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Molly Elliot Seawell Papers

Identifier: Mss. Acc. 1995.36

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The papers of American writer Molly Elliot Seawell include personal diaries, correspondence, memoirs, photographs, news clippings, and other materials. Also included are photocopies of Seawell's business papers housed at the New York Public Library and at the Columbia University Library. The collection also contains other records from the Seawell family, mostly relating to Molly's aunt Maria Seawell Edwards, John T. Seawell and wife Isabella Josephine Brady, and Philip Hairston Seawell. The collection comprises four series: Diaries, 1900-1914; Personal Records, 1901-1916; Professional Records, 1889-1915; and Seawell Family Records, 1859-2001.


  • Creation: 1859-2001
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1889-1916


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

"Molly Elliot Seawell (October 23, 1860 Gloucester, Virginia - November 15, 1916 Washington, D. C.) was an American writer. Baptized as "Mary," Molly Elliot Seawell was born into one of the older families of English language-speaking North America and one of the first families of Virginia." (From wikipedia (7/6/2007)


0.80 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

Formerly arranged by accession. Combined with Mss. Msv D37-38 (Personal Diaries) and reorganized by series (see Scope  note for details about the series' content). Folders within series chieflty organized by type of materials and creators, following broad chronological order. Items within folders organized chronologically, but Molly Elliot Seawell's handwriting being often ambiguous, some dates are unclear.

Acquisition Information:

Purchases. Mss. Acc. 1995.36 received on 7/20/1995; Mss. Acc. 2000.45 (formerly 2000 Se9); Mss. Acc. 2000.53a received on October 13, 2000; Mss. Acc. 2001.24B received on May 11, 2001. Mss. Acc. 2010.398 is a gift of Philip Hairston Seawell, per Gene L. Hardin, 7303-B River Rd., Newport News, VA 23607.

Separated Materials:

-- 1 silver spoon engraved with Molly Elliot Seawell's name and an image of her home "The Shelter" in Gloucester, Va., is housed in the Artifacts Collection.

-- 22 books written by Molly Elliot Seawell and 2 books written by Elizabeth Gordon Biddle Gordon are housed in the Rare Books Collection. They were bequeathed by P. Hairston Seawell and can be located using the Swem Library catalog.

Processing Information:

Processed by Ellen Strong in 1995.

Guide to the Molly Elliot Seawell Papers
Finding Aid Authors: Special Collections Staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository