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Kim Williams Papers, 1940-1986

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Williams, Kim, 1923-1986
Title
Kim Williams Papers
Dates
1940-1986 (inclusive)
Quantity
12.75 linear feet
Collection Number
Mss 218 (collection)
Summary
Kim Williams was a writer, naturalist, teacher, and radio commentator. Materials are divided into eight series: biographical information, diaries, general correspondence, financial records, speeches and writings, subject files, clippings and photographs.
Repository
University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
59812-9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 406-243-2053
Fax: 406-243-4067
library.archives@umontana.edu
Access Restrictions
Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana--Missoula.
Languages
English

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Kim Williams was born Elizabeth Ardea Kandiko on September 21, 1923, in Hudson, New York, to Hungarian immigrant parents. Kim was the fourth of seven children (six girls and one boy), and grew up on a farm in Gallatin Township, New York. She graduated from Hudson High School in 1940, then attended Cornell University where she received a degree in human ecology--home economics, food, and nutrition--with a minor in botany, in 1944. After graduation she worked for a variety of publications, including a stint as a copy girl for the Los Angeles Examiner, and in New York at Flower Grower magazine. She also wrote poetry and about personal experiences.

She met and married Mel Williams in 1951. His career as a mining engineer took them to Santiago, Chile, where they lived for 20 years. While in Chile, Kim wrote numerous poems, plays, short stories, wrote a newspaper column, taught English at the Catholic University of Chile, and wrote and published two books: High Heels in the Andes and Wild Animals of Chile.

After Mel's retirement in 1971, they returned to his native state of Montana and settled in Missoula. An ardent convert of the women's movement, Kim returned to school and received her Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Montana in 1981. A Radio/TV class project evolved into a local radio show on plants. This, in turn, led to a ten-and-a-half year career as a commentator for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" giving folksy advice and observations on herbs. She was the longest running guest commentator on NPR.

While in Missoula, she published two more books, Eating Wild Plants and Kim Williams' Book of Uncommon Sense: A Practical Guide With 10 Rules for Nearly Everything. She was an occasional instructor at the University of Montana, taught classes on edible wild plants, gave wild flower tours, and wrote a newspaper column for the Missoulian. Beneath her folksy humor was a message of greater importance, "I'm very serious about the fact we have to change our way of, living in order to live a more gentle way with the earth," she said. Kim was elected to serve on the 1974 City Government Study Commission, and ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Montana House of Representatives in 1978.

After refusing any extraordinary measures to prolong her life, Kim Williams died of cancer on August 6, 1986. Her death was mourned nationwide, with commentaries in Time Magazine, the New Yorker, and numerous newspapers. The Kim Williams Trail along the Clark Fork River in Missoula, was named for her in 1987, and the Kim Williams Graduate Fellowship was begun to fund journalism students at The University of Montana.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains material collected and produced by Kim Williams. Materials are divided into eight series: biographical information, diaries, general correspondence, financial records, speeches and writings, subject files, clippings and photographs. There is also a demo tape. The records include material related to living and traveling in South America and Europe, women, nutrition, botany and environmental issues.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to The University of Montana.

Preferred Citation

[Name of document or photograph number], Kim Williams Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana--Missoula.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Biographical Information , undatedReturn to Top

1 folder

This series consists of biographical data compiled by others. It includes profiles, poems and articles written by others about Kim, also vitae, resumes and obituaries from various local and national newspapers and magazines.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Biographical Information

