John Chipman Farrar papers
Scope and Contents
The Papers consist of correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, personal papers, and printed material relating to the personal and professional life of John C. Farrar, and to a lesser degree, Margaret Petherbridge Farrar. In addition the Papers document the work of the publishing firms Farrar & Rinehart and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
The Papers concern Farrar’s publishing career through his correspondence with G. H. Doran and with his partners in Farrar & Rinehart and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. The correspondence and subject files also contain Farrar’s correspondence with authors, which often include drafts of writings. Among the authors represented in the correspondence are: Hervey Allen, Stephen Vincent Benét, Katherine Brush, James Branch Cabell, Hoagie Carmichael, Floyd Dell, T.S. Eliot, James Galvin, Amy Lowell, Roi Ottley, Alec Waugh, and Thornton Wilder. Art and objects in the Papers also provide insight into Farrar’s relationship with authors; for example, following Amy Lowell’s death Farrar was given one of her boxes of cigars.
The Papers also represent Farrar’s writing career, including drafts of poetry, essays, and plays, in addition to correspondence with potential collaborators and publishers.
Farrar’s engagement with writing and publishing is further illustrated through his correspondence relating to his work to establish the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference and to revive the New York Chapter of the International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists (PEN), as well as to teaching stints at New York University and Columbia University. Farrar was also involved in a number of civic and religious organizations as the correspondence and subject files evidence.
Documents regarding Farrar’s relationship with his mother Sally Wright, wife Margaret Farrar, and their children John Curtis, Alison, and Janice, can be found in the Family Papers. Correspondence to Margaret Farrar can also be found in the general correspondence and subject files.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The John Chipman Farrar papers 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, John Chipman Farrar, 1964-1967 (Yale 1919) and Margaret Petherbridge Farrar, 1976.
Organized into four series: I. Correspondence and Subject Files, 1917-1974. II. Writings, 1919-1967. III. Family Papers, 1934-1964. IV. Printed Material, 1916-1964.
16.48 Linear Feet (42 boxes)
Language of Materials
The John Chipman Farrar Papers consist of correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, personal papers, and printed material relating to the personal and professional life of John Chipman Farrar, and to a lesser degree, his wife Margaret Petherbridge Farrar, between 1916 and 1974. The Papers also document the publishing firms Farrar and Rinehart and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. A number of authors' correspondence and drafts are included in the Papers.
John Chipman Farrar (1896-1974)
The publisher John Chipman Farrar was born to Edward Donaldson Farrar and Sally Wright in Burlington, Vermont, in 1896. Farrar attended Yale between 1914 and 1919. His education at Yale was interrupted with a year of service with the Intelligence Division of the Army Air Service during World War I.
Early in his life Farrar aspired to be an author, and during his time at Yale he published two volumes of verse (Portraits and Forgotten Shrines), wrote and produced a play, Nerves, worked on the Yale Literary Magazine and co-edited the Yale Book of Student Verse , 1910-1919. While at Yale University Farrar met Stephen Vincent Benet, with whom he collaborated on several publications and projects.
After graduation Farrar went on to work as a reporter and to publish poetry; however, he is best known as a publisher and editor. Farrar’s first publishing job was with George Doran in 1921; when the firm merged and became Doubleday, Doran & Company in 1927, Farrar was promoted within the company. In 1927 Farrar and his colleague Stanley Rinehart formed a publishing company together. While successful for a number of years, the men separated in 1946, at which time Farrar created Farrar, Straus & Company with Roger Straus. Farrar and Straus would remain in partnership throughout the rest of their lives, with the company adopting several names over its lifetime, including Farrar, Straus & Young, Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, and Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.
In addition to maintaining his publishing firm, Farrar was also involved in encouraging authors. In 1926 he founded the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College with Robert Frost. He served as the president of the New York Chapter of the International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists (PEN), as director of the Marlboro Fiction Writers’ Conference (1949-1951), and on the boards of the Poetry Society of America and the Writers’ Board for World Government. Farrar also taught at New York University (early 1920s) and Columbia University (1945-1947).
In 1926 John Farrar and Margaret Petherbridge Farrar (1897-1984) married. A graduate of Smith College (1919), Margaret Farrar is best known for her work editing crossword puzzles for Simon & Schuster and The New York Times. She also played a role in publishing; she was editor of mystery books at Farrar & Rinehart and Farrar, Straus, & Giroux and served as a member of the board of directors of Farrar, Straus, & Giroux following John Farrar’s death in 1974. John and Margaret Petherbridge Farrar had three children: John Curtis Farrar, Alison Farrar Wilson, and Janice Farrar Thaddeus.
Appendix A: Sound Recordings
The following list provides details about sound recordings from the John Chipman Farrar Papers located at the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings.
|YT7-3968||Nightmare at noon by Steven Vincent Benét, noon, Henry Hull, reader, nd, WOR Mightier than the sword: John Farrar, host; Max Lerner, guest, June 3, 1943: The mind and faith of Justice Holmes|
|YT7-3969||Mightier than the sword: John Farrar, host, June 17, 1943: Adelaide Hawley, guest Mightier than the sword, John Farrar, host, July 8, 1943: Maurice Hinduce [possibly Maurice G. Hindus]|
|YT7-3970||Mightier than the sword: John Farrar, host, July 15, 1943: Josephine Von Miklos, guest|
|YT7-3974||Day of reckoning, John Farrar, announcer, April 3, 1943: [program about Quisling]|
|YT7-3975||They burned the books [series title ?], John Farrar, announcer, May 5, 1943, written by Steven Vincent Benét|
|YT7-3976||Day of reckoning, John Farrar, announcer, April 10, 1943 [incomplete, Parts 3 & 5 only]|
|YT7-3977||They burned the books, John Farrar, announcer, May 11, 1943, written by Steven Vincent Benét [incomplete: 5 of 6 sides, but Side 4 unplayable]|
|YT7-3978||Dear Adolf, John Farrar, announcer, June 21, 1942, first of [a series of] six, Steven Vincent Benét, writer [same] No. 3 of 6, July 5, 1942|
|YT7-3979||Dear Adolf, John Farrar, announcer, July 12, 1942, no. 4 of 6, Steven Vincent Benét, writer: Part 5 [only] [same program] John Farrar, announcer, August 2, 1942, No. 6 of 6, Steven Vincent Benét, writer Tribute to Steven Vincent Benét, April 15, 1943 [incomplete: 2 of 6 sides only; 1 disc missing, 1 damaged and unplayable]|
This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization, in 2011. The collection is comprised of material formerly classed as: Uncat ZA Farrar, ZaF244+1, and ZaF244+S1. Sound recordings received in 1975 were at that time removed from the Papers and sent to the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings.
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 basic processing. This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Allen, Hervey, 1889-1949
- Authors, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Benét, S. V. (Stephen Vincent), 1827-1895
- Brandt & Brandt
- Cabell, James Branch, 1879-1958
- Century Club (New York, N.Y.)
- Doubleday, Doran & Company
- Farrar & Rinehart
- Farrar, John Chipman, 1896-1974
- Farrar, Margaret Petherbridge, 1897-1984
- Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
- Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925
- Ottley, Roi, 1906-1960
- PEN (Organization)
- Publishers and publishing
- United World Federalists (U.S.)
- Waugh, Alec, 1898-1981
- Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975
- Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944
- Writers' retreats -- United States
- Guide to the John Chipman Farrar Papers
- by Andrea Benefiel and H. Dean
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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