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Fannie Hardy Eckstorm Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0158

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, writings, speeches and research files of Fannie Hardy Eckstorm. The correspondence is both personal and professional and includes items from prominent people in the fields of folklore, balladry, Indian studies and Maine history. Eckstorm's journals, notebooks and research material on ballads, Indian languages and legends and Indian place names in Maine are also included. The collection also contains papers of Jonathan T. Hardy, Manly Hardy, Charlotte W. Hardy and Walter Hardy.


  • Creation: 1865-1946


Access Restrictions

Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Use Restrictions

Information on literary rights available in the repository.

Biographical Note : Fannie Hardy Eckstorm

Fannie Hardy Eckstorm (FHE) was born on June 18, 1865, in Brewer, Maine, the daughter of Manly Hardy and Emmeline Wheeler Hardy. The oldest of six children, she attended the public schools in Brewer and Abbott Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. She graduated from Smith College in 1888. After graduation she served as superintendent of schools in Brewer, becoming the first woman in Maine to act in that capacity. She then went to work in the book department of the D.C. Heath Publishing Company in Boston.

In 1893 she married Rev. Jacob A. Eckstorm of Chicago. For a short time the Eckstorms lived in Oregon City, Oregon, where Jacob was pastor of St. Paul’s Church. They then moved to Eastport, Maine, and later to Providence, R.I., living there until Jacob Eckstorm’s death in 1899. The Eckstorms had two children: Katharine Hardy Eckstorm, born in 1894, and Paul F. Eckstorm, born in 1896.

In 1900 Fannie Eckstorm and her two children moved back to Brewer to a house on Wilson Street near her family. In 1901 her daughter Katharine died there at age seven. Despite the loss of her husband and daughter within such a short time, Eckstorm continued her studies of Maine Indians, folklore and natural history. She drew on the knowledge and experience she had gained on trips to the woods with her father prior to her marriage as well as her personal acquaintance with Indians and woodsmen. In the 1947 Class Letter of Smith College, Fannie’s sister Charlotte wrote, “ From childhood Fannie was more interested in books and nature than in domestic things. She was a companion to Father, who was a naturalist and ornithologist … After she graduated from Smith she went on long trips in the woods with Father, and from these gained information which led to her writing …”

Fannie Hardy Eckstorm was recognized as an authority in her fields of interest throughout her life. As early as 1886 she became one of the first women admitted as an associate member of the American Ornithologists Union. In 1936 she received an honorary degree from the University of Maine and in 1946 was made an Honorary Member of the New Brunswick Museum in Canada, the only woman to achieve that honor. She was a founder and vice-president of the Folk-Song Society of the Northeast and aimed to collect and preserve all types of folksongs found in Maine. She often spoke at clubs and organizations in the Bangor area and was active in various civic organizations. She was one of the founders of the public library in Brewer and was an honorary member of the Maine Historical Society.

Fannie Hardy Eckstorm wrote extensively, publishing The Woodpeckers in 1900 and The Bird Book in 1901. Other books followed shortly, including Penobscot Man in 1904 and David Libbey: Penobscot Woodsman and River-Driver, published in 1907. She also corresponded and collaborated with many anthropologists, folklorists and historians throughout the country. In the 1920’s her interest in the folk songs and ballads of the Maine woods led to her work with Helen Hartness Flanders, Marguerite Olney and Joanna Colcord, and to a collaboration with Mary Winslow Smyth in writing Minstrelsy of Maine, published in 1927, and with Smyth and Phillips Barry in writing British Ballads from Maine, published in 1929. A growing interest in Indian nomenclature and history led to the publication in 1941 of Indian Place-Names of the Penobscot Valley and the Maine Coast, and Old John Neptune and Other Maine Indian Shamans in 1945. She also wrote for magazines such as Forest and Stream, Sprague’s Journal of Maine History and The Northern and published articles and book reviews in The New England Quarterly, the Atlantic Monthly and other publications and newspapers.

Fannie Hardy Eckstorm died on December 31, 1946 at age 81. She had remained in the same house in Brewer since moving there in 1900. Active in scholarly endeavors until the end of her life, a few days before her last illness Fannie told her sister Charlotte that she had nearly completed all the work she had planned for herself during her life.

Biographical Note : Manly Hardy

Manly Hardy was born on November 11, 1832, in Hampden, Maine, the only child of Jonathan Titcomb Hardy and Catherine Sears Atwood Hardy. The family moved to Brewer, Maine, when Manly was four, and he remained there for the rest of his life. He became a fur buyer and dealer, maintaining one of the most extensive fur businesses in Maine. He also spent much time in the woods of Maine, acquiring great knowledge of woods lore and spending time with other men familiar with the wilderness. In 1861 he was the assistant naturalist on the Maine State Scientific Survey. He began to mount birds and assembled a collection of some 3,300 U.S. birds. He also wrote extensively about the Maine woods, Indians, and mammals. He married Emmeline Freeman Wheeler on December 24, 1862. They had six children: Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, Catherine Atwood Hardy Bates, Annie Eliza Hardy Eckstorm, Manly Willis Hardy, who lived less than two years, and twins Charlotte W. Hardy and Walter M. Hardy. Manly Hardy died on December 9, 1910.

Biographical Note : Jonathan Titcomb Hardy

Jonathan Titcomb Hardy, the father of Manly Hardy and the grandfather of Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, was born in Pelham, New Hampshire, in 1803 and came to Maine in 1811, living in Hampden until 1835. He married Catherine Sears Atwood Hardy, and they had one child, Manly Hardy. In 1835 the Hardy family moved to Brewer, where Jonathan Hardy was a businessman involved in shipping, lumbering, timberlands and the fur business. Jonathan Hardy died in August, 1864.

Biographical Note : Walter M. Hardy

Walter M. Hardy, artist, writer, apple grower and son of Manly Hardy, was born in Brewer on February 9, 1877. He graduated from Bangor High School in 1896 and spent a year at the University of Maine before transferring to the Art Students League in New York City. After completing courses there he also studied in Paris, England, and Italy. He was interested in birds and other wildlife and after his return to the U.S. did illustrations of birds and animals for various publications. He also illustrated some of the articles written by his father. In 1911 he bought a farm in Holden, Maine, where he planted a large apple orchard. He raised and sold apples there until his death on September 17, 1933.


10.6 cubic feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection contains correspondence, writings, speeches and research files of Fannie Hardy Eckstorm. Eckstorm's journals, notebooks and research material on ballads, Indian languages and legends and Indian place names in Maine are also included.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged in three series: I. Papers of Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, II. Papers of Hardy family members, and III. Material about the collection. Series I and II are sub-divided into several sub-series. After FHE’s death, the collection was purchased by the Bangor Public Library from Charlotte W. Hardy in 1947. It appears to have received extensive arrangement and description there before it was transferred by order of the Library Board of Trustees to Fogler Library in 1974. After its arrival at Fogler the collection was filmed and a set of microfiche produced for public use. An extensive inventory, which also served as an index to the microfiche, was prepared by Fogler Library staff. The inventory contained a synopsis of each piece of correspondence as well as of other material in the collection. In preparing this finding aid, the processing archivist retained much of that detail. Although a different order has been imposed on the collection, the box and folder numbers from the original inventory are given in parentheses after each item in the Box List which follows. These numbers serve as an index to the microfiche and have previously been cited in publications about the collection.

Series I, Papers of FHE, is arranged in 12 sub-series. Sub-series 1, Incoming correspondence, is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The letters are both personal and professional and include items from prominent people in the fields of folklore, balladry, Indian studies, and Maine history. Correspondents include Myron Avery, Charles E. Banks, Ruth Benedict, Henry Beston, William Brooks Cabot, Joshua Chamberlain, Joanna Colcord, William F. Ganong, Marguerite Olney, Mary Winslow Smyth and Frank G. Speck, among others. There are also many letters from Manly Hardy to his daughter written between 1883 and 1901, as well as letters from other Hardy family members. FHE also maintained a long correspondence with Marion Cobb Fuller at the Maine State Library and with Elizabeth Ring, another Maine author and historian. Photocopies of a group of letters from Helen Hartness Flanders, written between 1931 and 1943, are also included in the collection. The original letters are in the Special Collections Department at Middlebury College.

Sub-series 2 contains copies of FHE’s outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the person to whom each letter is written. Included are letters to C.H. Ames, Marion Cobb Fuller, Elizabeth Ring, and John Francis Sprague, as well as to various members of the Hardy family. A group of letters to Mary Cabot Wheelwright, given to the Bangor Public Library in 1959 by Mrs. William Rodman Fay, reveals the depth of the friendship between Wheelwright and Eckstorm as well as their professional association.

Sub-series 3, Writings of FHE, contains drafts and typescripts of various articles both published and unpublished. The largest group of materials was labeled by FHE as “Unpublished papers: woods and river tales.”

Sub-series 4, Speeches of FHE, contains notes and text for a wide range of talks given by FHE between 1917 and 1938. Most were at various clubs in the Bangor area and concern natural and Indian history as well as ballads and Maine history.

