Liz Caldwell papers, 1929-2006  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Caldwell, Liz, 1920-
Liz Caldwell papers
1929-2006 (inclusive)
16.42 cubic feet (18 boxes plus 1 oversize vertical folder)
Collection Number
Diaries, writings, ephemera, and photographs of Liz Caldwell, a speech therapist and teacher of deaf children in Seattle, Washington
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Open to all users, but access to portions of the collection is restricted. Contact Special Collections for details.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Seattle, Washington resident Liz Caldwell taught students who were hearing impaired and worked as a speech therapist in Seattle public schools. She kept extensive diaries which document her thoughts and experiences.

Liz Caldwell, née Hamilton, was born in 1920 in Jackson, Michigan. Her family moved to Washington State in 1933, and to Seattle in 1935. She graduated from Willamette University in 1942 and also studied for two years at St. Margaret's House, which is affiliated with Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. After earning a Master of Arts degree in Christian education, she worked as a Christian educator in the San Joaquin Valley for two years. She married Frank Caldwell in 1946, and in the early years of their marriage the couple lived in Utah, where their two sons were born. In 1951 Liz Caldwell's father-in-law had a stroke, and the family moved back to Seattle to stay with her parents. Liz Caldwell attended the University of Washington Speech and Hearing Clinic and was credentialed as a speech therapy teacher. In 1953 she started teaching for the Seattle Public Schools in a new program for the severely hard-of-hearing. The program was originally housed at the Warren Avenue School, but was moved to Green Lake Elementary School in 1959, when the Warren Avenue School was closed. From 1974 until her retirement in 1982, she worked as a speech therapist, moving between several different schools in the Seattle public school system. In 1982 she was given an honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Church Divinity School.

Liz Caldwell was a long-time resident of the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. She and her husband were active and involved members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and she took a keen interest in diocesan and national church affairs. With the St. Paul's community she was involved in the movement for fair housing in Seattle and took part in the Cursillo devotional movement with members of other Episcopal churches. As a member of the Washington Teachers' Association, she took part in the 1978 teachers' strike. She was also involved with professional organizations for teachers of the deaf and hearing-impaired. Caldwell regularly attended professional meetings and frequently took advantage of opportunites for continuing her professional education.

Liz Caldwell's cultural interests included opera, theater, film, and travel. She and her husband were longtime Seattle Opera members, and Wagner's Ring Cycle was a particular favorite. They attended plays, musicals, and productions of the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and they were also members of the Pacific Science Center and regular attendees at World Cavalcade's series of travel films.

Liz Caldwell died on March 14, 2007.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Liz Caldwell's diaries, correspondence, writings, clippings, photographs, and ephemera.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Preferred Citation

Liz Caldwell Papers. Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Washington.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Accession No. 3658-001: Liz Caldwell papers, 1936-1980Return to Top

8.08 cubic feet (10 boxes, 1 oversize vertical folder)

Scope and Content: The papers consist primarily of Liz Caldwell's diaries. The diaries begin in 1936, after her junior year of high school, and continue through 1980, although her diary-keeping was less regular between 1949 and 1956. Diary entries document her personal life, her social and professional activities, and her reactions to public and cultural events, providing a detailed picture of life in Seattle at that time, and the effects of the political events and social changes of the 1960s and 1970s on one Seattle family.

Within the diaries, Caldwell collected a large amount of ephemera and clippings. Newspaper clippings cover a wide range of current events as well as reviews and advertisements of films and television shows. Travel ephemera includes postcards, travel souvenirs, and tourist brochures from extensive car travel in the western states as well as a trip to Expo 67 in Montréal, Canada, a cross-country trip in 1972, and a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with a church group in 1979. Theater programs are from the Seattle Repertory Theater, Seattle Opera, and the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, among others. Also included are church service bulletins from holiday services at St. Paul's as well as other churches; souvenir menus and placemats from restaurants; wedding and shower invitations and souvenirs; and teaching evaluations and other school-related materials, including ephemera related to the 1978 teachers' strike in Seattle, Washington. A few photographs were also included in the diaries.

Arrangement: Arranged in three series:
  • Autobiographical sketch, 1985
  • Diaries and enclosures, 1936-1980
  • Photographs, 1961-1979

Restrictions on Access: The papers are open to all users, but a fragile item in box 10 is restricted due to preservation concerns. Researchers may instead use a photocopy of the item that is housed in box 8.

Restrictions on Use: The creator's literary rights have been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Donated by Liz Caldwell in 1985.

Processing Info: Processed by Jeanne Mackler (2002) and Janet Polata (2005).

