The papers of Arthur and Barbara Gelb focus primarily on the research
and joint authorship of
O'Neill, the biography of Eugene O'Neill,
published in two editions by Harper and Row in 1962 and 1973. While some
research material, including holograph notebooks, interviews, and
correspondence, remains restricted and unavailable for research, a substantial
portion of O'Neill material is accessible. These papers provide a full range of
literary expression from manuscripts to the published versions. Also included
are numerous articles written by the Gelbs on O'Neill, as well as other
theater-related pieces. In addition, Arthur Gelb's career at
The New York Times, in various editorial
capacities, is well represented in several book-length works, articles,
reviews, and associated material.
The collection is divided into four series: Works about Eugene O'Neill,
Other Works, Personal, and Works by Others.
Series I, Works about Eugene O'Neill, is subdivided into three sections
O'Neill, articles about O'Neill, and
research material. Leading this series is material for
O'Neill, including an early corrected
"Life of Eugene O'Neill,"the precursor to the
1962 Harper and Row edition. It is followed by typescripts corrected by Brooks
Atkinson and others, a second corrected typescript, and the final setting copy.
Several versions of page proofs and galley proofs are also present.
The articles on O'Neill in Subseries B are arranged by title and contain
works by Arthur and Barbara Gelb, both as joint and individual authors. These
include articles written for
The New York Times,
Grolier, sound recording and theater program
notes, and a script for the documentary
"The Face of Genius."
Subseries C contains research material for
O'Neill, including an address book with
notes and interview sources, as well as photocopies of O'Neill's correspondence
from 1913 to 1953. Other
O'Neill research material remains
The non-O'Neill works in Series II provide insight into the Gelb's
diverse interests. Subseries A contains book-length works arranged in
alphabetical order, beginning with Barbara Gelb's 1954 book on natural
childbirth. This work is followed by a series of books edited by A. M.
Rosenthal and Arthur Gelb, while serving as editors of the Metropolitan desk at
The Times. The events of The Great Blackout
of November 9, 1965 are captured in
The Night the Lights Went Out, derived from
stories written by
The Times reporters and wire service
"All the news that's fit to print"was composed
by candlelight the night of the blackout and went to press in New Jersey where
the electricity had not failed. The late city edition published on November
10th--the only New York morning newspaper published that day--is present, in
addition to the original typescript of the book, reporter's copy, notes, wire
service reports, and newspaper clippings.
One More Victim: The Life and Death of An
American-Jewish Nazi delivers a chilling account of the life and
suicide of Daniel Burros, an anti-semitic New York State grand dragon of the Ku
Klux Klan of Jewish descent. A considerable amount of research material was
gathered for this work, including transcriptions of taped interviews,
handwritten notes, documents, pamphlets, correspondence, and background
information on the Nazi movement in the United States, as well as activities of
the Ku Klux Klan.
Undaunted by a crippling newspaper strike, the staff of
The New York Times covered the visit of Pope
Paul VI to the United States on October 4, 1965 as though their reports would
go to press. However the strike was not resolved during the Pope's visit, so
the stories were compiled in book format under the direction of Rosenthal and
Gelb and published by Herder & Herder as
The Pope's Journey to the United States.
Included in the collection are the original corrected typescript,
reporter's and news agency copy, and press releases which cover every angle of
the trip from security precautions to the Pope's impact on world peace.
Other, shorter works by the Gelbs included in Subseries B provide a
range of topics. These articles, tributes, and reviews are arranged by author.
Arthur Gelb's works include articles on Cape Cod, book reviews, and tributes
for Irving Spiegel and Sidney Gruson. Barbara Gelb's writings for the Sunday
Drama section of
The New York Times constitute the bulk of
the articles included.
Correspondence from 1963-1986 dominates the Personal material in Series
III. Both professional and personal correspondence is present, including some
of Arthur Gelb's outgoing correspondence. The letters are arranged in
alphabetical order by correspondent and, in some cases, by organization.
Miscellaneous material follows the correspondence and includes folders on Mayor
John V. Lindsay,
The New York Times, proofs of the journal
The Public Interest, the Repertory Theater
of Lincoln Center, and the World's Fair in New York.
The final series contains works by others in various formats. Authors
include Brooks Atkinson, Simone de Beauvoir, William H. Davenport, August R.
Ebel, John V. Lindsay, Norman Mailer, Eugene O'Neill, James O'Neill, Edwin
Rosskam, A. L. Rowse, and Jean-Paul Sartre.