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Special Collections Online at UT

Sarah Ricketts Collection of Jane Merchant Material

Identifier: MS-2057

  • Staff Only

The Sarah Ricketts Collection of Jane Merchant Material spans the years 1937-1992. The papers are primarily materials collected by Ricketts during the research and writing of the biography, A Window on Eternity, on inspirational poet Jane Merchant. The collection includes Merchant's voluminous correspondence, excerpts from her diary, and scrapbooks of her published and unpublished poetry. Also included are the various drafts of Ricketts' book.


  • 1937-1992

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


25.5 Linear Feet


The Sarah Ricketts Collection contains materials collected while researching and writing A Window on Eternity, the biography of inspirational poet Jane Merchant, who suffered from the incapacitating disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

Biographical/Historical Note

Jane Hess Merchant was born in 1919 in Inskip, Tennessee. She was confined to her bed at the age of twelve from the congenital bone disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which also caused her to go deaf at the age of twenty-three. From her bedroom, Merchant was able to write more than 3,000 poems, more than 2,000 letters, dozens of prose pieces, and to publish ten collections of her poetry. In addition to her published works, she also maintained continual correspondence with friends and fans throughout her life. Merchant died in 1972.

Sarah Jorunn Oftedal Ricketts was born in Norway in 1933 and is the author or ghostwriter of more than 20 books.


Collection consists of four series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Correspondence
  2. Series II: Research Materials
  3. Series III: Drafts
  4. Series IV: Publication Materials

Acquisition Note

This collection was a gift from Sarah Jorunn Oftedal Ricketts.

Related Materials

Interested researchers may wish to consult:

  1. MS.0333, Jane Merchant Literary Manuscripts Collection, 1954-1968
  2. MS.1001, Alwin Thaler Papers on Jane Merchant, 1952-1972
  3. MS.2150, Jane Merchant Collection (Addendum), 1957-1972
  4. MS.3794, Shirley Whitney Kerr Collection of Jane Merchant Material, 1950-2000

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA