Sinclair Lewis papers
Scope and Contents
The correspondence in the Lewis papers features single letters or small groups of letters to and from American and English writers and literary scholars and critics of the late nineteenth to mid twentieth century. Noteworthy correspondents include Sherwood Anderson, Stephen Vincent Benét, Bernard Berenson, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Dean Howells, Jack London, Compton Mackenzie, Thomas Mann, W. Somerset Maugham, H. L. Mencken, Upton Sinclair, Chauncey Brewster Tinker, Rebecca West, Edith Wharton, and Thornton Wilder, among others. There is also correspondence with family, friends, publishers, and organizations.
Photographs include snapshots, studio and artists' portraits, and stage scenes from plays and theatrical adaptations of novels. Photographs date from family scenes in early childhood (1894) to a portrait in Florence, Italy (1950). Studio and artists' portraits of Lewis include photographs by Robert H. Davis, Trude Fleischmann, Eric Schaal, and Carl Van Vechten. There are also photographs of Grace MacKowan Cooke, Irving Fisher, Albert Payson Terhune, Dorothy Thompson, and members of the Lewis and Kermott families.
Personal Papers feature artwork, diaries, and notes and notebooks. The artwork in the collection includes original drawings, etchings and lithographs of Lewis by Richard Hood, James Thurber, and others. The diaries, written in English and in code, date chiefly from 1900 to 1907, and include notes relating to life in high school in Sauk Centre, Minnesota and at Oberlin College and Yale University. Copies of the early diaries include transcriptions of the English-language portions of the text and translations of the coded portions of the text. The twenty-nine folders of notes and notebooks, dating from 1907 to 1950, include research for unidentified writing projects and loose manuscript material.
The Lewis papers also contain materials by and relating to Lewis from Harry E. Maule, Philip Friedman, and the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company. The Maule materials include correspondence, manuscripts, and other papers relating chiefly to the publication of Lewis's novels in the 1940s. The Friedman and Morgan Guaranty Trust Company materials consist of correspondence and financial and legal records respectively.
- 1866 - 1964
- Majority of material found within 1910 - 1950
Conditions Governing Access
Boxes 89-91: Restricted fragile material. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Existence and Location of Copies
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
48.92 Linear Feet (95 boxes + 7 broadside folders)
Language of Materials
Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951)
Works by Childe Hassam were transferred to the Yale University Art Gallery on permanent loan.
Former call number: Za Lewis.
- American drama -- 20th Century
- American literature -- 20th Century
- Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941
- Authors, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Benét, Stephen Vincent, 1898-1943
- Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959
- Cather, Willa, 1873-1947
- Cooke, Grace MacGowan, 1863-1944
- Fisher, Irving, 1867-1947
- Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940
- Florence (Italy)
- Friedman, Philip Allan
- Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961
- Hicks, Granville, 1901-1982
- Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920
- Kermott family
- Lewis family
- Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951
- London, Jack, 1876-1916
- Mackenzie, Compton, 1883-1972
- Mann, Thomas, 1875-1955
- Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965
- Maule, Harry E. (Harry Edward), 1886-1971
- Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956
- Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York
- Oberlin College
- Oil paintings (visual works)
- Photographic prints
- Sauk Centre (Minn.)
- Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968
- Studio portraits
- Terhune, Albert Payson, 1872-1942
- Thompson, Dorothy, 1893-1961
- Tinker, Chauncey Brewster, 1876-1963
- United States -- Intellectual life -- 20th Century
- United States -- Social life and customs -- 20th Century
- West, Rebecca, 1892-1983
- Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937
- Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975
- Yale University
- Guide to the Sinclair Lewis Papers
- by Michael L. Forstrom
- December 5, 2007
- 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
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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.