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Guide to the collections of American Literature held by USC Libraries Department of Special Collections
Last Updated: Feb 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089


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Content on this LibGuide was drawn from a variety of sources, including finding aids created by USC Libraries for the collections described. These finding aids are frequently the product of collaborative effort and revised over time.


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American Literature Collections

The Department of Special Collections is the home for many archival collections containing materials related to 19th and 20th century American literature.  Most of the people or organizations whose papers or records are held at USC either lived or worked at some point in California; many, specifically in Los Angeles.

The tabs in this libguide will take you to information about specific collections in American literature.  For information about other Special Collections American literature archives, please see the lists below.

Publishers' Archives

  • Cadmus Editions Records
    Publisher's archives for a number of Cadmus titles.
  • Peter Shneidre papers
    Contains the papers of Peter Shneidre, who ran the small poetry press Illuminati Press and who published a number of small poetry periodicals. This collection also includes the financial records of Illuminati Press and the Press's publication files.
  • John Henry Nash brochures, folders, and fine books
    Contains announcements, brochures, pamphlets, greeting cards, poems, sketches, fine books, folders, and engravings by various hands designed and printed by San Francisco fine printer John Henry Nash.
  • Printers' ephemera
    Contains miscellaneous publishers' announcements, small press keepsakes, and printing ephemera.
  • R. L. Barth Papers
    Contains manuscripts, paste-ups and file copies of small press poetry published by Barth ca. 1980-88, as well as correspondence with poets Turner Cassity, Dick Davis, John Finlay, Charles Gullans, X. J. Kennedy, Janet Lewis, Timothy Steele, and Wesley Trimpi.

19th Century

  • Willard Morse Collection on Thomas Nelson Page
    Contains book reviews and periodical appearances (originals or photostats), and an extensive typewritten bibliography on Page (1853-1922), author of short stories, novels, essays, and poetry, who is best known for his role as literary spokesman for the glories of the Old South in such works as In Ole Virginia.
  • Willard Morse Collection on William Dean Howells
    Contains book reviews and periodical appearances (originals or photostats), and an extensive typewritten bibliography on Howells (1837-1920), author, editor, and critic, who was widely acknowledged during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the "Dean of American Letters."
  • Willard Morse Collection on Ambrose Bierce
    Contains book reviews and periodical appearances (originals or photostats), and an extensive typewritten bibliography on Bierce (1842-1914?), journalist and author of The Devil's Dictionary and Tales of Soldiers & Civilians (1891).
  • General Manuscript collection
    An artificially created collection comprised chiefly of literary works and manuscript fragments of well-known writers and other public figures.
  • George Hutchings Lecture Club Correspondence
    Contains George Hutchings Lecture Club correspondence consisting letters to and from literary celebrities, 1870-1910.
  • Ambrose Bierce Papers
    Contains correspondence from author Ambrose Bierce (1841-1914) to Samuel E. Loveman (1885-1976), dated 1907 to 1913.
  • Hamlin Garland Collection
    Contains correspondence, manuscripts, literary notebooks, photographs, and other memorabilia, by and about the American realist writer (1860-1940).