Series II:  Diaries , 1958-1970Return to Top

0.5 linear feet

This series contains diaries written by Kim during her trips throughout Europe, South America and North America. They are a day-to-day, city-to-city and country-to-country account of her travels with her personal reflections on everything she encountered.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/2
Trip to Europe
1958
1/3
Trip to Europe
1958-1968
1/4
Travels in Latin America
1962-1963
1/5
Travels in South America
1963-1965
1/6
Amazon to Florida
1963
1/7
Amazon Trip
September 1963
1/8
Trip to Rupanco and Llifen
December 1963
1/9
Month Trip Down South
1964-1965
1/10
Trip to Ecuador and U.S.A.
1965
1/11
Trip to Pirehueico
February 1965
1/12
Rio-Montevideo B.A.
July-August 1965
1/13
Christman 1965, Camp Trip, February 1966 Lake Catren
1/14
Trip to Rio Cardcas, U.S.A.
1968
1/15
U.S.A.
1970 August

Series III:  General Correspondence , 1953-1986 Return to Top

1 linear feet

This series contains personal correspondence to and from Kim Williams. Most are addressed to Kim from friends, family and from Kim to same.

Arranged chronologically.
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/1
1953-1965
2/2
1966-1967
2/3
1966-1968
2/4
1969-1971
2/5
1972-1973
2/6
1974
2/7
1975
2/8
1976
3/1
1977
3/2
1978
3/3
1979-1980
3/4
1981
3/5
1982-1984
3/6
1985-1986
3/7
undated

Series IV:  Financial Records , 1970-1978Return to Top

1 folder

This series contains cancelled checks from The Christian Science Monitor and a list of payments received for published works from various publications. The series also includes completed Montana Individual Income Tax Return forms for Mel and Kim Williams.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4/8
1970-1978

