Lincoln Steffens papers, 1863-1936

Summary Information

Abstract

Lincoln Steffens (1866-1936) was an American journalist - a leading writer among the "muckrakers" of early 20th century - as well as a lecturer, political philosopher, and reformer. The collection contains correspondence, clippings, diaries, manuscripts, photographs, and other materials.

At a Glance

Call No.:
MS#1196
Bib ID:
4079365 View CLIO record
Creator(s):
Steffens, Lincoln, 1866-1936
Repository:
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Physical Description:
78 boxes (78 boxes, 2 flat boxes, 1 bundle)
Language(s):
English .
Access:
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.

Description

Summary

Correspondence, manuscripts, documents, photographs, and printed material of Steffens. The original collection contains letters to Steffens and Ella Winter from friends, family , and associates in political, literary, and journalistic fields; edited typescript copies of Steffens' outgoing correspondence, used in the publication of THE LETTERS OF LINCOLN STEFFENS; and manuscripts of many of Steffens' articles and essays (all of the preceding are available on microfilm). Also, newspaper clippings about and by Steffens; files of periodicals such as THE CARMELITE to which Steffens contributed, manuscripts of Josephine Bontecou Steffens, first wife of Lincoln Steffens, and a small group of letters from Ben B. Lindsay and Lincoln Steffens. Additional Steffens material includes cataloged and uncataloged letters to Steffens and Ella Winter; duplicate copies of Steffens' edited letters; manuscripts of articles, essays, and book drafts by Steffens and others; diaries, datebooks, and address books of Steffens and others; miscellaneous manuscripts and documents relating to Steffens; photographs, including several by Edward Weston; miscellaneous printed material; and original outgoing letters of Steffens, 1888-1936. Correspondents include Clarence Darrow, Jo Davidson, Robinson Jeffers, Emma Goldman, Ezra Pound, Theodore Roosevelt, and Upton Sinclair.

  • Series I

    The original collection (Series I) contains letters to Steffens and Ella Winter from friends, family , and associates in political, literary, and journalistic fields; edited typescript copies of Steffens' outgoing correspondence, used in the publication of THE LETTERS OF LINCOLN STEFFENS; and manuscripts of many of Steffens' articles and essays (all of the preceding are available on microfilm). Also, newspaper clippings about and by Steffens; files of periodicals such as THE CARMELITE to which Steffens contributed, manuscripts of Josephine Bontecou Steffens, first wife of Lincoln Steffens, and a small group of letters from Ben B. Lindsay and Lincoln Steffens. Additional Steffens material includes cataloged and uncataloged letters to Steffens and Ella Winter; duplicate copies of Steffens' edited letters; manuscripts of articles, essays, and book drafts by Steffens and others; diaries, datebooks, and address books of Steffens and others; miscellaneous manuscripts and documents relating to Steffens; photographs, including several by Edward Weston; miscellaneous printed material; and original outgoing letters of Steffens, 1888-1936. Correspondents include Clarence Darrow, Jo Davidson, Robinson Jeffers, Emma Goldman, Ezra Pound, Theodore Roosevelt, and Upton Sinclair.

  • Series II

    Series II, added in 1978, contains catalogued and uncatalogued letters to Steffens and Ella Winter; duplicate copies of Steffens' edited letters; manuscripts of articles, essays and book drafts by Steffens and others; diaries, datebooks and address books of Steffens and others; miscellaneous manuscripts and documents relatidg to Steffens; photographs, including several by Edward Weston; and miscellaneous printed material. Among the many prominent correspondents are Clarence Darrow, Jo Davidson, Robinson Jeffers, Emma Goldman, Ezra Pound, Theodore Roosevelt and Upton Sinclair.

  • Series III. Letters of Lincoln Steffens

    Series III consists of the original outgoing letters of Lincoln Steffens,1888- 1936, along with several miscellaneous letters and related items. (12 boxes, 1686 pieces).

  • Series IV. Additional Correspondence and Manuscripts

    Series IV consists of drafts of letters from Steffens to Bennett Cerf, George Creel, Sam Darcy and Frank Khox, 1 letter to him from Alan Suggett and 1 from Charles Erskine Scott Wood; drafts of manuscripts by Steffens of his Autobiography, parts I-IV; of speeches and magazine articles; columns for local California newspapers, 1928-1934, commentaries on the San Francisco strike of 1934; on current events and the state of American cities; and articles about children, (4 boxes)

Arrangement

Selected materials cataloged remainder listed and arranged. Arranged into four series by accession.

Using the Collection

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.

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); Lincoln Steffens papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Alternate Form Available

Microfilm available for part of collection.

Acquisition

1950, 1966, 1978. Purchase from Ella Winter.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 09/--/89.

Revision Description

2009-06-26 File created.

2012-03-12 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

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

History

Lincoln Steffens (1866-1936) was an American journalist - a leading writer among the "muckrakers" of early 20th century - as well as a lecturer, political philosopher, and reformer.

Steffens, the son of a wealthy businessman, was born in San Francisco, and grew up primarily in Sacramento, California. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1889, and continued his studies in Europe afterwards.

Upon retuning to the United States in 1892, Steffens began working in the newspaper industry in New York City. in 1903, he became editor of McClure's Magazine, where he published a series of articles on corruption in American cities, later published as as a collection in the The Shame of Cities in 1904. This was followed by an investigation into state politicians in The Struggle for Self-Government in 1906.

Steffens continued in journalism until approximately 1910, when he became interested in the revolution in Mexico. He traveled to Mexico to report on the revolution, and later also traveled to Russia shortly after its revolution. In the 1920s, he moved to Europe, and began working on his autobiography, which was highly successful upon its publication in 1931.

Steffens died in Carmel, California, in 1936.

Subject Headings

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

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form
Diaries CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Name
Darrow, Clarence, 1857-1938 CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Davidson, Jo, 1883-1952 CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Goldman, Emma, 1869-1940 CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Jeffers, Robinson, 1887-1962 CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Lindsey, Ben B (Ben Barr), 1869-1943 CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972 CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1887-1944 CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968 CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Steffens, Josephine Bontecou CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Winter, Ella, 1898-1980 CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Place
United States -- Politics and government CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Subject
Journalism CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Journalists CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID
Literature CLIO Catalog ArchiveGRID