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Collection on Brenda Ueland

Identifier: M/A 0059

Description of Contents

One box of materials from 1938-1992. Collection consists of an incomplete collection of the 1943 Round the Town column and the What Goes on Here column 1943-45. There is also a large assortment of newspaper clippings announcing Ueland’s various speaking engagements and short biographical articles. The collections also contain the drafts of If You Want to Write, first published in 1938.


  • 1938 - 1992


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections during the department's open hours.


Brenda Ueland was born in Minneapolis on October 24, 1891 and died on March 5, 1985. She was one of seven children, the daughter of a suffragette and a lawyer who worked his way through law school digging ditches. Ueland was a graduate of Barnard College in 1913 but eschewed the standard debutante party. She was active in suffrage and socialist meetings, advocating on behalf of factory girls and prostitutes, and became the first female reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune.

An author and columnist, Ueland worked as a columnist for Liberty (Chicago Tribune), then as a freelance writer, and was published in The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, Colliers, Harper's, Delineator, and Hearst’s International. She also wrote the column “What Goes on Here” for the Minneapolis Daily Times. Her books include the famous If You Want to Write, Mitropoulos and the North High Band, and her celebrated autobiography, Me, which was first published in 1939 and reissued in 1983, in which she recounts her encounters with the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, and the writers Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, Eugene O’Neill, and John Reed.

She also visited post-war Norway in an effort to locate the relatives of Minneapolitans, many of whom were persecuted by the Nazis. Back in the U.S., she lectured on the educational and economics needs of Norwegian women, and kept a menagerie of pets. Ueland married three times: to William Benedict in 1916, divorced in 1926; to Manus McFadden, the editor of the Minneapolis times which also ended in divorce and finally she married Sverre Hanssen in 1959; they divorced in 1964. She left one daughter, Gaby (Ueland) Benedict McIver, born in 1921.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Related Materials in Hennepin County Library Special Collections

Special Collections Minneapolis Collection also contains the following books:

O clouds, unfold! : Clara Ueland and her family F606.U45 U46 2004

Me PS3541.E4Z5 1939

Clara Ueland of Minnesota F606.U45U45 1967

Mitropoulos and the North High Band : and other pieces on musical life ML200.7.M6U45

If you want to write PN147.U4 1983

Collection on Brenda Ueland
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Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.