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PCL MS 225 Harriette Coret Collection

Introduction

The Harriette Coret Collection consists of approximately 3 linear feet of literary and personal manuscripts dating from the 1940s through the 2000s. The collection was donated  in August 2016 by Mrs. Coret's family. The collection has no restrictions placed on its use for scholarly purposes. Researchers are responsible for securing copyright permission when using all unpublished manuscripts and published works, whether authored by Harriette Coret or other writers. The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Manuscripts & Outreach Archivist Steve Ammidown in November 2016.

Biographical Sketch

Harriette Buckner (Kolker) Coret was born in 1919 in Tacoma, Washington, to parents recently emigrated from Russia. She graduated from Mills College in Oakland, California in 1941, and went on to serve as a psychologist in the Army Air Corps during World War II. She married shortly after the war and moved to St. Louis, where she lived until 1997.

Mrs. Coret worked as a mental health professional in the St. Louis area until her retirement in the early 1980s. Her earliest published work was as the author of the advice column "Open Mind", which she wrote while working with the Mental Health Association of St. Louis and appeared in the St. Louis Globe Democrat. In the late 1970s, she also began to submit stories to so-called "true confessions" magazines such as True Story, Real Story, True Love, and True Experience. Her writing was published in these magazines well into the 1990s, although without a byline. It can be presumed that despite the titles of the magazines, Mrs. Coret's work was fiction, likely drawn from her experiences as a psychologist.

Beyond magazines, Mrs. Coret published four novels for New Readers Press in the 1990s, meant for young adults with poor literacy skills. Like her magazine stories, she drew on her professional experience, writing about teen and adult mental health issues.

In 1997 after the death of her second husband, Mrs. Coret relocated to a retirement community in Boca Raton, Florida. She continued to write, however, penning regular "Featured Resident" stories about her neighbors in the community. Mrs. Coret lived in the same community until just before her death in September, 2015.

Scope and Content

This collection presents a nearly complete story of the life of a writer who never seemed to stop working. The bulk of the materials relate to her work for so-called "true confession" magazines, including Modern Romances, True Story, Real Story, and Secrets. While her stories were published without a byline of any kind, where possible Mrs. Coret filed each manuscript with its published version, so researchers can identify her work and compare the two versions.

The files relating to Mrs. Coret's include full manuscripts, but also show the struggles of a writer trying to collect her royalties and clarify her contract with a small publisher whose management seemed to be constantly changing.

Another highlight of the collection is the collection of biographies written by Mrs. Coret about the residents of Stratford Court in Boca Raton, Florida. Her skill as a writer and affection for her subjects shine through here, and many of the stories themselves are fascinating.

The remainder of the collection relates to Mrs. Coret's personal life and her family. There are clippings and correspondence with her second husband, Irving Coret, as well as other members of the family. Also included are her records from Mills College, as well as materials she and others wrote for class reunions. Of particular interest is the manuscripts for Beulah's Story and Little Girl in the White Bashlik, which tells the story of her family's emigration from Russia to places such as Wyoming and Washington State. Included in the files for this story are letters from friends and acquaintences who share their immigration stories.

NOTE: Some files are marked restricted due to personal identifiable information. These files are still accessible, but must be reveiewed by the archivist first.

Series Description

Personal Files
1941-2003
Arranged as received

Manuscripts and Published Works
1977-2005
Arranged as received

Audio cassettes
1988-1990
Arranged as received

Inventory

Box 1

Folder Description Date
Personal Papers
1 Mills College Publications 1985, 1991
2 Mills College related papers multiple
3 Records related to 3 Glocca Mora Lane, St. Louis, MO multiple
4 Correspondence with Irving Coret undated
5 Irving Coret undated
6 Psych Jobs 1945 - 1947
7 WWII Reunion 1999
8 Children's Hospital 1942
9 Coroner's Jury 1968
10 Mental Health Association undated
11 Army Air Force 1942 - 1944
12 LaDue multiple
13 The English Journal- 2 issues 1963

 

