Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Nancy Dawson and Herman Wouk Collection, 1952-1965

Summary Information


This collection contains primarily correspondence between author Herman Wouk and his secretary and research assistant, Nancy Dawson.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0331
Bib ID 4078684 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Dawson, Nancy, 1920-
Title Nancy Dawson and Herman Wouk Collection, 1952-1965
Physical Description 0.42 linear feet (1 document box)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

Researchers must acquire written permission from Mrs. Ralph Burk Dawson in order to access the collection.



This collection is arranged in two series.



The Nancy Dawson and Herman Wouk Collection is composed primarily of correspondence between Wouk and Dawson over a nine year span. There is also a small amount of subject files related to Wouk as a writer and to specific works of his.

  • Series I: Correspondence, 1956-1965

    Series I contains letters sent between Nancy Dawson and Herman Wouk. Topics discussed included researching needs, family life (both Dawson and Wouk), current affairs, the field of publishing, and writing.

  • Series II: Subject Files, 1952-1960

    This small series holds several files including biographical sketches about Herman Wouk used for publicity purposed, articles about his books, research notes for Youngblood Hawke, and several miscellaneous items.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

Researchers must acquire written permission from Mrs. Ralph Burk Dawson in order to access the collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

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); Nancy Dawson and Herman Wouk Collection; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Material at Columbia

Herman Wouk Papers

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 06/--/89.

Papers processed Lea Osborne 2010/06.

Revision Description

2009-06-26 File created.

2010-06-11 xml document instance created by Lea Osborne.

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:"
Biographical Sketches Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Personal correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Research notes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
American literature -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Authors, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Students Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Virgin Islands Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wouk, Herman, 1915-2019 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Nancy Dawson (neé Nancy Scott Causey) was born on May 17th 1920 in Greensboro, North Carolina. She attended the School of General Studies from 1949 to 1951 and received a B.S. in English on October 31st 1951. A few years later she began working for writer Herman Wouk. Wouk was living in the Virgin Islands with his wife Betty Sarah and their two children, Abraham and Joseph. Since Wouk was an extremely private person, he wanted few people to be able to reach him. Dawson was his point person in the United States and was often called upon to run important errands and conduct business for him. As Wouk's research assistant, Dawson sent along bibliographies, research notes, and citations for relevant texts. She also handled all of his incoming mail. Any interesting letters were passed onto Wouk, but the bulk of the letters consisted of Dawson summarizing that week's mail.