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Madeleine B. Stern papers on Louisa May Alcott

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3953

Scope and Contents

Contains 1) Manuscript of A Double Life: Unknown Thrillers by Louisa May Alcott, with an introduction by Madeline B. Stern, with editing comments. The Double Life reprints five stories written by Louisa May Alcott and published anonymously in nineteenth-century newspapers and magazines. The stories are A Pair of Eyes; or, Modern Magic; The Fate of the Forrests; A Double Tragedy; Ariel; and Taming a Tartar. Taming a Tartar is not in manuscript format--it has been photocopied and attached to 8.5 by 11 sheets. 308 pages. 2) Three drafts of A Double Life on 11 by 17 inch pages. One draft is 246 pages; the other two are 240 pages. 3) Draft of a paper by Madeline B. Stern about the Louisa May Alcott story, A Modern Mephistopeles. 36 pages. 4) Another copy of Taming a Tartar, glued to pages in 2 columns, with editing marks. 17 pages. 5) Xeroxes of about 80 pictures for the Letters of Louisa May Alcott.


  • approximately 1987


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Madeleine B. Stern papers on Louisa May Alcott must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Madeleine B. Stern (1912-2007) was an author, teacher, saleswoman.

Madeleine B. Stern was born to Moses R. and Lillie Mack Stern in New York City 1 July 1912. She received her B.A. degree from Barnard in 1932 and her M.A. (degrees in English Literature) from Columbia University in 1933. Her biography of Margaret Fuller was written partly in Ogunquit, Maine, where she spent several summers. She contributed many articles on various literary subjects to the Sewanee Review, the New England Quarterly, Americana, The South Atlantic Quarterly, etc. (from inside back cover of The Life of Margaret Fuller, 1942).

On the merits of this text, Madeleine was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship to work on a biography of Louisa May Alcott. When the Fellowship expired, Madeleine taught English in secondary schools to support herself until March 1945, when she resigned as a teacher and became the business partner of her friend and co-worker, Leona Rostenberg, in the sale of rare books. From 1945 to 1991, while in that trade, she amused herself by researching alternately rare (often foreign) books and 19th century America. In that time, she produced numerous volumes on her favorite research subject, Louisa May Alcott, including a biography of the same title. Her partner, Leona, discovered four of Alcott’s unknown thrillers.


1 oversize box (1 linear ft.)

1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by Madeleine Stern in 1988 and 1989.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Madeleine Stern; 1988 and 1989.


LDS, Utah, and Western American women (Collection development policy of 20th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts, August 2007).

Related Materials

See also the Madeleine B. Stern collection of papers (MSS 1486).

Processing Information

Processed; H. Christine Broomhead; 30 May 2007.

Register of Madeleine B. Stern papers on Louisa May Alcott
Karen Glenn and H. Christine Broomhead, student processors and John Murphy, curator
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States