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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University
University Archives & Manuscripts - K-State Women
Edna Worthley Underwood (1873-1961)

Edna Worthley Underwood was a prolific writer, who wrote novels, plays, poetry, prose, short stories, and news articles. Her original works include novels The Whirlwind, The New World Trilogy; a book of essays, Songs of Dear Dead Women; two volumes of poetry, called Improvisations. She was also one of the busiest translators of her time, translating various authors' works into English. She actively published from 1911 to 1940 and was fluent in six languages. She received a gold medal for introducing the Latin poets, and a silver medal for her translations of the Mexican poets. The Latin American Institute of Culture of Buenos Aires awarded her the gold insignia for her Poets of Haiti. While in her teens, she prepared over 500 pages of manuscript for her Slav Anthology, which included Russian, Bohemian, Croatian, and Polish poets. She also translated Brazilian, Persian, Egyptian, Italian, and Chinese poets.

Source of information:

Donor file.

The Underwood Papers (1889-1946) cover the period of her most active publishing. The papers are categorized into 6 series: 1) Correspondence, 1910-44; 2) Literary Works, 1927-38; 3) Individuals, 1918-39; 4) Scrapbooks, 1905-40; 5) Notebooks, 1889-1924; and 6) Printed Material, 1895-1946. Photographs have been transferred to the photograph collection of the University Archives. The bulk of the collection consists of original works by Underwood, including poems, prose, and short stories. It also contains numerous translations done by Underwood of various authors and three plays by Underwood's husband, Robert Earl Underwood.

5 document boxes. Register. Acc. No. P 93.05