Box 2

Folder Description Date
Personal Papers, cont'd
1 Biographies- Stratford Court undated
2 Grandpa's Will 1947
3 Correcting Papers 1960s
4 Danny Kolker multiple
5 Fillmore's Articles multiple
6 Speech- Changing Public Expectations 1973
7 Open Mind multiple
8 People- newspaper clippings multiple
9 Suicide Prevention 1972 - 1973
10 Stadium High- newspaper clipping

undated

11 Tacoma multiple
12 Terezin exhibit 1969
13 Laubach- 1992 on

1992 - 2003

14 Drawings- Oakland and Miami 1941
15 Florence, Lawrence and Murgatroyd stories undated
16 Beulah's Story- notes and manuscript undated
17 I Was There- 12/8/1941 1941

 

Box 3

Folder Description Date
Manuscripts and Published Works
1 Doing Flat Time - original undated
2 Doing Flat Time- xeroxes undated
3 Workshop in Composition for Junior High School Students undated
4 Workshop in Composition undated
5 Children's Reading Roundtable of Chicago 1988
6 At the Bottom of a Cliff undated
7 New Reader's Press- Worksheets and Catalogs 1986 - 1988
8 Edited Manuscript- Stowaway undated
9 Ads 1994
10 Ads- copies 1993 - 1995
11 Ads- revised 1995
12 Anna / AIDS Separated me from my Lover (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1989

 

Box 4

Folder Description Date
Manuscripts and Published Works, cont'd
1 Grocery Checker- manuscript and published version 1977
2 Little Girl in the White Bashlik 1980
3 Little Girl in the White Bashlik- correspondence and notes 1984
4 Little Girl in the White Bashlik 2003
5 Laubach- Money (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1999 - 2005
6 Correspondence- Laubach 1981 - 2002
7 At the Bottom of a Cliff- 1st version undated
8 Various magazines- Coret stories circled on table of contents 1979, 1987, 1989
9 Aaron & Zoe (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1987
10 Story about Huntington's Corea- manuscript and published version 1989
11 Better off Without Me 1988
12 Study Guide- In and Out the Windows 1986

 

Box 5

Folder Description Date
Manuscripts and Published Works, cont'd
1 Diabetic (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1989
2 Emily Hook- note from folder: Sold but magazine lost? undated
3 Lottery- manuscript and published version 1990
4 The Boy Next Door- manuscript and dpublished version (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1987
5 Beth & Aunt Gladys- manuscript and published version 1979
6 Rock-a-Bye Bride (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1978
7 At the Bottom of a Cliff- synopsis and research 1985
8 Sue Ann's Story (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1978
9 I Killed My Best Friend's Husband- published version 1980
10 Mike's Wife- manuscript and published version 1984
11 My Foreign Affair- published version 1989
12 Sheila- published version 1986
13 Mary Lou Cody- manuscript and published version 1979
14 Stowaway- handwritten and typed manuscripts 1992
15 In and Out the Windows- manuscript and printed book (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1994
16 Better Off Without Me- manuscript and printed book (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1994

 

Box 6

Folder Description Date
Manuscripts and Published Works, cont'd
1 Boys' Games- published versions 1985
2 If He Really Wants Me- published version (RESTRICTED- Personal Identifiable Information) 1988
3 I Wanted a Baby- manuscript and published version 1990
4 Donna Graves- manuscript and published version 1978
5 A Ride Through Gorongosa Game Park- manuscript 1985
6 The Guest- manuscript and published version 1988
7 For Which the First Was Made- manuscript undated
8 Love Letters- contracts and published book 1994
9 Be and Explorer- published version 1980
10 Rapid I Movement- manuscript and published version 1984
11 Bag of Lunch- published version 1984
12 Contests undated
13 Bokka Bakery undated
14 Cindy-Ella's Coach- published version 1987
15 Pakistani Poppy- published version 1985
16 Letter from a Distant Grandchild- manuscript 1986
17 At the Bottom of a Cliff- manuscript 2003

 

Box 7

Folder Description Date
Audio Materials
1 Better Off Without Me- 2 tape set of read-along version of the book- 10 copies 1989
2 Love Letters- 2 tape set of read-along version of the book- 1 copy 1988
3 In and Out the Windows- 2 tape set of read-along version of the book- 1 copy 1990