Collection Scope and Content Note
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Collection consists of correspondence with family, friends, literary and other public
figures, pertaining to his career as an author and his varied humanitarian concerns;
much of the correspondence between 1939 and 1942 deals with refugees from Nazi
persecution and van Loon's participation in war relief fund raising and committees.
Also included are condolence letters received after Hendrik's death. A substantial
portion of the papers are comprised of manuscripts for many of his books and their
illustrative materials in pen-and-ink, pencil, and watercolors. There are many
sketchbooks and miscellaneous sketches as well as those for the publications. Other
documents include a manuscript of his Ph.D. in German, notes for a history course taught
at Cornell, manuscripts for radio broadcasts (1935-42), articles by and about van
Loon,including a recollection by John L. De Forest; phonograph records, photographs,
picture puzzles, foreign language editions of his books, reviews, menus, the Newberry
Medal which was presented to him at the meeting of The American Library Association in
1921, an unfinished portrait by the painter Leon Gordon, his and Helen Criswell van
Loon's ("Jimmie's") passports, and pamphlets from the Cunard Cruise Ship FRANCONIA.
Documenting his activities in literary circles in New York City are copies of MAD HATTER
MUTTERINGS, 1920-21, which were satirical journals circulated in the Greenwich Village
coffee shop where "Jimmie" worked and later became the owner; also included are her
diaries, 1920-54; and Gerard Willem van Loon's correspondence and draft copies for his
book about Hendrik. Includes a film and a video. Correspondents include Franklin and
Eleanor Roosevelt, George Lincoln Burr, and others.
Also, "Histoire fameuse du sieur Jean Nepomuc Pantagruel, und von der hochlobigen
Jungfrau Kunigunde," a fanciful manuscript story written and illustrated by Van Loon on
a series of 93 postcards which he sent to the Misses Jones in Cambridge, Massachusetts
over a period of months in 1912 (shelved as Bd. Ms. 1).
Letters from van Loon in America to the Netherlands commenting on the general atmosphere
in wartime America (box 74).
Twenty-one drawings from late 1930's and 1940's.