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Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas collection

Call Number: YCAL MSS 77

Scope and Contents

The Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Collection consists of manuscripts, letters, photographs, printed materials, and art and objects by and about Stein and Toklas. The Collection spans the years 1901-1987.

The Collection is housed in 39 boxes and consists of nine series: Writings, Correspondence, Other Papers, Photographs, Pre-1946 Printed Material, Post-1946 Printed Material, Artworks, Objects, and Film & Sound Recordings. Boxes 37-40 contain Oversize material.

Series I, Writings , consists of three subseries: Gertrude Stein Bibliography, Posthumous Appearances of Stein Works, and Writings of Alice B. Toklas. The Gertrude Stein Bibliography contains several holograph and typescript versions of published Stein writings, most of which are copies that Stein sent to friends. Also present are materials used in the publication of Stein's works, such as the page proof for the Banyan Press edition of Blood on the Dining Room Floor, the setting typescript for Brewsie and Willie, the setting typescripts and proof pages for Last Operas and Plays and Selected Writings, both published posthumously, and the page proofs for the original edition of Operas and Plays, with corrections by Stein. A nearly complete history of two editions of The World is Round can be found here, each of them including original illustrations by Clement Hurd.

Posthumous Appearances of Stein Works contains printed items in magazines and reviews collected by the library. Writings of Alice B. Toklas consists chiefly of printed versions of excerpts from two of her books and of several articles written during the 1950s. What is Remembered is present in a proof stage.

Series II, Correspondence , is divided into four subseries: Gertrude Stein - Outgoing, Gertrude Stein - Incoming, Alice B. Toklas - Outgoing, and Third-Party. Letters from Gertrude Stein (Gertrude Stein - Outgoing) comprise the largest group. Donated in most cases by the recipient, these groups of letters complement many of those found in the Stein/Toklas Papers. An extensive group of letters to Virgil Thomson makes up much of this sub-series. In addition, there are substantial runs of letters to Edward Aswell, William Cook, Max Ewing, Henry Phelan Gibb, Bobsy Chapman, Lindley Williams Hubbell, Grant Richards, William Garland Rogers, William P. Sears, Jr., Julian and Rosellen Stein, Samuel Steward, Donald Sutherland, Ellen Alix Taylor, Mabel Foote Weeks, and Wendell Wilcox. A few letters to Stein, which somehow were passed along to other parties, are to be found in the subseries: Gertrude Stein - Incoming.

The subseries Alice B. Toklas - Outgoing is made up of letters by Alice Toklas written to a variety of friends during the two decades following Gertrude Stein's death. Her notes to old and young correspondents record her trials and triumphs as she continued to work on Gertrude's behalf. Third-Party Letters, which close out this series, for the most part document the publication of works by or about Gertrude Stein.

Series III, Other Papers , includes several reminiscences of Gertrude and Alice, by Arthur Lachman, by William Garland Rogers, and by Dilkusha Rohan, musical settings of Stein (or Stein-inspired) works by Richard Banks, by Johnny Fig, and by Ned Rorem, and working notes for books, plays and documentaries about Stein, by such writers and artists as Perry Miller Adato, Nancy Cole, Ulla Dydo, Linda Simon, and Elizabeth Sprigge. Among the most extensive holdings in this series are three unique groups of material. The editorial office files from the Atlantic Monthly from 1919-1942 include letters from and to Stein and copies of several of her submissions. This is the one instance in both the Collection and the Papers (besides the appearance of a few proof states of manuscripts) of a publisher's archive of Stein material. Letters and documents gathered by Doda Conrad describe his somewhat successful efforts to establish a living trust fund for the welfare of Alice Toklas as she became enfeebled in the mid-1960s. Researchers interested in Stein's texts will find the transcriptions made by Leon Katz of Stein's studies for the Making of Americans (originals located in the Stein papers) with explanatory notes by Katz.

Series IV, Photographs , contains a number of snapshots of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, photos of artwork owned by Stein of Stein exhibitions, and a number of shots taken during the 1940s and 1950s of stage productions of Stein plays.

Series V and VI gather together all of the miscellaneous printed material about Stein acquired by the library during the decades following her death. The material in Series V, Pre-1946 Printed Material , contains ephemera given to Stein. Series VI, Post-1946 Printed Material , gathers together items which document the fortunes of Stein's friends and the appearances of her posthumous writings. A few items in this series, do, indeed, date from before 1946. However, these tend to be clippings that were received from third parties in groups of principally post-1946 material. The three boxes containing issues of magazines and printed items with mentions of Gertrude Stein are arranged in alphabetical order by name of publication.

