Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810) is represented by manuscript prose and poetry pieces, mathematical calculations, notes and architectural drawings, and correspondence, including thirty-seven letters to his wife, Elizabeth (Linn) Brown. The small but substantive Washington Irving (1783-1859) collection contains manuscript material for his Life of George Washington.
Books from the Colonial and Revolutionary periods, as well as rare pamphlets, posters, and ephemeral items, reside in the John W. Jackson Collection and the Bieber Collection (see below). Among the early works of African-American literature in the Ransom Center's printed book collections are Phillis Wheatley's (1753-1784) Poems, the first published book of poetry by an African-American female author (1773), and William Wells Brown's (1815-1884) The Escape, the first published play by an African-American (1858).
Significant manuscript collections of major nineteenth-century writers include those of Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain. The life and work of Poe (1809-1849) can be studied in the William H. Koester collection of printed works, twenty-five manuscripts for poems, stories, and essays, nearly one hundred letters, and an extensive body of manuscripts and letters from Poe's relatives, friends, editors, translators, and biographers; many of these items are available in digital form. Materials for the study of the work of Whitman (1819-1892) include one hundred seventy-eight manuscripts for poems and essays, among which are notes, drafts, and rejected pages for twenty-one poems from Leaves of Grass. A comprehensive collection of books by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens, 1835-1910) is complemented by correspondence and several unpublished manuscripts, as well as books from his family library.
Early manuscripts and several letters by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) provide important details of the life of this New England writer. A small collection of manuscripts of Henry James (1843-1916) centers on his years of activity in the British theater, beginning in 1886 with letters to Elizabeth Robins and to Florence Bell, wife of Sir Hugh Bell and an interested critic of James's theatrical attempts. The Center holds six original manuscripts of Joel Chandler Harris's (1845-1908) Uncle Remus stories. Among extensive manuscript materials for Chicago newspaper columnist Eugene Field (1850-1895) is his illustrated manuscript of "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod." Small archival collections represent the work of poet Fitz-Greene Halleck(1790-1867), James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), Bret Harte (1836-1902), Edgar Fawcett (1847-1904), and Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904).
The book collections contain many important editions of major and minor works of nineteenth-century American literature. Scholars of regional literature and popular verse and theater will find rare and unique volumes in the Bieber Collection of American poetry, drama, and songsters from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Performing arts holdings of the period contain extensive documentation of performance of many types; one particular strength is materials related to Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin including manuscript and printed scripts, playbills, programs, tintype photographs and more. See Performing Arts.
More than three hundred letters written by novelist Edith Wharton (1862-1937) to Morton Fullerton, American journalist, confirm the love affair between the two, first suggested by Wharton's biographer R. W. B. Lewis, who later edited a selected number.
There are extensive manuscripts and correspondence of the once popular novelist Joseph Hergesheimer (1880-1954), whose work was published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., and who was a contemporary and friend of H. L. Mencken.
The Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) collection includes manuscripts for works such as Main Street as well as extensive documentation of Lewis's family, including his wives Grace Hegger and journalist Dorothy Thompson.
The life and work of Thomas B. Costain (1885-1965), the Canadian-American historical novelist, is represented by a large correspondence and manuscripts of all of his major novels including his Plantagenets series.
The archive of Christopher Morley (1890-1957) houses practically all of the writings from his long and varied career, voluminous correspondence, first editions and inscribed copies of his published works, photograph albums, scrapbooks, personal memorabilia, and volumes from Morley's library.
Items relating to Evelyn Scott (1893-1963) include a collection of typescripts, correspondence, and photographs. Her papers are complemented by those of the Henry E. Turlington Collection of Cyril Kay-Scott and Evelyn Scott materials and the John Metcalfe Collection.
Among the one hundred thirty-seven manuscripts by William Faulkner (1897-1962) are the handwritten draft and corrected galley proofs of Absalom, Absalom!, manuscript books produced by Faulkner (ca. 1916), illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings, and letters to his parents. The Carvel Collins Collection contains biographical materials on Faulkner's life and career.
