|The Harper & Brothers records include editorial correspondence and business files
the book and magazine divisions spanning 1928-1962, with emphasis on 1957-1959. The
materials in this collection are among the last to appear under the publisher's original
name, for in 1962 Harper and Brothers merged with Row, Peterson and Company to form
and Row Publishers.
|The material is arranged in four series: I. Book Correspondence, II. Harper's Magazine Editorial Correspondence, III. Business Papers, and IV.
|The first series, Book Correspondence, is divided into four subseries: College Department,
Medical Book Department, Social & Economic Books Department, and Miscellaneous. Arranged
by state, the College Department's sales and promotion correspondence in Subseries
includes colleges and universities in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin for 1959 and
Topics include queries regarding textbook orders, shipments and returns, and requests
review copies with correspondents in colleges, universities, and college book stores.
states are represented in the sales reports maintained by the college department staff
working "in the field." The sales staff made periodic visits
to colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. Using a standard
reporting form, these comprehensive sales reports identified instructors by department,
their current and future textbook needs, and notations of books to send for review.
Curriculum and course offerings were followed closely and written reports reflected
trends within departments.
|By far the most problematic material in this collection is found in the files of the
Medical Book Department in Subseries B. At some point these files underwent an
organizational trauma which caused them to lack even rudimentary order. Much of the
was unfoldered, causing not only considerable crumpling of carbon copies and other
but also a jumble of shuffled correspondence relating to numerous book titles. Since
clueless scraps of scribbled notes were interspersed with correspondence and memorandum,
typescripts and edited copy, and photographic illustrations, it became impossible
recreate the original order. As the collection was removed from the packing carton,
unfoldered material was gathered into successive folders labeled "loose material--various titles." Consequently, the titles given in the Box List are
present, but not in alphabetical order as described. Moreover, the original folders
extremely worn and not always labeled. Most have been refoldered and labeled with
information provided on the original folder. Correspondence between editors and authors
includes discussion of text revisions, illustrations, permission to quote the work
others, and related publication topics.
|Subseries C contains correspondence from the Social and Economic Books department
to 1957. This correspondence with editor Ordway Tead, assistant department head Richard
McAdoo, and others, on educational and business topics, also contains press clippings,
contracts, and photographs of authors. It is arranged alphabetically by author's name
book title and has been housed in the original folders. Many of the onionskin carbons
crumpled and torn, while rusted paper clips and acidic paper have discolored and damaged
|The miscellaneous folders in Subseries D do not correspond to the departments described
above. The file of James [Jacques] Galston contains letters written by Cass Canfield,
president of Harper & Brothers, on behalf of Mr. Galston, an Austrian Jew, who sought
emigrate from Vienna to the United States in the late 1930s to escape the German occupation.
The remaining two folders include correspondence from the Juvenile Division and the
|Series II contains correspondence from the Harper's Magazine
Editorial Rooms from 1956-1958. The files were maintained in folders with pre-printed
alphabetical divisions and number sequences (for example, Ja-Jn 52; Jo-Jz....53, etc.).
Within the alphabetical sections, letters were filed in date order. This original
been preserved. The correspondence of Harper's editors include the managing editor
Lynes, associate editor Eric Larrabee, R. B. Silvers (who, in a 1958 letter to Archibald
MacLeish, wrote that he had edited the Paris Review and was
still doing so since he shared a flat with George Plimpton in New York), Katherine
Jackson, Marion K. Sanders, Catharine Meyer, and John Fischer. These editors corresponded
with authors regarding rejections, acceptances, proofs, and editorial corrections.
comments were handwritten on the backs of the submissions' envelopes. Editor Katherine
Jackson reported that every month nearly 1800 manuscripts were received, with 12 accepted.
Russell Lynes wrote that one piece of fiction, three or four poems, and eight or nine
articles appeared each month. Submissions included prose, poetry, and articles on
such as politics, literature, economics, and international affairs. Correspondence
other publishers and literary agents is also frequently found.
|Correspondents include Kingsley Amis, Saul Bellow, Robert Bly, Kay Boyle, General
Bradley, Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Babette Deutsch, Peter Drucker, John Kenneth
Galbraith, Robert Graves, Arthur Miller, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov,
Anne Harvey Sexton, Leopold Stokowski, John Updike, Mae West, Edmund Wilson, and Victor
|Subject files and files for individuals are also found within the general alphabetical
arrangement. For example, a folder labeled "After Hours"
contains correspondence related to the column of that name, covering art, music, sports,
food, and items of domestic interest. Correspondents in this file include Studs Terkel,
Waugh, Mike Wallace, and Ray Bradbury. A separate folder was created for Frederick
Allen, editor in chief of Harper's, at the time of his death in 1954. A folder labeled
"Suggestions--No" forms a separate alphabet of rejected
submissions for January and February 1958. The use of cellophane tape and poor quality
have discolored some items in this part of the collection.
|The business papers in Series III are subdivided into material from the Mail Order
Division, the Manufacturing Department, Permissions, and Sales and Promotion Material.
files of the Mail Order Division relate primarily to the sale of Harper's mailing
direct mail purposes. The Manufacturing Department material includes detailed accounting
records for reprint and bind orders, paper inventories, and book production schedules.
permission files were maintained primarily by the College Department, but also include
Permissions Department, Science and Technical Books, and Social and Economic Books.
contain requests by authors and publishers to quote from Harper's publications. A
sales literature is found in the last subseries, including book synopses, descriptions
lists of forthcoming books, and promotional material.
|Series IV contains a variety of production material ranging from Harper's Magazine proofs and galleys for issues in 1959-1960 to layouts,
paste-ups, and mechanicals for book jackets and illustrations. The artwork is arranged
size in two alphabetical-by-author sequences. Books represented are: Dean Acheson,
Sketches From Life of Men I've Known; Madeleine Carabo-Cone,
The Playground as Music Teacher; Joyce Cary, Spring Song and Other Stories; Bennett Cerf, Outlook on a Limerick; John Cheever, Some
People, Places & Things That Will Not Appear in My Next Novel; Norman Cousins,
In Place of Folly; Arthur and Barbara Gelb, O'Neill; Aldous Huxley, Island;
Storm Jameson, Last Score and The Road From the Monument;
Larry McMurtry, Horseman, Pass By; Nancy Mitford, Don't Tell Alfred; Alan Moorehead, The
White Nile; George Plimpton, Out of My League;
James Salter, The Arm of Flesh; Marion K. Sanders, The Crisis in American Medicine; Ignazio Silone, The Fox and the Camelias; James Thurber, Lanterns & Lances; Thornton Wilder, Our Town;
Sloan Wilson, A Sense of Values; among others. Also included
is a pencil sketch for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal accompanied by a descriptive
memorandum from Garth Williams.