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Anne Siewers Coyne papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Coyne

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, photographs, poems, clippings, programs, and other materials related to Anne Siewers Coyne and her time working at Ralph G. Newman's Abraham Lincoln Book Shop on Chicago's Near North Side, initiating Loyola University Chicago's David B. Steinman Visiting Poets Series, and teaching in the Chicago Public Schools.

The papers chiefly contain correspondence received by Coyne from Nelson Algren, who she befriended during her time at the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, and the poets who she contacted during her time organizing the David B. Steinman Visiting Poet Series. Some of the poets who she met during her time planning the visiting poets series she corresponded with after the event itself, such as e. e. cummings and Dame Edith Sitwell. The papers also include clippings and other materials related to Coyne's teaching and work with the Illinois Sesquicentennial. Additionally, her personal papers include a few written documents, one of which is a reflection on the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.


  • Creation: 1943-1999
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1948 - 1969



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Anne Siewers Coyne papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Anne Siewers Coyne papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Anne Siewers Coyne

Chicago Public Schools teacher and principal.

Anne Siewers was born on January 11, 1931 to John Siewers and Mary Byrne Siewers in Oak Park, Illinois. At 14 she started working at the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, run by Ralph G. Newman, in Chicago’s Near North Side. During her time at the bookstore she befriended Nelson Algren and Carl Sandburg.

She attended St. Catherine of Siena and received an undergraduate degree from Loyola University Chicago. She returned to Loyola several years later in 1956 to help establish the university’s foundation office. During her time there, she persuaded the bridge builder and designer David B. Steinman to fund a poetry reading series. The series (1957-1958) included readings from Gwendolyn Brooks, e. e. cummings, Robert Frost, Marianne Moore, Carl Sandburg, and Dame Edith Sitwell, to name a few. Coyne corresponded with many of these poets long after their readings at Loyola, such as e. e. cummings and Dame Edith Sitwell.

Throughout her life she maintained an avid interest in history, specifically Chicago area history. And in 1968, as part of a committee in charge of celebrating Illinois’ sesquicentennial, she led a group to St. Charles, MO where she helped to locate and mark the grave of Chicago’s first permanent resident and founder, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable.

Her first full-time teaching job with the Chicago Public Schools was at the former Waller Satellite High School, now Lincoln Park Academy. There she taught Afro-American history and modern world history during most of the 1970s. She then served as the assistant principal at Washburne Trade School from 1979-1986. While at Washburne, she encouraged young women students to join unions dominated by men. From 1989-1993, she served as principal of Blaine Elementary School in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

She married John Coyne and they had three children: Mariana Coyne Blucher, Nicholas Coyne, and Julia Allen. She died on October 24, 2006.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


Papers (correspondence, photographs, poems, clippings, programs, and other materials) of Anne Siewers Coyne, who began working at 14 at Ralph G. Newman's Abraham Lincoln Book Shop. There she met, became friends with, and corresponded with Nelson Algren. In 1957 and 1958 she initiated Loyola University Chicago's David B. Steinman Visiting Poets series, corresponding with poets such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Marianne Moore, and Dame Edith Sitwell. The papers also include materials related to her other activities, such as book store events, Waller Satellite High School where she later taught history, and the Illinois Sesquicentennial, and the 1968 Democratic Convention.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Nelson Algren Papers, 1951-1960
Box 1
Series 2: David B. Steinman Visiting Poets Series, Loyola University Chicago, 1952-1969
Box 1
Series 3: Personal, 1943-1999
Box 1

Collection Stack Location

1 39 3


Gift of John Coyne, 2017.

Processed by

Samantha Smith, 2018.

Inventory of the Anne Siewers Coyne papers, 1943-1999, bulk 1948-1969
Samantha Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States