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Musselman Library
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MS – 113 Papers of Thomas Yost Cooper

(19 boxes + 14 oversized+ 1 card catalog, 12.83 cubic feet)

Inclusive Dates: 1868-1966

Bulk Dates: 1900-1966

Processed by: Elizabeth Ungemach

Spring 2011

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF


Schmucker Memorial Library received the papers of Thomas Yost Cooper in 1967.


Thomas Yost Cooper was born on April 22, 1884 in Del Rio, Texas. He graduated from Hanover High School in Hanover, PA in 1900, from the Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, MA in 1902, and from Harvard University in 1906 with an A.B. in Agriculture. He worked for a time on the family farm before serving as city editor of the Hanover Evening Sun in Hanover, PA until 1949. Cooper wrote a volume of poetry, entitled Wren’s Nest: a Fairytale in Verse and Other Poems, which was published in 1929. He collected rare and first edition copies of books for years and in 1965 he donated his collection of over 1,600 items to the college in honor of his parents, Dr. Moses and Mrs. Kate Miller Cooper. The collection includes books, magazines, newspapers, musical scores, and author correspondence. In 1966, Cooper added theatre programs from productions in the 1890s to the collection.

Cooper established an endowment so the College could purchase literature and American history texts. He was a fan of Marlene Dietrich, the famous German movie star and singer who came to Hollywood in the 1930s; a portion of the collection is made up of newspaper clippings and articles related to her and movies she appeared in. Thomas Yost Cooper died on July 24, 1967.

Cooper’s father, Dr. Moses Cooper, emigrated to the U.S. from Germany. He trained as a doctor at Georgetown College (before it became Georgetown University) and served as an Acting Assistant Surgeon in various military forts in Texas and New Mexico in the late 1870s and early 1880s.

Scope and Content Notes:

This collection gives insight into the life of Thomas Yost Cooper and his parents, Dr. Moses and Mrs. Kate Miller Cooper. It says a great deal about Cooper’s personal interests, especially the Pennsylvania Dutch, writing, reading, movies, and Marlene Dietrich. The collection also demonstrates the work involved in writing for and editing a local newspaper.

Series Description:

The collection is divided into 12 different series: I. Family History, II. Moses and Kate Miller Cooper’s Papers, III. Education, IV. Correspondence, V. Photographs, VI. Book Collections, VII. Hobbies, VIII. Personal Items, IX. Manuscripts, X. Research, XI. Hanover Sun Materials, XII. Other Newspapers, and XII. Hanover and Local History.

Link to Full Finding Aid - PDF