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William A. Henry papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 1954

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of correspondence, writings, research files, professional papers, awards, artwork, childhood papers, scrapbooks, memorials, condolence letters, audiovisual materials, and computer media documenting the work and life of critic and journalist William A. Henry III. Writings consist of corrected proofs for The Great One: The Life and Legend of Jackie Gleason (Doubleday, 1992) and In Defense of Elitism (Doubleday, 1994); scripts and other documentation from "Bob Fosse: Steam Heat," and shorter writings.


  • 1950 - 1995


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 29 (audiovisual materials): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 30, 31 (computer media): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of computer files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The William A. Henry Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the auhors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Gail Manyan Henry, 2021.


Organized into nine series: I. Correspondence, 1966-1994. II. Writings, 1981-1994. III. Professional papers, 1979-1994. IV. Artwork, 1982, undated. V. Awards, 1966-1995. VI. Memorials and condolence letters, 1994-1995. VII. Personal papers, 1950-1971. VIII. Audiovisual materials, 1983-1994. IX. Computer media, 1993-1994.


18.79 Linear Feet (31 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

William A. Henry

William A. “Bill” Henry, III (1950-1994) was an American journalist and cultural critic. A 1971 graduate of Yale University, Henry wrote for the Boston Globe in the 1970s, earning Pulitzer Prizes in 1975 for coverage of school desegregation in Boston and in 1980 for television criticism. In the 1980s Henry was an art critic for Time. He wrote three books, Visions of America: How We Saw the 1984 Election (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1985), The Great One: The Life and Legend of Jackie Gleason (Doubleday, 1992), and In Defense of Elitism (Doubleday, 1994), and won an Emmy in 1990 for Steam Heat, a video documentary on Bob Fosse. He passed away from a heart attack June 28, 1994, just before the publication of In Defense of Elitism.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the William A. Henry Papers
March 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.