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Thomas Beer Collection

Call Number: YCAL MSS 389

Scope and Contents

The Thomas Beer Collection contains Beer's correspondence with his publisher Alfred Knopf and printed versions of Beer's writings. Also present are reviews of Beer's writings, articles about Beer, illustrations by Arthur D. Fuller and E. F. Ward used in Beer's publications, and a photograph of Beer.


  • 1919 - 1947


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Thomas Beer Collection 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

Source unknown.


Organized into three series: I. Correspondence, 1921-1929; II. Writings, 1920-1947; and Other Papers, 1919-1936.

Associated Materials

Additional material about and by Beer can be found in the Beer Family Papers (MS 73) at Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University.


2.2 Linear Feet ((3 boxes) + 1 painting)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The Thomas Beer Collection contains correspondence between Beer and his publisher Alfred A. Knopf and printed versions of Beer's writings. The Collection also contains reviews of Beer's writings, articles about Beer, original illustrations for Beer's publications, and a photograph of Beer.

Thomas Beer (1889-1940)

Thomas Beer was an author of short stories, novels, and non-fiction prose. Beer was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on November 22, 1889, and raised in Yonkers, New York. He attended Yale University from which he graduated in 1911. Beer enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in France at the end of World War I. Between 1917 and 1936 Beer published a number of short stories in The Saturday Evening Post, and while his short stories provided him with financial security, Beer was more interested in his other writing projects. Beer's novels include The Fair Rewards (1922), Sandoval (1924), and The Road to Heaven (1928). Beer is also known for his non-fiction writings such as The Mauve Decade: American Life at the End of the Nineteenth Century (1926), Hanna (1929), which is a biography of Mark Hanna, and Stephen Crane: A Study in American Letters (1923). While on the surface Beer appeared successful, his personal life and writing career were troubled. While Stephen Crane was a critical success and was lauded as an important resource about Stephen Crane when it was initially published, it is now believed that Beer based the biography on forgeries of his own devising and portrayed a number of fictional events and people. In 1938 Beer suffered a nervous breakdown for which he was briefly institutionalized, and on April 18, 1940, died of a heart attack (although it's believed his death may have been a suicide) in New York.

Processing Information

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization, in 2010. The collection is comprised of material formerly classed as: Uncat Za Beer and Za B3918 +1.

Guide to the Thomas Beer Collection
Under Revision
by H. Dean
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
(203) 432-2977


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New Haven, CT 06511

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.