Series V:  Speeches and Writings , 1940-1986Return to Top

6.5 linear feet

This series contains Williams's published and unpublished writings such as: poems, newspaper columns, magazine articles, plays, skits, letters to the editor and lectures. It also contains thoughts, notes, drafts and outlines used by Williams in the production of her written material also the submission requests and rejection slips generated to and from publishers. There is also a set of material used on her radio spot on National Public Radio and a transcript of an interview Williams gave to KUTV, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1980. The speeches and writings are kept in the same order and given the same headings as they had been organized and labeled by Kim herself.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4/1
Aging
ca. 1980
4/2
Environment
1978-1982
4/3
Food
undated
4/4
Food, Clothes, Money, Meeting People
1985
4/5
Staff Training: Food and Nutrition
1979
4/6
Good Old Days
undated
4/7
Indians
1967-1968
4/8
My Frugal Life
undated
4/9
Religion
1959-1963
5/1
Children's Book/Poetry
1969
5/2
Children's Stories
undated
5/3
Froni Stories
undated
5/4
Journalism 505 - Editorials
1978
5/5
Letters to the Editor
1973-1982
5/6
Montana Institute of the Arts -Published Poems
1972-1974
5/7
Prose
ca. 1974
5/8
Student Papers
Summer Quarter 1981
6/1
Apollo Where The Goddammed Hell Are You? Companion
undated
6/2
Beginning of Book
1981-1986
6/3
Dawn Lover
1977
6/4
Juan's Big Day
undated
6/5
Laugh Like Momma
undated
6/6
Lena, Roger
undated
6/7
Michael
undated
6/8
Out of the Nest
undated
6/9
The Playboy and the Prune from Vermont
undated
6/10
Viking Man, Safari
undated
6/11
With Flying Banners, Pt I
undated
6/12
With Flying Banners, Pt II
undated
7/1
Book Critiques
undated
7/2
Beth Version, California-Beginning
undated
7/3
Leftover--New York
undated
7/4
Chunk 1, Corrections/Inserts
1985
7/5
Family/Living Together, Sec VI
undated
7/6
Full Moon On Monument Mountain
undated
7/7
Health
1984
7/8
Lisa Version, California-Beginning
undated
7/9
Los Angeles
1944
7/10
Marriage/Sex/Aging/Death/Religion
undated
7/11
Original End of Book--Vince
undated
7/12
Politics--End of Book
undated
7/13
Surviving--Section XIII
1984
7/14
Tragedy Notes, Niece, Young Adult Book
1984
7/15
Vince - End of Book, Copy 3
undated
7/16
Wonder/Nature/undated
8/1
Complete set of NPR material
1967-1978
8/2
Complete set of NPR material
1978
8/3
Complete set of NPR material
1979
8/4
Complete set of NPR material
1980-1981
8/5
Complete set of NPR material
1982-1985
8/6
Used on NPR
1982-1986
8/7
Alder Syndicated Features News Release
1978-1979
8/8
Book tour
1985-1986
8/9
Interview: KUTV Salt Lake City, Utah
1980
8/10
Lectures
1967-1983
8/11
Published magazine articles and Arthur Eddy Publicity job writings
1945-1946
9/1
Spring, 1978-1985
9/2
Spring, 1978-1984
9/3
Summer, 1974-1982
9/4
August, 1974/Summer, 1985
9/5
September, 1976-1984
9/6
Autumn, 1974-1986
9/7
Fall, 1976-1981
9/8
November, 1982-1986
9/9
Christmas, 1980-1985
9/10
Winter, 1978-1984
10/1
Poetry
1963-1980
10/2
Poetry
1968-1981
10/3
Poetry
1972-1980
10/4
Poems "Glow Rainbow" Manuscript
undated
10/5
Winter poems
1973
10/6
Fall poems
1973
10/7
Spring poems
1963-1972
10/8
Book of poems #1
1963-1971
10/9
Book of poems #2 "I Sing the Living"
1971
10/10
Poetry
1969-1980
10/11
Poetry class
undated
10/12
Poems - Cut Bank
10-25-1981
10/13
Published Poetry
1970-1974
10/14
Criticisms of poems, rejection slips
1971-1981
10/15
Poetry - New Republic
1979-1981
10/16
Old poetry from the years in Chile. A chronicle of a life in poetry
1959-1973
10/17
Poetry - Harper's
3-1-1980, 10-25-1980
10/18
Poetry "Square"
1945-1971
11/1
Poetry
1940-1957
11/2
Poetry
1957-1969
11/3
Poetry - South American Strong Ballads
1968-1970
