MURIEL SIBELL WOLLE PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The bulk of the collection consists of papers related to Wolle's interest in western ghost towns. She systematically researched the towns, made notes, tore articles and illustrations from magazines and collected newspaper clippings. Wolle organized these items by pasting them into scrapbooks. Encountering old-timers, Wolle made detailed notes of her interviews. She was careful to obtain signed consent forms so that she could use this information in her books. The collection includes these notes as well as the forms and photographs and sketches of the towns and places that Wolle visited.
Books and articles comprise this series. The books are arranged chronologically by the publication date of the book, then alphabetically. The papers include drafts of the manuscripts for books as well as articles. Correspondence from fans and readers constitute a portion of the papers.
This series contains Wolle's notes of her trips and interviews arranged into scrapbooks, which also include photographs, illustrations and articles from magazines. The scrapbooks remain arranged in Wolle's original order titled by topic. After completing a scrapbook, Wolle continued to collect material and write about the topic. Arranged chronologically, additional folders of this material follow the scrapbooks. The topics of the folders reflect Wolle's interest in ghost and mining towns, the arts and crafts of Southwestern Native Americans and Episcopal churches in the American west. Some of the pages' back sides in the scrapbooks contain class papers from the University of Colorado and drafts of Francis Wolle's autobiography.
Arranged chronologically, University of Colorado faculty papers, notebooks and awards as well as detailed travel diaries comprise this series. A scrapbook of the ceremony in which Wolle received the Alumni of the Century award from the University of Colorado constitutes a portion of this series.
This series consists of personal diaries, correspondence from friends and family, and travel diaries. Wolle's grandfather's correspondence constitutes the earliest portion of the papers. Journal and family genealogy are also included. The papers are arranged chronologically.
The oversize box in this series contains 15 printer blocks and 1 lantern slide of Wolle's ghost town illustration. Magazine illustrations of Native American dances and southwestern churches comprise the papers in the OVFF along with floor plans for the coffee shop in the Park Lane Hotel, Boulder, Colorado and hand drawn map of the Switzerland Trail (Colorado ghost towns).
Photographs of ghost towns and of Wolle's paintings of the towns comprise the bulk of this series. Some of the photographs are mounted. Most include negatives. Also included are a few personal and family photographs.
The collection is open for research.
Literary and copyrights have been assigned to the Denver Public Library
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Born on April 3, 1898, Muriel Sibell Wolle attended high school in Brooklyn, New York. She received degrees in advertising and costume design from the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts and earned a diploma in art education from New York University. Later, she received a master's degree in English Literature from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.
Wolle began her teaching career in Denton, Texas, but returned to New York in 1923. In the summer of 1926, Wolle taught summer school at the University of Colorado, accepting a position as fine arts instructor for the fall semester. By 1928, she was head of the Fine Arts Department, a position that she held until 1947. From 1927 to the mid-1940s, Wolle designed stages and costumes for the University of Colorado theater. There, she met Francis Wolle, the head of the University of Colorado English Department. In 1945, the Wolles were married at the Church of Transfiguration in Evergreen, Colorado
In 1926, Wolle first toured Central City, Colorado between summer school and the fall semester. At this time, she became interested in mining and ghost towns. This interest led her to spend much of her free time driving, biking and hiking to ghost towns. There, she made notes, sketched, took photographs and interviewed old-timers. She used the photographs as models for the original paintings and lithographs that illustrated her works. In 1933 and 1934,Wolle published two pamphlets, Ghost Cities of Colorado and Cloud Cities of Colorado.
By 1947, Wolle had collected enough information to write her first book, Stampede to Timberline. She and her husband initially published this book privately but eventually turned it over to a publisher as the demand continued to grow. Stampede to Timberline went through fourteen editions. Wolle also published three additional books, The Bonanza Trail, Montana Pay Dirt and Timberline Tailings.
In 1966, Wolle retired as Professor from the University of Colorado. Wolle was a member of St. Aidan's Episcopal Church and she actively helped her husband become an ordained Episcopal priest after his retirement in 1959. She died in Evergreen, Colorado of a heart attack in 1977 at the age of 78.
1 OVBox, 1 OVFF
Other Finding Aids
The papers of Muriel Sibell Wolle were donated to the Denver Public Library under provisions in Mrs. Wolle's will in 1977.
Number of Boxes: 35
Oversize: 1 OVBox, 1 OVFF
Number of PhotoBoxes: 59
Number of PhotoOVFF 1
- Ghost towns -- Colorado. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Ghost towns -- West (U.S.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Mining camps -- Colorado Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Mining camps -- West (U.S.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Scrapbooks Subject Source: Att
- Women artists -- Colorado -- Boulder. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Women authors. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- MURIEL SIBELL WOLLE PAPERS
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