Katherine Anne Porter Correspondence Database


The Katherine Anne Porter correspondence database is a collaboration between the University of Maryland Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives and the Digital System and Stewardship Division to digitize and provide online access to Porter’s correspondence from the Libraries’ Katherine Anne Porter papers and additional related collections.

Currently, the database consists of approximately 3,800 articles of Porter’s correspondence dating from 1912 to 1977.

More information about the Katherine Anne Porter holdings in Special Collections and University Archives is available in the Katherine Anne Porter at UMD subject guide.


Enter names, dates, or locations in the box on the Search or Browse pages. You can limit the search by decade, year, month, and day to narrow your results. Click on a search result to be taken to the page containing your term(s). The term(s) you searched will be highlighted in yellow on the page. You can turn the highlighting off and on by clicking the highlights icon.

Browse items of Katherine Anne Porter correspondence by correspondent, years in which they were written, and locations where they were written. Dates can be further limited by month and day.

Moving and Zooming

  • Icons that allow you to move around the viewer and zoom in and out are located in the lower right corner of the screen.
  • The plus and minus icons allow you to zoom in and out, making the image on the screen appear larger or smaller.
  • The directional arrows that appear around the house icon allow you to move around the screen. You can also move around the screen by clicking anywhere within the viewer, holding, and dragging the image to the desired area.
  • Clicking the house icon will reset the image to its original position.


  • Image View displays one page of a multi-page item of correspondence at a time.
  • Book View displays two pages simultaneously.
  • Scroll View allows you to use your mouse to move the pages of the item from side-to-side.
  • Gallery View facilitates selection of individual pages of each letter.


Clicking on the "i" information icon displays basic information, or metadata, about each item of correspondence.


The diagonal arrows at the top right of the screen allow you to toggle back and forth between the fullscreen view of the viewer.

Selection Text

Hovering your mouse over an item will highlight it green. Click on the item to open the item text in a pane on the left of side of the screen. You can highlight and copy the item text from this pane. Toggle the side panel open and closed by clicking the side panel icon.

Image Manipulation

The icon second down from the top left of the screen allows you to rotate the image 90 degrees to the left or right; adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation; toggle grayscale; change background colors from light to dark; and automatically reset the image.

Clipping Tool

Portions of individual pages may be downloaded and saved for later reference by using the clipping tool, the third icon down from the top left of the screen. Click on this icon, then click and drag on the portion of the page you wish to save. Dragging will create a box around the area of the page that will be downloaded. You can readjust the size and position of the box if needed. Once the box is in the desired position, click the checkmark to save your selection as a .jpg file. If you wish to cancel your selection, click on the X to get rid of the box and start over.


Porter’s correspondence to others currently represented in this database includes her extensive correspondence with members of her family spanning more than 60 years. Her most frequent correspondents include her sister Gay Porter Hollaway, husbands Albert Erskine, Jr., and Eugene Pressly, nephew Paul Porter, Jr., and niece Ann Hollaway Heintze. This correspondence spans the years of 1912 through 1977 and comprises approximately 2,300 articles of correspondence. They provide insights into Porter’s relationships, attitudes, and experiences. They document her exposure to major cultural and historical events of the 20th century, such as her time spent in Mexico following the Mexican Revolution, in Germany before WWII began, and in Washington, D.C., during WWII and the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. The letters also document her personal opinions about the lives and works of fellow writers including Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, William Faulkner, Hart Crane, and close friend Josephine Herbst.

Also currently available in the database are 1,500 Porter letters, greeting cards, postcards, and telegrams sent to over forty correspondents, including confidants and personal acquaintances Glenway Wescott, Barbara Harrison Wescott, Monroe Wheeler, George Platt Lynes, Donald Elder, Mary Louis Doherty, and Isabel Bayley. Spanning the years 1924 to 1977, other Porter correspondents include Cleanth and Tinkum Brooks, Eleanor Clark, Malcolm Cowley, Ford Maddox Ford, Caroline Gordon, William Goyen, William Humphrey, Flannery O’Connor, Ezra Pound, Theodore Roethke, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams. These letters offer Porter’s insights into the work of her literary contemporaries and reveal the extent of her involvement and influence within a community of Modern writers.


The intellectual property residing in the unpublished correspondence of Katherine Anne Porter is controlled by the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Trust. Inquiries about permission to publish should be directed to:

The Permissions Company, Inc.

47 Seneca Rd.

P.O. Box 604

Mount Pocono, PA 18344

Phone: 570-839-7477

Fax: 570-839-7448

Email: permdude@eclipse.net


Questions regarding the Katherine Anne Porter Correspondence project can be directed to askhornbake@umd.edu.

A guide to the Katherine Anne Porter holdings in Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland can be found online.

The finding aid to the Katherine Anne Porter papers is available online.