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Skulda V. Banér papers: 1900-1975 (Majority of material found within 1920-1964)
Summary Information
Title: Skulda V. Banér papers
Creator: Banér, Skulda V. (Skulda Vanadis)
Dates: 1900-1975 (Majority of material found within 1920-1964)
Extent: 3.5 linear feet
Author of Ironwood, Michigan. Correspondence and scrapbooks relating to the development of Banér's literary career; also photographs.
Call number: 85819 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Andrew F. Anderson and Lisa B. Hum, 1995

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was donated by Mrs. Burke Taylor (donor 4651) in 1970 and 1994.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.


Donor(s) have not transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Skulda V. Banér papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Skulda Vanadis Banér was a prolific writer of fiction, articles and poetry. A native of Ironwood, Michigan, she achieved popularity during the 1940s and 1950s by writing light fiction for both adults and children. She often transformed personal experience into short stories and descriptive articles.

Banér was born on November 23, 1897; her father, Swedish immigrant Johan G.R. Banér, was a publisher and writer. From childhood she aspired to be a writer like her father. After high school in Ironwood, she took correspondence courses from the University of Wisconsin, and studied art and piano in Milwaukee. In 1918, Banér became a prairie school teacher in North Dakota, but found the life difficult and returned to Michigan two years later. Decades later, her book First Parting gave a fictionalized account of those years.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Banér worked at a variety of office jobs, first at Lake Superior Power Company, followed by a Milwaukee radio station, the Carnation Milk Company, and the Boston Store. She gravitated towards advertising jobs, since she enjoyed writing copy.

In 1939, Banér took a long-awaited trip to Sweden. On her return to the United States, she was discovered to have glaucoma; by late 1940 her sight was completely gone. This proved to be a turning point in her life. In addition to the tremendous adjustment of learning to live with blindness, Banér's business career ended and she devoted herself full-time to writing. The bulk of her publications appeared in print after 1940. Her work was published in Ladies Home Journal, American Swedish Monthly, American Girl and other magazines. Her most popular books, including the autobiographical Latchstring Out and the children's book Pims, were published between 1944 and 1960. Many of her stories were also reprinted in anthologies.

Banér spent the last years of her life in Los Angeles with her sister and brother-in-law, Nanna and Burke Taylor. She died on January 31, 1964.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Skulda V. Banér papers document her career as an author and her midlife adaptation to blindness, as well as eighty years in the life of the Banér family. The collection has been divided into six series: Biographical Information, Correspondence, Manuscripts, Publications, Photographs, and Scrapbooks. Some material is in Swedish. The library also has the papers of Johan G.R. Banér.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Authors, American -- Michigan -- Ironwood.
  • Women authors, American -- Michigan -- Ironwood.
  • Ironwood (Mich.)
  • Women -- Michigan -- Ironwood.
  • Dwellings -- Michigan -- Ironwood.
  • Blind persons.
  • Ironwood (Mich.)
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Banér, Skulda V. (Skulda Vanadis)
  • Banér, Skulda V. (Skulda Vanadis)
  • Banér family.
  • Brennan, John V., 1872-1971.
  • Brooks, Paul.
  • Evans, Maurice.
  • Fisher, Dorothy Canfield, 1879-1958.
  • Hammerstein, Oscar, 1895-1960.
  • Harding, Ann, 1904-1981.
  • Hersholt, Jean, 1886-1956.
  • Kent, Ira Rich, 1876-1945.
  • McBride, Mary Margaret, 1899-1976.
  • Moorehead, Agnes, 1906-1974.
  • Mott, Frank Luther, 1886-1964.
  • Osborn, Chase S. (Chase Salmon), 1860-
  • Osborn, Stellanova, 1894-1988.
  • Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967.
  • Stokowski, Leopold, 1882-1977.
  • Weeks, Edward Augustus, 1898-
  • Welles, Orson, 1915-1985.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Biographical Information 1944-1964 [series]

Biographical Information (2 folders; 1944-1964) includes autobiographical writing and magazine articles about Banér.

