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Mary Kennedy papers

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 814

Scope and Contents

The papers contain personal and business correspondence, writings, personal papers, and financial records documenting the life and work of the American actress and author Mary Kennedy. Correspondents include her husband American composer Deems Taylor, authors Laura Benét, Pearl S. Buck, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, composer Samuel Barber, fashion designer Valentina, and colleagues from the theater world including Katharine Cornell, Lynn Fontanne, Margalo Gillmore, Helen Hayes, Clare Kummer, Annie Russell, and Marjorie and Roland Young. Family members well represented in the papers are Kennedy's mother Josephine Kennedy Maner, and her brothers James and Foster Kennedy, the latter also an author. Mary Kennedy wrote plays, novels, short stories, poetry, and children's books, and her papers contain drafts, corrected typescripts, and printed versions of her works. Also present are portrait photographs by some of the leading artists of the time, including Arnold Genthe, Ben Magid Rabinovitch, and Edward Steichen.

Dates

  • 1894-1988

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 70 contains record album storage. Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Mary Kennedy 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

Purchased from George Robert Minkoff, Inc. on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, the Danford N. Barney, Jr. Fund, and the George B. Alvord Fund, 1988.

Extent

60 Linear Feet ((69 boxes) + 1 record album storage)

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.kennedym

Overview

The papers contain personal and business correspondence, writings, personal papers, and financial records documenting the life and work of the American actress and author Mary Kennedy. Correspondents include her husband American composer Deems Taylor, authors Laura Benét, Pearl S. Buck, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, composer Samuel Barber, fashion designer Valentina, and colleagues from the theater world including Katharine Cornell, Lynn Fontanne, Margalo Gillmore, Helen Hayes, Clare Kummer, Annie Russell, and Marjorie and Roland Young. Family members well represented in the papers are Kennedy's mother Josephine Kennedy Maher, and her brothers James and Foster Kennedy, the latter also an author. Mary Kennedy wrote plays, novels, short stories, poetry, and children's books, and her papers contain drafts, corrected typescripts, and printed versions of her works. Also present are portrait photographs by some of the leading artists of the time, including Arnold Genthe, Ben Magid Rabinovitch, and Edward Steichen, and an autograph manuscript score by Samuel Barber for incidental music to accompany Kennedy's One Day of Spring (1935).

Mary Kennedy (1896-1987)

Mary Kennedy was born May 28, 1896, in Claxton, Georgia, the daughter of Edmund Foster Kennedy and Josephine McMahon Kennedy. Following an education in convent schools in Georgia and Florida, she moved to New York and appeared in silent films with the Cosmopolitan Film Company and in several theater productions between 1917 and 1935, including The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1931) with Katharine Cornell. Also a playwright, her first success was Mrs. Partridge Presents, co-authored with Ruth Hawthorne, which was presented on Broadway in 1925 and published by Samuel French. In addition to plays, Kennedy wrote novels, short stories, poetry, and books for children. She was a member of Actors' Equity, the Authors Guild, the Dramatists Guild, the Poetry Society of America, and the Society of Women Geographers.

On June 11, 1921, Kennedy married the American composer Joseph Deems Taylor (1885-1966); their daughter Joan Kennedy Taylor was born in 1926 and the couple divorced in 1934. Mary Kennedy studied at Radcliffe College (1943-1945) and Columbia University (1947-1949), and was awarded three fellowships at the Macdowell Colony. She died on April 24, 1987, in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Processing Information

In 1988 this collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and in some instances minimal organization. In 2013 slight refinements were made to the collection.

The finding aid for this collection is compiled from a preliminary list created at the time of receipt by the library. The preliminary list was migrated to comply with current archival descriptive standards. As part of the migration, modifications were made to the formatting of the list; however, the content of the list was neither modified nor verified.

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.

Former call number: Uncat ZA MS 86.
Title
Guide to the Mary Kennedy Papers
Author
by Beinecke Staff
Date
2007-05-15
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.