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Collection Scope and Content Note


Manuscripts, correspondence, printed newspaper articles, clippings, and photographs by, to, or about Nathan, documenting his career as theater critic, author, and editor of the literary newspaper The American Spectator. Includes manuscripts for books and articles by Nathan; extensive correspondence concerning dealings with publishers, authors, and producers; letters from readers and fellow writers commenting on Nathan's work, including letters on the American Mercury and the American Spectator; and manuscripts of plays by other writers, including 18 plays by William Saroyan and 10 by Sean O'Casey. Also included are manuscripts and galley proofs for Nathan's annual Theatre Book of the Year (9 vols., 1942-1951).

Also included are hundreds of letters from H.L. Mencken, ranging in date from 1925-1955; 129 letters from Eugene O'Neill, dating from 1919-1949; and 58 letters from William Saroyan, ranging from 1928-1957. Other correspondents include Sherwood Anderson, James Branch Cabell, Gordon Craig, Theodore Dreiser, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, St. John Greer Ervine; Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.; Sinclair Lewis, Carlotta O'Neill, Carl Sandburg, and Jim Tully. Also included are many photographs of Nathan and several of H.L. Mencken, Eugene O'Neill, Sean O'Casey, Lillian Gish, and others.

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