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Margaret Mielke papers

Guide to the Margaret G. Mielke papers

Collection number: HMC-0176.
Creator: Mielke, Margaret G.
Title: Margaret G. Mielke papers.
Dates: 1942-1980.
Volume of collection: 3 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Papers of the first Alaskan Poet Laureate.

Biographical note:
Margaret Alyce Gustafson was born in 1912 in Minnesota. She attended college and later in Montana where she began writing poetry. Her poetry was published in newspapers and in two books (1934 and 1938). She married John C. Mielke in 1937 in North Dakota. They had six children. Margaret G. Mielke continued writing poetry after moving to Alaska in 1940. It was published in newspapers, national magazines, and anthologies. She edited and compiled anthologies including the Anthology of Contemporary Alaskan Poetry and was poetry editor for the Anchorage Times. She was active in the formation of the Poetry Society of Alaska and the League of Alaska Writers. In 1963, Margaret Mielke was chosen as the first Poet Laureate for Alaska. She was respected by other poets for her knowledge of poetry structure; her poetry inspired and encouraged many writers. Margaret G. Mielke died in 1980 in Anchorage.

Collection description:
The collection contains papers relating to Margaret Mielke’s work as an author and a poet. Included are correspondence on the formation of the Poetry Society of Alaska and the League of Western Writers; correspondence with family, friends, and poets; personal papers; speeches; drafts of her poetry and records of various literary activities; recordings of her poetry; poems by other authors; newspaper clippings; and photographs.

Arrangement: This collection is arranged into the following series:

Series 1: Personal papers; 1912-1980
Series 2: Poetry; undated, 1929-1981
Series 3: Publication and other professional literary records; undated, 1955-1976
Series 4: School teaching records; undated, 1964-1975
Series 5: Clippings, copies, and other published materials; undated, 1944-1980
Series 6: Artifact; 1970

Digitized copies: Three 1/4-inch audio reels of Mielke’s poetry have been digitized and added to Alaska’s Digital Archives. The reels were digitized with funding provided by the Atwood Foundation. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: A deed of gift was signed by John Mielke in 1985. Copyright and publication rights to all works of poetry by Margaret Mielke are retained by the donor and his heirs for the duration of the copyright.

Preferred citation: Margaret G. Mielke papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Related materials: Joanne Townsend papers, HMC-0246, contains materials regarding a memorial for Mielke.

Separated materials: Published books and journals were separated from the archival collection in 2009 and added to the Consortium Library Rare Books collection.

Acquisition note: Some of the papers were presented to the archives by Margaret G. Mielke in 1980. Most of the papers were presented to the archives by John C. Mielke, Margaret’s husband, in 1985.

Processing information: This collection was originally arranged and described prior to 1995. Updates to the finding aid were completed by Arlene Schmuland in 2009.

Container list:
Series 1: Personal papers; 1912-1980. 0.6 cubic feet.
Grouped by type of document or subject.

 Box/Folder Description Date
1/1 Biography. 1912-1969
1/2 Family genealogy. 1813-1944
1/3 Honors and tributes. 1969-1970
1/4 Notes on religious matters (poetry). undated
1/5 Homestead map. undated
1/6 Stationery. 1963-1965
1/7 Miscellaneous notes and papers. 1956-1980
1/8 Incoming correspondence. 1936
1/9 Incoming correspondence. undated
1/10 Incoming correspondence. 1953-1959
1/11 Incoming correspondence. 1960-1963
1/12 Incoming correspondence. 1964-1965
1/13 Incoming correspondence. 1966
1/14 Incoming correspondence. 1967
1/15 Incoming correspondence. 1968-1969
1/16 Incoming correspondence. 1970-1971
1/17 Incoming correspondence. 1972
1/18 Incoming correspondence. 1973-1975
1/19 Incoming correspondence. 1976-1979
1/20 Incoming correspondence. 1980
1/21 Incoming postcards. 1967-1970
1/22 Outgoing correspondence 1949-1973
1/23 Outgoing Christmas letters. 1958-1979
1/24 Other correspondence. 1962, 1973
1/25 Poetry Society of Alaska correspondence. 1962-1969
1/26 Alaska Federation of Women’s Clubs records. 1960-1978
1/27 Alaska League of Western Writers records. 1953-1963
1/28 Alaska Press Club records. 1974
1/29-30 Alaska State Council on Arts records. 1966-1970
1/31 Alaskans United records. 1962
1/32 Anchorage Arts Council records. 1980
1/33 Anchorage Little Theatre records. 1946-1954
1/34 Chugiak Ladies Club records. 1968-1976
1/35 International Platform Association records. undated
1/36 National Register of Prominent Americans records. 1974-1975
1/37 Poetry Society of Alaska, Inc. records. 1962-1974
1/38 Traffic Safety Council of Anchorage records. undated
1/39 World Poetry Society records. 1976-1977
1/40 Other organizational records. 1970-1973
1/41 Alaska Dept. of Revenue employment file. 1965-1969
1/42-1/44 Photographs, copied snapshots and negatives. undated, 1964-1980
1/45 Scrapbooks 1955-1956

Series 2: Poetry; undated, 1929-1981. 1.25 cubic feet.
Most of the materials in this series are authored by Margaret Mielke.  Arrangement is partially chronological, partly alphabetical.

