Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities

New Exhibition: By Hand


By Hand: A Celebration of the Manuscript Collections of Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

January 18 – April 29, 2013

By Hand celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript with an exploration of its manuscript collections. The exhibition begins where the Yale College Library collection of early manuscripts began, with a mirror of humanity, a copy of the Speculum humanae salvationis given by Elihu Yale. It ends with the manuscripts and drafts of “Miracle of the Black Leg,” a poem written by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey while she was a research fellow at the Beinecke Library in 2009.

Manuscript, from the Latin term “by hand,” derives from the ablative case: locational, instrumental, situated always in relation to something or someone else. Like the term, this exhibition explores the reflections of humanity in the Beinecke’s manuscript collections, presenting them as markers of the social contracts of love, creativity, need, power, that bind us into historical record even as they bind us to one another.

The exhibition ranges across the Beinecke Library manuscript collections, in an extraordinary display of the Library’s manuscript holdings, from papyri of the 2nd century A.D. through working drafts by contemporary poets, from manuscripts in the original Yale Library to recent additions to the collections. On view are manuscripts, notes, and proof copies of works by Langston Hughes, Rachel Carson, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, Terry Tempest Williams, James Joyce, F. T. Marinetti, Goethe, and others; the Voynich Manuscript, the Vinland Map, the Lewis and Clark expedition map and journals, the Martellus map; the last paragraphs of Thoreau’s manuscript of Walden; letters, postcards, poetry, and notes by Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Georgia O’Keeffe, Franz Kafka, Mark Twain, Erica Jong, and others; early manuscripts from a tenth-century Byzantine prayer roll, a fragment of lyric verse on papyri, the Rothschild Canticles, a fourteenth-century ivory writing tablet, and the first illuminated medieval manuscript known in a North American collection.

New Student Research

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on January 2, 2013

Liana Epstein, Yale College Class of 2014
“The Great American Writers’ Cookbook”

written for Professor Stuart’s Fall 2012 English 121 class:
Writing About Food


An excerpt: “The late 70s were politically tumultuous as scientific experimentation increased and the American public became wary of new technology following disasters such as the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident. By 1981, the nuclear arms race had intensified to a peak tension where Mutually Assured Destruction by the US and Soviet Union was generally accepted. These years also witnessed John Lennon’s assassination, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and the tragedy of the space shuttle Columbia. The Great American Writers certainly had enough serious material to work with. This cookbook provided humor to diffuse some of the apprehension many Americans were likely feeling in response to these historical events.”

Read the essay: Liana Epstein, The Great American Writers’ Cookbook

About the book: The Great American Writers’ Cookbook, edited by Dean Faulkner Wells and with an introduction by Craig Claiborne, Oxford: Yoknapatawpha Press, c1981.

New Research From Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on December 1, 2012

On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson
by William Souder

From the Publisher: Published on the fiftieth anniversary of her seminal book, Silent Spring, here is an indelible new portrait of Rachel Carson, founder of the environmental movement

She loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries, including the international bestseller The Sea Around Us. But it was with her fourth book, Silent Spring, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world.

Rachel Carson began work on Silent Spring in the late 1950s, when a dizzying array of synthetic pesticides had come into use. Leading this chemical onslaught was the insecticide DDT, whose inventor had won a Nobel Prize for its discovery. Effective against crop pests as well as insects that transmitted human diseases such as typhus and malaria, DDT had at first appeared safe. But as its use expanded, alarming reports surfaced of collateral damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife. Silent Spring was a chilling indictment of DDT and its effects, which were lasting, widespread, and lethal.

Published in 1962, Silent Spring shocked the public and forced the government to take action-despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry. The book awakened the world to the heedless contamination of the environment and eventually led to the establishment of the EPA and to the banning of DDT and a host of related pesticides. By drawing frightening parallels between dangerous chemicals and the then-pervasive fallout from nuclear testing, Carson opened a fault line between the gentle ideal of conservation and the more urgent new concept of environmentalism.

Elegantly written and meticulously researched, On a Farther Shore reveals a shy yet passionate woman more at home in the natural world than in the literary one that embraced her. William Souder also writes sensitively of Carson’s romantic friendship with Dorothy Freeman, and of her death from cancer in 1964. This extraordinary new biography captures the essence of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century.

A New York Times Notable Book of 2012.

