Dorothy Freeman collection, 1891-1991


Correspondence and other material documenting the close friendship between ecologist, biologist and author Rachel Carson and her summer neighbor Dorothy Freeman from their first meeting to Carson’s death in 1964. Their letters portray in great detail the genesis of their friendship and of Carson’s work, including the conception, creation, and impact of Silent Spring which exposed the dangers of pesticides. The letters also discuss details of everyday life, friends, and associates; The Edge of the Sea (which Carson dedicated to Dorothy and her husband Stan); and the progression of Carson’s breast cancer (diagnosed in 1960). The collection also contains early drafts of some of Carson’s writings, speeches, and research materials; some of Dorothy Freeman’s writings, including drafts of short stories, observations of the natural world, and notes pertaining to talks she gave about Rachel Carson; and a variety of Freeman family materials, including letters written by Stanley Freeman, Jr. when he was a student at Bates College (1944-1948) and diaries kept by Dorothy and her husband, Stanley Freeman, Sr.