Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Brander Matthews papers, 1877-1962

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0854
Bib ID 4078376 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Matthews, Brander, 1852-1929 ; Columbia University. Dramatic Museum
Title Brander Matthews papers, 1877-1962
Physical Description 65 boxes (65 boxes)
Language(s) English .

Bound volumes of correspondence and diaries classified in "X" collection.

This collection is located on-site.



Selected items cataloged; remainder arranged.


Scope and Content

Correspondence, manuscripts, documents, photographs, memorabilia, scrapbooks, and printed material. Among his correspondents represented in the collection by at least 75 items are: William Archer, Hobart C. Chatfield-Taylor, Augustin Daly, Austin Dobson, Hamlin Garland, Bronson Howard, William Dean Howells, Henry Arthur Jones, Henry Cabot Lodge and Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury. There are bound volumes of letters from Henry C. Bunner, Andrew Lang, Rudyard Kipling, Theodore Roosevelt, miscellaneous letters to Matthews, and Matthews' editorial correspondence with the North American Review. There are three boxes of manuscripts, including poems by 21 authors; essays on drama; and plays by Henry Arthur Jones, Don Marquis, and Matthews; bound volumes of manuscripts of Matthews' plays and his book, "Development for the Drama." Also included are 17 boxes of his manuscript notes for his many lectures, articles, and books; and memorabilia, primarily from the theatre and from his life at Columbia. Material on the Dunlap Society, which was devoted to printing works relating to the theater, of which Matthews was co-founder with Laurence Hutton, includes documents and correspondence, much of which is between then secretary Evert J. Wendell and members on meetings and other Society business around 1914. In addition, there are notes and correspondence of Herbert Kleinfield relating to his research on Matthews.

  • Series I: Cataloged Correspondence, 1876-1926

    Matthews was an influential figure in the literary and dramatic worlds of New York, Paris, and London in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. Among his correspondents represented in the collection are William Archer, Hobart C. Chatfield-Taylor, Augustin Daly, Austin Dobson, Hamlin Garland, Bronson Howard, William Dean Howells, Henry Cabot Lodge and other prominent figures from the worlds of theater, literature, politics and society. 10 linear ft.

  • Series II: Writings

    This series contains notes, typescripts, contracts, book reviews, articles and clippings. The material is arranged chronologically within 9 subseries: Fiction, Plays, Verse, Biographies, Essays and Critiques, Pamphlets, Books edited, Introductions, Articles and Lectures. 1871-1923, 3.5 linear feet

  • Series III: Notes, 1872-1924

    This series is divided into three subseries: Author files, Subject files and Drama. It contains notes, clippings and articles on subjects in which Matthews had an interest. The notes are often written on small scraps of paper. Matthews would jot down any idea as soon as it occurred to him and throw it into a drawer "where I keep all such stray thoughts." Eventually he would organize these scraps and file them in envelopes. He considered each envelope "a story, or an essay in process of hatching." The files are arranged alphabetically within subseries. 6 linear feet

  • Series IV: Works by Others, 1879-1923

    This series contains articles, manuscripts, poetry, essays, and autographs by other authors. 0.5 linear feet

  • Series V: Personal files, 1827-1962

    This series contains photographs, menus, ticket stubs, club rosters, scrapbooks, and other Matthews memorabilia. It includes items Matthews used to refresh his memory when writing his autobiography These Many Years. There are also research notes from a 1961-1962 study by Herbert Kleinfeld. 2 linear feet.

  • Series VI: Scrapbooks

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

General Note

Bound volumes of correspondence and diaries classified in "X" collection.

This collection is located on-site.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Readers must use microfilm of materials specified above.

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Brander Matthews papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Alternate Form Available

The Hamlin Garland letters (box 11) are on microfilm.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers entered 05/--/1986.

Biographical materials entered 05/--/1986.

Biographical material entered 05/--/1986.

Irving/Stoker a.l.s. to Rolt Cataloged HR 08/04/1993.

BM essay: On the length of Cleopatra's nose Cataloged HR 03/17/1994.

16 a.l.s. from Matthews to Clifford Smyth Cataloged HR 01/13/2000.

Revision Description

2010-02-16 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
American literature Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Archer, William, 1856-1924 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bunner, H. C (Henry Cuyler), 1855-1896 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chatfield-Taylor, H. C (Hobart Chatfield), 1865-1945 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Department of English and Comparative Literature Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Daly, Augustin, 1838-1899 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dobson, Austin, 1840-1921 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Henderson, Harold Gould Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Howard, Bronson, 1842-1908 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Irving, Henry, Sir, 1838-1905 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Jones, Henry Arthur, 1851-1929 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kelinfield, Herbert L Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lang, Andrew, 1844-1912 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lounsbury, Thomas R., 1838-1915 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stoker, Bram, 1847-1912 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theater -- England -- London Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theater -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical sketch

Author, critic, and member of the Columbia English Department Faculty from 1891-1924. Matthews was an influential figure in the literary and dramatic worlds of New York and London from the 1880s throughtout his life. He was a member of numerous social and literary organizations, serving as president of the Dunlap Society, the Modern Language Association, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, among others.