Beinecke Collections: Rachel Carson Papers; David Martyn Smith Papers

Read more about On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

Review by Amy Stewart in the Washington Post: William Souder’s ‘On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson’

Review by Elizabeth Royte in the New York Times: The Poisoned Earth ‘On a Farther Shore,’ by William Souder

New Research from Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on December 1, 2012


By Deirdre Bair

SAUL STEINBERG: A Biography By Deirdre Bair, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, ISBN-13: 9780385524483

From the publisher: From National Book Award winner Deirdre Bair, the definitive biography of Saul Steinberg, one of The New Yorker’s most iconic artists.

The issue date was March 29, 1976. The New Yorker cost 75 cents. And on the cover unfolded Saul Steinberg’s vision of the world: New York City, the Hudson River, and then…well, it’s really just a bunch of stuff you needn’t concern yourself with. Steinberg’s brilliant depiction of the world according to self-satisfied New Yorkers placed him squarely in the pantheon of the magazine’s—and the era’s—most celebrated artists.

But if you look beyond the searing wit and stunning artistry, you’ll find one of the most fascinating lives of the twentieth century. Born in Romania, Steinberg was educated in Milan and was already famous for his satirical drawings when World War II forced him to immigrate to the United States. On a single day, Steinberg became a US citizen, a commissioned officer in the US Navy, and a member of the OSS, assigned to spy in China, North Africa, and Italy. After the war ended, he returned to America and to his art. He quickly gained entree into influential circles that included Saul Bellow, Vladimir Nabokov, Willem de Kooning, and Le Corbusier. His wife was the artist Hedda Sterne, from whom he separated in 1960 but never divorced and with whom he remained in daily contact for the rest of his life. This conveniently freed him up to amass a coterie of young mistresses and lovers. But his truly great love was the United States, where he traveled extensively by bus, train, and car, drawing, observing, and writing.

His body of work is staggering and influential in ways we may not yet even be able to fully grasp, quite possibly because there has not been a full-scale biography of him until now. Deirdre Bair had access to 177 boxes of documents and more than 400 drawings. In addition, she conducted several hundred personal interviews. Steinberg’s curious talent for creating myths about himself did not make her job an easy one, but the result is a stunning achievement to admire and enjoy.

Beinecke Collections:  Saul Steinberg Papers; John Hollander Papers; Katharine Kuh Papers

Read more about SAUL STEINBERG: A Biography By Deirdre Bair

Drawing the Line, and Crossing It: ‘Saul Steinberg: A Biography,’ by Deirdre Bair
By Deborah Solomon, New York Times

Bair writes bio of artist Saul Steinberg
By Ann Levin, Associated Press

New From Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on November 10, 2012

All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Esther Murphy was a brilliant New York intellectual who dazzled friends and strangers with an unstoppable flow of conversation. But she never finished the books she was contracted to write—a painful failure and yet a kind of achievement.

The quintessential fan, Mercedes de Acosta had intimate friendships with the legendary actresses and dancers of the twentieth century. Her ephemeral legacy lies in the thousands of objects she collected to preserve the memory of those performers and to honor the feelings they inspired.

An icon of haute couture and a fashion editor of British Vogue, Madge Garland held bracing views on dress that drew on her feminism, her ideas about modernity, and her love of women. Existing both vividly and invisibly at the center of cultural life, she—like Murphy and de Acosta—is now almost completely forgotten.

In All We Know, Lisa Cohen describes these women’s glamorous choices, complicated failures, and controversial personal lives with lyricism and empathy. At once a series of intimate portraits and a startling investigation into style, celebrity, sexuality, and the genre of biography itself, All We Know explores a hidden history of modernism and pays tribute to three compelling lives.

Beinecke Collections: Gerald and Sara Murphy Papers; Edmund Wilson Papers; Carl Van Vechten Photographs; Muriel Draper Papers; Max Ewing Papers; Rebecca West Papers

More about All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen

“Notes on Camp”: Review  by M. G. Lord in the New York Times

“You Better Not Tell Me You Forgot”: Review  by Terry Castle in the London Review of Books

Lisa Cohen Recognizes Trio of Women in ‘All We Know’: Review by Lorna Koski in Women’s Wear Daily

New from Beinecke’s Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on November 10, 2012

From the Mabel Dodge Luhan Papers in the Yale Collection of American Literature (YCAL MSS 196  & YCAL MSS 197)