Box/Folder Description Date
1/46 Poetry. 1929
1/47 Poetry. undated
1/48 Table of contents and titles to manuscript. undated
1/49 Poetry. undated
1/50 The happening place—Alaska manuscript. undated
1/51 Telling on one Alaskan (myself) manuscript. undated
1/52 Testing—testing manuscript. undated
1/53 Poetry. 1953-1957
1/54 Poetry. 1959-1962
1/55 Poetry. 1963
1/56 Poetry. 1964-1965
1/57 Poetry. 1966-1969
1/58 Poetry. 1970-1975
1/59 Poetry. 1976
1/60 Poetry. 1977
1/61 Poetry. 1978
1/62 Poetry. 1979
1/63 Poetry. 1980
1/64 Poetry. 1981
1/65 Poetry. 1959-1977
1/66 Handwritten poetry. undated
1/67 Poetry rework list undated
1/68 Haikus and senrayas undated
1/69 Unpublished poetry. undated
1/70-1/71 Poetry by title, A-B. undated
2/1-21 Poetry by title, C-Y. undated
2/22 List of poetry recorded. undated, 1974
2/23-26 Poetry recordings.  14 audiocassettes undated, 1972-1976
2/27/01 “3 Shorelines 4 Poems”. 1/4-inch audio reel recording of Ruth Kilcher reading poems by Margaret Mielke. undated
2/27/02 1/4-inch audio reel recording of Margaret Mielke reading one of her poems, accompanied by music played on a piano. undated
2/28 Prose. 1972
2/29 Poetry, author unidentified. undated

Series 3: Publication and other professional literary records; undated, 1955-1976. 0.25 cubic feet.  Arranged by anthology.

Box/Folder Description Date
2/30 Alaska League of Western Writers first anthology records. 1955
2/31 Alaska League of Western Writers third anthology records. Undated
2/32 Alaska League of Western Writers fourth anthology records. Undated
2/33 Poetry Society of Alaska ’76 anthology records. 1975-1976
2/34 New Hawaii anthology records. 1973
2/35 Anchorage Times column records. 1956-1961
2/36 Proposed television show records. Undated
2/37 Speeches. 1960-1967
2/38-39 Poetry contest records. Undated
2/40 Festival of Arts poetry contest records. 1963-1970
2/41 Women’s club poetry contest records. 1972-1973
2/42 Word usage notes. Undated
2/43 Newsletters. Undated, 1965-1971

Series 4: School teaching records; undated, 1964-1975. 0.2 cubic feet. Primarily poems and thank you notes written by student classes.  Arranged alphabetically by school or class.

Box/Folder Description Date
3/1 Airport Heights School. 1964
3/2 Alcantra Youth Camp. 1972
3/3 Catholic Daughters. 1965
3/4 Chester Valley School. 1973
3/5 Chugiak Elementary School. Undated
3/6 Chugiak High School. 1971
3/7 Cordova School. 1970
3/8 Mr. Cresap’s Class. Undated
3/9 East High School. Undated
3/10 East High School Anthology. 1972
3/11 Homestead School. Undated
3/12 Rogers Park School. Undated
3/13 Service/Hanshew School. 1972
3/14 Service/Hanshew School. 1975
3/15 Treasures of Sight and Sound (TOSS). 1973
3/16 Schools unknown. 1969, 1972
3/17 Teaching, general. Undated

Series 5: Clippings, copies, and other published materials; undated, 1944-1980. 0.7 cubic feet.
This series consists of clippings gathered by Margaret Mielke related both to herself and topics of interest to her, other published works, and documents related to other authors which are primarily copies of poetry. Grouped by type.

Box/Folder Description Date
3/14-40 Clippings. Undated, 1944-1980
3/41-49 Collected publications. 1962-1980
3/50 Critique. Undated
3/51 Ralph S. Carlson. 1968
3/52 Walter S. Carlson. 1971
3/53 Ann Fox Chandonnet. 1977
3/54 Carol B. Davis. Undated
3/55 Oliver Everette. Undated
3/56 Ruben Gaines. 1942-1973
3/57 Norman Gibbard. 1973
3/58 Della Z. Goshaw. 1953
3/59 H. Wendy Jones. 1970, 1980
3/60 Sonja Jordan. 1974
3/61 Charles David Martin, Jr. Undated
3/62 Jim Nail. 1957
3/63 Dorothy Pollard. 1966
3/64 Grady Robinette. Undated
3/65 Harold Salisbury. 1972-1976
3/66 Victor Schmidt. Undated
3/67 Grant Brand Walther. 1962
3/68 Betsy Woodman. Undated
3/69 Music—Klem and Charlton. Undated
3/70 Poetry—miscellaneous. 1967-1980
3/71 Religious prose—Margy R. Call. 1958, 1959, 1961, 1964
3/72 Prose—Richard Peters. Undated
3/73 Prose—miscellanous. Undated

Series 6: Artifact; 1970. 0.1 cubic feet.  This series consists of a single artifact: an animal fur puff made into a corsage.

Box/Folder Description Date
3/74 Corsage from the Alaska State Council on the Arts meeting. 1970

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