The Laura Waterman Collection on Early Female Climbers, 1906-1999


The Laura Waterman Collection on Early Female Climbers, 1906-1999







Atkinson, Bill
Baker, Mike F.
Baldwin, Louise
Barrow, Cran
Bartlett, Eleanor E.
Bates, Robert H.
Bein, Kevin
Belcher, C. Francis
Blaurock, Carl
Bryant, Henry G.
Bullock, Hugh
Cabot, Thomas D.
Cahn, Pam
Creager, Joe
Cross, Leroy D.
Devine, Barbara
du Faur, Freda
Farquhar, Francis P.
Field, William O.
Gilman, Bradley B.
Hall, Henry S., Jr.
Hamilton, George T.
Hart, John L. J.
Hartman, Lynn and Steve
Helburn, Margaret
Henderson, Kenneth A.
Hirshland, Dorothy
Hurd, Marjorie
Iemolini, Anne
Ireland, Julianna S.
Johnson, Joseph E.
Johnson, Thomas H.
Kemsley, William
Knowlton, Elizabeth
Kocher, Peggy
Kogan, Claude
Kraus, Hans
Larsen, Bob
Loucks, Harold and Mary
Maddock, Margot
Marples, Winifred "Joe"
McDougle, Mary E.
Millar, Maria (AKA Leiper Millar, Maria)
Morin, Nea
Murdock, Mary-Elizabeth
Newhall, Charles B.
Palmer, Howard
Peavy, Linda
Peck, Annie Smith
Perrin, Lester W.
Pickering, Edward C.
Prescott, Polly
Prudden, Bonnie
Putnam, Harrington,
Raubenheimer, Kristen J.
Richardson, Lyle
Rose, Anne
Rubi, Adolf
Scheuer, Thomas
Smiley, Ruth and Keith
Smith, Ursula
Smutak, Ray
Stone, Beverley
Tallan, Harris
Thompson, LaVerne
Thorington, J. Monroe
Thuestad, Gerd
Trott, Mary B.
Underhill, Miriam
Underhill, Robert L. M.
Warren, Barbara
Warren, Bill
Waterman, Guy
Waterman, Laura
Westmacott, Sally
Whitcomb, Merle
Whittaker, Enid
Wiessner, Fritz
Workman, Fanny Bullock


Of interest to: Hannah Scialdone Kimberley, writing about ASP; Terry Gifford, who has written about ASP

Of interest to: Vivian Underhill, hydrologist and queer activist originally from Denver, and granddaughter of Robert and Miriam Underhill

Of interest to: Laura Waterman herself, and the Waterman Fund (

Related collections:

Papers of Guy and Laura Waterman, ML-106 at Dartmouth College (

Annie Smith Peck Collection, Brooklyn College (

Biographical Text

Laura Waterman (born 1939) is an author, naturalist, mountaineer, and homesteader. The daughter of renowned Emily Dickinson scholar Thomas H. Johnson, Waterman graduated from Hollins College in 1962 and worked as an editor in New York before moving in 1973 to a homestead, Barra, on 27 acres of remote Vermont woodlands with her husband Guy Waterman (1932 - 2000). There, the Watermans indulged their love of the outdoors and of climbing, and became noted figures in the mountaineering and wilderness communities. Despite living "off the grid," they were prolific writers; Laura Waterman was the first full-time employee and associate editor of Backpacker magazine, and has written numerous articles, essays, stories, and books, both individually and in conjunction with her husband. Besides Backpakcer, she has contributed to Appalachia, Vermont Life, and Climbing magazines, among others. Her published books include Losing the Garden: The Story of a Marriage, A Fine Kind of Madness: Mountain Adventures Tall and True (with Guy Waterman),Yankee Rock & Ice (with Guy Waterman), Forest and Crag (with Guy Waterman), Wilderness Ethics (with Guy Waterman), and Backwoods Ethics (with Guy Waterman).


Henry S. Hall Jr. American Alpine Club Library
710 Tenth St. Ste. 15
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 384-0112
email: [email protected]

Birth Date



Collection of Laura Waterman's correspondence, research notes, drafts, and publications related to notable early female mountaineers and climbers.

Types of materials

This collection contains drafts, research notes, correspondence, and interviews related to Laura Waterman's publications about certain pioneering female mountaineers, notably including Annie Smith Peck (1850 - 1935) and Miriam O'Brien Underhill (1898 - 1976). The collection includes copies of some primary source research material, but the bulk of the collection comes from the period surrounding Waterman's publication of these articles, from about 1970 - 1984.

Primary source materials include copies of correspondence from Annie Smith Peck concerning her controversial climb of Mt. Huascaran, Miriam Underhill's articles on "manless climbing," and copies of newspaper and other articles concerning their exploits.

Some of Waterman's drafts and notes are written on the reverse of household mail or unrelated drafts or notes written by her or her husband Guy Waterman, providing a snapshot of their lives during this period.

Total Linear Feet

1 linear foot


The collection is organized in four series:

SERIES I, Acquisition Information, 2012, includes correspondence and legal documents concerning the Library's 2012 acquisition of this collection from Laura Waterman.

SERIES II, Correspondence, 1975 - 1999, contains correspondence sent and/or received by Waterman, generally pertaining to her research on female mountaineers, but sometimes also containing personal details.

SERIES III, Writings, 1978 - 2000, contains drafts and revisions of Waterman's articles on female mountaineers, plus (in some cases) published versions of these articles.

SERIES IV, Research Files, 1906 - 1981, contains collections of research notes, interview transcripts, and primary source research material that contributed to Waterman's various articles.

Processing Note

Processed in June 2015 by Brian Davidson


“The Laura Waterman Collection on Early Female Climbers, 1906-1999,” The Collections of the American Alpine Club Library, accessed March 25, 2023,