The Suppressed Memoirs of Mabel Dodge Luhan: Sex, Syphilis, and Psychoanalysis in the Making of Modern American Culture Edited by Lois Palken Rudnick. Univ. of New Mexico, ISBN 978-0-8263-5119-7

Reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly, July 27, 2012:  “In this illuminating volume, comprising previously unpublished portions of Mabel Dodge Luhan’s memoirs, Rudnick analyzes the influential art patron’s confessions and places them in an enlivening historical context. Writing in the early part of the 20th century, the openly bisexual Luhan describes a life of pleasure characterized by numerous sexual partners (married men among them), yet confounded by consequent venereal diseases and the feeling of being “the prisoner of circumstances over which [she] had no control.” Rudnick explains how the rampant spread of syphilis through the population affected not only Luhan, but many of her contemporaries, who struggled to reconcile Victorian notions of VDs (‘the sins of the fathers’) with a modernist worldview less bound to religious dogma, but still subject to the actualities of disease that accompanied the nascent sexual liberation, courtesy in part of Freud, of the early 1900s. In an attempt to overcome the burden of syphilis and the mixed-blessing of sexual freedom, Luhan became heavily involved in psychoanalytic treatment with some of America’s most renowned practitioners, which experience she dutifully recounts in detail. Populated by such artistic, cultural, and literary luminaries as Picasso, O’Keeffe, and Gertrude Stein, Luhan’s diaries are thoroughly engaging in their own right. But combined with Rudnick’s enlightening analysis, they become an indispensable looking glass into life during a tumultuous transitional period.”

New Research from Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on November 1, 2012

Thornton Wilder
A Life
By Penelope Niven

published by HarperCollins

Read Charles Isherwood’s review in the New York Times: A Life Captured With Luster Left Intact

About the book, from HarperCollins:

Art is confession; art is the secret told. . . . But art is not only the desire to tell one’s secret; it is the desire to tell it and hide it at the same time. And the secret is nothing more than the whole drama of the inner life.
—Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder: A Life, the first biography of the playwright and novelist since 1983, is also the first to be based on thousands of pages of letters, journals, manuscripts, and other documentary evidence of Wilder’s life, work, and times. For more than a decade, biographer Penelope Niven has worked with unprecedented access to Wilder’s papers, including his family’s private journals and records, searching for the secrets that illuminate Wilder’s public life and work, as well as the hidden inner self sometimes concealed and sometimes revealed in his art and in his papers.

Thornton Wilder was a multifaceted man: a teacher, novelist, playwright, lecturer, actor, musician, soldier, man of letters, outspoken citizen, and international public figure. He was also an enigmatic, intensely private man. He belonged to a close-knit, complicated family—two brilliant parents, four gifted siblings, and the specter of his twin brother lost at birth. His biography is also a compelling family saga, starring Thornton Wilder, with strong supporting roles played by his father, mother, brother, and sisters.

He was a gypsy, wandering the world, writing, he said, for and about everybody—a fact international audiences still embrace. The Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Eighth Day, and his other novels are still read in the United States and abroad. His plays, especially the iconic Our Town and the revolutionary Skin of Our Teeth, are still performed on stages around the globe.

Yet despite the international fame and visibility of Wilder the writer, far too little has been known or understood about Wilder the man—until now. Comprehensively researched and richly detailed, Thornton Wilder: A Life brings the private man center stage and sheds new light on his published and unpublished work.

More about Thornton Wilder: A Life:

Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on October 25, 2012

“Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein: What are the Questions?”
by Joan Retallack, poet, essayist, critic, and professor at Bard College

Friday, October 26 at 5:00 pm

a lecture in honor of the exhibition

“Descriptions of Literature”:
Texts and Contexts in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers
on view October 8–December 14, 2012


the Gertrude Stein Society Meeting
at Beinecke Library, Friday October 26, 2012
Registration and Information

Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein with Pepe and Basket, [1932]

Gertrude Stein at Beinecke

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on October 19, 2012

“Descriptions of Literature”:
Texts and Contexts in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers
Exhibition on view October 8–December 14, 2012

Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein: What are the Questions?
by Joan Retallack, poet, essayist, critic, and professor at Bard College
Exhibition opening lecture, Friday, October 26 at 5:00 pm

Gertrude Stein Society Meeting
Friday October 26, 2012
Registration and Information

“Descriptions of Literature”: Texts and Contexts in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers

Celebrating the recent publication of several new editions of Gertrude Stein’s work, “Descriptions of Literature” explores Stein’s creative process and writing life as documented in materials drawn from the extraordinarily rich Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers housed in the Yale Collection of American Literature. The exhibition considers Stein’s work in various genres, including poetry, fiction, plays, essays, and writing for children, tracing the evolution of key works; additionally, the exhibition reveals something of the environment in which these works were created, from the domestic life Stein shared with Alice B. Toklas, her muse, publisher, companion, and caretaker to her creative interactions with fellow artists and writers Thornton Wilder, Carl Van Vechten, and others. The exhibition offers a portrait of Stein’s life and creative process represented in manuscript drafts, notebooks, typescripts, correspondence, photographs, books and printed materials, and personal effects.