11/4
Poems, Miscellaneous
1958-1981
11/5
Peace Poem
1983
11/6
Mortality Poem
1981
12/1
Autobiography - Book Correspondence, Miscellaneous
1975-1982
12/2
Autobiography Manuscript - "I Plucked a Wild Rose and Put it in My Hair" Chap. 1
undated
12/3
Autobiography Manuscript - Chapter 2
undated
12/4
Autobiography Manuscript- Chapter 3
undated
12/5
Autobiography Manuscript - Chapter 4
undated
12/6
Autobiography Manuscript - Chapter 5
undated
12/7
Autobiography Manuscript - Chapter 6
undated
12/8
Autobiography Manuscript - Chapter 7
undated
12/9
Autobiography Manuscript - Chapter 8
undated
12/10
Autobiography Manuscript - Chapter 9
undated
12/11
Autobiography Manuscript - Chapter 10
undated
12/12
Autobiography Manuscript - Chapter 11
undated
12/13
Autobiography Manuscript- End
undated
12/14
Autobiography Manuscript - Notes for Book
undated
12/15
Autobiography Manuscript - Version: Vince, Lena, Cancer
1982
12/16
Autobiography Manuscript- Original (Redone)
undated
13/1
Play: "Fauncey's Fancy"
undated
13/2
Xmas etc. Skits
undated
13/3
"The Voodoo Queen of Vassar" - play in one act
undated
13/4
"Things" a one-act play
undated
13/5
"Weekend at Portillo" - play in 3 acts
undated
13/6
"The Nightingale Sings" - Drama
undated
13/7
"Midnight Pink" - Play
1973-1975
13/8
"North End of Powell County" - Play
undated
13/9
Plays: "Things/Shuffle the Cards"
undated
13/10
Unfinished Plays
undated
14/1
"Thirty Days In A Tent And The House Rented Out"
undated
14/2
Your Liver Or Your Life ("You may take this literally")
undated
14/3
Farm Weekends Can be Fatal
undated
14/4
"The Wild Animals of Chile"
undated
14/5
"The Chungungo Lives in Chile"
1972
14/6
Chilean Flowers
undated
14/7
Novel - "No Chili in Chile"
1972
14/8
3 Chapter Ones - Amazon
undated
14/9
"Across Paraguay By Bus"
undated
14/10
Proposed Book: "Down the Amazon on a Sandbar and Other Benighted Adventures in the South American Wilderness of a New York Secretary Married to the Last of the Mountain Men"
1973
14/11
Reference Notes for Amazon Trip - Beginnings
undated
14/12
"Lucy!" I Screamed, chap 1 & 2
undated
14/13
"To Marry a Mountain Man or We Retired in the Andes Mountains"
undated
14/14
Complete Manuscript - Down Amazon - Manaus, Belem
undated
14/15
Chilean Anecdotes
1965-1966
14/16
How to Survive Your Latin American Tour - Info
1968
14/17
Chilean Chapters and Short Pieces
1959-1983
14/18
Goat for Xmas - Long Version
1981
14/19
Advice and Conversation - Missoulian
1984-1985
14/20
Advice and Conversation - Missoulian
1982-1986
14/21
Advice and Conversation - Missoulian
1985-1986
15/1
"I Am Not a Llama" Manuscript
1968
15/2
Miscellaneous Writings on "Lucy"
undated
15/3
Miscellaneous Writings on "Lucy"
undated
15/4
"Tidbits" Column û Missoulian
1975
15/5
"Tidbits" Column û Missoulian
1976
15/6
"Tidbits" Column û Missoulian
1977
15/7
"Tidbits" Column - Missoulian
1978
15/8
"Tidbits" Column û Missoulian
1979
15/9
"Tidbits" Column û Missoulian
1980
15/10
"Tidbits" Column û Missoulian
1981
15/11
"Kim's Corner" Column - The Montana Standard
1974-1979
16/1
Miscellaneous Short Pieces - Handwritten
undated
16/2
Miscellaneous Short Pieces - Typed
1983-1985
16/3
Miscellaneous Longer Pieces - Handwritten
1977-1981
16/4
Miscellaneous Longer Pieces - Typed
1979-1984
16/5
Miscellaneous
1960-1978
16/6
Miscellaneous
1981-1982
16/7
Miscellaneous
1974-1984
16/8
Poetry and Miscellaneous Writings
1979-1985
17/1
Miscellaneous Writings and Poetry
1945-1950
17/2
Miscellaneous
1979-1981
17/3
Miscellaneous
1977-1980
17/4
Miscellaneous
ca. 1977
17/5
Miscellaneous
ca. 1978
17/6
Columns - The South Pacific Mail
Dec. 1961-1962
17/7
Columns - The South Pacific Mail
1963
17/8
Columns - The South Pacific Mail
1964
17/9
Columns - The South Pacific Mail
1965
17/10
Columns - The South Pacific Mail
1966