Manuscript materials for twelve books by the novelist Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977) include versions of his autobiography Because I Was Flesh and are housed with an extensive correspondence of this understudied American writer.
Among manuscript materials by John Steinbeck (1902-1968) are the manuscript for East of Eden with a concurrent daily journal, a similar journal for The Grapes of Wrath, and notebooks containing versions of Tortilla Flat and The Pearl. Steinbeck's correspondence files contain over three hundred sixty letters (1937-1964) to editor and friend Pascal Covici.
Benjamin Appel's (1907-1977) papers include manuscripts for his best-known novel, Brain Guy (1934), as well as short stories, plays, works of conventional fiction, science fiction, non-fiction, and works for children. The archive also contains correspondence and material relating to his friend Ben Shahn.
The archive of writer and amateur photographer Sanora Babb (1907-2005) includes her WPA work among the displaced in Depression-era California. (See also Photography.)
Manuscripts for thirteen novels by Frederic Prokosch (1908-1989), several never published, are present along with volumes from his personal library, including a large group of his infamous forged "butterfly books."
The papers of Texas-born Alma Stone (b. 1908) include manuscripts for her novels and many unpublished short stories, as well as correspondence and family photographs.
Autograph manuscripts by James Agee (1909-1955) include A Death in the Family, as well as screenplays for The African Queen and other movies. The manuscript for his collaborative work with Walker Evans (1903-1975), Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, is here along with a complete set of Evans's original photographs for the second edition, many unpublished images of Southern tenant farmers in the 1930s, and over forty letters from Agee to Evans.
The collection of Paul Bowles (1910-1999) includes juvenilia, notebooks, an early version of The Sheltering Sky, fifty-seven of his musical compositions, photographs of his travels in Morocco, and a large collection of letters.
The complete archive of Jerome Weidman (1913-1998) contains manuscripts for novels, plays, stories, articles, and television scripts. Among the items in the extensive collection are the writer's diaries, a large collection of correspondence, and books from the author's library.
Manuscripts by and relating to Bernard Malamud (1914-1986) include notebooks, materials from his only editor, Robert Giroux, typescripts and galleys for various works, materials related to Malamud's induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and business files and correspondence between Malamud and his literary agents at Russell & Volkening.
The galley proofs for Ralph Ellison's (1914-1994) The Invisible Man are here, along with manuscripts of several articles and letters.
The large archive of Texas-born William Goyen (1915-1983) includes notebooks, manuscripts for over one hundred fifty works, including his celebrated novel The House of Breath, and extensive correspondences with Margo Jones, Dorothy Brett, Katherine Anne Porter, and Frieda Lawrence.
Seven boxes of creative works, correspondence, printed material, articles, and photographs represent Elizabeth Hardwick's (1916-2007) life and career, offering an almost complete archive of her published works. Of particular interest are the manuscript drafts of her 1979 novel Sleepless Nights. Personal materials document Hardwick's life, activities, friendships, and her relationship with her husband, Robert Lowell.
Carson McCullers (1917-1967) is represented by manuscript materials for one hundred six works, including novels, plays, short stories, and poetry, as well as by stage and screen adaptations. A large correspondence is complemented by over one thousand photographs of the writer, her family, and friends, and screen personalities involved in the filming of the adaptations of her novels.
Materials by Jane Bowles (1917-1973) include drafts of her play In the Summer House and Millicent Dillon's research archives for her biography and edition of Bowles' letters.
The archive of best-selling novelist Kathleen Winsor (1919-2003) includes corrected typescripts for Forever Amber, Star Money, and The Lovers. Galleys and research materials include numerous holograph research notebooks.
The papers of James Jones (1921-1977) include manuscripts for all but one of his novels, including From Here to Eternity, extensive correspondence files, and personal documents. (See also American Studies.)
Among the papers of American critic Hugh Kenner (1923-2003) are manuscripts of his critical works, including the seminal The Pound Era, and important correspondence with such modern American writers as Ezra Pound, Louis Zukofsky, William Carlos Williams, and Guy Davenport.
