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Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Manuscripts and Related Materials
Series V: Printed Materials
At a Glance
Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged.
Correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, commonplace books, drawings, photographs, and printed materials. The collection is a comprehensive documentation of the dramatist's career and includes manuscripts, typescripts, notes, and costume and scenic design for more than seventy of his plays and related writings; 31 diaries, commonplace books, and scrapbooks containing manuscript and typescript notes, travel sketches, original drawings, and photographs; and correspondence files including letters from Harley Granville-Barker, Sir Herbert Beerbohm-Tree, John Galsworthy, Booth Tarkington, and Thornton Wilder. Austin Strong's mother, Isobel Field, was the step-daughter of Robert Louis Stevenson. Consequently, the collection contains much Stevensoniana, including photographs and Isobel Field's letters from Western Samoa, where she was known as "Teuila." Also, correspondence and photographs relating to Cornwall Park, Auckland, New Zealand, which was designed by Austin Strong.
1988 Addition: Correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, and printed material from the Nantucket family home of Austin Strong. The correspondence (ca. 300 items) contains Strong's letters concerning upkeep and work done of the property of A. D. Russell, Princeton, N. J., for the firm of Parsons and Pentecost, 1899, fan mail addressed to Strong in response to his 1933 NBC radio talks entitled "Cabbages and Kings", and correspondence in 1950 dealing with the Stage Relief Fund. The manuscripts consist chiefly of both autograph and typescript versions of his plays, (ca. 50 items) with corrections and notes, including a t.ms. draft for his last play, "A Play without a Name", the first t.ms. of "The Spider's Web" ("author's copy), the original ms. corrections for "Lights Out, or Taps", an a.ms. of "Blindman's Buff", a t.ms. of "Rip Van Winkle" (acting copy) with annotations, an a.ms. of "The Sire de Maletroit's Door" with a note stating "written with J. M. Barrie", and ca. 1,000 a.ms. and t.ms. draft sheets for "Lafayette" on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets interleaved between oversized foolscap (blue construction paper). In addition, there are t.mss., for a number of speeches, the entire t.ms. radio scripts for the NBC series "Cabbages and Kings", and a Japanese Language Study notebook. Among the printed materials there are approximately 200 theater programs for his own productions as well as programs of plays he attended in the U. S. and England with his holograph comments, a half dozen of his printed plays, including John Golden's copy of "Seventh Heaven". There is one photograph album of scenes from plays and other theatrical portraits, and the figures and props from a model stage set for The Maharajah". Total count ca. 1500 items. Dates covered: 1899-1956. See Boxes: 2A, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E, 18A, 23.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection has no restrictions.
One box of cataloged correspondence (Box A) is located on-site. The remainder of the collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. One box, described as "Box 24: Diaries: 4 typescript copies" on the last page of PDF finding aid, is missing.
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.
The Beinecke Library at Yale University holds an Austin Strong Papers collection as well: https://archives.yale.edu/repositories/11/resources/10767.
Existence and Location of Copies
Royal Cortissoz letters also available on microfilm; see MN# 11922 and 11923.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 09/--/1989.
Cataloged Lynn A. Grove 03/06/1990.
7 manuscripts by AS Processed HR 06/13/1997.
2020-09-29 EAD document created by CCR.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
American dramatist. Strong is best known for his stage and screen plays THE DRUMS OF OUDE and SEVENTH HEAVEN.