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Adam (Helen) collection

Helen Adam (1909-1993) was a poet and visual artist of the San Francisco Renaissance. Born in Scotland, she garnered acclaim at a young age for her collection of poems titled The Elfin Peddlar. After attending Edinburgh University for two years Helen and her sister and frequent collaborator Pat Adam worked as journalists in London before moving to the United States with their mother in 1939. 

The family made their way to San Francisco, at the beginning of what would become the San Francisco Renaissance. Here her artistic career flourished, and she published a number of poetic and visual works. Following the success of her play San Francisco's Burning, the sisters moved to New York City where they remained for the rest of their lives. 

The material in the Helen Adam Collection contains over 100 collages, 119 scrapbooks, manuscripts for several books of poetry and individual poems as well as production material from Adam's dramatic work such as San Francisco's Burningand Daydream of Darkness. Also included are personal documents, artwork, and ephemera.