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Boston College collection of Louise Imogen Guiney

Collection MS-1997-004: Boston College collection of Louise Imogen Guiney


  • Creation: Majority of material found within after 1867-1916

Scope and Contents

Consists of manuscripts of a poem, transcriptions of poems by others, and correspondence. The letters regard Guiney's publishing, opinions of other poets, social engagements, and donation of signed copies of her books to benefit a World War I fundraiser.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Louise Imogen Guiney was born in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, on January 7, 1861 to Patrick Robert and Jane Margaret (Doyle) Guiney. Her father enlisted in the Irish Ninth Massachusetts Infantry shortly after she was born, and suffered injuries in the American Civil War from which he never fully recovered. He died in 1877, and when Louise graduated from Elmhurst Academy in 1879, she began writing freelance articles for magazines and newspapers to supplement the family income.

Guiney's earliest poems appeared in the Pilot, the Transcript, and the New York Home Journal. She published her first book of poetry, Songs at the Start in 1884 and a collection of essays in the Goose Quill Papers literary magazine in 1885. By 1887 she had released her second book of poetry, The White Sail, which became one of her most popular works. She also published a book of literary criticism, A Little English Gallery (1894).

In addition to her writing, in 1894 Guiney become the postmistress of Auburndale, Massachusetts, and she later worked in the cataloging department of the Boston Public Library. Despite increasing hearing loss, she moved to Oxford, England in 1901. In the early 1900s she served as editor for collections by British poets including Henry Vaughan and Katherine Philips. In 1913 she began research for an anthology of Catholic poets in collaboration with Geoffrey Bliss, SJ. The work was not completed at the time of her death at age 59, in Chipping Campden, England, but was published posthumously as Recusant Poets (1938).


Brown, Alice. Louise Imogen Guiney. New York: MacMillan Company, 1921.

Fairbanks, Henry George. Louise Imogen Guiney. New York: Twayne Publishers, c. 1978.

"The Irish Belle of Boston Letters," The Boston Irish Reporter, February 1998.


.5 Linear Feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



This collection contains materials written by turn-of-the-twentieth-century American poet, essayist, and editor Louise Imogen Guiney, including letters, a poem fragment, and transcriptions of poems by others.




Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time. However, vendor description included with the materials indicates that they were purchased between 1983-1986.

Related Materials

Katherine E. Conway Papers, BC.1994.015, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Norah Hoult correspondence, MS.2001.038, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Mary Boyle O'Reilly papers, MS.2003.045, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Boston College Collection of Louise Imogen Guiney
after 1867-1916
Lynn Moulton
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States