||James Jones' papers span the years 1890 to 1981 and embrace
manuscripts, proofs, correspondence, financial records, photographs, personal
documents, works in manuscript by other persons, and biographical materials.
The papers are largely in their original order, particularly those created
between the early 1960s and 1974. The materials are arranged in six series:
Series I. Works, 1945-78; Series II. Correspondence, 1930-81; Series III.
Personal Papers, 1890-1978; Series IV. Works by Others, 1948-78; Series V.
Lowney Handy and the Writers' Colony, 1942-57; and Series VI. Printed Matter,
||The Works Series comprises nearly a third of the papers and includes
manuscripts of Jones' books from
Go to the Widow-maker on, as well as
numerous film scripts and most of his shorter prose writings. For most of the
later novels discarded and retyped pages, along with notes and plotting ideas
are present; for several of these works annotated galleys are also held. Of the
Some Came Running and
The Pistol are present in typescript, the
former novel including some "notes on characters." There are film adaptations
by James Jones of
The Pistol and
The Thin Red Line.
||The Correspondence Series represents almost half of the Jones papers
and contains his working personal and professional correspondence as well as
files on travel, entertainment, housing, and avocational interests. The
majority of these files (from about 1959 to 1974) are in their original order,
and those files post-1974 have been arranged insofar as possible to continue
this pattern. Much of his earlier correspondence was placed by James Jones in
the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
||Jones' correspondents include his brother Jeff and aunt Mollie Haish,
fellow writers (William Styron, Irwin Shaw, and Willie Morris particularly),
film people, lawyers, agents, and editors. Avocational correspondents include
ocean divers, knifemakers, artists, and military men. Carbons of many of James
Jones' letters are interfiled with the correspondence. The carbons vary from
the perfunctory but polite to the expansive and frank, depending on available
time and the extent to which the correspondent piqued Jones' interest.
||The Personal Papers series includes a large group of address books,
appointment books, various ID records, as well as a collection of family
memorabilia and family history materials. A large collection of photographic
prints and negatives, as well as art works of Kaylie and Jamie Jones as
youngsters, is present. Detailed tax and financial records for the years
1964-74 are found in the series and are retained in their original
||The Works by Others series includes manuscripts by friends and
contemporaries of James Jones, including biographical material on him. Many of
the works are novels, but short stories, poetry, nonfiction, and essays are
present. Biographical pieces on Jones, together with an extensive group of
interviews (printed and typescript) conducted with him from 1951 onward are
arranged in separate subseries. In a number of cases these interviews appear
never to have appeared in print in their present form.
||The series on Lowney Handy and the Writers' Colony embraces a small
and mixed collection of correspondence, records, and clippings. The material is
too scant to document any aspect of the colony or its creator's life but does
serve--more than anything else--to provide a window on Lowney Handy's opinions
and unique personality.
||A collection of printed matter in the form of periodical and newspaper
issues, together with various clippings and fragments comprises the final
series of the James Jones Papers.
||Sound recordings, including Florida International University class
discussions and several interviews, have been withdrawn to the Sound Recordings
Collection. The Vertical File retains various theatrical programs and art
exhibition catalogs, as well as publications on funeral industry procedures and
minor publications removed from the papers.
||Other repositories that have significant James Jones holdings include
the University of Illinois at Springfield, where the original manuscript of
From Here to Eternity and the papers of
the Handy Writers' Colony are to be found. The Beinecke Rare Book and
Manuscript Library holds the manuscript of
"They Shall Inherit the Laughter,"
along with the publication file of
Some Came Running.