Skip to main content

COVID-19 Update

Read the Library Reopening FAQ and other COVID-19 updates. Library staff are providing online services and support.

John Hersey papers

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 707

Scope and Contents

The John Hersey Papers contain writings, correspondence, printed and audiovisual materials, scrapbooks, and family and personal papers. The collection consists of ten small donations made by Hersey between 1944 and 1967 and an acquisition of a major part of his archive in 1992. The early gifts by Hersey contain drafts and proofs for multiple works dating from the early 1940s through mid 1960s, including the successful and popular A Bell for Adano (1944), Hiroshima (1946), and The Wall (1950). The 1992 acquisition contains additional writings, as well as correspondence and clippings files relating to writings, correspondence, scrapbooks, audiovisual material, and personal papers. Correspondence includes large files for the publishers Alfred A. Knopf and Hamish Hamilton, the literary agent Otis and Williams, The New Yorker, and outgoing letters from Hersey to his mother. Writings include materials relating to Hersey's first book, Men on Bataan (1942), and numerous later works, including White Lotus (1965), The Walnut Door (1977), The Call (1985), and Blues (1987).

Dates

  • circa 1919-1992

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 68 contains restricted fragile material. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 69-71 and 107 (audiovisual materials): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The John Hersey 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

Acquired from John Hersey by gift and purchase, 1944-1992.

October 2013 and August 2014 Acquisitions: Gift of Brook Hersey.

Arrangement

Organized into thirteen groupings: April 1944 Acquisition, January 1947 Acquisition, December 1951 Acquisition, May 1952 Acquisition, December 1963 Acquisition, August 1964 Acquisition, December 1964 Acquisition, November 1966 Acquisition, December 1966 Acquisition, December 1967 Acquisition, March 1992 Acquisition, October 2013 Acqusition, Augut 2014 Acquisitions.

Associated Materials

Other material by or relating to John Hersey (various call numbers) can be found by searching the Uncataloged Acquisitions Database and Orbis (Yale's Online Catalog).

Extent

65.23 Linear Feet (107 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.hersey

Overview

The John Hersey papers contain writings, correspondence, printed and audiovisual materials, scrapbooks, and family and personal papers. The collection consists of ten small donations made by Hersey between 1944 and 1967 and an acquisition of a major part of his archive in 1992. The early gifts by Hersey contain drafts and proofs for multiple works dating from the early 1940s through mid 1960s, including the successful and popular A Bell for Adano (1944), Hiroshima (1946), and The Wall (1950). The later 1992 acquisition contains additional writings, as well as correspondence and clippings files relating to writings, correspondence, scrapbooks, audiovisual material, and personal papers. Correspondence includes large files for the publishers Alfred A. Knopf and Hamish Hamilton, the literary agent Otis and Williams, The New Yorker, and outgoing letters from Hersey to his mother. Writings include materials relating to Hersey's first book, Men on Bataan (1942), and numerous later works, including White Lotus (1965), The Walnut Door (1977), The Call (1985), and Blues (1987).

John Hersey (1914-1993)

John Hersey, American novelist and author, was born 17 June 1914 in Tientsin, China to missionaries Roscoe and Grace Baird Hersey. After the family returned to the United States in 1925, and settled in Briarcliff Manor, New York, Hersey attended public school, Hotchkiss School, Yale University (1936) and Clare College, Cambridge (1936-1937). Following his studies he worked for several years as a journalist, first for Time magazine (1937-1944) and then, after the Second World War, as a correspondent and editor for Life and The New Yorker. He later taught at Yale and served as Master of Pierson College (1965-1970). Hersey is the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his first novel, A Bell for Adano (1944) in 1945, and multiple awards, including the Anisfield-Wolf Award, for his second novel, The Wall (1950). Hersey died 24 March 1993 in Key West, Florida.

Biographical information taken from "John Hersey." Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Biography In Context. Web. 6 March 2013.

Processing Information

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and in some instances minimal organization. Various acquisitions associated with the collection have not been merged and organized as a whole. Each acquisition is described separately in the contents list below according to month and year of acquisition.

As a rule, descriptive information found in the Collection Contents section is drawn in large part 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.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Former call numbers: Za Hersey and Uncat Za Ms 235.
Title
Guide to the John Hersey Papers
Author
by Beinecke staff
Date
2007-05-16
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

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
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.