Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Rainer mss., 1948-1971, consist of the correspondence, writings, and memorabilia of Dachine Rainer, 1921- , author and poet.

The bulk of the collection at present relates to poet Edward Estlin Cummings, 1894-1962, and his wife Marion (Morehouse) Cummings, 1906-1969, photographer. Rainer had become acquainted with the Cummings in the 1940's and maintained a long term correspondence with them, particularly with Marion Cummings, until the latter's death. The materials after 1969 consist of correspondence with Jere Knight concerning the affairs of the Cummings estate and the publication of new editions of E.E. Cummings' works.

Correspondents in the collection are Nancy (Cummings) Andrews, Arthur Charles William Crook, Edward Estlin Cummings, Marion (Morehouse) Cummings, Jere Knight, Timothy O'Keefe, and Dachine Rainer. Topics most frequently discussed are literary critics and E.E. Cummings; Rainer's writings, particularly a projected biography of Dame Rebecca West; as well as the writings, publications, and daily activities of both Marion and E.E. Cummings. The file of correspondence between Miss Rainer and Arthur Crook relates to a long, and Miss Rainer felt scurrilous, review of Cummings' Complete Poems which appeared in The Times Literary Supplement in 1968.

Also present in the collection are two pencil drawings by Cummings, an unpublished typescript by him entitled Therese, a review of Poems 1923-1954 and an unpublished typescript: Elegy (E.E. Cummings, 1894-1962) by D. Rainer, and clippings of reviews or articles relating to Cummings.

Collection size: 145 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.