Box   1  
Miscellaneous 1944-1964 (2 folders)
Correspondence 1915-1973 [series]

Correspondence (.75 linear ft.; 1915-1973) is arranged for the most part in chronological order, and includes a partial index to correspondents. Banér corresponded with family, friends, editors and other writers in both the United States and Sweden. There are letters in the collection from the following individuals: John V. Brennan, Paul Brooks, Maurice Evans, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Oscar Hammerstein II, Ann Harding, Jean Hersholt, Ira R. Kent, Mary M. McBride, Agnes Moorehead, Frank L. Mott, Chase S. Osborn, Carl Sandburg, Leopold Stokowski, Edward Weeks, and Orson Welles.

Banér kept a separate file of letters from her friend Frederick T. Jeram; his earliest letters document his service in the First World War.

Nanna Banér Taylor donated correspondence concerning her sister, including letters from friends which she received in the years following Banér's death. These are filed as "Taylor" and "Washbourn" in the Correspondence series.

Box   1  
Correspondence, with partial index 1915-1964 (19 folders)
Box   1  
Jeram, Frederick T. 1917-1926 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Taylor, Nanna Banér undated, 1945-1973
Box   1  
Washbourn, Torch Campbell 1959-1975
Manuscripts 1927-1963 [series]

Manuscripts (1.25 linear ft.; undated and 1927-1963) contains drafts of books, short stories, articles, poetry, and the script of a television show. The manuscript of Pims, her children's book, includes original illustrations by Ruth Lives.

Box   1  
And After That the Dark 1955 (2 folders)
Box   1  
And Oft the Passing Traveler 1957
Box   2  
Brief Candle undated
Box   2  
Ebony Dog, Where Now? 1963
Box   2  
High Flies the Eagle circa 1955 (2 folders)
Box   2  
J.G.R. Banér's Own Biography undated
Box   2  
Lost Whisper 1950
Box   2  
My Father's Story 1962 (2 folders)
Box   2  
Now is the High Tide 1953 (2 folders)
Box   2  
Wipe Your Nose, Rosie undated
Short Pieces (arranged alphabetically)
Box   2  
"America Boat"-"Come On, Brutus" undated
Box   2  
"Dear Lonesome"-"Four Slants in One Act" 1950-1960
Box   2  
"Göteborg Quest"-"I Heard the Bells" 1938-1958
Box   2  
"I Know!"-"Listen to Miss Livvie!" 1950-1962
Box   2  
"Little Prince New Year"-"Ring in the New" 1950-1958
Box   2  
"RX"-"This Was My Christmas" 1950-1962
Box   2  
"Throw Me No Bone, Mister!"-"Wish I May, Wish I Might" 1956-1959
Box   2  
Poetry and Miscellaneous 1927-1962
Box   3  
Pims, book for children with illustrations 1963
Box   3  
Script for the Loretta Young Show 1957
Publications 1931-1962 [series]

Publications (4 folders; 1931-1962) includes the serial version of Latchstring Out, published versions of Banér's short stories, and the German translation of her novel, First Parting.

Box   3  
Latchstring Out 1945-1946
Box   3  
Short stories and articles 1931-1962 (2 folders)
Box   3  
Wenn ich das geahnt hatte! circa 1960
Photographs circa 1900-1970 [series]

Photographs (2 folders and 8 albums; c. 1900-1970) consists of pictures of Skulda Banér, her parents, the family home in Ironwood, and Mr. and Mrs. Burke Taylor.

Box   3  
Skulda Banér circa 1900-1960s (2 folders)
Box   3  
Banér family photograph albums undated, 1901-1970 (7 volumes)
Box   4  
Nanna Banér Taylor photograph album circa 1920s-1970
Scrapbooks 1901-1922, 1944-1964 [series]

Scrapbooks (3 albums; 1901-1922 and 1944-1964) contain reviews and publicity regarding Latchstring Out, and news clippings about Banér and her work. There is also a scrapbook (with some photographs) devoted to Urda Banér, Skulda's younger sister who died in 1922.

Box   4  
News clippings 1960-1964
Box   4  
Publicity for Latchstring Out 1944
Box   4  
Urda Banér scrapbook 1901-1922