Skip to main content

Poets Garden records

Identifier: 0110

  • Staff Only
  • Select an item to initiate a request

Scope and Content

The records of Poets Garden contain Ruth Le Prade's personal papers, those of her friends she considered part of the Poets Garden, a small section on Eugene Debs (who died before the Garden was established as such), and publications collected either by Le Prade or one of the Garden's other members. Le Prade’s personal papers include her correspondence with people not individually represented at the series level in the collection, financial records, typescript and manuscript drafts of her works (both prose and poetry, published and unpublished), her manuscript notes, scrapbooks, photographs and newspaper and periodical clippings. The records for the people named at the series level generally include their correspondence both to and from Ruth Le Prade. However, they may also include any combination of the following: typescript and manuscript drafts, correspondence with people other than Le Prade, correspondence to or from Le Prade about the series’s namesake, clippings by, about or collected by the series’s namesake, photographs, awards, plaques and scrapbooks.


  • Creation: 1876-1971

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Historical Note

Edwin Markham dedicated the Poets Garden, located in Ruth Le Prade's backyard at 1622 S. Spaulding Street, in April 1927 with the planting of a sycamore tree called the Song Tree in honor of Ruth Le Prade and a wisteria tree for Peace. Between 1927 and Le Prade's death in 1969, other trees were planted in honor of poets and literary figures, including a Gingko tree to honor the Chinese poet Moon Kwan, an oak tree for Chaucer and trees honoring William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling and Edwin Markham. There were also trees in the Poets Garden dedicated to Jesus, the Divine Mother (Mary) and Brotherhood. The slogan of the Garden was "Bread, Beauty and Brotherhood." Le Prade hosted events at Christmas and Markham's birthday every year in the garden, and many of the people represented in this collection were attendees of these events.

However, the Poets Garden was not just a physical garden. It also consisted of Ruth Le Prade's circle of acquaintances, friends and correspondents, most of whom were writers and/or poets. Le Prade kept much of her correspondence with "members" of the Poets Garden (there was, however, no official membership). In some cases, most notably Gordon Norris and Robert Whitaker, Le Prade received the papers and correspondence of her friends to add to her collection. Beginning in 1953, Le Prade began to donate most of her collection (both books and paper records) to the University of Southern California. She also gave a collection documenting Florence Hamilton's relationship with Edwin Markham to the Library of Congress in 1953.


104 Linear Feet (103 boxes, 1 map-case folder)


The Poets Garden records contains publications, letters, diaries, and memorabilia of the literary group created by Los Angeles poet Ruth Le Prade. The collection also contains materials relating to the poet Edwin Markham (1852-1940) and the labor and socialist activist Eugene Debs.


The Poets Garden records are organized into 26 series. 25 of the series reflect Ruth Le Prade's original arrangement of the collection and are based on specific people. These series contain the correspondence both to and from Ruth Le Prade with these people, along with any other files Le Prade created or received from them. The last series consists of the publications found throughout the collection. The series of the Poets Garden records are:

1. Ruth Le Prade

2. Edwin Markham

3. Florence Hamilton

4. Alzire Adrienne "Faith" Chevaillier

5. Eugene Debs

6. Robert Whitaker

7. Guy Bogart

8. Genevieve Farnell Bond

9. Verne Bright

10. Grace Bush

11. Ethelean Tyson Gaw

12. Moon Kwan

13. Seumas MacManus

14. Eric Mayne

15. Juanita Miller

16. Angela Morgan

17. Dion O'Donnol

18. Gordon Norris

19. Ruth Clay Price (Ruth Price Simpson)

20. Adeline de Walt "Grandma" Reynolds

21. Luther Standing Bear

22. John Milton Scott

23. Ruth Forbes Sherry

24. Selman Warren Stone

25. Lucia Trent

26. Publications

Related Archival Materials

USC Cinematic Arts Library Collection no. 2137, Adeline De Walt Reynolds Papers.

Edwin Markham Papers, Library of Congress.

Florence Hamilton Collection Relating to Edwin Markham, Library of Congress.

The Edwin Markham Library and Manuscripts Collection, Wagner College, Staten Island, New York.

The Cornelius Greenway Collection of Edwin Markham Papers (MS 74-17), Wichita State University.

Joaquin and Juanita Miller Collection (H2007.4), Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, Libraries of The Claremont Colleges.


Poets Garden records 0110
Rebecca Hirsch, Anna Clark and Sarah Guidas
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

Revision Statements

  • 2021 May: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub: created new container records (listed under "Unprocessed material") after finding unprocessed boxes during Grand Archives stacks shelf-reading.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States