Series VI:  Subject Files , 1948-1986Return to Top

4.5 linear feet

This series contains the reference files on various subjects kept by Williams to aid her in her writings on plant identification, herbs, religion, death and dying and environmental issues etc. These files also aided her in teaching her class on edible wild plants, her NPR radio spot, newspaper articles, all of which helped to convey to the world her philosophy of human ecology. The subject files are kept in the same order and given the same headings as they had been organized and labeled by Kim herself.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
18/1
Adobe Houses, Grass on Roof, Corn on Roof, Chile - dried onions on roof
undated
18/2
Anthropology, what worked in the past
1984-1986
18/3
Ants to Horseradish - Food etc. that starts with A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H
1976-1982
18/4
Back pack equipment
1982
18/5
Beats, Zen, Indian philosophy, Mysticism
1972-1985
18/6
Bibliographies on plants
undated
18/7
Bobbi Renz - Cornerstone - Ohio
1980-1984
18/8
Butte or Tidbits - Old but some day
undated
18/9
Botany, miscellaneous
undated
18/10
Bushwhackers - Underground House
1977
18/11
Chilean plants and flowers
undated
18/12
Chokecherry, servisberry, elderberry, huckleberry, Oregon grape
1981-1985
18/13
Classes - Edible wild plants/Herb walk with Kim Williams
1973-1983
18/14
Colds
1981-1983
18/15
Creative Writing
1974-1981
18/16
"Cornerstone"
1983
19/1
Dandelion articles
1980
19/2
Death
1983-1984
19/3
Miscellaneous Diet, Marriage, Poisons
1979-1983
19/4
Doctors - Think new ways about health
1979-1985
19/5
Coffee
undated
19/6
Crab apple
1975-1979
19/7
Dried food
1980
19/8
Don't be an Effete Aesthete
1968-1985
19/9
Eating wild plants - Book PR
1977-1984
19/10
Eat Squash
undated
19/11
Ecology, miscellaneous
1981-1984
19/12
Edible Wild Plants Book/Recipes
1983-1984
19/13
Edible Wild Plants Class
1982-1986
19/14
Edible Wild Plants
undated
19/15
Financial and Contract - Mountain Press
1977-1986
19/16
Food
1973-1983
19/17
Food - Breakfast
1972
20/1
Food - Diet - Sugar
1982-1983
20/2
Food - Ethnic recipes, miscellaneous recipes
undated
20/3
The Good Food Store
1984-1985
20/4
Food, Great Aunt Ida, Soup and Coffee and Hot Water no ice
1983
20/5
Food; honey, yogurt, wheat, sprouting, tofu, vegetables
1976
20/6
Food; seeds, nuts, protein (non-meat), yogurt, salad bar
1978
20/7
Foreign info
undated
20/8
For new book PR and Pictures, old PR
1975-1986
20/9
From NPR file
1977-1981
20/10
Fruit - Jam - Jelly
1977-1980
20/11
Greens - Jerusalem Artichokes - Cook with Flowers
1974-1982
20/12
Grizzly Bears and Wolves
1983-1985
20/13
Have a Group
1973-1985
20/14
Herbs
1975-1982
20/15
Hernia Experience - Health File
1982
20/16
Hiking Trails, Glacier Park, Rattlesnake
1983
20/17
History of NPR Book - Query and Outline and Rejections
1979-1985
20/18
Honors and Career
1971-1975
20/19
UM master's program enrollment papers
1973-1982
21/1
I'm OK
Jan. 15, 1974
21/2
Kale to Root beer - Food etc. that start with K, L, M, N
21/3
O, P, Q, R
ca. 1979
21/3
Live on Small Income - Surviving
undated
21/4
Live With/Extended Households
1980-1986
21/5
Living Low-Key on Land -- Gary Snyder Conference
1978-1985
21/6
Magazine Writing - Journalism 333
1980
21/7
Markets for Short Pieces
1980
21/8
Married Couple: RETIRED leads to non-stop bickering: one has to leave the house and DO
undated
21/9
Media Releases/Feature Article
1983-1984
21/10
Miscellaneous Medical Writings
1980-1984
21/11
Mom
undated
21/12
Montana Gerontology Society
1983
21/13
Mushrooms
1975-1985
21/14
Myth of Over-Population
1970-1971
21/15
Naturalist Tidbits for any Season
1971-1982
21/16
NPR Book - Fun! A Good Laugh is Worth 10$
1975-1983
21/17
New York etc. Short Pieces out and Markets
1984-1985
21/18
New York
1948-1952
21/19
Non-Controversial food and Lifestyle
1974-1979
22/1
Syndicate - A&M Book Company
1972-1983
22/2
Nutrition
undated
22/3
Organic Gardening, April 1983
22/4
Poisonous Plants
undated
22/5
Politics
1980-1984
22/6
Recipes
1980-1985
22/7
Recognize the Fascist Streak in all of Us
1968-1985
22/8
Rejection Letters, Writing Agent Files & Nettie File
1958-1969
22/9
Risk Taking
1984
22/10
Rose Hips
1978-1982
22/11
Rowe Conference Center, Brockport Foundation: Lecture info.
1978-1985
22/12
Seaweed, Soybeans, and other foods that start with S
1976-1984
22/13
Self-Care
undated
22/14
Student's Poems
1980
22/15
Specific Ailments
1976-1981
22/16
Spokane Newspaper - 3 Columns on Health - Recipes
1983
22/17
Stress is OK, it gets things done
1983-1986
22/18
Survive Without Doctors
1976-1985
23/1
Recipes
undated
23/2
Recipes: Bread, Trail, Sourdough, Jerky
1977
23/3
Roots
undated
23/4
Survive Without Supermarkets
1980-1986
23/5
Teaching
undated
23/6
Tidbits File
1979-1985
23/7
Unemployment Related Papers
1975-1981
23/8
Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia
1960-1970
23/9
Use Parts in Book 5
1983-1986
23/10
Vitamins and Minerals
undated
23/11
Voluntary Simplicity
1977-1978
23/12
We Need Religion
1982-1985
23/13
Wildflowers
1982-1986
23/14
Wildflower Material
1974
23/15
Wildflower Trails
1975-1984
23/16
Women
1966-1985
23/17
Work on Serious - Book # 5
1974-1985
23/18
Yearn for Kennedy Leader
1980-1986
24/1
But Women Have Their Ways, and other Latin American Material
1962-1969
24/2
Chile Animal Info
1963
24/3
Chile, Humor
undated
24/4
Chilean Wilderness Articles
undated
24/5
Lucky, Lucky Me - Latin America
1969
25/1
Galley Proofs - Book of Uncommon Sense