The Norman Mailer (1923-2007) archive contains materials associated with every one of Mailer's literary projects, whether completed or not, from the mid-1930s to the present, as well as a substantial number of first editions and foreign editions of Mailer's books, books used for research and some books given to Mailer by other authors. Ten thousand of Mailer's letters, including his wartime letters to his family, personal and business correspondence, and the originals of letters sent to him from American writers, notables and three generations of readers are in the archive. Correspondents include Allen Ginsberg, Lillian Hellman, Aldous Huxley, Truman Capote, Stella Adler, LeRoi Jones, John Lennon and Larry McMurtry, among many other important American literary figures.
The work of novelist and playwright James Purdy (1923-2009) is represented by manuscripts for eighty-two works including novels, stories, poems, and plays; a large collection of letters; photographs; and more than two hundred books from the author's library.
The collection of manuscripts by James Baldwin (1924-1987) includes several versions of his novel Another Country and galley proofs for Going to Meet the Man and Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone. For the post-World War II period, the manuscript collections include variant manuscripts for Baldwin's Another Country, proofs for two other novels by him, and publicity materials in the Knopf archive relating to Go Tell It on the Mountain.
The novelist William Humphrey's (1924-1997) archive contains manuscripts for Home from the Hill, The Ordways, No Resting Place, and My Moby Dick, along with correspondence and photographs.
Most of the novels of best-selling author Leon Uris (1924-2003), with the exception of The Haj and Mitla Pass, are represented in the collection which consists of typescript drafts, research material, fan mail, and reviews, all ranging in date from 1953 to 1981. Also included are family photographs, work-related correspondence, and legal documents relating to Uris's involvement in various lawsuits.
The collection of works and papers of American novelist and short story writer James Salter (b. 1925) spans more than 50 years of his writing career from 1953 to 2006. It includes drafts and production materials for his novels (including The Hunters, Light Years, and A Sport and a Pastime, among others) and screenplays, as well as manuscripts of short stories and autobiographical writing. Also present is correspondence with writers, actors, agents, producers, publishers, editors, and friends.
The Center has an extensive collection of corrected typescripts, holograph notebooks, galleys, page proofs, scrapbooks, correspondence, slides, photographs, magazine articles, reviews, and notes for Peter Matthiessen (b. 1927). Major works include At Play in the Fields of the Lord, Far Tortuga, and Killing Mister Watson.
Guy Davenport (1927-2005) achieved distinction as an American writer, academic, critic, painter, and translator. His archive includes manuscripts as well as correspondence with Ezra Pound, Hugh Kenner, James Laughlin, Thomas Berger, and Louis Zukofsky. The Center also acquired Davenport's library and a collection of his paintings.
A growing collection of the papers of Shelby Hearon (b. 1931) highlights her writing career, with manuscripts, galley proofs, research materials, notes, correspondence, clippings, photographs, and other printed material. The papers contain research notes, manuscripts, and promotional files for all of Hearon's books published between 1968 and 1994, as well as working files that contain a broad assortment of material pertaining to other aspects of Hearon's writing. Additional materials can be found in the archive of Hearon's publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. (See Publishing.)
Ron Sukenick (b. 1932), novelist, editor, and co-founder of American Book Review (1977) and the Fiction Collective (now FC2/Black Ice Books), has correspondence, manuscripts, galleys, literary publications, reviews, and career-related material in his collection.
Novelist, biographer, and scriptwriter Diane Johnson's (b. 1934) papers contain manuscripts, galleys, proofs, correspondence, magazine and newspaper articles, essays, reviews, and material relating to her screenplay for Stanley Kubrick's film of Stephen King's The Shining.
The large archive of novelist, poet, and screenwriter Steve Katz (b. 1935) includes drafts of works in many genres, personal papers and documents, and correspondence with several significant avant-garde writers of the second half of the twentieth century.
The holdings for Larry McMurtry (b. 1936) include three drafts of his first novel, Horseman, Pass By, the first dated 1958. Also present are the correspondence files of his agent, Dorothea Oppenheimer, spanning the years 1960-1974.
