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American studies, history, and literature: Modern period

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  • Theodore Dreiser, phot. Marceau, New York, 1900 (Ms. Coll. 30, vol. 432, item 2)
    Theodore Dreiser, phot. Marceau, New York, 1900 (Ms. Coll. 30, vol. 432, item 2)

[Note: revisions to this web page are ongoing.]

Beginning in 1945 with the acquisition of the Theodore Dreiser Papers, the Penn Libraries has maintained collecting strengths in modern American manuscripts. Recent acquisitions including the Gotham Book Mart Collection, have added depth and breadth. This page provides an overview of major collections of interest to students and scholars in American studies.

Major collections


Theodore Dreiser Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, notes, and photographs, 1890-1965), document Dreiser's personal life and his careers as journalist, novelist, essayist, and political activist. Also available: Dreiser Web Source.

Curtis Publishing Company Records: correspondence, financial records, and marketing reports, 1887-1960 (bulk 1911-1945) of the firm established by Cyrus Curtis, which published weekly periodicals, such as Ladies' Home Journal, Country Gentleman, and Saturday Evening Post.

Gotham Book Mart Collection: Books, periodicals, and archival materials from this New York bookstore, a meeting place for modernists.

Marian Anderson Collection

Lewis Mumford collections

Boni & Liveright and Horace Liveright correspondence: correspondence, 1918-1934, kept by Liveright concerning the Boni & Liveright and Horace Liveright, Inc. publishing houses.

Agnes Repplier Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs, 1870-1960, regarding Repplier's activities as essayist and biographer and her circle of professional and personal associates.

Van Wyck Brooks Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and diaries, 1898-1963, concerning the life and career of the essayist.

Ezra Pound collections: includes letters, 1907-1959, to Mary Moore Cross, with whom Pound had a romance as a young man, and research materials compiled by Carl Gatter. Also includes collections of printed books by Pound. 

William Carlos Williams collections: printed books and some manuscripts and research notes relating to the poet, who graduated from Penn with an M.D. in 1906.

Waldo Frank Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and diaries, 1900-1966, regarding the novelist's literary output, as well as his travels and interest in Central and South America.

Burton Rascoe Papers: correspondence, dairies, notebooks, and typescripts, 1914-1957, concerning Rascoe's work as editor, literary critic, and fiction writer.

James T. Farrell Papers