This exhibition was organized with the assistance of Ariel Doctoroff, Y’2013, and Charlotte Parker, Y’2013.

“Descriptions of Literature” carefully considers three of Stein’s works, all recently reissued by the Yale University Press: To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays (introduced by Timothy Young and illustrated by Giselle PotterIda: A Novel (edited by Logan Esdale); and Stanzas in Meditation, The Corrected Edition (edited by Susannah Hollister and Emily Setina).

Poet and critic Joan Retallack will give the exhibition opening lecture, “Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein: What are the Questions?”, at the Library on Friday, October 26 at 5:00 pm.

The Gertrude Stein Society will hold a one-day symposium at the Beinecke Library on Friday October 26th, 2012.  The event will include two plenary sessions, one on Stanzas in Meditation and the other on the topic of Stein and war, together with a round-table discussion on teaching Stein in the classroom.  Anyone wishing to attend the Symposium must reserve a spot in advance.  You can make your reservation by emailing Stein Society President Amy Moorman Robbins at Please put Symposium Reservation in the subject line and include in the email your name, affiliation if any, and contact information.  Additional information about the Stein Society Symposium can be found online: Gertrude Stein Symposium; for more information about the Stein Society, visit their website:

Image: Gertrude Stein, photographed by Man Ray in 1920.

Richard Bruce Nugent Papers

The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at the Beinecke Library is pleased to announce that the Richard Bruce Nugent Papers are now available for research. A detailed list of materials in the archive can be found here: Richard Bruce Nugent Papers (JWJ MSS 92).

Writer and artist Richard Bruce Nugent (1906-1987) was a member of the Harlem Renaissance arts community that included such luminaries as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, and Wallace Thurman. Nugent’s work appeared in little magazines, including Fire!!, Opportunity and Palms; he also appeared on Broadway in Porgy (1927) and Run, Little Chillun (1933). Nugent’s short story “Smoke, Lilies, and Jade,” which appeared in Fire!! in 1926, ranks him among the first African American writers to openly consider homosexuality in his work.

The Richard Bruce Nugent Papers consist of correspondence, writings, personal and financial papers, subject files, photographs, printed materials, and audiovisual materials. Bruce Nugent’s correspondence consists of family, professional, and personal correspondence, including letters from homosexual love interests. Writings include poetry, short non-fiction pieces, and various fiction pieces, including the novel Gentleman Jigger. Writings by others include drafts and papers relating to Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance by Thomas H. Wirth. Photographs consist of portraits and snapshots of Nugent, his love interests, friends, and family. The bulk of the audiovisual materials consist of interviews with Nugent. Printed materials include books inscribed to Nugent as well as various clippings and ephemera.

Images: Opportunity: Journal of Negro Life, featuring cover drawing by Richard Bruce Nugent (Vol. 4, No. 39, 1926); Richard Bruce Nugent photographed by Carl Van Vechten, February 16, 1936 (Photographs by Carl Van Vechten are used with permission of the Van Vechten Trust; permission of the Trust is required to publish Van Vechten photographs in any format).

Happy Birthday, Aeon!

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on October 3, 2012

Room 26 congratulates Moira Fitzgerald and the Beinecke’s Access Services staff on the resounding success of Aeon, the Beinecke Library’s online registration and requesting service, now 1 year old! Since its launch last year, Aeon has processed 33,414 requests to view collection materials from patrons and staff and logged  8695 reading room visits.

