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.

Dorothy Norman papers

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 792

Scope and Contents

The papers contain correspondence, writings, literary manuscripts, notes, subject files, scrapbooks, and printed material documenting Dorothy Norman's activities, writings, and publications, including the journal she founded and edited, Twice A Year: a Book of Literature, the Arts, and Civil Liberties. The papers also document Norman's relationships with the photographer Alfred Stieglitz and his circle of artists and writers, with her husband Edward A. Norman and their families, and with prominent Indians including Ananda K. Coomaraswamy and Indira Gandhi.

The collection does not contain original photographs by Dorothy Norman or Alfred Stieglitz, or materials related to her writings on Jawaharlal Nehru.

Dates

  • 1903-1996

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Group I, Correspondence with Alfred Stieglitz and Edward A. Norman (boxes 1-67), is restricted until January 2, 2020. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 166 (sound recording): Use of originals is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Dorothy Norman 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 of Dorothy Norman, 1965-1992. Bequest of Dorothy Norman, 1997.

December 2016 Acquisition: gift of Nancy Lasalle, 2016.

Arrangement

Organized into five groupings: Correspondence with Alfred Stieglitz and Edward A. Norman, 1924-1981. Pre-1990 Acquisitions, 1908-1983. October 1991 Acquisition, 1903-1989. April 1997 Acquisition, 1908-1996. December 2016 Acquisition, 1937-1991.

Associated Materials

Material related to Dorothy Norman's research and writings on Jawaharlal Nehru is held in the Dorothy Norman Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.

Extent

141.07 Linear Feet (182 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.norman

Overview

The papers contain correspondence, writings, literary manuscripts, notes, subject files, scrapbooks, and printed material documenting Dorothy Norman's activities, writings, and publications including the journal she founded and edited, Twice A Year: a Book of Literature, the Arts, and Civil Liberties. The papers also document Norman's relationships with the photographer Alfred Stieglitz and his circle of artists and writers, in particular her involvement with his gallery An American Place, with her husband Edward A. Norman and their families, and with prominent Indians including Ananda K. Coomaraswamy and Indira Gandhi.

Dorothy Norman (1905-1997)

The American editor, author, photographer, and social activist Dorothy Stecker Norman was born March 28, 1905, in Philadelphia, the daughter of Louis and Esther Stecker. She attended Smith College and the University of Pennsylvania, and took classes at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania. In 1925 she married Edward Albert Norman (1900-1955), the son of Chicago philanthropist Aaron E. Norman, and settled with him in New York City. There she became involved with the American Civil Liberties Union and other progressive organizations; in later years Norman became a founding member of New York's Liberal Party, was a member of the Americans for Democratic Action, and served on the boards of the New York Urban League and the National Urban League. The Dorothy and Edward Norman were also arts patrons, and their town house at 124 East 70th Street was designed for them by the Swiss architect William Lascaze (1896-1969) in the early 1940s.

In 1927 Dorothy Norman met the American photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) at his exhibition venue The Intimate Gallery, and for the next twenty years she was mentored by him, and he encouraged her interest in making photographs. In turn, she became his assistant, fundraiser, and financial manager of his final exhibition gallery, An American Place, which operated at 509 Madison Avenue from 1929 to 1950. Also interested in literature, Norman founded and edited a journal, Twice A Year: a Book of Literature, the Arts, and Civil Liberties, which she published from 1938 to 1946. In addition to her weekly column in the New York Post (1942-1949), she wrote, edited, published, or contributed to several publications on Stieglitz, the painter John Marin, and Indian statesmen she knew and admired, including Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Her autobiography, Encounters: a Memoir, was published in 1987. Dorothy Norman died in East Hampton, New York, on April 12, 1997.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

The finding aid for this collection was compiled from individual preliminary lists for each acquisition that were created at or around the time of receipt by the library. The preliminary lists were migrated to comply with current archival descriptive standards and merged into a single file in 2013-2014. As part of the migration, modifications were made to the formatting of individual lists; however, the content of the lists was neither modified nor verified.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization. With the exception of the letters in Group I, material received from Dorothy Norman between 1967 and 1990 was merged together and organized as a whole in Group II; additions received after 1990 are described separately in the contents list below. Descriptive information 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. 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 collection includes materials previously identified by multiple call numbers: Za Norman, Uncat Za MS Norman, Uncat Za File 80, Uncat Za File 101, Uncat Za MS 323, Uncat Za MS 219, Uncat Za MS 541.
Title
Guide to the Dorothy Norman Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
by Beinecke Staff
Date
May 2007
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.