Novelist Don DeLillo's (b. 1936) complete archive includes manuscripts, notes, research materials, and proofs for most of his novels, including Libra, Underworld, and White Noise, as well as thirteen of his shorter fiction works and various nonfiction pieces. DeLillo's extensive personal and professional correspondence covers the period from 1959 to 2003.
The short story master Andre Dubus (1936-1999) is represented by notebooks, typescripts, and drafts related to his writing, as well as substantial correspondence, calendars, personal records, professional records, financial records, and periodicals containing his stories.
The papers of Lynn Luria-Sukenick (1937-1995) include drafts of her short stories and poems.
A corrected typescript of V., the first novel of Thomas Pynchon (b. 1937), containing one hundred excised pages, is accompanied by eight rare personal letters from a young Pynchon to two close friends in the 1960s. The archive also contains early notes, outlines, and drafts for an unproduced musical, "Minstrel Island," on which Pynchon and J. Kirkpatrick Sale collaborated in the spring of 1958.
Jay Neugeboren (b. 1938), who works in the tradition of American Jewish naturalism, is represented by material for his published and unpublished novels, short stories, and essays, as well as screenplays, journals, correspondence, and financial records.
Russell Banks' (b. 1940) extensive archive of manuscripts and correspondence is complemented by a collection of over 1,000 volumes from his personal library, including many rare and significant avant-garde works of verse and prose from the 1960s and 1970s.
The archive of espionage writer Alan Furst (b. 1941) includes drafts, research notes, unpublished chapters about the 1945 fall of Berlin, two screenplays, essays, poems, book reviews and stories. Literary and personal correspondence and career-related material are also included. The collection contains material from all of Furst's novels, including the acclaimed Dark Star and The Polish Officer. Also present is material for The Book of Spies, an anthology of literary espionage for the Modern Library edited by Furst.
The papers of Michael Mewshaw (b. 1943) include manuscripts for Ladies of the Court and True Crime, as well as other works, contracts, and draft articles. Correspondence is from friends, fans, authors, poets, agents, and publishers.
Michael Joyce (b. 1945) is a pioneering writer in the field of hypertext fiction, a computer-based form of storytelling. His archive includes computer and paper files, computer equipment, and disks relating to his fiction and to his broader professional involvement in the development of hypertext and other innovations.
The bulk of the Tim O'Brien (b. 1946) archive consists of extensive materials related to his novels and short stories, including manuscripts, business/personal/fan correspondence, interviews, reviews, promotion and production materials, and research materials. Also present are personal records and personal effects such as his military dress jacket with attached medals.
Jayne Anne Phillips (b. 1952) is represented by drafts, galleys, and proofs of many of her novels including Machine Dreams and Lark and Termite. Also present are typescripts of short stories and essays, professional and personal correspondence, publishing materials, family photographs, press and review clippings, professional and personal/family records, and close to a dozen notebooks containing partial drafts, notes, and research.
Novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace's (1962-2008) archive includes manuscripts for all his published works, juvenilia, and three hundred books from his working library, many heavily annotated.
The life and work of Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) is represented by manuscript materials for Across Spoon River and hundreds of other works, as well as by an immense correspondence collection. Volumes from his personal library, many carrying his marginal notes, number thirteen hundred.
Materials relating to William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) include an annotated typescript of his story collection Life along the Passaic River and a group of letters between the poet and Julian Beck regarding the performance of Williams's play Many Loves.
Among the manuscripts of Ezra Pound (1885-1972) are one hundred twenty separately titled works including Cantos 112-117, along with articles, essays, and broadcasts. Over two thousand letters written from 1912 to 1960 include a large correspondence with Dallam Simpson, Pound's secretary (1946-1950); Pound's associate Noel Stock; and poet Louis Zukofsky. The large collection of Pound material owned by editor and Pound's friend Marcella Spann Booth (b. 1932) contains manuscripts, correspondence, and personal effects from the later decades of Pound's life. A portion of Pound's personal library is held at the Center, with many of the seven hundred volumes containing Pound's extensive annotations. Related materials can be found in the John Rodker (1894-1955) archive, including the printer's typescript and page proofs for Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, both with Pound's pencil and ink emendations, revisions, and notes.
