Skip to main content

Chester Himes papers

Call Number: JWJ MSS 42
Scope and Contents

The Chester Himes Papers consists of original manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and artwork that document his long career as a writer. The manuscripts offer insight into Himes's creative process and many of them also represent the original versions and original titles for works which were later altered for publication. The bulk of the correspondence reveals Himes's relationship with the publishers and editors of his books and also offers a glimpse into the author's thoughts on his own work. The photographs and artwork document Himes's life with his family, friends and colleagues.

Language of Materials

Chiefly in English, some materials in Spanish and French.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Chester Himes 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 the author, 1953-1976. Gift of the author through Carl Van Vechten, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Doubleday and Book of the Month Club, 1952-1972. Gift of Lesley Himes, 1986.


Organized into five series: I. Writings, 1936-1976. II. Correspondence, 1947-1980. III. Printed Material, 1947-1964. IV. Photographs and Artwork, 1953-1967. V. Estelle B. Himes Writings, undated.

9.83 Linear Feet (28 boxes)
Related Names
Himes, Chester B., 1909-1984
Language of Materials
Language of Materials
Spanish; Castilian
Language of Materials