Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Francis Steegmuller papers, 1877-2002

Summary Information


The research files, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, cassettes, and printed material of Francis Steegmuller.

At a Glance

Bib ID 4079364 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Steegmuller, Francis, 1906-1994
Title Francis Steegmuller papers, 1877-2002
Physical Description 69 linear feet (69 linear feet 121 boxes; 2 flat boxes; 2 tube boxes)
Language(s) English , French .

Boxes 1-23 and 2 flat boxes are on-site. Boxes 24-121 and the 2 tube boxes are located off-site. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least 2 business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.



This collection is arranged into 18 series: Series I: Correspondence; Series II: Breunig Family; Series III: William Maxwell Files; Series IV: Muriel Spark Files; Series V: Patrick White Files; Series VI: Gustave Flaubert; Series VII: Jean Cocteau; Series VIII: Louise d'Épinay; Series IX: Guillaume Apollinaire; Series X: Isadora Duncan; Series XI: Guy de Maupassant; Series XII: Incident in Napels; Series XIII: Other Writings; Series XIV: Private Papers of Francis Steegmuller; Series XV: Contracts; Series XVI: Scrapbooks and Photographs; Series XVII: Audio Visual; Series XVIII: Printed & Posters



Letters from Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Edith Sitwell, Adlai Stevenson, and Jacques Lipschitz. Notes and correspondence relating to Steegmuller's books, as well as manuscripts of the books, make up part of the collection. Also, seven scrapbooks of clippings and 37 inscribed books; manuscripts and proofs for his translation of Flaubert's MADAME BOVARY; and two solander cases containing 155 photographs, mounted and inscribed, taken by Steegmuller on his trips to France, 1948, 1950, Italy, 1950, and the Virgin Islands, 1949.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

Boxes 1-23 and 2 flat boxes are on-site. Boxes 24-121 and the 2 tube boxes are located off-site. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least 2 business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

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); Francis Steegmuller papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

See also the Shirley Hazzard Papers

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 09/--/89.

Processed Patrick Lawlor 2012.

Revision Description

2009-06-26 File created.

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:"
Apollinaire, Guillaume, 1880-1918 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Authors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cocteau, Jean, 1889-1963 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Duncan, Isadora, 1877-1927 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Flaubert, Gustave, 1821-1880 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
French literature -- Translations into English Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Greene, Graham, 1904-1991 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hazzard, Shirley, 1931-2016 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lipschitz, Jacques Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Maupassant, Guy de, 1850-1893 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scrapbooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sitwell, Edith, 1887-1964 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Spark, Muriel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stevenson, Adlai E (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Translators Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
White, Patrick, 1912-1990 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Francis Steegmuller is best-known and respected for his scholarly work on Gustave Flaubert; Jean Cocteau; Louise d'Épinay, a Parisian intellectual and hostess, and the Abbe Ferdinando Galiani, a Neapolitan diplomat; Isadora Duncan; and Guy de Maupassant.

Steegmuller was a meticulous researcher and a talented and prolific writer. His papers attest to his in-depth research methods.

Steegmuller was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1906. He graduated from Columbia University in 1927. While at Columbia, Steegmuller became part of a group of young men who all went on to achieve academic and cultural distinction: Lionel Trilling, Clifton Fadiman, Jacques Barzun, Meyer Shapiro, Richard Snow, and Dwight Minor. He was the recipient of two National Book Awards: in 1971, for his biography of biography of Jean Cocteau, and in 1981 for his translation for the first volume of Flaubert's complete letters. In 1982, Steegmuller was awarded a gold medal in biography by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1982. He was a recipient of the French Legion of Honor.

His first wife was Beatrice Stein, a painter who was a pupil and friend of Jacques Villon. In 1982, Steegmuller donated a portrait of Beatrice Stein Steegmuller by Jacques Villon to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Beatrice Stein died in 1961. Steegmuller married the author Shirley Hazzard in 1963.

Francis Steegmuller died in Naples in 1994.