Manuscripts for three hundred forty-two works by Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), mostly individual poems, are augmented by an extensive correspondence with friends and publishers, materials from Tor House, photographs, personal memorabilia, books from the poet's personal library, and diaries kept by his wife, Una Jeffers (1884-1950).
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) is represented by manuscript materials for thirty works, including scripts on well-known literary figures prepared by the poet for radio broadcast, nearly fifteen hundred letters, and a comprehensive collection of printed books, as well as books from Eliot's library.
Manuscripts of E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) relate largely to his childhood and student years, and include class notes, examinations, and poems written between 1902 and 1914. Correspondence from later years is collected with the bulk of Cummings's working library (twenty-seven hundred volumes; many heavily annotated) and three hundred of his original works of art, ranging from rapid pencil sketches to fully executed landscape paintings and portraits.
The collection of the papers of Ogden Nash (1902-1971) includes over fifteen hundred manuscript pages, as well as over seven hundred letters, the majority of which Nash wrote to his wife Frances.
Manuscripts by Louis Zukofsky (1904-1978) include poems, novels, short stories, plays, works of criticism, essays, reviews, and translations. Zukofsky's epic-length poem A can be traced from earliest notes dated 1922 through the final draft. Letters to Zukofsky from Objectivist poets and friends, notably William Carlos Williams and Lorine Niedecker, number nearly three thousand. Volumes from the poet's library, source material for much of his poetic and critical writing, offer opportunities for a more complete understanding of his work.
The papers of poet, critic, novelist and publisher Stanley Burnshaw (1906-2005) contain notes, outlines, manuscripts of his work and correspondence with writers, poets, critics, editors, friends, and academics, spanning the years 1927-1987. Burnshaw's post-1945 poetry, translations, and criticism are particularly well represented, with extensive files for The Poem Itself, Robert Frost Himself, The Seamless Web, and The Refusers: An Epic of the Jews. Burnshaw's creative processes can be followed through the extensive notes, correspondence, and research information he kept for each of his projects, and throughout his correspondence files, personal papers, and business files for his work as an editor and publisher.
The extensive papers of Karl Shapiro (1913-2000) document his life and career through manuscript works and correspondence. In addition, the archive includes lecture and teaching files, collected poems, notebooks, and works such as Edsel, The Gypsy and the Jew, Reports of My Death, and The Younger Son. Also documented is Shapiro's military service, his time at the Library of Congress as consultant in poetry (1947-48), his teaching career, his editorships of Poetry and Prairie Schooner, and his numerous fellowships and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize (1945).
The archive of Robert Lowell (1917-1977) consists of the poet's manuscripts, galley proofs, and correspondence for the years 1970-1977. Notable correspondents include Elizabeth Bishop and Lowell's second wife, Elizabeth Hardwick.
The archive of Cid Corman (1924-2004) includes a large correspondence file of letters from many modern American poets, a representative collection of Corman's manuscripts, and the publications of Corman's Origin Press.
Poet, novelist, editor, actor, scenic designer, and musician Eugene Walter (1927-1998) is represented by manuscripts reflecting his various careers. These include his novel Love You Good; See You Later, the shooting script for Federico Fellini's Satyricon (which Walter translated), a memoir of Isak Dinesen based on conversations with the famous novelist, and materials relating to the European literary magazine Botteghe Oscure.
The papers of Anne Sexton (1928-1974) comprise two hundred eighty pages of unpublished poems, as well as manuscripts for her first published work (1960) through her last (1973). Also here are the poet's travel notebooks and journals; financial papers; photographs; scrapbooks; over twenty-five hundred letters to and from family members, literary agents, and fellow writers; personal memorabilia; volumes from the poet's library; and recordings and video tapes of Sexton reading and performing her work.
The archive of poet and photographer Gerard Malanga (b. 1943) includes three thousand letters, several hundred photographs, and hundreds of pages of working manuscripts. The papers of Pulitzer Prize winner James Tate (b. 1943) contain his poetry, prose and miscellaneous writings, as well as a large correspondence collection.
