University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Dolores Cairns collection, 1927-1947

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

The collection includes a biographical information sheet and photocopies of scrapbooks containing Cairns’ published poems and essays.

Biographical/Historical Note

Dolores Cairns was born May 9, 1906, in Manchester, Maine, of a Scottish father and a Mexican mother. She attended high school in Augusta, Maine and began working for the Northeastern Press, a small publishing company, in 1930. She worked there as a proofreader until it closed in 1943 due to a shortage of metal for type during World War II. Cairns then moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to work at the Riverside Press until 1964 when she went on to work at Houghton Mifflin in Boston until 1974.

Once retired, she became involved in civil rights and different social concern groups. She worked closely with prison groups and the Council Against the Death Penalty in Boston, supported Amnesty International, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 1991, health concerns prompted her move into a retirement home in Quincy, Mass., where she continued to follow her social concern groups from afar. While she lived in Maine, Dolores was a member of the Maine Poetry Fellowship. Her published work dates from 1927-1954. She published widely in The Christian Science Monitor, New York Herald Tribune, Boston Herald, Lewiston Evening Journal, Hartford Times, Poetry, Winged Word, American Bard, Hippocrene and Saturday Review of Literature.