Gilbert A. Harrison papers relating to Thornton Wilder
Scope and Contents
The collection contains research files, interviews, correspondence, writings, and other materials relating to Gilbert A. Harrison's biography of Thornton Wilder, The Enthusiast: A Life of Thornton Wilder (1983). Harrison's research files, which include notes, photocopies of correspondence and writings, and clippings, make up the bulk of the collection. In addition to the research files, there are audio recordings of interviews with members of the Wilder family and others, such as Alfred Hitchcock and Lillian Gish, correspondence with Wilder family, scholars, and publishers, a corrected draft of the biography, and reviews. Other materials include biographical information, a copy of Wilder's will, and photographs.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Boxes 15-16 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Gilbert A. Harrison Papers Relating to Thornton Wilder 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 Gilbert A. Harrison, 1984 and 1985.
Organized into five series: I. Research Files, 1976-. II. Interviews, 1979-1981. III. Correspondence, 1956-1985. IV. Writings, 1980-1984. V. Other Papers, 1984.
7.72 Linear Feet (21 boxes)
Language of Materials
The collection contains research files, interviews, correspondence, writings, and other materials relating to Gilbert A. Harrison's biography of Thornton Wilder, The Enthusiast: A Life of Thornton Wilder (New Haven: Ticknor & Fields, 1983). Harrison's research files, which include notes, photocopies of correspondence and writings, and clippings, make up the bulk of the collection. In addition to the research files, the collection includes: sound recordings of interviews with members of the Wilder family and others, such as Alfred Hitchcock and Lillian Gish; correspondence with Wilder family, scholars, and publishers; a corrected draft of the biography and reviews; and other materials, including biographical information, a copy of Wilder's will, and reference photographs.
Gilbert A. Harrison (1915-2008)
Gilbert A. Harrison was born in Detroit on May 18, 1915, one of three children to Samuel and Mabel Wolfe Harrison. He earned a B.A. degree in psychology from UCLA in 1937 and went on to serve in the U.S. Army in World War II. Following the war, in 1948, Harrison became national chairman of the American Veterans Committe. In 1953, with his wife, Anne Blaine, he purchased The New Republic, where he served as publisher and editor until 1974. Harrison was the author of two books, A Timeless Affair: The Life of Anita McCormick Blaine (1979), a biography of his grandmother-in-law, and The Enthusiast: A Life of Thornton Wilder (1983), and editor of several others, including Gertrude Stein's America (1965) and The Critic as Artist (1972).
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, 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.
Formerly classed as Uncat ZA MS 324 and Uncat ZA MS 352.
- American drama -- 20th Century
- American literature -- 20th century
- Audiovisual materials
- Authors, American -- 20th Century -- Biography
- Gish, Lillian, 1893-1993
- Harrison, Gilbert A.
- Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-1980
- Photographic prints
- Sound recordings
- Ticknor and Fields
- Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975
- Guide to the Gilbert A. Harrison Papers Relating to Thornton Wilder
- by Michael L. Forstrom
- May 26, 2010
- 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
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