Papers from author's family donated to university

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2001

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A collection of family papers said to have provided the context for some of Willa Cather's novels, including ''My Antonia,'' has been donated to the University of Nebraska.

The collection of letters, diaries, photographs and manuscripts from Cather's aunt and uncle, Frances and George Cather, was donated by the couple's great-granddaughter, Mary Weddle.

Willa Cather grew up in Red Cloud and was a 1895 graduate of the university.

Besides serving as an inspiration for Cather's famed ''My Antonia,'' the papers are believed to have provided context for Cather's 1923 Pulitzer Prize-winning ''One of Ours'' and other writings.

Included are letters that Cather's first cousin, Grosvenor, wrote to his mother, Frances, which inspired Willa Cather's character Claude Wheeler in ''One of Ours.'' Grosvenor Cather was the first Nebraska officer to die in battle during World War I.

The collection will be kept with the library's other Cather holdings, including rare books and archival materials from Cather's life.

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