Carolyn Foote Papers, 1970-1980  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Foote, Carolyn Hope (Swayne), 1918-1980
Carolyn Foote Papers
1970-1980 (bulk)
1918-1984 (inclusive)
2.0 linear feet, (5 boxes)
Collection Number
MSS 054
The Carolyn Foote Papers contain correspondence, poems, biographical material, and photos from the wife and widow of Rev. Normal L. Foote, the Episcopal Bishop of Idaho.
Boise State University Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
1910 University Drive
Boise ID
Telephone: 208-426-3958
Access Restrictions

Collection is available for research.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Carolyn Hope Swayne was born May 1, 1918 at George School, a Quaker boarding school, in Newton, Pennsylvania to Norman W. and Amelia Swayne. In about 1939 Carolyn Swayne moved to New York City where she taught ballroom dancing and wrote verses for greeting cards. It was there that she met future Episcopal Bishop Normal L. Foote. They were married on June 1, 1940.

Norman L. and Carolyn Hope (Swayne) Foote traveled the country and eventually located in Virginia City, Montana where Rev. Foote was appointed Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Montana. The family would later live in Helena, Montana; Parkville, Missouri; and Boise, Idaho where Rev. Foote would hold several different positions, eventually becoming Episcopal Bishop of Idaho.

Carolyn Foote graduated from the College of Idaho in Caldwell in 1963 and taught various courses in biology and comparative anatomy at the college. Carolyn Foote also supervised field trips to Baja, California and the San Juan Islands of Mexico, sometimes brining back tarantulas, snakes, and other exotic pets as she was an avid collector and lover of animals. After Rev. Foote’s death in 1974, Carolyn Foote moved to Cameron, Montana where she remained active and wrote poetry. She died in a fire in 1980. The only salvageable remains from her home after the fire were found in a metal tin filled with poems and letters, which were later donated to Boise State University and are preserved in this manuscript collection.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Carolyn Foote Papers contain correspondence, poems, biographical material, and photos. Includes letters and humorous verse from Willard R. Espy (ca. 25 items, 1977-1979) and a short piece of correspondence with John Updike.

In March of 1980, Carolyn Foote died in a fire. Although the residence was completely destroyed, a metal tin remained that was full of letters and poetry. Although some items were charred beyond recognition, many could be saved. Preservation copies exist by way of photocopies and microfilm.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[item description], Carolyn Foote Papers, Box [number] Folder [number], Boise State University Special Collections and Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1-6 Willard R. Espy 1976-1980
1 7 Dave Faith
1 8 John Updike 1976
1 9 Janet
1 10-11 Correspondence with the children of Carolyn Foote
1 12 Correspondence regarding the sale of the family home 1977
1 13 Poems from friends
1 14 Miscellaneous
1 15-17 "Selected Poems" typescripts
1 18 "Selected Poems" publishers brochure
1 19 Poems: miscellaneous manuscripts and fragments
1 20 Poems: miscellaneous typescripts
1 21-22 Miscellaneous writings
1 23 Carolyn (Swayne) Foote biography written by daughter Judith R.F. Wright June 1984
2 Photographic slides (with index) 1918-1979
2 Charred pages

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • American poetry--20th century
  • American poetry--Idaho
  • Espy, Willard R.
  • Humorous poetry
  • Updike, John