Langston Hughes collection
Scope and Contents
The collection is housed in 4 boxes and organized into two series: Josephine DeWitt Rhodehamel Gift and Material from Other Sources. Box 2 contains material that is Restricted Fragile.
Series I, Josephine DeWitt Rhodehamel Gift , is organized into three subseries: Letters from Langston Hughes, Writings of Langston Hughes and Writings of Others. Letters from Langston Hughes, housed in box 1, consist exclusively of letters from Hughes to Rhodehamel, of Berkeley, California, dating from 1930-40. Letters mention Rhodehamel's efforts to acquire particular pieces of work by Hughes for herself and "the library," his work and travel, and his gratitude for her interest. The Writings of Langston Hughes subseries contains holograph and typescript versions of poems for Dear Lovely Death (1931) laid in decorated boards. There is also a typescript copy of Louise Thompson's article on Hughes' first novel, Not Without Laughter (1930).
Series II, Material from Other Sources , housed in boxes 1, 3, and 4, is organized into four subseries: Correspondence, Photographs, Audiovisual Material and Electronic Files. The Correspondence subseries consists of correspondence from Hughes to others and is arranged alphabetically by recipient. There are groups of letters to Arna Bontemps, Harold Jackman, Arthur Spingarn, Nathaniel White and others. More than 20 letters to Arna Bontemps, dating from March to September 1948, deal with their anthology The Poetry of the Negro (1949). Most of Hughes' letters to Harold Jackman are brief, but longer letters from 1924 and 1933 respectively touch on the economic hardships of life in Paris and the production of Hughes' plays, "Mulatto" and "The Ways of White Folks," by the Harlem Experimental Theatre. Hughes solicited Arthur Spingarn's help in early December 1935 to obtain royalties from the American Play Company for the Vanderbilt Theatre's production of "Mulatto," and subsequent letters, also dating from December 1935, discuss Spingarn's efforts on his behalf. There are many brief letters and cards to Nathaniel White, one of Hughes' assistants, dating from the late 1940s to early 1950s. Enclosures, third-party correspondence and correspondence to Hughes are noted in the folder description. There are photographs of Hughes dating from 1934 and 1969.
The Audiovisual Material subseries consists of audio and video recordings acquired or produced by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library for the Library's 2002 exhibition "Langston at 100" and the Yale University conference "Langston Hughes and His World" which was held by the University's Department of African American Studies and the Beinecke Library in February 2002. The material includes both commercial recordings relating to Hughes, and video recordings of "Langston Hughes and His World" conference sessions "An Evening of Jazz and Poetry" and "The Theatre of Langston Hughes." The Electronic Files subseries consists of preliminary and final .html files for the online exhibition "Langston Hughes at 100."
Restricted Fragile materials are housed in box 2.
Conditions Governing Access
Box 2: Restricted fragile material. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Box 4: Folders 30 and 34 are unused. Original recordings are in Box 2, folders 38 and 39.
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
1.75 Linear Feet ((4 boxes) + 1 art storage item)
Language of Materials
Series I, Josephine DeWitt Rhodehamel Gift, is organized into three subseries: Letters from Langston Hughes, Writings of Langston Hughes and Writings of Others. There are letters to Rhodehamel and holograph and typescript versions of poems for Dear Lovely Death.
Series II, Material from Other Sources, is organized into four subseries: Correspondence, Photographs, Audiovisual Materials, and Electronic Files. There are groups of letters to Arna Bontemps, Harold Jackman, Arthur Spingarn, Nathaniel White and others. Audiovisual material consists of commercial recordings of Langston Hughes's work, as well as video recordings of two sessions from Yale University's "Langston Hughes and His World" conference in February 2002. Electronic files include preliminary and final versions of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library's online exhibition, "Langston Hughes at 100."
LANGSTON HUGHES (1902-1967)
- African American authors -- 20th Century -- Archives
- American literature -- 20th century
- Authors, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
- Bontemps, Arna, 1902-1973
- Born digital
- Compact discs
- Harlem Renaissance -- Archives
- Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967
- Jackman, Harold, 1901-1961
- Langston Hughes and His World -- New Haven, Conn. -- 2002
- Langston Hughes at 100 (Exhibition : New Haven, CT) -- 2002
- Photographic prints
- Rhodehamel, Josephine DeWitt
- Spingarn, Arthur B. (Arthur Barnett), 1878-1971
- White, Nathaniel
- Yale University. Dept. of African American Studies
- Guide to the Langston Hughes Collection
- Under Revision
- by Michael Forstrom
- July 2003
- 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
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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.