Champlain, Helene

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Helene Champlain, book dealer and collector managed the bookstore in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel where she met and corresponded with many famous personalities.

Miss Champlain worked at a variety of jobs in the early 1930s. She wrote a column for Harpers and a novel around 1935. She started working at the Waldorf Astoria bookshop by the late 1940s and continued there until the end of 1962 when she left her position as the store's manager.

From the description of Helene Champlain papers, 1932-1969. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144652150

There is very little information about the public or private life of Helene Champlain. As a book dealer and collector in the New York City area between the 1930s and 1960s her devotion to her customers' requests for books, articles and clippings, furnished the foundation for numerous epistolary friendships with these literary and theatrical celebrities. The letters from these celebrities (her own letters to them are not included in this collection) indirectly document that she was an avid theater-goer, a thoughtful letter-writer, and a loyal, sympathetic and "encouraging" friend and confidante. Although she was very reticent about discussing her private life, the letters establish that she roomed with and helped support an aspiring actress (Wendy Drew) around 1949-1950, that during the summers she liked to stay with friends involved in summer stock productions, and that she at times suffered from work anxieties, health crises, and painful bereavements.

Miss Champlain worked at a variety of jobs in the early 1930s (evidently including the writing of a column for Harpers ), wrote a novel around 1935, worked at the Waldorf-Astoria Bookshop by the late 1940s (perhaps much earlier), and left her position as the bookshop's manager at the end of 1962. The collection's one photograph which includes Miss Champlain (in the Charles Edison folder) dates from 1959.

From the guide to the Helene Champlain papers, 1932-1969, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Champlain, Helene. Helene Champlain papers, 1932-1969. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Helene Champlain papers, 1932-1969 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Chevalier, Maurice, 1888-1972. person
associatedWith Coward, Noel, 1899-1973. person
associatedWith Peters, Rollo. person
associatedWith Williams, Emlyn, 1905-1987. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States


Active 1932

Active 1969



Ark ID: w6vr1rxr

SNAC ID: 73509068