Clare Benedict was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of George Stone Benedict and Clara Woolson Benedict. She was the niece of author Constance Fenimore Woolson. Benedict was an author in her own right, writing books that dealt with family history, biography of Woolson, and general topics. Constance Fenimore Woolson was born in Claremont, New Hampshire, the daughter of Charles Jarvis Woolson and Hannah Pomeroy. She was a niece of James Fenimore Cooper. Woolson and her family moved to Cleveland in 1840. Woolson attended the Cleveland Female Seminary and was a graduate of Madame Chegaray's finishing school in New York City. She later lived in Florida, and then spent the rest of her life in Europe. Woolson published many works of fiction during her lifetime. The collection consists of books, letters, letter fragments, notes, notebooks, photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, bound magazines, poems, essays, genealogies, invitations, programs, a memorial book, tickets, postcards, lithographs, sketches, watercolors, brochures, press notices, reviews, birth records, receipts, a military commission, signatures, a constitution, and a nail. In many cases, authors of books contained in the collection wrote inscriptions to either Clare Benedict or Constance Fenimore Woolson. Included are two books inscribed by Henry James, along with a letter written by him to Benedict. Excerpts of letters, notes, postcards, photographs, and other manuscript material concerning either the author or the subject of a book were placed into each volume, most likely by Clare Benedict. Some of the books and manuscript materials appear to have originally belonged to Constance Fenimore Woolson, and include letters, notes, letter fragments, poems, a poetry notebook, and other items.