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Worth Bailey Papers, 1939-1980

Identifier: A-WB

Scope and Contents

The majority of this collection is made up of research files compiled by Worth Bailey while researching at Mount Vernon and other historical sites. These files contain correspondence, news clippings, images, articles, and studies. Another substantial portion of the collection contains Bailey’s drawings, woodcuts, and several printing blocks.


  • 1939-1980


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research during scheduled appointments. Researchers must complete the Washington Library’s Special Collections and Archives Registration From before access is provided. The library reserves the right to restrict access to certain items for preservation purposes.

Biographical / Historical

Worth Bailey graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He worked as a museum and research assistant at Jamestown and Yorktown before he was hired by the MVLA in 1939 as a museum technician. His first project at Mount Vernon was creating a catalog of museum collections with photographs and updated information gathered from his research. Bailey wrote articles on Mount Vernon’s collections and history, and assisted with several other MVLA publications. His talent as a woodblock artist remains one of his most recognized contributions to Mount Vernon. His beautiful woodblock prints of the estate’s buildings, artifacts, and scenery were used in MVLA brochures and souvenir booklets. The booklet Christmas with the Washingtons, first published in 1948, was illustrated by Worth Bailey and written by his wife Olive Bailey. He resigned from Mount Vernon in 1951 to work as the Curator at Woodlawn. He died in 1980.


8.6 Linear Feet (6 cartons, 2 Hollinger boxes, 2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection has two series. The first series includes Bailey’s research subject files and are listed in alphabetical order. Bailey’s woodcuts, artwork, and printing blocks make up the second series. These have been grouped together by similar subject matter and also listed in alphabetical order. Two oversize woodcuts and 9 printing blocks are at the end of the collection in Boxes 9 and 10.

Related Materials

Minutes and reports of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association Papers of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association Curatorial or Collections papers

The Worth Bailey Papers
Final draft by Kaitlyn Tanis and Rebecca Baird, 2015. Previous processing and drafts also done by Michaela Feltman, Kevin Keaney and Lisa Odum, 1998-1999.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association Repository

PO Box 3600
Mount Vernon VA 22121 USA