Sub-series 5-12 contain FHE’s extensive collection of research material and notes on various subjects in which she had an interest. Sub-series 5 consists of personal and family subject files including transcriptions of journals of various trips in the Maine woods taken by Manly Hardy between 1852 and 1892, as well as of trips taken by FHE and her father on the Penobscot River and to Ripogenus in 1891. It also contains FHE’s notebook, 1888-1917, with diary entries, notes, quotations, and research material on the Indian language; and journals kept on trips to Passadumkeag in 1890 and 1892. This sub-series also includes FHE’s genealogical research on various families.

Sub-series 6, General research notes, begins with seven notebooks compiled by FHE on Maine woodsmen, Indians, the Maine game laws, etc. A set of index cards with notations primarily on Indian nomenclature is also included. The remainder of the sub-series, arranged alphabetically by subject, contains information about wildlife, lumbering, the Maine woods, etc. Of particular interest is an album of photographs taken by FHE in 1891 and 1892 on the West Branch of the Penobscot River and in the Nicatowis region.

Sub-series 7 contains FHE’s research material on Indians in general, arranged alphabetically by subject. It includes photographs of various Indians of her acquaintance as well as biographical notes, research articles and reports.

Sub-series 8 includes research material specifically on Indian language and contains extensive notes on Indian place names in Maine counties. It also includes a notebook of information compiled by FHE and entitled, “Natural history: comparative lists of animals, birds, and insects.” In the notebook FHE notes that she considers this one of her best notebooks since all the work is an original compilation of natural history terms from vocabularies, dictionaries, and Indians whom she knew. The sub-series also contains notes, a draft, and a finished article entitled “Prefixes, suffixes, roots and derivatives in Maine place names,” originally intended to form part of Indian Place-Names of the Penobscot Valley and the Maine Coast.

Sub-series 9 contains research material on Indian legends and consists primarily of FHE’s transcriptions of tales collected by her from Clara Neptune and Lewey Mitchell as well as a few legends gathered from other sources.

Sub-series 10 and 11 contain background material used by FHE in the preparation of two articles she wrote for the New England Quarterly. “The Attack on Norridgewock” was published in 1934 and “Pigwacket and Parson Symmes” was published in 1936. Both concern events that occurred in early 18th century Maine during the battles between the French and the English in the era prior to the French and Indian War.

Sub-series 12, Research material on ballads, includes transcripts of lyrics of ballads, as well as news clippings, research notes, and typescripts of writings of Phillips Barry. It also contains photocopies of correspondence, 1931-1935, between Barry and Helen Hartness Flanders, the originals of which are at Middlebury College.

Series II, Papers of Hardy family members, is divided into four sub-series. Sub-series 1, Papers of Jonathan T. Hardy, contains mostly records of Hardy’s fur business. It includes correspondence, 1835-1864; account and memorandum books; receipts for furs bought; and invoices for furs received. It also contains an account book with the Penobscot Indians, 1850-1856, and copies of Indian pawn papers held by Hardy.

Sub-series 2, Papers of Manly Hardy, is the most extensive in this series. It contains correspondence to Hardy concerning the fur trade as well as activities and mutual interest in the Maine woods, animals and birds. It also includes correspondence from FHE mostly during her time as a student at Abbott Academy and Smith College. Also included are a small number of records from Hardy’s fur business, especially price lists and statements and receipts for furs.

Sub-series 3, Papers of Walter Hardy, includes correspondence from FHE and Manly Hardy, as well as a group of letters written by Walter to his nephew Paul Eckstorm when Paul was a student at Wesleyan from 1914 through 1918. The sub-series also includes miscellaneous photographs and some of Hardy’s wildlife sketches.

Sub-series 4, Papers of Charlotte W. Hardy, contains a small group of letters received by her.

Series III, Materials about the collection, contains mostly information compiled after FHE’s death in 1946 while decisions were being made about the disposition of her papers. It includes an inventory of the papers done by Elizabeth Ring at the request of Charlotte Hardy. Ring visited FHE’s home and produced detailed notes on how FHE had placed her papers throughout the house as well as a synopsis of their content. Ring also acted as a kind of go-between for Charlotte Hardy in her decision to sell FHE’s papers to the Bangor Public Library, and Ring’s correspondence from 1945-1950 reflects this role. There is also correspondence of Louis T. Ibbotson, Librarian at the University of Maine during this time, discussing various parts of the Hardy papers in which the Library had an interest.

The original copy of the microfiche of the papers is also kept with the collection. The copy for public use is accessible through the Fogler Library reference desk. Fannie Eckstorm also gave Fogler Library her personal copies of various books on ballads and folksongs; these can be accessed through the Special Collections Department at the Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection purchased from Charlotte W. Hardy by Board of Trustees, Bangor Public Library in 1947; transferred to Fogler Library in 1974.

Guide to the Fannie Hardy Eckstorm Papers
Box And Folder List Available
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States