Willa Sibert Cather (1873-1947) attended the University of Nebraska and began publishing reviews and stories in local papers. She graduated in 1895 and subsequently took a position at Home Monthly magazine in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1906 she moved to New York City to join the staff of McClure’s Magazine, where she worked as managing editor until 1912. Though we associate Cather with Nebraska and the Midwest, New York became her permanent home. After 1912, she dedicated herself fully to her writing, and with her long-time companion Edith Lewis enjoyed frequent travel and a wide circle of friends. In 1923 Cather was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours.

Drew University Library’s Willa Cather Collection is an extensive collection of printed and manuscript material. The collection contains the personal library of the late Frederick B. Adams, former director of the Pierpont Morgan Library, as well as the private collection of Earl and Achsah Brewster, who shared a long friendship with Cather. The collections of Finn and Barbara Morris Caspersen and Yehudi Menuhin are the newest additions to the collection. The call numbers of each book or manuscript (as shown in the finding aid) note the name of the original collector, i.e. Adams, Brewster, Caspersen or Menuhin. The Drew University Willa Cather Collection has been made possible through the generous donations of Finn and Barbara Morris Caspersen. The collection includes books, correspondence, notes and marginalia, photographs, and ephemera.

View a finding aid of items in the Cather Collection

Search the Drew Library Catalog for books in the Willa Cather Collection

In 2005, Drew Library hosted a Cather Colloquium. The conference brochure is available online