For AEON info on the Beinecke home page:

For additional information on AEON:

For questions about Aeon at Beinecke Library:


Thornton Wilder’s 52nd Birthday


William Carlos Williams’s 68th Birthday Party


Photograph of Bryher and Hilda Doolittle on H. D.’s 74th Birthday


The Ninetieth Birthday Book of Alice B. Toklas

Unsophisticated Mary

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on September 28, 2012

Beatrice Wood, “A Nickellette, or Unsophisticated Mary” manuscript and painting, (YCAL MSS 219)

Otherwise known as the “Mama of Dada,” Beatrice Wood was an American artist influential in the first half of the 20th century. Interestingly, Wood was the inspiration for the character of Rose in James Cameron’s Titanic. Though she was primarily a potter and teacher, Wood also dabbled in the literary arts. Beinecke library has recently acquired one of her manuscripts, A Nickellette, or Unsophisticated Mary, adding to its already-extensive Beatrice Wood Papers (YCAL MSS 294).

The manuscript relates a story of Mary, a romantic woman who encounters a series of surreal adventures in contemporary New York City, which includes references to the Woolworth building and cobblestone streets, in a quest to find her lover. Written with pencil in a notebook, the heavily illustrated manuscript has increasingly decorative text that graphically represents action in the story, in addition to ink and pencil drawings and watercolors that depict situations and characters. In an inscription by Wood in 1978 on the front flyleaf, “I wrote this when I was twenty – I am now ashamed at its adolescent crudity.” The watercolor depicts the visage of the main character of the manuscript and had previously served as the cover for the notebook, August 1918.

–Ariel Doctoroff, Yale 2013

And what if ‘no birds sing’?

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on September 24, 2012

September 27 marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, a provocative work that explores the consequences of the overuse of pesticides on the natural environment. The book’s publication incited the ire of the chemical industry and triggered a federal investigation into the misuse of pesticides, which resulted in Congressional hearings in 1963 and the tightening of chemical pesticide regulations.

Silent Spring was originally serialized in the The New Yorker in June of that same year.

Rachel Carson received the Audubon Medal, from the National Audubon Society, for Silent Spring, among other recognitions. She died of cancer on April 14, 1964. A national wildlife refuge on the coast of Maine is named for Carson (

A guide to the items in the Rachel Carson papers, YCAL MSS 46, which include the 1958 letter from Olga Huckins, who writes that aerial DDT spraying “killed about a dozen of my darling half-tame birds” and is said to have been the impetus for Silent Spring, can be found here:

Items from the collection that have been digitized are available here:

Images: Cover of first edition of Silent Spring; covers of New Yorker magazines, June 1962; letter from Olga Huckins to Rachel Carson, Jan. 27, 1958. From the Yale Collection of American Literature, Rachel Carson Papers, YCAL MSS 46,  Box 43, Folder 814.


Marilynne Robinson Papers

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on September 14, 2012

The Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has acquired the papers of Pulitzer-prize winning author and essayist Marilynne Robinson. A description of the collection can be found online: Marilynne Robinson Papers, YCAL MSS 609.

The collection consists of writings, correspondence, other papers, and audiovisual materials. Writings include published works including Housekeeping, Connie Bronson, Mother Country, The Death of Adam, Gilead, and Home, as well as unpublished fiction and student writings. Correspondence includes family, personal, and professional correspondence, and fan mail. Other papers consist of printed material, clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous papers.

Robinson has been acclaimed for the poetic way in which she explores the “Big Themes” of religion, the soul, and the significance of mankind through both fiction and non-fiction. Her first novel, Housekeeping (1980),was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and won the Hemingway Foundation/Pen Award for Best First Novel. Gilead, the fictional autobiography of small-town Congregationalist pastor John Ames, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. Robinson’s 3rd-person retelling of the events in Gilead, Home, won the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction (UK). Robinson has also published four books of non-fiction, Mother Country: Britain, the Welfare State, and Nuclear Pollution (1989); The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998); Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness From the Inner Self (2010); and, most recently, When I Was a Child I Read Books: Essays.

Ms. Robinson graduated magna cum laude from Pembrooke College, the former women’s college at Brown University, in 1966, and received her PhD in English from Washington State University in 1977. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences elected her a fellow in 2010. She has been writer-in-residence or visiting professor at a number of universities, including the University of Kent, Amherst, the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets, and Yale University. She currently teaches at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and delivers occasional sermons at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Iowa City.

