SEARCH UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
The Special Collections & Archives reading room is closed, and all in-person (physical, face-to-face) services are suspended at this time. We are here to help! Please contact us to discuss how we can best serve you during this time.
Author: Prepared by James M. Petrucella, December 16, 1994
Revisions: Updated December, 2006; Reorganized by Edith Serkownek and additional materials integrated, December, 2007; Last Update: October 2020
Descriptive Rules: DACS
Origination (principal individuals): Marie, Queen, consort of Ferdinand I, King of Romania, 1875-1938; Alexandra, Mother, 1908-; Harris, Ray Baker, 1907-; Stefan Habsburg, Archduke
Inclusive Dates: 1793-1991
Bulk Dates: bulk 1918-1991
Extent: 30 cubic feet (29 boxes = 13 record storage boxes, 3 half size record storage boxes, 1 document box, 1 slim document box, 10 flat boxes and 1 oversized box) and 2 inscribed marble monuments
Physical Location: 11th floor
Language of Materials: Significant portions of the collection are in Romanian and English, with some material in French, German and Spanish.
Abstract: The Queen Marie of Romania papers contains correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, personal belongings and other miscellaneous items related to the lives of Queen Marie and her daughter, Princess Ileana. In addition, the collection contains literary pieces by Romanian authors and poets, literary journals, newspapers and books.
Biography: Queen Marie was born Marie Alexandra Victoria on October 29, 1875 in Kent, England. She was the daughter of Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and the former Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia. Marie was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and married Ferdinand of Romania in 1893. Marie, who became Queen of the Romanians in 1914, was popular among the Romanian public and served as a nurse during World War I. Queen Marie had six children of which Princess Ileana was fifth, being born in 1909. Queen Marie died in 1938.
Princess Ileana and her husband, Anton Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, also had six children with Stefan being the oldest. Princess Ileana moved to the United States after her deportation from the communist state of Romania. Divorcing Anton, she moved her family to Newton, Massachusetts and began a writing career and made several public appearances to support the family. Much of her writing reflected on her life in Romania and her mother. Princess Ileana entered the religious life in 1959 and founded the Monastery of the Transfiguration, an Orthodox convent located in Pennsylvania, in 1968. She eventually became known as Mother Alexandra. She died in 1991.
Scope and Content: The bulk of the Queen Marie of Romania papers date from 1918-1991 and contain correspondence, photograph albums, newspaper clippings, personal belongings and other miscellaneous items of Queen Marie and her daughter, Princess Ileana. This collection documents the Romanian royal family's personal and public activities during much of the 20th century including Queen Marie's involvement during World War I, her trip to the United States and Canada in 1926 and her death in 1938. It also documents Princess Ileana's activities during World War II, her exile from Romania and her church involvement. In addition, the collection contains literary pieces by Romanian authors and poets, literary journals, newspapers and books. The collection was donated in several installments, and at varying times by Queen Marie, Princess Ileana, Stefan Habsburg (the son of Ileana) and Ray Baker Harris. The collection was processed at the item level. Throughout the inventory Ileana is referred to as Princess Ileana rather than Mother Alexandra. Attempts have been made when possible to put in parenthesis the relationship of an individual to Princess Ileana or Queen Marie.
Statement of Arrangement: This collection has been divided into eight series. Series 1 includes correspondence of Queen Marie, documents related to Queen Marie, and materials collected by researchers Hector Bolitho and Ray Baker Harris memorializing and documenting Queen Marie's life. Series 2 contains correspondence of and documents related to Princess Ileana. Series 3 contains photographs, photograph albums and scrapbooks documenting Queen Marie, Princess Ileana and the Romanian royal family. Series 4 contains periodical clippings regarding Queen Marie, Princess Ileana and the Romanian royal family. Also included are published articles written by Queen Marie regarding her life and travels. Series 5 contains oversized material and includes correspondence, photographs, periodical clippings and framed images. Series 6 includes audio-visual materials related to the Romanian royal family. Series 7 contains objects related to the royal family. Series 8 includes literary pieces by Romanian authors and poets, literary journals, newspapers, books and microfilm.
Series 1: Correspondence and Documents Relating to Queen Marie
Series 2: Correspondence and Documents Relating to Princess Ileana
Series 3: Photographs and Photograph Albums
Series 4: Periodical Clippings
Series 5: Oversized Material
Series 8: Romanian Literary Works
Preferred Citation: Queen Marie of Romania papers. Department of Special Collections and Archives. Kent State University Libraries and Media Services.
Separated Material: There are two large carved marble monuments in this collection. One of the marble monument is on exhibit in the 11th floor hallway. The second marble monument is located in storage in 11th floor back room. There is a carved marble portrait of Queen Marie, also located on the 11th floor.
One of the Queen Marie photoalbums was converted to digital images in 1994 as a means of preserving the fragile pages. It is available for viewing. The individual pages of the scrapbook were scanned in their entirety to preserve the placement of the photos on the page and the Queen's own handwriting as she identified the photos.