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder Accession
1/1 3658-001
Autobiographical sketch
Diaries and enclosures
Arrangement: The diaries are numbered and arranged in chronological order. Loose materials enclosed within the diaries have been removed and filed following the diaries or placed in oversized housing. The diary numbers were assigned by Liz Caldwell.
Box/Folder Accession
1/2-6 (diaries); 1/24-28 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 1-5 and enclosed materials
9/5 3658-001
Diary 6 (account book)
1/7-1/13 (diaries); 1/24-25, 1/27-28 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 7-13 and enclosed materials
9/6 3658-001
Diary 14 (account book)
1/14-19 (diaries); 1/24-5, 1/27-28 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 15-20 and enclosed materials
74 3658-001
Theater program
General Notes: Removed from diary 19.
1/20-23 3658-001
Unnumbered diaries and enclosed materials
10/1 3658-001
Diary 21 (travel journal)
Restrictions on Access:Restricted. The travel journal contains very fragile, deteriorating materials, such as plant and flower cuttings. A photocopy in box 8 is available for researchers.
8/1 3658-001
Diary 21
Scope and Content: Photocopy of diary 21, a travel journal.
74 3658-001
Annotated map of a car trip
General Notes: Removed from the photocopy of diary 21.
2/1-15 (diaries); 2/16-30 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 22-36 and enclosed materials
74 3658-001
Theater programs and restaurant placemats
General Notes: Removed from diaries 22-36.
3/1-13 (diaries); 3/15-28 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 37-49 and enclosed materials
74 3658-001
Restaurant placemats and bib
General Notes: Removed from diaries 37-47.
8/2 (journal); 8/3 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diary 50 (travel journal) and enclosed materials
3/14 (diary); 3/29 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diary 51 and enclosed materials
4/1-4/11 (diaries); 4/12-4/22 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 52-62 and enclosed materials
74 3658-001
Restaurant placemats and theater programs
General Notes: Removed from diaries 52-62.
5/1-7 (diaries); 5/13-19 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 63-69 and enclosed materials
74 3658-001
Theater programs, restaurant menus and placemats, ribbons and sashes
General Notes: Removed from diaries 63-69.
8/3 3658-001
Diary 70a (travel journal)
9/1 (journal); 9/2 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diary 70b (travel journal) and enclosed materials
5/8-5/12 (diaries); 5/20-5/24 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 71-75 and enclosed materials
74 3658-001
Theater programs, restaurant menus and placemats, ribbons and sashes
General Notes: Removed from diaries 70-75.
6/1-6/16 (diaries); 6/17-6/24 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 76-87 and enclosed materials
74 3658-001
Restaurant menus and placemats and a theater program
General Notes: Removed from diaries 76-87.
7/1-11 (diaries); 7/12-22 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diaries 88-98 and enclosed materials
74 3658-001
Restaurant placemats and ephemera from the 1978 Seattle teachers' strike
General Notes: Removed from diaries 88-98.
9/3 (journal); 9/4 (enclosures) 3658-001
Diary 99 (travel journal) and enclosed materials
Box/Folder Accession
9/7 3658-001
Scope and Content: Includes snapshots taken at school and church events, and a souvenir tintype of Liz Caldwell and a cousin taken during a visit to Dearborn, Michigan.
1961, 1964, 1970, 1977-1979

Accession No. 3658-002: Liz Caldwell papers, 1929-2006Return to Top

8.34 cubic feet (8 boxes)

Scope and Content: Diaries containing daily accounts of Caldwell's life, correspondence from Caldwell to her parents, travel logs and scrapbooks, and writings. The writings include essays from Caldwell's time as a undergraduate at Willamette College, as well as her 1945 Master of Arts thesis "A Christian Evaluation of the Idea of Utopia." Also included are other literary writings by Caldwell, including several versions of her unpublished manuscript "A Pelican in the Wilderness" and her unpublished essay "Ring around Wagner and Tolkien: A Look at Recurring Themes." There are also professional writings from her career teaching children with disabilities, as well as newsletters from her Green Lake Elementary School classroom for the deaf and severely hard of hearing. Also included is research about Caldwell's great-grandmother Annie Brumley Whitaker Chapman and photographs and cards documenting Caldwell's 75th birthday.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Bruce & Mike Caldwell, 2007-05-21.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Accession
1 3658-002
Annie Brumley Whitaker Chapman research
1 3658-002
Travel Journals
1 3658-002
75th Birthday Scrapbook
1-2 3658-002
2 3658-002
Intensive Journals
2 3658-002
1935, 1979-1981
3 3658-002
4 3658-002
5 3658-002
6 3658-002
7 3658-002
7 3658-002
Outgoing correspondence
7 3658-002
Green Lake School classroom bulletins and agendas
7-8 3658-002
"Pelican in the Wilderness" research and drafts
8 3658-002
Miscellaneous diary entries and ephemera

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Speech therapists--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Strikes and lockouts--Teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Teachers of the deaf --Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Women teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Personal Names :
  • Caldwell, Liz, 1920- --Archives
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Intellectual life--20th century
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Social life and customs--20th century