Series VII, Artworks , and Series VIII, Objects , consist of paintings, sketches, and memorabilia given by friends and admirers of Stein and Toklas. These include several items by Sir Francis Rose, an oil painting by Camille Lane, and a mixed media painting by Pablo Picasso.

Series IX, Film & Sound Recordings , contains one film taken by Julian Stein in approximately 1927 showing Gertrude and Alice at the Hotel Pernollet in Belley, France, as well as views of Michael Stein's home. The sound recordings include an interview with and readings by Stein recorded during her American tour in 1934-35. (Use copies for all the sound recordings are available at the Historical Sound Recordings department of Sterling Library.)

Reference prints for artworks and objects in box 36 have been made to facilitate access to images of these materials.

The oversize section contains items cross-referenced from series I, III, IV, and VI. Oversize artworks and objects have been provided with appropriate housing, as indicated in Series VII and VIII.


  • 1901-1987


Physical Description

Other Storage Formats: Artworks, Objects, Recordings, Oversize

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

HSR (videocassettes) and motion picture film in cold storage: ‡a Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 44(audiovisual material): Restricted fragile. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas 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

The Collection was acquired through gifts and purchases from various sources, in many cases friends and contemporaries of Stein and Toklas, to complement the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers (YCAL MSS 76).

Associated Materials

In years past, A number of items by or relating to Stein in other collections held by the library were interfiled into the Gertrude Stein Collection to facilitate research In the course of processing, these have been returned to their collections of origin. For example, letters from Alice Toklas to Pavel Tchelitchew have been returned to the Tchelitchew Papers, a separate group of material in the Yale Collection of American Literature. Repatriated material once filed with the Stein/Toklas Collection can be found in the papers of:

Isabel Wilder

Henry McBride

Robert Haas

To research Stein material in these collections, please consult the catalogs (for both printed and manuscript material) and finding aids for archival material. In addition to the items listed under Series IX, Film & Sound Recordings, there are two items that were purchased by the Historical Sound Recordings department which may have mistakenly been cited by researchers in the past as being part of the Stein Collection. These are:

"Gertrude Stein Reads" containing the Making of Americans Parts 1 & 2, A Valentine to Sherwood Anderson, If I told him, Matisse [alternate recording], and Madame Recamier. (One double-sided 12" 33-1/3 RPM disc. Pressed by Caedmon in 1956.) and "Spoken Arts Treasury of 100 Modern American Poets" vol. 1. Includes Stein reading: She bowed to her brother, Georges Hugnet, Fifteenth of November, and Portrait of Christian Bérard. (One double-sided 12" 33-1/3 RPM disc. Pressed by Spoken Arts.)

See also: The Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers (YCAL MSS 76) and the Leo Stein Collection (YCAL MSS 78).


24.41 Linear Feet ((45 boxes) + 3 art, 4 broadside)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Collection contains manuscripts, letters, photographs, clippings, artworks, and research materials relating to the life and work of Gertrude Stein and her companion, Alice B. Toklas gathered during the years following Stein's death to supplement the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers (YCAL MSS 76). Items from such friends and admirers as Elizabeth Fuller Chapman, Doda Conrad, Clement Hurd, Samuel Steward, and Donald Sutherland complement the original group of Stein papers.
Series I, Writings, includes drafts of works by Stein and several posthumously published items, along with a group of writings by Alice B. Toklas. Series II, Correspondence, contains long runs of letters from Stein to: Edward Aswell, Henry Phelan Gibb, William Garland Rogers, Samuel Steward, Donald Sutherland, and Virgil Thomson, all of which were acquired from the original recipients and several outgoing letters from Gertrude Stein and from Alice Toklas.
Series III, Other Papers, contains research materials from Stein scholars, files from the Atlantic Monthly concerning their publication of Stein's work, several musical settings of Stein works, and Doda Conrad's files concerning a fund for Alice Toklas.
Series IV and V contain Printed Materials and Series VI contains Photographs, some of Stein and Toklas, but principally of artworks owned by Stein and of posthumous productions of Stein plays.
Series VII and VIII (Artworks and Objects), includes a collage painting by Pablo Picasso and a number of paintings by Sir Francis Rose. Series IX, Film and Sound Recordings, contains a film of Stein and Toklas at the Hotel Pernollet in Belley France around 1927 and several audio recordings of Stein readings her works.

GERTRUDE STEIN (1874-1946) AND ALICE B. TOKLAS (1877-1967)

A biographical timeline is provided in the register for the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers (YCAL MSS 76).
Guide to the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Collection
Under Revision
by Timothy G. Young
August 1996
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
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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.