20th Century

  • Norman Mailer papers
    Contains speeches, correspondence, tape recordings, drafts and galleys connected with Mailer's campaign for mayor of New York City in 1960.
  • Willard Morse Collection on Sinclair Lewis
    Contains book reviews and periodical appearances (originals or photostats), and an extensive typewritten bibliography on Lewis (1885-1951), author and novelist, who was the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • Willard Morse Collection on Vincent Starrett
    Contains book reviews and periodical appearances (originals or photostats), and an extensive typewritten bibliography on Starrett (1886-1974), the author of mysteries and horror stories of the "Chicago Renaissance."
  • Robert Lowry papers
    Contains typescripts and galleys of various books by American journalist, editor, and novelist Robert Lowry (1919-1994).
  • Jack Hirschman papers
    Contains manuscripts of Hirschman's Requiem and Hunger, typescript translations of Russian writer Alexander Kohan and Bukowski ephemera.
  • Willard Morse Collection on Edgar Lee Masters
    Contains book reviews and periodical appearances (originals or photostats), and an extensive typewritten bibliography on Masters (1868-1950), poet and author most widely known for "The Spoon River Anthology."
  • Willard Morse Collection on Henry Van Dyke
    Contains book reviews and periodical appearances (originals or photostats), and an extensive typewritten bibliography on Van Dyke (1852-1933), minister and author of popular Christmas sermons, essays, and short stories.
  • Ray Bradbury papers
    Contains signed typescripts of Ray Bradbury's short stories "The Everlasting Clock," "The Man Upstairs," "Powerhouse," and "Skeleton." Also included in the collection are his introduction to Jules Verne's Mysterious Island and six letters from Bradbury to Dorothy Faulkner, dated 1950-1962.
  • Anne Hawkins papers
    Contains notebooks, galleys, drafts, and outlines for Anne Hawkins’ books about the Pony Express, along with some of her correspondence. Hawkins was a stenographer who lived in Southern California and was the author of Too Like the Lightning, Pony Express and To the Swift.
  • Antonio Heras papers
    Contains the papers of Antonio Heras, who was a professor of Spanish and Spanish Literature at USC from 1925-1950, including manuscripts and typescripts of his articles and stories, research notes, clippings, correspondence and diaries.
  • Aldous Huxley papers
    Contains financial records of Aldous Huxley dated 1957-1962.
  • Anne Roller Issler papers
    Contains typescripts for Anne Roller Issler’s work on Robert Louis Stevenson’s time spent in San Francisco between December 1879 and May 1880. The work, Happier for His Presence: San Francisco and Robert Louis Stevenson, was published by Stanford University Press in 1949.
  • Arthur Lerner collection on Poetry Therapy
    Contains publications pertaining to poetry therapy collected by Arthur Lerner, as well as a small amount of his correspondence.
  • Frederick Shroyer papers
    Contains the papers of Frederick Shroyer, who was a professor of English and American Literature at California State University--Los Angeles.
  • Irving Shulman papers
    Contains the papers of the novelist, screenwriter, and biographer Irving Shulman, including manuscripts and typescripts of screenplays, short stories, novels, and biographies.
  • William Van Wyck papers
    Contains two scrapbooks, typed poems, correspondence, memoirs, and drafts of published works by William Van Wyck.
  • Irving Wallace papers
    Contains the papers of the screenwriter and novelist Irving Wallace, including include correspondence, research notes, proofs, and typescripts for some of his stories, screenplays, and novels.
  • Watts Writers' Workshop stories, lesson books, and other material
    Contains clippings about the workshop and works by Jimmie Sherman, one of the Workshop’s members.
  • Leonard Wibberley papers
    Contains the papers of the author Leonard Wibberley (1915-1983).
  • Kenneth Rexroth papers
    Contains the papers of Kenneth Rexroth, American poet and activist, comprise manuscripts, notes, printed material, publications, correspondence, and ephemera related to poetry, writing, speaking engagements, and teaching, primarily from the last decade of his life; also included are correspondence, manuscripts, drawings, photographs, and edits compiled by Geoffrey Gardner for a Kenneth Rexroth festschrift published in 1980.
  • Charles Bukowski papers
    Contains drafts of Women, Factotum, Ham on Rye, Post Office, and Barfly, screenplays based on Bukowski's (1920-1994) fiction, periodical appearances, tape recordings and ephemera.
  • Lawrence Lipton Papers
    Contains business files, tax records, and correspondence, typescripts, photographs, clippings, literary journals, tape recorded interviews, readings, and radio programs, and Lipton's (1890-1975) archives for his "Radio Free America" column in the Los Angeles Free Press.
  • Stephen Longstreet papers
    Contains typescripts, galleys, drawings for published books by Longstreet.
  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti Papers
    Contains tapes, clippings, periodicals, correspondence of the San Francisco poet and publisher.
  • Poets Garden records
    Contains publications, letters, diaries, and memorabilia of the literary group created by Los Angeles poet Ruth Le Prade.
  • Ruper Hughes papers
    Contains archives of the novelist, biographer, screenwriter, and musicologist, including subject files, typescripts, correspondence, published articles, and personal memorabilia.
  • Collection of Jack London letters, articles, and typescripts
    Contains letters, articles, typescripts of stories written by American author Jack London.
  • Carol Muske-Dukes papers
    Contains the literary works, academic files, and personal papers of Carol Muske-Dukes, California poet laureate and USC professor of creative writing.
  • Poe Society records
    Contains reports of meetings, correspondence, articles by members of the Poe Society of Baltimore, ca. 1924-1928.
  • Charles Bonner papers
    Contains typescripts of Bonner's (1896-1965) novels Legacy (Knopf, 1940), Angel Casey (Knopf, 1941), and Ambition (Coward-McCann, 1946).
  • William White collection on John P. Marquand
    Contains books, magazine and anthology appearances by novelist John P. Marquand (1893-1960), together with bibliographic notes on Marquand assembled by Prof. William White.
  • Paul Bowles papers
    Contains correspondence, periodical appearances, tape recordings and a typed draft and galleys for Bowles's autobiography, Without Stopping (Putnam, 1972).
  • Tom Clark Papers
    Contains drafts and galleys of Writer: A Life of Jack Kerouac and The Exile of Celine, a Kerouac chronology, notes for the 1986 Olson Lectures, holograph notebooks and typescript poems and articles by Clark.
  • Craig Rice Papers
    Contains personal and business correspondence and typescripts, ca. 1950-55, by Rice (nee Georgiana Ann Randolph).
  • Elbert Hubbard Papers
    Contains small broadsides, minor publications by "The Roycrofters" and correspondence between Hubbard (1856-1915) and J. E. Woodhead.
  • Lionel Menuhin Rolfe Papers
    Contains srticles (some photocopied), ca. 1964 - present, on Southern California literature, politics, entertainment, and Jewish subjects, by journalist Lionel Rolfe (b.1942); includes preliminary studies for Rolfe's Literary L.A., research materials, and related materials by writer Nigey Lennon (b. 1954).
  • Harriet Howe papers
    Contains typescript poetry, scrapbook, story drafts by an active supporter of equal rights for women.
  • Joshua Odell collection on Richard Wilber
    Collection of books by and about the American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner (1921 - ); includes keepsakes and broadsides.
  • Elizabeth Corbett Papers
    Contains correspondence between novelist Corbett (b. 1887, Aurora, Ill., d. 1981, New York, NY) and Laura Burmeister; includes typescript poems.
  • Collection on Carl Sandburg
    Contains articles, clippings, and photographs on the life of the poet and biographer, as well as miscellaneous books by Sandburg (1878-1967).
* Asterisk in guide title indicates core subject guide

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