Skip to main content

Martha Linsley Spencer Papers

Identifier: Martha L. Spencer papers

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a range of material types including manuscripts, correspondence, and articles created by Martha Linsley Spencer (1875-1954), resident and poet of Hartford, Connecticut. Manuscript writings include poems, holographs (both original and preservation photocopies), as well as typed prose and unsorted notes from throughout her career as a writer. The collection also houses two proofs of her published work "Remembered Years, Collected Poems", with one containing holograph manuscript pages. Correspondence includes letters regarding her work and personal life, as well as her communication with other notable poets such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Wallace Stevens, and W.B. Yeats. Other files within the collection are related to specific poetry groups and publications from the Hartford area which Spencer was a part of (i.e. the Poetry Club of Hartford and Connecticut Troubadour), and materials from various individuals organized and collected by Spencer herself. Also collected by Spencer are periodicals and articles (both related and unrelated to her work), as well as miscellaneous papers, manuscript notes, and ephemera relating to The Poetry Club of Hartford, "The Poet's Corner" column, and her position as poetry editor of the Hartford Times.


  • Circa late 1800s-mid 1900s


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the John M.K. Davis Reading Room of the Watkinson Library, Trinity College Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws when using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital surrogates may be provided to researchers, in accordance with the duplication policy of the Watkinson Library. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder. Archival materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information (e.g. social security numbers) in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical / Historical

Martha Linsley Spencer was born October 28, 1875, to Connecticut residents George Francis Spencer and Esther Ann Linsley. Throughout her career as a writer, she served as editor to The Hartford Times' poetry column, "Poet's Corner", and also as Chairperson of the program committee for the Poetry Club of Hartford. Her career in poetry allowed her to correspond with other notable writers of the period such as Edna St. Vicent Millay and W.B. Yeats. In addition to writing for The Hartford Times, her short story titled "Nutmegs are Wooden", a tale of how Connecticut became known as the Nutmeg State, was published in Yankee Magazine in April 1947. Her only published book of poetry, "Remembered Years, Collected Poems" (Hartford, Conn.: Press of Finlay Bros.), which was limited to 500 copies, was printed after her death in 1954. She was then 79 years old.


17 Cubic Feet (17 flat archival boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged by material type. There are 9 series: Series I: Manuscript writings Series II: Proofs Series III: Printed works Series IV: Correspondence Series V: Files related to specific poetry groups and publications Series VI: Files related to individuals Series VII: Periodicals and articles collected by Spencer Series VIII: Ephemera Series IX: Miscellaneous

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a donation of Mrs. Leon Hart in memory of her sister, Martha L. Spencer, in 1957.

Related Materials

Printed Works Johnston, Margaret Thompson. A tribute to Martha Linsley Spencer, Connecticut poet. Hartford: Press of Finlay Brothers, 1956.

Spencer, Martha Linsley 1875-1954. Remebered years: collected poems. Hartford, Conn.: Finlay Bros, 1954.


Spencer, Martha Linsley. "Nutmegs are Wooden". Yankee Magazine, April 1947. Spencer, Martha Linsley. Remembered Years, collected poems. Hartford, Connecticut: Finlay Brothers Press, 1954. Trinity College, "Martha Linsley Spencer Collection" (1999). Watkinson Manuscripts Finding Aids. 24.
Guide to the Martha Linsley Spencer papers
Jessica Sullivan, using a Microsoft-Word finding aid originally prepared for electronic publication by Michael J. Breen in July 1999.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Watkinson Library - Archival Collections Repository

Trinity College Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford Connecticut 06106