Nora B. Cunningham Papers

Collection Summary

Title: Nora B. Cunningham Papers
Call Number: MS 79-03
Size: 0.25 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by May Williams Ward through her literary executor, Bruce Cutler, and by the Chanute Public Library
Processed by: LWM, 8-17-1979; LWM, 11-8-1979; SMC, 4-16-1998
Restrictions: None
Note: Related collections: MS 74-18, Papers of May Williams Ward; MS 79-04, Omah Scott Horton Papers

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The papers of Nora B. Cunningham include correspondence from Cunningham to May Williams Ward who was a contemporary poet and friend, a book of Cunningham's poems published by the Chanute Public Library, biographical information written by Cunningham and by two relatives, and miscellaneous newspaper clippings.

Biographical Note

Nora Belle Cunningham was the daughter of Lewis Nelson Cunningham and Mary Peery Cunningham. Born in Humboldt, Kansas, July 23, 1887, Nora had two brothers and one sister. After attending various town and country schools in southeastern Kansas, Nora graduated from the eighth grade in Chanute, Kansas. She obtained a teaching certificate and taught grade school for a short time in the nearby communities of Coyville and Rollins.
Nora never married nor moved away from her parents' home in Chanute. Many years of her life were devoted to caring for an invalid mother, and later, a sister who became disabled by arthritis.
In 1920, Nora's first poem was published in Youth's Companion, launching her literary career which continued for the next 55 years. Her poems were published in magazines such as Commonweal, Lyric, The Harp, and Poetry as well as newspapers such as the New York Times and the Kansas City Star. Also, she reviewed books for International Book Review, Voices and several regional newspapers. For a short time (1927-1928) she assisted May Williams Ward in editing The Harp, a national poetry magazine published in Larned, Kansas.
Nora Cunningham died September 28, 1975 in Chanute, Kansas, and was buried in the family plot in Leanna Cemetery.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Box 1 FF 1 Biographical information (photocopies)
Box 1 FF 2 Book, Decades: Selections from the Poetry of Nora B. Cunnningham
Box 1 FF 3 Correspondence from Nora B. Cunningham to May Williams Ward
Box 1 FF 4 Photocopies of newspaper clippings
Box 1 FF 5 Poem, presumably handwritten by Nora B. Cunningham (photocopy)