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Mary Callum Wiley Papers

Identifier: MSS 0115

Scope and Contents

The Mary Callum Wiley Papers date from 1847 to 1966 and contain correspondence, diaries, essays, greeting cards, manuscripts, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, printed items, scrapbooks, speeches, and other miscellaneous items.

Mary Callum Wiley was a prolific writer. In addition to the many newspaper articles, she wrote poetry, essays, and magazine articles. She also wrote several books including The Teacher's Manual, Hill's Young People's History of North Carolina and a children's book entitled Ann Dorothea Her Book which was not accepted for publication by Little, Brown & Company in 1936. Her diary dating from 1894 to 1906 deals mainly with her teaching days in Salisbury, North Carolina. At the end of the diary are lists of books she read, favorite songs, authors, flowers, essays, people with whom she corresponded, and money received and spent during that period. Also contained in the collection are published copies of her newspaper article "Mostly Local" written between 1947 and 1957, as well as photocopies of typewritten galleys of "Mostly Local" articles.

The collection contains the correspondence of family members. The letters written by business acquaintances to Reverend Calvin H. Wiley between 1847 and 1866 indicate he communicated with people all over North Carolina and as far away as Boston, Massachusetts. Annie W. Wiley's correspondence covers the period 1897 to 1924. Mainly it consists of personal letters between her and her mother while she taught at the State Normal School. There are also letters between her and her two sisters, Mary Callum Wiley and Mittie T. Wiley. Mrs. Calvin H. Wiley's correspondence dating from 1857 to 1916, is mainly personal letters between her and her mother, her sister, her daughters, and her friends. Mittie T. Wiley's 1891 to 1966 correspondence consists of personal letters between her and her family, and her friends. Mittie T. Wiley's scrapbook, dating from 1901 to 1904, includes drawings, fabric samples, and writings.


  • 1847 - 1966


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

Mary Callum Wiley (1875-1965) was a teacher, author, editor, and historian from Salem (now Winston-Salem), North Carolina. Her parents were Reverend Calvin Henderson Wiley, the first Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, and Mittie Towles Wiley.

Wiley graduated with a diploma from the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) in 1894. She taught elementary education in Salisbury and Winston-Salem for a few years and then returned to the State Normal in 1902 to pursue a bachelor's degree. Wiley was a member of the first class to receive degrees in 1903, and went on to teach 5th and 6th grades in Greenville, North Carolina from 1903 to 1904.

Wiley taught English for forty-seven years, first at West End School, and later at Cherry Street High School and Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem. She was head of the English Department at the latter two schools. Wiley was affectionately called "Miss Mary" by her students and by the public at large. She was a strong disciplinarian, prohibited tardiness, and disciplined her pupils for misbehavior in class. She was much appreciated by her pupils and many kept in touch with her after they entered college.

After her retirement in 1945, Wiley wrote a daily newspaper column entitled "Mostly Local," which dealt with local historical events for the Winston-Salem Twin City Sentinel. She also made numerous speeches to various clubs and schools concerning local historical events, literature, and religious topics.

Wiley received an honorary doctorate in education from Woman's College (now UNCG) in 1946. She spent the majority of her life living in her parents' house at 523 North Spruce Street in Winston-Salem with her two sisters, Annie W. Wiley (1870-1947) and Mittie T. Wiley (1878-1970). Annie W. Wiley was a supervising teacher in the Training School (later Curry School) of the State Normal. Mittie T. Wiley was a substitute teacher and kept house for her two sisters.

Mary Callum Wiley died March 10, 1965.


3.00 Linear Feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials



Mary Callum Wiley (1875-1965) was an alumna of the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG), and a teacher, author, editor, and historian.

The Mary Callum Wiley Papers date from 1847 to 1966 and contain correspondence, diaries, essays, greeting cards, manuscripts, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, printed items, scrapbooks, speeches, and other miscellaneous items.

Arrangement Note

The materials are arranged alphabetically by type of material and then chronologically within each type.

Method of Acquisition

Gift of George Norwood in March, 1994.

Related Materials

The papers of Calvin H. Wiley are located in the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill and the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh.

Additional information about the Wiley family can also be found at the main branch of the Forsyth County Public Library in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed by Archives staff.
Mary Callum Wiley Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US