–Charlotte Parker, Y’2013

Georgia O’Keeffe — New Acquisitions

Beinecke acquisitions offer insights into public and private life of Georgia O’Keeffe

Recent acquisitions by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library shed light on the life and work of artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. The collections document O’Keeffe’s public face and the business of showing and selling her art, and also her private friendships, casual observations, and unguarded moments. Several of the acquisitions include not only letters and manuscripts, but also photographs of O’Keeffe and her friends and family. These photographs depict her residences at Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch as well as many other settings (a beauty parlor, while hiking, shopping, driving, and boating). The artist’s legacy was managed and promoted for two decades by the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, whose records document the distribution of O’Keeffe’s assets and the perpetuation of her artistic legacy.

The new additions complement Beinecke’s holdings relating to O’Keeffe and to other American artists. Beinecke continuously adds to its exciting collection, which consists not only of vast and comprehensive collections relating to O’Keeffe and Stieglitz, but also numerous small collections and individual letters, manuscripts, photographs, works of art, and books.

The lives and work of American artists and arts communities are well documented in Beinecke’s Yale Collection of American Literature, especially at points of intersection between literature and the visual arts. Activities around Alfred Stieglitz’s important photography and art galleries, 291 and An American Place, and his influential publication Camera Work, as well as conversations and exchanges among artists and writers in the Southwest are documented in the Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O’Keeffe Archive; the archive includes work, correspondence, and writings by artists Anne Brigman, Marsden Hartley, Paul Strand, Edward Steichen, and others.

The recent O’Keeffe acquisitions include:

Georgia O’Keeffe letters to the Girard family, 1957-1983 (YCAL MSS 209)

Georgia O’Keeffe letters to Alan Priest, 1950-1961 (YCAL MSS 271)

Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation records, 1950-2006 (YCAL MSS 342)

Georgia O’Keeffe letters to Betty Pilkington, 1952-1976 (YCAL MSS 344)

Georgia O’Keeffe letters to Edith Evans Asbury, 1957-1986 (YCAL MSS 363)

Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz letters to Erma Stix (uncataloged)

Related collections at the Beinecke include:

Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe archive, 1728-1986 (YCAL MSS 85)

Flora Stieglitz Straus collection of Stieglitz family papers, 1860-1999 (YCAL MSS 89)

Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe collection, 1893-ongoing (YCAL MSS 104)

O’Keeffe at Abiquiu (YCAL MSS 263)

Angna Enters and Louis Kalonyme papers, 1919-1960 (YCAL MSS 430)

These collections are available for research. Researchers may contact the Beinecke Library Reference Staff for further information. Selections from Beinecke’s collections are included in the recent publication of letters by O’Keeffe and Stieglitz, available from Yale University Press.

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is open for research year-round and visitors can plan their research or read about fellowship opportunities online. (LC)

Ansel Adams, [Photograph of Georgia O’Keeffe, seated, writing a letter, in Yosemite, California],
1938 Sept 11, Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe Archive (YCAL MSS 85).

New Research in Beinecke Collections

Beinecke Library archivist Matthew Mason has identified the photographer of an important photograph documenting Sigmund Freud’s 1909 visit to Clark University; though the image is well known, until now the photographer has been unidentified. Mason’s essay can be found online here:  “Providing Context: Schervee & Bushong Group Portrait Photograph of Sigmund Freud and Participants in the Psychology, Pedagogy and School Hygiene Conference at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, September 1909,” in Views, July 2012, Volume 26, Number 2.

An excerpt:

In September 1909, G. Stanley Hall, the president of Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, invited Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud to deliver lectures on the discipline of psychoanalysis at Clark’s Psychology, Pedagogy and School Hygiene Conference…The event drew widespread media interest in psychoanalysis and attracted public recognition to Freud’s work. For the lecture, Freud earned an honorarium of $750 (approximately $18,000 when adjusted for inflation for 2012), as well as an honorary doctorate from Clark University…At one point in the conference a photographer created a group portrait of forty-two participants. He was from the studio of Herman Schervee and John Chester Bushong, in Worcester, Massachusetts, where Schervee and Bushong operated their photographic studio from 1900 to 1923…The photograph includes a “who’s who” of pioneers in psychiatry and psychology, including Freud, Jung, Ferenczi, William James, Franz Boas, and others. Additionally, the group includes war criminal Edwin Maria Katzenellenbogen, who served as the prison doctor in the Buchenwald concentration camp during World War II. A catalog record describing the print at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is available at

Conference participants pictured:
First Row (left to right):
Franz Boas (1858-1942)
Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927)
William James (1842-1910)
William Stern (1871-1938)
Leo Burgerstein (1853-1928)
Granville Stanley Hall (1844-1924)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
Adolf Meyer (1866-1950)
Herbert Spencer Jennings (1868-1947)

