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Robert_Frost collection

The Frederick G. and Joan Christopherson Schmidt Robert Frost Collection

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation acquired a rare collection of works by the 20th century American poet Robert Frost, as a combined purchase and gift from Joan Christopherson Schmidt. The Foundation is accepting gifts to support a fund to maintain the collection. The collection contains approximately 44 books authored by Frost, including several that have been signed and inscribed by the poet, dozens of books about Frost, and manuscript materials containing hand-written poetry, Christmas cards and pamphlets.

The Story of the Frost Collection

The Frost Collection was made available to the University by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, through Joan Christopherson Schmidt, the wife of the late Frederick Schmidt, a long-time friend of Frost and Wisconsin native. After his passing in 2005 at age 81, Joan Schmidt felt it was important for her husband's collection to remain intact and stay in Wisconsin, and so, through a series of connections in the area, the collection found a home at UW-Eau Claire.

A Natural collection

Ms. Schmidt said she is happy the Robert Frost collection that meant so much to her and her husband now has a home at UW-Eau Claire surrounded by the nature they both loved.

"The books will be used and appreciated and studied," Ms. Schmidt said. "Not for how well the words fit or how well the meter is, but for the true meaning of the involvement with nature that was so important to Fritz and Frost." 

One Step Backward

One inscription written on the front page of the book titled, "Mountain Interval," was particularly special for Mr. Schmidt. The words to the poem, "One Step Backward Taken," were carefully handwritten on that page. Ms. Schmidt revealed that the poem was written for her husband about his time in the war, a piece of Robert Frost history scholars and researchers had not known until recently. 

To support the Robert Frost Collection maintenance fund or to explore ways in which you can leave a legacy, contact the Foundation. For more information about the Frost Collection, see the news release.

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"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."

- Robert Frost  




"Certainly this collection of books and manuscripts will command the interest of scholars, students and community members who still remember the lines from Frost's "Stopping by a Snowy Evening" or "The Road Less Traveled."

- Max Garland, professor of English, current Poet Laureate of Wisconsin  

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