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Collection of Edith Lewis letters to Patrick Ferry

Identifier: LEWIS-1

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of letters written by Edith Lewis to Patrick Ferry, concerning the author Willa Cather and her writings.


  • 1953 - 1968


Conditions Governing Use

Materials to be used on site during regular Special Collections hours or by appointment. Photocopying or scanning may be possible at discretion of staff for a nominal fee. Materials may be protected by copyright.

Biographical / Historical

Edith Lewis was born December 22, 1882 in Lincoln, Nebraska. She graduated from Smith College in 1902, after which she returned to her hometown to teach. While living in Lincoln in 1903, she met Willa Cather, beginning a relationship that lasted nearly forty years, until Cather's death in 1947. Lewis worked as a magazine editor at McClure's Magazine,managing editor of Every Week Magazine, and an advertising copywriter at J. Walter Thompson. She served as an editor and contributor to Cather's writing process. Cather named Lewis as executor for her literary estate. In 1953, after Cather's death, Lewis published a memoir, Willa Cather Living. Edith Lewis died on August 11, 1972 and is buried beside Willa Cather in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.

Patrick J. Ferry was born December 9, 1921, in Freeland, Pennsylvania, the son of Maurice G. Ferry and Mary E. Sharkey Ferry. He had three siblings: Winifred Ferry, Mary E. Ferry, and Maurice Ferry. He attended nursing school in New Jersey and enlisted in the US Navy on June 16, 1944 as a Physician's Mate. He was discharged in June 1946. A registered nurse, Ferry worked at the West Chester Medical Center in New York City until his retirement. He died on October 19, 1996 in New York City.


6 folders.

Language of Materials



This collections is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Patrick J. Ferry and Mary E. Ferry.

Collection of Edith Lewis letters to Patrick Ferry
K. Donahue
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Colby College Special Collections Repository

Special Collections & Archives (SC&A), located in Miller Library, is the college’s repository for historically and culturally -significant materials, including the college archives. Our fabulous materials range in date from the 12th to the 21st centuries and represent a wide range of formats. We fully support Colby’s academic program and innovative pedagogies through aspirational collection development, faculty and student engagement, teaching and exhibition.