Acquisition Information: The collection was donated in several installments by Queen Marie, Princess Ileana, Stefan Habsburg, Ray Baker Harris and others. Professor Glee Wilson a Kent State history professor has also made selected contributions to the collection over time.
Correspondence of Queen Marie and personal documents written by Queen Marie. Material is organized chronologically. Research note: Correspondence relating to Queen Marie's friendship with the Huntington family is organized separately.
Folder -- Contents
Material relating to Queen Marie's friendship with the Huntington family, including a diary, correspondence and photographs. Material is organized chronologically.
Material organized chronologically and then by record type.
Subseries 1D: Material relating to Queen Marie and Colonel Joe Boyle
Correspondence regarding Queen Marie's friendship with Colonel Joe Boyle, an officer in World War I. Research note: See also Correspondence and writings of Queen Marie.
Hector Bolitho correspondence, documents and photographs. Hector Bolitho was friend of Queen Marie and an author of a number of royal biographies. In 1950 he published A Biographer's Notebook which included correspondence between Queen Marie and Ray Baker Harris. Material organized chronologically.
Ray Baker Harris publications, correspondence and documents. Harris was a friend and admirer of Queen Marie and published Collection Concerning Queen Marie of Roumania and the Roumania of 1866-1941 in 1942. The following includes correspondence Harris initiated with U.S. embassies and legations following Queen Marie's death, and includes Collection Concerning Queen Marie of Roumania and correspondence related to its publication.
Folder -- Contents
Research note: Material related to Princess Ileana's correspondence with Julie Thompson Pitt and the Abbot Academy is organized separately.
Julie Thompson Pitt helped provided a scholarship to allow Princess Ileana's daughter to attend school at the Abbot Academy in Massachusetts.
Research note: Material relating to Queen Marie's friendship with Colonel Joe Boyle is organized separately.
Material organized chronologically.
Photographs organized chronologically and then alphabetically by scrapbook.
Folder -- Contents
These photographs, removed from the Queen Marie of Roumania scrapbook have been arranged in the order they were displayed in the original scrapbook.
This scrapbook contains photographs of Queen Marie's trip to America in 1926.
Folder -- Contents
La Morte de la Reine Marie scrapbook contains photographs and publications relating to Queen Marie's final illness (including sanatoriums she visited) and death. Research note: Contents of this scrapbook not related to the Queen Marie's death have been housed in other parts of the collection where noted.
Folder -- Contents
Balcic: Tenha Yuvah, residence of Queen Marie on the Black Sea in Southern Romania (now part of Bulgaria)
Bran: A medieval fortress converted to a private residence for Queen Marie. It was later converted into a hospital by Princess Ileana during WWII.
Copaceni: A farm and house given to Queen Marie.
Cotroceni: The royal family's palace in Bucharest
Sinaia: Peles Castle and Pelisor "Little Peles" Castle, the royal family's summer home, located Northwest of Bucharest.
Schloss Sonnberg-Hollabrunn: Princess Ileana's family residence in Austria.
Other Royal Residences, Official Buildings, Vacation Retreats and Religious Structures, Romania.
Empty photograph Albums: The photograph albums in Boxes 8 to 13 have had their contents removed and rehoused, however the physical albums have been retained. Researchers should refer to other parts of this collection for the album contents. The boxes listed below list each album and its previous contents. A few of the albums do contain some contents and these will be noted.
Box 7 Contents removed. Photoalbum: Balcic-Bran-Cotroceni: Bound in 3/4 brown morocco, with brown cloth slip-case: This contained photographs of the residences of the Romanian royal family.
Box 8 Contents removed. Photoalbum: Marie Queen of Roumania: Bound in 3/4 red morocco: This contained photographs of Queen Marie at different times from her childhood through 1938.
Box 9 Photographs removed and rehoused, but newspaper clippings intact. Photoalbum: La Morte de la Reine Marie-1938: This album presently contains major Romanian newspapers announcing the Queen's death and giving accounts of the funeral ceremonies. The newspapers were preserved using a now defunct process called "Broadman Process." The album also housed documentation from around the world regarding Marie's death, photographs and addition newspaper clippings from around the world. These items are in the collection inventory.
Box 10 Contents removed. Photoalbum: My Impressions of America: Bound in 3/4 green morocco with green cloth slip- case: Contained articles written by Queen Marie on her trip to America along with photographs. (Ray Baker Harris scrapbook)
Box 11 Contents removed. Photoalbum: Princess Ileana: Bound in 3/4 blue morocco with blue cloth slip-case: Housed photographs of Princess Ileana, her Austrian home and children. There were also several photographs of Ileana with her mother, Queen Marie.
Box 12 Contents removed. Photoalbum: Romania: This album contained miscellaneous photographs of the royal family and the Romanian countryside.
Folder -- Contents