||The James Agee Collection contains 14 boxes of primarily manuscripts, with a slight
amount of correspondence, ranging in date from 1928 to1988, with the bulk covering
period before his death in 1955. The later dates reflect posthumous collections of
works. The material is arranged in three series: I. Works, 1928-1968 (10 boxes), II.
Correspondence, 1930-1955 (1 box), and III. Miscellaneous, 1936-1988 (3 boxes). Within
each series the material is arranged alphabetically by title or author. This collection
was previously accessible only through a card catalog, but has been re-cataloged as
of a retrospective conversion project.
||The Works series consists of holographs, typescripts and carbon copy typescripts of
books, articles, plays, poems, reviews, stories, and screenplays. Included are
holographs and typescripts of Agee's novels, A
Death in the Family (published posthumously in 1957), Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), written with Walker
Evans, and his shorter novel, The Morning Watch
(1950). Also present are typescripts of a collection of his short prose entitled
Collected Short Prose of James Agee
(1969), edited by Robert Fitzgerald.
||His poetry is represented as well with typescripts of Collected Poems of James Agee (1968), edited by Robert
Fitzgerald, a proof copy of Permit Me Voyage
and Other Poems (1934), and typescripts of several poems. Holographs,
typescripts, and carbon copy typescripts of several of Agee's screenplays are also
this collection, such as The African Queen, "The Blue Hotel," Magia Verde, Night of the Hunter, Noa-Noa, Scientists and Tramps, A Tanglewood Story, The
Touch of Nutmeg, and "Undirectable
Director." In addition, there are typescripts of a television play, Mr. Lincoln, and a holograph draft of
The Quiet One, a commentary for a
documentary film. Numerous reviews of books and films written for Time and The
Nation are grouped together under the heading "Reviews."
||The Correspondence series consists mainly of letters relating to Agee's work. Outgoing
letters include correspondence to director David Bradley regarding his screenplay
Noa-Noa; 47 letters to Walker Evans,
photographer and co-author of Let Us Now Praise
Famous Men; and letters to Archibald MacLeish ( Fortune) and T.S. Matthews ( Time). Also present are 57 handwritten personal letters,
along with 22 fragments of letters, from Agee to Patricia Scallon, dating from 1951.
Incoming correspondence includes a contract from Gregory Associates, Inc. for writing
the screenplay, Night of the Hunter,
and letters from Margaret Marshall of The Nation. Correspondents are indexed at the end of this inventory.
||The Miscellaneous series contains correspondence from Agee; a book review by Harvey
Breit; articles by George Barbarow on the cinema and Roberto Rossellini, and by John
MacDonald on "The State of the
Movies"; typescripts of John Collier's The Touch of Nutmeg; two versions of a play by Tad Mosel based on the Agee
novel, A Death in the Family; two
copies of a screenplay, All the Way Home,
also based on A Death in the Family,
by Philip Reisman, Jr.; typed comments on A Death in the Family by Rebeccas O’Conner Moulder along
with photographs, clippings, and theater program for a theatrical production of All the Way Home; a thesis on Agee by Joan
Shelley Rubin, and an address by Robert Fitzgerald given at the dedication banquet
the James Agee Memorial Library at Saint Andrew's School, as well as letters to Robert
Fitzgerald regarding publication of his book on Agee from Houghton Mifflin Company.
Included also is a bound galley proof of My
Brother's Keeper: James Joyce's Early Years by Stanislaus Joyce; and
correspondence from and concerning Laura Tyler Wright, Agee's mother.
||Elsewhere in the Center are two Vertical File folders which contain reviews of Agee's
books and articles about his life. In the Walker Evans collection in the Photography
Collection are 70 published and 100 unpublished documentary portraits, landscapes,
other images made in Alabama in 1936 for Agee’s collaboration with Evans on the book
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. The
Art Collection houses thirteen sketches by Agee.