Series VII:  Clippings , 1969-1986Return to Top

0.25 feet

This series contains clippings from North and South American newspapers and magazines. It is split in to two folders: By Kim Williams and About Kim Williams.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
24/6
By Kim Williams
1968-1979
24/7
About Kim Williams
1971-1986

Series VIII:  Photographs, circa 1982Return to Top

23 photographs

This series contains photographs of Kim Williams outdoors, with friends, promotional shots, and at the KUFM studio. Also included is one photograph of Mel Williams, Kim's husband.

Description Dates
218(VIII):1: Kim Williams
circa 1982
218 (VIII):2: Kim Williams with Peg Donahue, Kathleen Halde, Vicki Pontious
circa 1982
218 (VIII):3: Kim Williams with John Tisdale, KUFM
circa 1982
218 (VIII):4: Kim Williams
circa 1982
218 (VIII):5: Kim Williams
circa 1982
218(VIII):6: Kim Williams leading a group
circa 1982
218(VIII):7: Kim Williams leading a group
circa 1982
218(VIII):8: Kim Williams leading a group
circa 1982
218(VIII):9: Kim Williams leading a group
circa 1982
218(VIII):10: Kim Williams
undated
218(VIII):11: Kim Williams, Aber Day
1982
218(VIII):12: Kim Williams, Aber Day
1982
218(VIII):13: Kim Williams (slide)
undated
218(VIII):14: Kim Williams (slide)
undated
218(VIII):15: Kim Williams
circa 1982
218(VIII):16: Kim Williams
circa 1982
218(VIII):17: Kim Williams, National Public Radio publicity shot
circa 1982
218(VIII):18: Kim Williams
undated
218(VIII):19: Kim Williams
undated
218(VIII):20: Kim Williams
undated
218(VIII):21: Kim Williams, Great Falls Tribune photograph
circa 1982
218(VIII):22: Kim Williams, Great Falls Tribune photograph
circa 1982
218(VIII):23: Mel Williams
undated