Photographs of Theodore Roethke and family, circa 1908-1997  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Photographs of Theodore Roethke and family
circa 1908-1997 (inclusive)
25 photographic prints (1 box, 2 oversize folders) ; various sizes
Collection Number
Photographs of Theodore Roethke and his family
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

Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

American poet and author Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) was born in Saginaw, Michigan to Helen Huebner Roethke and Otto Roethke. He attended the University of Michigan from 1929 to 1936 and received BA and MA degrees. He married Beatrice Heath O'Connell in 1953. Roethke began his career as a teacher in 1931. Roethke taught English at a number of universities, culminating in an appointment to the University of Washington in 1947 that lasted until his death.

In 1941 Roethke wrote his first volume of verse, Open House. Roethke went on to write many other books of collected poetry. In 1954 Roethke received a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Waking: Poems 1933-1953. He inspired several other poets as an advisor to graduate students at the University of Washington including Carolyn Kizer, Richard Hugo, David Wagoner, and many others.


"Roethke, Theodore (1908-1963) -" Accessed September 26, 2017.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Theodore Roethke, his parents Otto and Helen Roethke, his sister June, their home and greenhouse in Michigan, as well as a photograph of his lifelong friend Katherine Stokes.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Otto Roethke and Helen HuebnerReturn to Top

Helen and Otto married in 1906.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/1 1
 Otto Roethke in a suit
Lyon, Saginaw, Michigan (photographer)
1/1 2
Otto Roethke facing to the right
Beckmann Bros, Saginaw, Michigan (photographer)
1/1 3
Otto Roethke facing to the left
Beckmann (photographer)
1/1 4
Portrait of Otto Roethke in a suit and a hat
1/1 5
 Otto Roethke and man, possibly Charles Roethke
At some point, Karl changed his name to Charles--possibly to Anglicize his name.
1/1 6 undated
1/1 7
 Portrait of Helen Huebner and Otelia
Drago (photographer)
Otelia was Theodore Roethke's Aunt Tillie.
1/1 8a
Grandmother Huebner, Great Grandmother Wuest, Norman Kromau, Laraine and Aunt Gustie in a bedroom
Beckmann Bros (photographer)
XC2 8b
Portrait of Theodore's Grandparents

Theodore and June RoethkeReturn to Top

Theodore was born in 1908, June in 1913.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/2 9
 Portrait of infant Theodore
Beckmann Bros (photographer)
circa 1909
1/2 10 circa 1917
1/2 11
Theodore in front of a post
circa 1917
1/2 12
 June and Helen
"My favorite, June and Mother"
1/2 13
 Helen standing amongst flowers
"Mother--flowers she raised in backyard."
1/2 14 circa 1920
1/2 15a circa 1920
XC2 15b
The Roethke Greenhouse
1/2 16
 Portrait of June Roethke
Le Clare (photographer)

Roethke home and graves in MichiganReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/3 17 circa 1997
1/3 18 circa 1997
1/3 19-22 circa 1997

Katherine M. StokesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/3 23
 Portrait of Katherine M. Stokes
John Wanamaker, New York, NY (photographer)
Kathy Stokes was a close friend of Theodore's and a lifelong correspondent.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Greenhouses--Michigan--Saginaw--Photographs
  • Poets, American--20th century--Homes and haunts
  • Personal Names :
  • Roethke, Helen H., 1881-1955--Photographs
  • Roethke, June, 1913-1997--Photographs
  • Roethke, Otto, 1872-1928--Photographs
  • Roethke, Theodore, 1908-1963--Photographs
  • Stokes, Katharine Martin, 1906---Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographic prints
  • Portrait photographs

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)