Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Herbert Gold papers, 1951-1984

Summary Information


This collection contains personal and professional correspondence to and from Herbert Gold, and manuscripts and proofs of his written works, from 1951-1984.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0494
Bib ID 4079721 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Gold, Herbert, 1924-
Title Herbert Gold papers, 1951-1984
Physical Description 1 linear feet (2 document boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in 2 series. Materials in each folder are arranged chronologically.



The Herbert Gold Collection consists of correspondence and manuscript drafts. Most of the correspondence is between Gold and his editor, Seymour Lawrence between 1951 and 1960. However, letters to and from Gold and various persons are also included. Seven manuscript drafts, summaries, and proofs are located in this collection.

  • Series I: Correspondence, 1951-1967, undated

    Series I primarily contains correspondence between Gold and his editor, Seymour Lawrence, between 1951 and 1960. It was during this time that Lawrence worked for Gold's publisher, Little, Brown, and Co. Although some of the correspondence is personal, the majority relates specifically to the writing, publication, and review of his written works. Among letters from Seymour Lawrence are letters from Nancy Reynolds, Gold's copy editor, Saul Bellow, Robert Brustein, Herbert Gold, Merle Miller, Mark Schorer, and Mark Van Doren. In addition to these letters, folder 1 contains correspondence concerning litigation (1965) in regard to Harry Bridges, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), and the Longshore Jobs Defense Committee, the latter of which Gold was a member.

  • Series II: Manuscripts, 1955-1984

    There are 7 manuscript titles in this collection: Fathers, The Man Who Was Not With It, The Optimist, Salt, Song for Saroyan, Therefore Be Bold, and William Saroyan, Still in the Woods. Also within this series is a 1984 Banana Republic Travel and Safari Clothing Catalog containing an article by Gold; and an article entitled "Truth and Falsity in the Novel," reprinted from the 1956 Hudson Review. There are 3 copies of Fathers in this series: galley proofs 1 and 2, and the master set and plate proof. A summary and a trade editorial report exists for The Man Who Was Not With It, rather than a full manuscript draft. There are manuscript and published copies of Song for Saroyan, as well as an interview with Saroyan and miscellaneous correspondence regarding its publication.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

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); Herbert Gold papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


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

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of the author, 1969.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Gold, Herbert. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1969. Accession number--M-1969.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Processed PL 01/--/89.

Papers Robyn Hjermstad, Pratt Institute, 2011 processed 09/--/2010.

Finding aid Robyn Hjermstad, Pratt Institute, 2011 written 09/--2010.

Revision Description

2011-01-19 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

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:"
Articles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Essays Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Galley proofs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Proofs (printed matter) 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
Essayist Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gold, Herbert, 1924- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Journalists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lawrence, Seymour, 1926-1996 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Novelists, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Novelists, American -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Jewish-American novelist Herbert Gold was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 9th, 1924. Gold is the first of five children; his father, Samuel Gold, was a Russian immigrant who struggled to adjust to his life in America. Gold is well known for his novels, short stories, and literary articles, but during his early career he also studied and taught philosophy.

Herbert Gold began writing in elementary school, and later he wrote for the school newspaper at Lakewood High School. Shortly after high school, Gold attended Columbia University to study philosophy, but his education was interrupted from 1942-1946 when he served in the United States Army. After graduating from Columbia in 1946, Gold traveled to Paris to continue his study of philosophy on a Fulbright scholarship; it was during this time that Gold completed his first novel, Birth of a Hero. Gold returned to Cleveland in 1951 to teach philosophy at the Western Reserve University until 1953.

In addition to over 20 novels, Gold has published numerous short stories and articles that have appeared in both popular and literary magazines. His autobiography, My Last Two Thousand Years, was published in 1972. Gold wrote about his country, his Jewish heritage, and the beat movement; common themes in his work include American identity, power, money, and sex. His works were both praised and ridiculed. Herbert Gold traveled a lot, and lived in Haiti, Detroit, Ohio, and New York. He eventually settled down in San Francisco, where he currently resides. Gold was married twice, and is a father of 5, and a grandfather of 6.