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Norman Cousins Collection of Henry Seidel Canby

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1205

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, drafts and printed versions of writings (box 7), manuscript notes, printed ephemera, clippings, photographs (box 2), and contractual agreements by or relating to the professional activities of Henry Seidel Canby. The collection features approximately 983 pieces of correspondence dating from 1940 through 1949 (boxes 1-6). Incoming letters and typescript carbon copies of Canby's outgoing letters concern professional matters chiefly, addressing publications by Canby during this ten-year period, including critical biographies of American authors Henry David Thoreau (1939) (box 1) and Walt Whitman (1943) (boxes 2-3), his Family history (1945) (box 6), American memoir (box 4), and the collaboration with Robert E. Spiller, Willard Thorp, Thomas H. Johnson and others on the Literary history of the United States (1948) (box 5). Correspondents include publishers, literary scholars and critics, libraries, historical societies, bookstores, family, and others. In addition to the correspondence with the collaborators already noted, there is correspondence with Gay Wilson Allen, Carl Bode, Allen French, Clifton Joseph Furness, Howard Mumford Jones, Allan Nevins, Herbert V. Prochnow, Cleveland Rodgers, Townsend Scudder, Joseph T. Shipley, Stanley T. Williams, and Frances Winwar. Publishers include Farrar & Rinehart, Houghton Mifflin Company, and Macmillan Company.


  • 1935 - 1949


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Norman Cousins Collection of Henry Seidel Canby is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Candis Cousins, 2018.


Organized into two series: I. Material removed from Binders, 1940-1949. II. Writings of Henry Seidel Canby, 1940-1949.


7.44 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Henry Seidel Canby (1878-1961)

Henry Seidel Canby (1878-1961), American critic, editor, and Yale University professor. Canby graduated from Yale in 1899 and then taught at the university until becoming a professor in 1922. Editor of The Literary review of the New York evening post, Canby was one of the founders and editors of the Saturday review.

Norman Cousins (1915-1990)

Norman Cousins (1915-1990), American essayist and long-time editor (1942-1972) of the Saturday review.

Processing Information

The contents of each of the four individual binders in Series I. has been preserved in the order it was found. The contents includes both loose items and items mounted on sheets. For preservation purposes, acid-free archival paper has been interleaved around the aging carbon letters from Canby to others and other materials, such as clippings, as appropriate.

Norman Cousins Collection of Henry Seidel Canby
Michael L. Forstrom
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

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