Preliminary Guide to the Faith Beamer Cooke Papers circa 1920s-2000s

Summary Information

Washington State University Libraries, Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections
Cooke, Faith Beamer
Preliminary Guide to the Faith Beamer Cooke Papers
Date [inclusive]
circa 1920s-2000s
2 Linear feet, 2 Boxes
(MASC STAFF USE) MS-2009-10: 2-2-8-6; MS-2013-24: 2-2-9-7
Collection materials are in English.
Papers of poet Faith Beamer Cooke, including drafts and finished manuscripts, notebooks, and personal papers (personal history, and documents about the Kennewick Unitarian Universalist Church).

Preferred Citation

[Item description]

Preliminary Guide to the Faith Beamer Cooke Papers, circa 1920s-2000s (MSSM.085)

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Poet Faith Elinor Beamer Cooke (1910-2001) was a native of Oregon. She graduated from Vancouver (WA) High School and continued her education throughout her life, taking classes at Cheney (WA) Normal School, Oregon State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Idaho. In the early years of their marriage, during the Great Depression, she and her husband Phil Cooke lived in mining camps, then moved to Salt Lake City briefly for Phil Cooke's work as a chemical engineer with the Remington Arms Company. With the economic revival associated with World War II they returned to Washington, arriving at Hanford in October of 1943.

Everywhere she lived, Cooke was an active member of the local community, with a special interest in developing cultural programs. By 1945, she had founded the Writer's Workshop (later Mid-Columbia Writers League and the Mid-Columbia Writers Association) and a Unitarian Fellowship. She participated in school activities, adult education, and Girl Scouts. She continued throughout her life to develop her skills as a poet by participating in writer's organizations and seminars throughout the Pacific Northwest and often around the world.

As the Tri-Cities grew Cooke expanded her efforts to develop regional and statewide poetry and community organizations. She was a key participant in the Benton-Franklin County Fair, the creation of the Columbia Arts Center, the Washington Poets Association, the 1976 USA Bicentennial Project, the Washington State Centennial Project, and other similar events. The Washington Poets Association established a poetry award as a memorial to Cooke, their founder, in 1999.

Every year she sent her family and friends an original poem for Christmas and other religious holidays. Like most of her poetry, these related to events in her life and environment, and they often revealed her Christian world view. After Phil Cooke's death in 1994, she remained active in several community programs. She moved to Vancouver in 1999, where she lived until her death in 2001.

(From the guide to the Faith Beamer Cooke Papers, Cage 729)

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Scope and Content

This group of Faith Beamer Cooke's papers consists of materials received after earlier installments of her paperes were processed (Cage 729).

Preliminary inventory:

MS-2009-24 (1 box, circa 1940s-2000s): Drafts and finished manuscripts of several works including: Crucible of Snow, Liberty Throughout the Land (incomplete), The Calico Bonnet, and other stories; notes; church history files from Cooke's work on the Washington Centennial Commission "Westward the Bible" committee.

MS-2013-24 (1 box, circa 1920s-1980s: Includes daybooks, various other notebooks (unsorted), poems and other writings (mostly unsorted), a file of personal history documents, and a few documents about the history of the Kennewick Unitarian Universalist Church.

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This is an unprocessed collection. Arrangement reflects a pre-existing order from the records’ creators or previous custodians.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections  © 2020

Terrell Library

P.O. Box 645610

Pullman, WA, 99164-5610 USA


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open and available for research use.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Acquisition Information

Elinor Perlich, daughter of Faith Beamer Cooke, donated this collection to the Washington State University Libraries in multiple installments beginning in 2009 (MS-2009-10, MS-2013-24).

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Related Materials

Related Material

Faith Beamer Cooke Papers, 1928-1999 (Cage 729). Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online:

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Names and Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

Subject(s) :
  • Mid-Columbia Writers Association -- History.
  • Washington Poets Association -- History.

Personal Name(s)

Subject(s) :
  • Cooke, Faith Beamer -- Records and correspondence.


  • Poets, American -- 20th century -- Archives.
  • Women poets, American -- 20th century -- Archives.
  • Women
  • Literature
  • Washington (State)

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