Clarence Day collection
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of correspondence, writings, personal papers, and printed material documenting the career of Clarence Shepard Day. The collection provides insight into Day's work as an author, illustrator, and humorist, who often poked fun at upper class New Yorkers. The collection also documents Day's experience as an undergraduate student at Yale University in the late nineteenth-century.
Day's creative life is represented in his correspondence with publisher Alfred A. Knopf, as well as in his illustrated letters to friends including Albert Galloway Keller, Mary Thompson, and Vira Whitehouse. Drafts for Scenes from the Mesozoic reflect Day's work as an author and humorist. The collection does not include extensive documents pertaining to Day's most well-known publication, Life With Father, but the Writings and Artwork Series does include letters relating to a publicity stunt in order to promote the book in Chicago. The Writings and Artwork series also represents Day's career as an author and illustrator, including his freelance illustrations for Florence Guy Seabury's The Delicatessen Husband and Lee Wilson Dodd's Pegeen and the Potamus. Some of Day's shorter pieces, such as poetry and short stories, are included in the Printed Material series.
Day's involvement with Yale University, as a student and an alumnus, are traced in his scrapbook dating from 1895 to 1897, correspondence with classmate Albert Galloway Keller, and illustrations for various alumni events from 1909 to 1960.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Clarence Day 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
Acquired by gift and purchase from various sources, 1939-1995. For more information consult the appropriate curator.
Organized into four series: I. Correspondence, 1892-1963. II. Writings and Artwork, 1891-1980. III. Personal Papers, 1895-1960. IV. Printed Material, 1924-1936.
3 Linear Feet (8 boxes)
Language of Materials
The collection consists of correspondence, writings, personal papers, and printed material documenting the career of Clarence Shepard Day. The collection provides insight into Day's work as an author, illustrator, and humorist, who often poked fun at upper class New Yorkers. The collection also documents Day's experience as an undergraduate student at Yale University in the late nineteenth-century. Correspondents include: Alfred A. Knopf and Vira Whitehouse.
Clarence Day (1874-1935)
Clarence Shepard Day, Jr., American author, illustrator, and humorist, was born in New York City to Clarence Shepard and Lavinia Elizabeth Stockwell Day on November 18, 1874.
Day graduated from Yale University in 1896 with a Bachelor of Arts. After graduation Day worked as a stockbroker in his father’s company. He trained with the U.S. Navy during the Spanish-American War, serving on the Nahant, which remained in the New York Harbor. Day suffered from arthritis, which forced him to leave the military and eventually to end his career as a stockbroker.
Day’s illness prompted him to begin a career as a freelance writer and illustrator. He was the owner and publisher of the Yale Alumni Weekly (1905-1909), published pieces in Harper's, New Yorker, Saturday Evening Post, Yale Review, and New Republic, and completed freelance work for other authors. Day also wrote book reviews and a financial column for the Metropolitan Magazine under the pseudonym B. H. Arkwright (1915-1921).
Day’s books include: This Simian World (1920), The Crow's Nest (1921), Thoughts without Words (1928), God and My Father (1932), In the Green Mountain Country (1934), Scenes from the Mesozoic (1935), Life with Father (1935), After All (a revision of The Crow’s Nest, 1936), and Life with Mother (1937). Life with Father was a bestseller in 1935 and 1936 and was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. The book was also adapted for theatre, film, and television.
Day married Katherine Briggs Dodge in 1928 with whom he had one daughter (Wendy Day). Day died at his home in New York City of pneumonia on December 28, 1935.
This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization, in 2012.
This collection includes materials previously identified by the following call numbers: Za Day and Uncat Za Ms Day.
- Guide to the Clarence Day Collection
- by Beinecke Staff
- 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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