Over one hundred letters from Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) to Georges Hugnet (1906-1974) reveal the deterioration of their close friendship, which resulted in Stein's book Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded. Additional correspondence of Stein and Alice B. Toklas (1877-1967) is housed at the Center along with personal effects, such as a waistcoat embroidered by Toklas for Stein and a portrait of Stein's pet poodle, Basket, by Pablo Picasso.
Over thirty manuscripts by Henry Miller (1891-1980) are housed at the Center, including Aller Retour New York, Nexus, Quiet Days in Clichy, and his essay "Obscenity in Literature." Among Miller's correspondence are one hundred thirty-five letters (1936-1948) to the French astrologer Conrad Moricand, with whom Miller met weekly in Paris, and over three hundred letters (1942-1978) written to Emil White, Miller's friend and assistant. Several of Miller's watercolor paintings are in the Art Collection. The Sanford Collection of Henry Miller contains papers and correspondence (1915-1980) of Henry Miller, his first wife Beatrice Wickens, and their daughter Barbara, and includes Miller's "Dream Book," thematic outline for "Black Spring," books annotated by Beatrice, Barbara's notes on Miller's estate, writings by Beatrice and Barbara, and photographs. Large manuscript collections of Miller's friends Judson Crews (b. 1917) and Wendell Anderson (b. 1920) also reside at the Center.
Harry (1898-1929) and Caresse Crosby (1892-1970) are represented by more than one hundred titles from their personal library, many annotated or with original poems by Harry written inside; a collection of their Black Sun Press imprints; a heavily corrected proof of Harry's Mad Queen; a volume of manuscript poems by Caresse; and correspondence.
The collection of Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) manuscripts consists of materials for sixty-two works including Death in the Afternoon, "Big Two Hearted River," and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," and thirty-seven articles on the Spanish Civil War. Family correspondence, photographs of friends and family, and a coin collection belonging to his mother (among other personal effects) complete the archive.
The Center's book and manuscript holdings relating to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s are substantial. Correspondence and manuscripts of poems by Langston Hughes may be found in several collections. In particular, the Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. archive contains considerable correspondence between Hughes and the Knopfs relating to the publication of his Weary Blues and other early books of poetry, as well as works of his final decade. The same archive includes correspondence about Nella Larsen's Passing and a large group of letters to the Knopfs from Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964), a friend and promoter of many Harlem writers, artists, and musicians. Examples of Van Vechten's strikingly stylish photographs of these personalities may be found in the Photography collection. The Fannie Hurst papers include correspondence between Hurst and her secretary, the novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. Other Harlem Renaissance figures for whom smaller quantities of manuscript materials exist are Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, Claude McKay, Arna Bontemps, and Wallace Thurman.
Finally, the archive of British shipping heiress Nancy Cunard (1896-1965) contains important correspondence with the African-American and African writers of the 1930s who contributed to Cunard's seminal Negro: An Anthology (1934), as well as Cunard's own writings on the subject of race relations.
A spiral notebook that Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) began in 1948 records his activities and thoughts during the time he was writing On the Road. Additional Kerouac materials include extensive correspondence from Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) and Neal Cassady (1925-1968), including Cassady's famous "great sex letter" of 1947, which directly influenced the compositional style of On the Road. Cassady is represented by an extensive correspondence file and manuscripts of his own works, including an annotated draft of his memoir The First Third (1971). Ginsberg and his partner Peter Orlovsky (b. 1933) are both represented by manuscripts of works and correspondence to literary colleagues and friends. The Center's collection of Ginsberg editions owned by bibliographer George Dowden includes dozens of rare little magazine and newspaper appearances. The Center holds Robert Duncan's copy of the first appearance of Ginsberg's Howl (1956), one of about fifty copies mimeographed by Robert Creeley and Martha Rexroth.
