – 1937 April 18 letters from 1934, 12 letters from 1935, 16 letters from 1936, and 6 letters from 1937.
1 3 Letters from Aline Kilmer to Eleanor Gould Packard, 1937 May – 1941 11 from 1937, 18 from 1938, 15 from 1939, 6 from 1940, and 9 from 1941.
1 4 Letters from Robert Cortes Holliday to Eleanor Gould Packard, n.d., 1936, 1940-1943 4 no date, 2 from 1936, 57 from 1941, 43 from 1942, and 11 from 1943.
1 5 Damaged Letters – Series 1, Damaged Miscellaneous 1 from 1931, 1 from 1932, 23 not dated, 10 from 1942, 11 from 1943. Scanned and integrated into Correspondence folders 1-4.
1 6 Misc Letters, 1934 - 1966 n.d., 1932, 1934, 1939, 1940-43, 1966

AKEG Series 2 - Photographs

Series Folder Title Notes
2 1 Photographs of Aline Kilmer, n.d., 1920-1949 Includes two photographs of the poet’s house.
2 2 Photographs of Eleanor Gould, 1941  
2 3 Photographs of Aline Kilmer’s Family, n.d., 1920s-1940s  
2 4 Photographs of Eleanor Gould, 1960s  
2 5 Photographs of Aline Kilmer’s Family, 1960s  

AKEG Series 3 - Clippings

Series Folder Title Notes
3 1 Newspaper Clippings, n.d.  
Archival materials from the Raynor Memorial Libraries

Marquette Archives