Second Row (left to right):
Carl Emil Seashore (1866-1949)
Joseph Jastrow (1863-1944)
James McKeen Cattell (1860-1944)
Edward Franklin Buchner (1868-1929)
Edwin Maria Katzenellenbogen (1882-1950)
Ernest Jones (1879-1958)
Abraham Arden Brill (1874-1948)
William Henry Burnham (1855-1941)
Alexander Francis Chamberlain (1865-1914)

Third Row (left to right):
Albert Schinz (1870-1943)
John Augustus Magni (born 1861)
Bird Thomas Baldwin (1875-1928)
Frederic Lyman Wells (1884-1964)
George Mather Forbes (1853-1934)
Edwin Asbury Kirkpatrick (1862-1937)
Sándor Ferenczi (1873-1933)
Edmund Clark Sanford (1859-1924)
James Pertice Porter (1873-1956)
Sakyō Kanda (1874-1939)
Hikozō Kakise (1874-1944)

Fourth Row (left to right):
George Ellsworth Dawson, 1861-1936.
Samuel Perkins Hayes (1874-1958)
Edwin Bissell Holt (1873-1946)
Charles Scott Berry (1875-1960)
Guy Montrose Whipple (1876-1941)
Frank Drew (born 1860)
Jacob William Albert Young (1865-1948)
Louis N. Wilson (1857-1937)
Karl Johan Karlson (born 1877)
Henry Herbert Goddard (1866-1957)
Henry I. Klopp (1870-1945)
Solomon Carter Fuller (1872-1953)

Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on July 5, 2012

A new guide to the Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers is now available online: Guide to the Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers (YCAL MSS 424); a brief description of the collection is available in Orbis: Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers.

Donald Windham (1920-2012) was an American novelist and memoirist; Sandy Campbell was an American actor and publisher of the Stamperia Valdonega in Verona press. The Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell Papers include writings, correspondence, photographs, artwork, and other papers by or relating to Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell and to their circle of friends, including writers and artists such as Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Harper Lee, Carl Van Vechten, Paul Bowles, George Platt Lynes, Paul Cadmus, Carson McCullers, Marianne Moore, Christopher Isherwood, E. M. Forster, and Joseph Cornell, among many others.

The Donald Windham – Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale were established in 2011 to honor the literary legacy of Windham and Campbell; prizes will be awarded annually  and will recognize both established and promising English language writers in fiction, non-fiction, and drama. The first awards will be announced in 2013. For more information about the prizes, visit: The Donald Windham – Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes.

Images: Donald Windham, Florence, 1950; Sandy Campbell, Siena, 1950 (YCAL MSS 424, Box 35).

Eve Arnold Papers

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on July 2, 2012

A new guide to the Eve Arnold Papers is now available online: Guide to the Eve Arnold Papers (YCAL MSS 611); a brief description of the collection is available in Orbis: Eve Arnold Papers.

Eve Arnold, American photographer and photojournalist, was born in Philadelphia on April 21, 1912, and died in London on January 5, 2012. She joined with Magnum Photos in 1951, became an associate member of the photographers’ collective in 1955, and in 1957 its first female full member in New York. Arnold traveled around the world photographing events, politics, personalities, society, and material culture in locations including Afghanistan, Africa, Cuba and the Caribbean, India, Europe, Egypt, the Soviet Union/Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yugoslavia, as well as the United States and the United Kingdom. She also documented American celebrity culture through her images of film stars Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, and others at work, play, and home, and was the official photographer on more than 35 movie sets, most notably The Misfits, a 1961 American drama directed by John Huston. Eve Arnold photographed groups as diverse as the1952 American Republican National Convention, Malcolm X and his Muslim followers, and Mikhail Baryshnikov and the American Ballet Theatre dancers. Arnold wrote more than a dozen books including her autobiographical work In Retrospect (1997), and produced and directed a film, Behind the Veil (1972), which examined harem life in eastern Arabia.

The Eve Arnold Papers contains her photographs, contact sheets, negatives, slides, transparencies, diaries, film production files, correspondence, writings by and about Arnold, printed materials, and ephemera that document her career as a member of the Magnum Photos cooperative. In addition, the collection contains audiovisual materials including motion picture film, videocassettes, sound recordings, and computer media. (SM)

Image: Eve Arnold, photograph of Silvana Mangano at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, undated (copyright Estate of Eve Arnold).

