I visited the Katherine Anne Porter Room at Hornbake Library while at the University of Maryland -College Park today, and it was open! I tweeted about this earlier but it really deserves a blog post. I was able to come back after I took a study earlier today and stay for a few minutes.

Back when I was a student it wasn’t always open, and upon talking to two wonderful people that work there, I now know I can go online and find out information. For example, if I go to the Special Collections section of www.lib.umd.edu and click on Archival Manuscripts, I reach the Literary Manuscripts link. Voila! Just goes to show you have to be curious to find things.

The Katherine Anne Porter Room is filled with things she enjoyed as well as her contributions to the university. It’s a lovely way to find out about a person’s life and accomplishments.’Find out more about the The Katherine Anne Porter Room at’www.lib.umd.edu/litmss/kaproom.html. Hours are’Monday and Thursday afternoons, between 1:30 and 4:00 pm; tours are available then as well as on request.

The Porter Room came about as a result of the University of Maryland awarding an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, to Miss Porter in June 1966. The commencement ceremonies at which Miss Porter was to receive this degree took place on June 4, 1966. When Miss Porter, then seventy-six, was unable to attend the event because of illness, University President Wilson Elkins wrote her and asked if the degree could be awarded at her home in Washington, D.C. In an interview, Miss Porter recounted the details of this occasion:

“About twenty-five people piled out and into the house, including faculty members and students. . . . I put on the long robe and we went through the whole ceremony. . . . I was so happy and pleased, and I asked if they would like a little champagne–Moet et Chandon, my favorite. It was one of the most charming things that has happened to me.”

I must come back and visit sometime now that I know tours are available.’Photos are below. Visit with me?