Barry Gifford and Lawrence Lee's original tape recordings, transcripts, and notes for the Kerouac biography-in-interviews Jack's Book (1978) contain extensive descriptions of Kerouac and his friends by major and minor figures alike. A small collection of William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) and the large archive of Gregory Corso (1930-2001), containing manuscripts, art, photographs, and extensive correspondence, round out holdings in the original circle of Beat writers. The collection of Carol Bergé (b. 1928) includes manuscripts, correspondence, and documentation of the Beat scene the 1960s.
The social and intellectual contexts of the Beat Generation are well documented in the manuscripts and correspondence files of Norman Mailer (1923-2007), Buddhism scholar Nancy Wilson Ross (1901-1986), Jazz historian Ross Russell (1909-2000), poet Cid Corman (1924-2004), novelist Paul Bowles (1910-1999), British beatnik Royston Ellis (b. 1941), and poet and novelist Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972), who is represented by manuscripts and a large collection of rare editions. Extensive printed holdings in mid-century little magazines and small presses are complemented by manuscript collections of periodicals including Klactoveedsedsteen, El Corno Emplumado, and Genesis West.
Manuscript holdings associated with the New York School, Andy Warhol's Factory, and other movements that intersect with the Beats include collections of the publisher and poet Daisy Aldan (b. 1923), poet Gerard Malanga (b. 1943), poet, filmmaker, and publisher Charles Henri Ford (1913-2002), filmmaker and poet Willard Maas (1906-1971), writers and publishers Victor Bokris and Andrew Wylie, and the New York Poets Theater, founded by Diane di Prima.
The voluminous archive of John Luther Long (1861-1927) comprises correspondence, over one hundred typescripts of published and unpublished materials (including versions of Madame Butterfly), galley proofs, a diary, photographs, and correspondence with David Belasco.
Papers of London-born American playwright Charles Klein (1867-1915) include manuscripts for most of his works. Highly popular in his time, much of his work is now considered melodramatic.
The archive of Maxwell Anderson (1888-1959) includes published and unpublished manuscript materials for plays, poems, and essays, as well as over two thousand letters. Diaries, financial papers, family photographs, and personal memorabilia are collected along with books from the playwright's library.
Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953) is represented by selected scripts, correspondence, a family home movie, and research materials compiled by his biographers Arthur and Barbara Gelb.
The archive of Elmer Rice (1892-1967) includes manuscripts for sixty plays, the writer's business files, script library, correspondence files, and notebooks relating to his involvement in the American Civil Liberties Union.
A collection of works by playwright, screenwriter, and TV scriptwriter Harry Segall (1897-1975) spans his writing career from 1933-1959.
The sizable collection of the works of Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) includes numerous manuscript versions of her most successful plays, The Children's Hour, The Little Foxes, and Toys in the Attic, stage and screen adaptations of her own and others' works, correspondence with Dashiell Hammett, and Hellman's letters to John Melby from the years 1945-1978. The archive also includes diaries, business papers, contracts, numerous scrapbooks, and copies of FBI, CIA, and Department of Justice files on Hellman.
The archive of publisher and playwright Stanley Young (1906-1975) contains manuscripts for his plays and stories, as well as for articles written while he was a special correspondent during World War II. His correspondence files reflect his interests in writing, directing, and publishing. Books from the playwright's library are also available for study.
The extensive Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) archive includes manuscripts for one thousand works, including his early plays, Candles to the Sun and Not About Nightingales, and his most famous works—The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Summer and Smoke, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Night of the Iguana—as well as screenplays, stories, essays, and poetry. A sizable correspondence archive includes nine hundred letters (1939-1956) exchanged between Williams and his literary agent Audrey Wood. Family papers, gathered by the author's mother Edwina Dakin Williams, include her diaries, family correspondence, and letters to Williams from writers, actors, and directors, as well as six hundred fifty photographs, scrapbooks, books from the author's library, and paintings by Williams.
Manuscript materials by William Inge (1913-1973) include several versions of his four most successful plays, including Come Back, Little Sheba. Important additional correspondence files may be found in the Audrey Wood Archive.
