Annotations from the Archive

The National Willa Cather Center houses one of the nation’s largest collections of materials related to the life and works of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather. Our museum and archival collections, housed in Cather's home town of Red Cloud, Nebraska, contain memorabilia, artifacts, historic photographs, art and decorative arts, journals, and rare book collections, as well as items belonging to Willa Cather like letters, clothing, jewelry, artwork, manuscripts, address books, journals, and sales ledgers for her novels, as well as hundreds of objects that belonged to the Cather family. Click here to Explore the Collection!

Our collections include:

  • Over 400 personal letters written by Willa Cather
  • Approximately 2000 images of Willa Cather, Cather family and friends, historic Red Cloud and Webster County
  • Articles and reviews of Cather's work, contemporaneous with their publication
  • The Cather Family Library, comprised of hundreds of volumes of books and magazines belonging to the Cather family, from the 1880s to the 1940s
  • McClure's magazines, 1896–1912, and other serials in which Cather published 
  • Newspapers from Red Cloud (on microfilm)
    • Commercial Advertiser: May 1908 to October 1968 (64 reels)
    • Golden Belt: 1893 to 1896 (1 reel)
    • The Nation: 1892 to 1908 (4 reels)
    • Red Cloud Chief: November 1878 to November 1923 (15 reels)
  • Other Newspapers (on microfilm)
    • Pittsburgh Leader: December 1896 to December 1900 (47 reels)
    • Pittsburgh Gazette: October 1901 to January 1904 (24 reels)
  • The Mildred Bennett Collection, which houses research notes and first-person source materials for early Cather studies
  • The Blanche Cather Ray Collection, which contains hundreds of documents and objects related to historical Webster County and the William Cather and George Cather families
  • The Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial Collection, the earliest collection of Cather materials on offer

Annotations from the Archive: Explore the Collection Online

February 16, 2021

The Cather family, their friends, and many other donors have been very generous to the National Willa Cather Center over the years, contributing to collections that were begun by our organization's founders. As a result, the National Willa Cather Center houses the earliest Cather collections and continues to add to its growing collection of letters, photographs, artwork, and personal items, which we make available to scholars and researchers.