Student Research in Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on June 1, 2012

Zara Kessler, Yale College Class of 2012

John Hersey’s Yale Education

written for Professor John Gaddis, The Art of Biography, HIST215J

QUINCY PORTER, retiring Pierson master, and successor JOHN HERSEY in Pierson courtyard. May 26, 1965, Yale Daily News

An excerpt: On May 25, 1965, John Hersey was just over three weeks away from his 61st birthday and qualified for practically any writing job one could offer him. He was a fiction writer of the highest caliber: his 1944 novel about the Allied occupation of Italy, A Bell for Adano, had won the Pulitzer Prize, and his 1950 novel about the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, The Wall, had been awarded the Daroff Award from the Jewish Book Council of America.1  In 1953, he had become the youngest writer to ever be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.3 Still, Hersey was perhaps best known as a prolific journalist, a man who had traveled to China, the South Pacific, and the Mediterranean as a correspondent for Time and Life during World War II and whose Hiroshima, chronicling the experiences of six individuals who survived the atomic bomb explosion and its aftermath, was so powerful that, for the first time in history, The New Yorker dedicated its whole issue (on August 31, 1946) to printing the piece in its entirety.3 Albert Einstein allegedly ordered a thousand copies. Bernard Baruch wanted five hundred. The Book-of-the-Month club’s director sent the piece for free to all members because it was, “hard to conceive of anything being written that could be of more importance at this moment to the human race.4”

And yet, on that Tuesday evening in May 1965, John Hersey accepted a position that had
few ties to writing, a post that, at least in the eyes of those bent on preserving the history, tradition, and insularity of higher education, he was woefully unqualified. That night, Yale University President Kingman Brewster, Jr., appointed Hersey Master of Pierson College, a job that entailed playing counselor, mentor, and surrogate father to 350 students and 75 fellows living in one of Yale’s 12 residential communities.5 Hersey would become the first man to assume such a position who was not an academic.6 New York Times called the appointment, “another departure from the academic custom under Kingman Brewster Jr., president of Yale. Masters are usually picked from the faculty. Nearly all of them continue teaching.7” Not only had Hersey never taught at Yale, but he also did not plan to begin doing so once he moved into his new three-story residence at 231 Park Street in the summer of 1965.8

Read the article: Zara Kessler, John Hersey’s Yale Education

1 Great American Writers. R. Baird Shuman, Ed. Vol. 5. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2002, pp. 696, 686.
2 David Sanders, John Hersey Revisited. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1991, p. xiv.
3 Ibid, p. xiii. Great American Writers, p. 693. Thomas Kunkel, Genius in Disguise: Harold Ross of The New Yorker. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1995, p. 373.
4 Sanders, John Hersey Revisited, p. 19.
5 McCandlish Phillips, “Hersey is Named Master at Yale.” The New York Times, May 26, 1965. In Kingman Brewster, Jr. (henceforth KB), President of Yale University, Records (henceforth KBR) (RU 11). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. Series 1, Box 204, Folder4.
6 Carter Wiseman, “A Life in Writing.” Yale Alumni Magazine, October 1993:
7 Phillips. Michael Winger, “Hersey Appointed Pierson Master; Novelist to Assume Duties July 1.” Yale Daily News,
May 26, 1965:,51897.
8 Phillips.

Image: Quincy Porter, retiring Pierson master, and successor John Hersey in Pierson courtyard (Yale Daily News, May 26, 1965).

Featuring Beinecke


#22 YALE
Yale Special. Planned, edited & designed by graphic design department, Yale School of Art.

PARTICIPANTS & CONTRIBUTORS include Beinecke curators Kevin Repp and Timothy Young.

Other Yale contributors include: Jack Balkin, James Berger, Julian Bittiner, Karla Britton, Craig Buckley, Francesco Casetti, Gregory Crewdson, Glen Cummings, Sheila Levrant De Bretteville, Keller Easterling, Paul Elliman, Michael Faison, Peter Halley, Roni Horn, Matthew Jacobson, Wayne Koestenbaum, Karel Martens, Dan Michaelson, Sigi Moeslinger, Alexander Nemerov, Margaret Olin, Sarah Oppenheimer, Mark Owens, Michael Rock, Elihu Rubin, Julika Rudelius, Holly Rushmaier, Susan Sellers, Rob Storr, Masamichi Udagawa, Daniel Van Der Velden, Linda Van Deursen, Lyneise Williams, Yale Gdmfa ’11