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Katherine Gordon Brinley Papers

Identifier: Katherine Gordon Brinley papers

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, notes, programs, and recordings of performances. The bulk of the collection comprises correspondence spanning the 1920s. The collection also contains programs spanning the decades of the Chaucer performances held in the United States and abroad spanning the 1920s and 1930s. The collection contains manuscripts from Brinley’s travel books, notes on manuscripts, as well as notes and sketches of costumes for performances. It also contains several boxes of programs and several .45 records of performances given by Brinley as she reenacts Chaucer’s poetry.


  • Creation: 1919 - 1985


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 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 our 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

Gordon Brinley (1878-1966) was a writer and American performer who dressed-up in period costumes to give dramatic performances of Chaucer’s poetry around the country beginning in 1921. She also penned travel books beginning in 1934, and was a part of the National League of American Pen Women becoming President of the Connecticut Branch. She married (Daniel) Putnam Brinley (1879-1963) in 1904; an artist involved in the Silvermine Art Colony in New Canaan, Connecticut that of which produced notable collaborations between theater, artists, and writers. The Silvermine Art Colony produced such collaborations as the Silvermine Sillies; a series of cartoons commenting on themes ranging from Nazism to nationalism and white power during the interwar period in the 20th century. Brinley resided in New Canaan, Connecticut. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, educated at the Low-Heywood School in Stamford, Connecticut, attended St. Mary’s School in Peekskill, New York, and resided in Paris for four years before marrying Putnam Brinley.


4 Cubic Feet : 16 flat boxes

Language of Materials



This collection contains materials related to (Katherine) Gordon Brinley (1878-1966) who went by the stage name Gordon Brinley. Brinley performed Chaucerian poetry in period dress beginning in 1921 and running until 1957. She also published guidebooks for travel, acting as the National League of American Pen Women’s Connecticut Branch President in 1934. Brinley married artist Daniel (Putnam) Brinley (1879-1963) in 1904, living in New Canaan, Connecticut for most of her life. This collection contains her correspondence, original manuscripts, notes and sketches for her performances, as well as other various ephemera such as programs, newspaper clippings, and records primarily spanning the 1920s to 1930s.


There are three series in the collection: Series I: Correspondence Series II: Manuscripts and accompanying notes Series III: Various Ephemera including Programs, Recordings, and Newspaper Clippings.

Series are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift of Mrs. Albert Loder Jr. (Acquisition no. 24).

Katherine Gordon Brinley papers
Michelle C. Sigiel
July 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Watkinson Library - Archival Collections Repository

Trinity College Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford Connecticut 06106