Kenneth Roberts Papers, 1919-1972

Collection number: MC 48
Size: 1 box (0.33 cu.ft.)

About Kenneth Roberts

Kenneth Roberts (1885-1957) was born in Kennebunk, Maine. He was educated at Cornell University, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Cornell Widow, a humor magazine, for two years prior to his graduation in 1908. From 1909 to 1917, he was a reporter and columnist for the Boston Post. After serving in World War I, Roberts worked as roving correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post, writing on conditions in Europe, the Orient, and the United States. In 1928 he retired to Italy and began his Chronicles of Arundel, a series of novels pertaining to the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Arundel was printed in 1930 and was followed in the next four years by Lively Lady, Rabble in Arms, and Captain Caution. Northwest Passage (1937) was a bestseller and established Roberts as the most popular historical novelist of his day. In 1957 he received a Special Pulitzer Prize.

About the Kenneth Roberts Papers

The Kenneth Roberts collection contains material on the subject of water dowsing, a major interest of Roberts in later life, and includes correspondence, articles, newspaper clippings, and reviews of the three books Roberts’s authored pertaining to water dowsing. Also included in the collection is a typescript copy of the novel Boon Island, copies of Roberts’s work published in the Saturday Evening Post and various articles and clippings about the Maine author.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder], [Box], Kenneth Roberts Papers, 1919-1972, MC 48, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information


  • Bert Babcock Bookseller, Mar. 1984 (Accession number: 8351)
  • Ampersand Books, Mar. 1981 (Accession number: 8063)
  • Current Co., July 1979 (Accession number: 796)
  • Paul Richards Autographs, Dec. 1979 (Accession number: 7933)
  • Black Sun Books, Dec. 1978 (Accession number: 7822)
  • Current Co., Aug. 1977 (Accession number: 778)
  • Robert F. Batchelder, Dec. 1977 (Accession number: 7712)
  • Robert Ross Books, Sept. 1977 (Accession number: 7625)

Collection Contents

Series 1: Water Dowsing

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1Correspondence, Kenneth Roberts and John Pearson, 1951
Box 1, Folder 2Correspondence, Clancy Publications to John Pearson, 1951
Box 1, Folder 3Correspondence, Horace C. Levinson to W.M. Harlow, 1951
Box 1, Folder 4Notes on water dowsing
Box 1, Folder 5Brown, Edward S., Jr. “Water Witching,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin, Vol. VII No. 2April 1968
Box 1, Folder 6Reed, Verner Z., “Water Dowser,” Vermont Life, n.d.
Box 1, Folder 7Vogt, Evon Z. “Water Witching: An Interpretation of a Ritual Pattern in a Rural American Community,” The Scientific Monthly, September 1952
Box 1, Folder 8“Water-Divining,” traced images
Box 1, Folder 9Newspaper articles about water dowsing, 1951-1972
Box 1, Folder 10 Reviews of Henry Gross, Seventh Sense and Water Unlimited, 1951-1958

Series 2: Miscellaneous

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 11Postcard, Kenneth Roberts to Mary E. Greene, 1938
Box 1, Folder 12Oliver Wiswell, manuscript page with corrections, n.d.
Box 1, Folder 13Photograph of Kenneth Roberts n.d.

Series 3: Publications by Kenneth Roberts

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 14“The Brotherhood of Man,” Saturday Evening Post, August 30, 1919
Box 1, Folder 15“Murmuring Michigan,” Saturday Evening Post, March 31, 1934
Box 1, Folder 16“Hitler Youth,” Saturday Evening Post, May 6-June 2, 1934
Box 1, Folder 17“Captain Caution,” Saturday Evening Post , August 18-September 22, 1934
Box 1, Folder 18“It Must Be Your Tonsils,” Saturday Evening Post, October 12, 1935
Box 1, Folder 19"Potato-Poor,” Saturday Evening Post , November 23, 1935
Box 1, Folder 20“I Like Girls With Simple Tastes," Saturday Evening Post, June 27, 1936
Box 1, Folder 21“Too Much Service,” Saturday Evening Post, July 11, 1936
Box 1, Folder 22“Quoddy,”Saturday Evening Post , September 19, 1936
Box 1, Folder 23“Roger’s Rangers,” Saturday Evening Post , December 26, 1936-February 6, 1937
Box 1, Folder 24“New Faces in Old Dress, Portraits by Esta Cosgrave,” 1947
Box 1, Folder 25“Don’t Say That About Maine,” Saturday Evening Post, November 6, 1948
Box 1, Folder 26Boon Island, typescript, introduction-p.104, 1955
Box 1, Folder 27Boon Island, typescript, pp.105-201, 1955
Box 1, Folder 28Boon Island, typescript, pp.202-293, 1955

Series 4: Materials about Kenneth Roberts

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 29Correspondence, Booth Tarkington to Margaret Deland, 1934
Box 1, Folder 30“Romancer Kenneth Roberts,” Time, November 25, 1940
Box 1, Folder 31Newspaper articles, 1940
Box 1, Folder 32“Auction Sale at the Estate of the Late Author and Historian Kenneth Roberts”, 1967
Finding Aid Image TEMP
  • Photo of Kenneth Roberts