In the extensive Arthur Miller (1915-2005) archive are early sketches, notes, and draft versions for most of his plays, including Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, The View from the Bridge, After the Fall, and The Archbishop's Ceiling. Also present are essays about the craft of playwriting, thought to be the closest thing to a complete 'Poetics' yet written by an American playwright. Radio scripts, numerous versions of his "cinema novel" The Misfits, interviews, speeches, articles, correspondence files, and scrapbooks are here as well.
Playwright and producer Julian Beck (1925-1985) is represented by correspondence files relating to his and Judith Malina's work with The Living Theatre. Correspondents include Djuna Barnes, Eric Bentley, John Cage, Jean Cocteau, Jack Gelber, Anita Loos, Terry Southern, Maya Deren, and Thornton Wilder. Also present are autograph manuscripts and typescripts by Carol Berge, Paul Goodman, Frank O'Hara, and William Carlos Williams.
Dramatist Adrienne Kennedy's (b. 1931) papers include manuscripts and related materials for all of her plays, including her best known, Funnyhouse of a Negro, as well as for The Owl Answers, A Rat's Mass, An Evening with Dead Essex, Ohio State Murders, her memoir, People Who Led to My Plays, along with many unpublished and unproduced manuscripts. Kennedy's papers document her evolution from an aspiring writer to a successful playwright, with drafts of plays, short stories, memoirs, and novels, as well as film and television projects, and correspondence with Edward Albee, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Hardwick, James Earl Jones, Elia Kazan, Harold Pinter, Jerome Robbins, Audrey Wood, and others.
The center holds the large archive of Mel Gussow (1933-2005), prolific theater critic and writer of over 4,000 reviews and articles for the New York Times alone, as well as eight books and countless obituaries, stories, and speeches. The collection contains materials related to many of the most celebrated and acclaimed actors, playwrights, directors, and writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Particular strengths include material relating to Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, and Darryl Zanuck.
The Charles Marowitz (b. 1934) collection contains manuscripts for books, plays, articles, reviews, lectures, stage adaptations, and poetry written by Marowitz over much of his career. Also present are correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, and personal files.
Kenneth Brown (b. 1936) is represented by manuscripts of plays, novels, essays, screenplays, poetry, articles, and approximately 100 short stories, as well as of four unpublished autobiographical works. Also present are correspondence, notebooks, play production memorabilia, and reviews and articles.
The vast archive of Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally (b. 1939) contains corrected typescripts of all of his plays, most notably Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Kiss of the Spider Woman; and Master Class. Also contained in his archive are personal papers dating from 1959, a sizable correspondence, posters, books, photographs, playbills, and reviews, as well as sound and video recordings, awards, and other writings and unpublished manuscripts.
The Steve Martin (b. 1945) papers encompass manuscripts, drafts, and script versions of Depression, L.A. Story, My Blue Heaven, Roxanne, and Three Caballeros; a scrapbook from the U. S. S. Wisconsin Operation Desert Shield Tour; drafts of presentations and tributes; a cassette tape of the Pennies From Heaven radio broadcast; and award certificates, publicity photographs, stationery, and clippings.
The archive of playwright, writer and film director David Mamet (b. 1947)—author of more than 50 plays and 25 screenplays that have earned him a Pulitzer Prize, Oscar nominations and a Tony Award—consists of more than 100 boxes of material covering Mamet's entire career. Included are manuscripts, journals, office and production files, correspondence and multiple drafts of each of Mamet's works, including the acclaimed plays American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross and screenplays The Untouchables, The Spanish Prisoner and Wag the Dog. These materials record the writing and revision of all of his published texts, as well as several that are unpublished or were abandoned.
The papers of Lee Blessing (b. 1949) consist primarily of typescripts of plays, teleplays, and screenplays covering his entire career from his college years in the early 1970s to the present. His critically acclaimed play, A Walk in the Woods, is particularly well represented. Numerous screenplays, often in collaboration with his wife Jeanne Blake and others, are also present as are teleplays and episodes for television series such as Picket Fences and Homicide.
For the Ransom Center's extensive holdings relating to theatrical production history, see Performing Arts.
Areas of Study
The Reading Room Will Be Closed:
Monday, May 29
Tuesday, July 4
Always closed on Sundays