|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in two series.
The collection consists primarily of carbon copies of manuscripts for Pearl S. Buck's short stories, essays, speeches, and screenplays. Some copies include corrections and additions in Buck's handwriting. The collection also includes publications by other authors including an exhaustive bibliography of Buck's work by Lucille S. Zinn of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation, Inc.
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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Pearl S. Buck Papers; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Selected Related Material-- Other Repositories
The Papers of Pearl Buck 1933-1947, University of Virginia Libraries
Pearl S. Buck letters and papers, 1941-1969, Pennsylvania State University Libraries
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed by Jenny Mathias, July 2010.
2010-11-04 File created.
2010-11-05 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 / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Pearl S. Buck is an American-born author and humanitarian best known for her fictional works containing nuanced descriptions of Chinese characters and lifestyles. Buck was a prolific writer credited with authoring more than 100 books of fiction and nonfiction. She was also known by her Chinese name, Sai Zhenzhu, and she published some works under the pseudonym John Sedges.
Born Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker in Hillsboro, West Virginia on June 26, 1892, Buck was the child of Presbyterian missionary parents who were primarily stationed in China. She was educated in Chinese villages until the age of 14 when she was sent to boarding school in Shanghai. She returned to the United States to study at Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia where she earned a bachelor's degree in 1914. She received a MA in English from Cornell University in 1926 as well as an honorary MA from Yale University later in life.
With the exception of the one year Buck spent at Cornell University, Buck lived, wrote and taught in China, primarily in Nanking, from 1918 to 1934 when she left China permanently for the United States. She attained international fame upon the publication of her second novel The Good Earth in 1931. The Good Earth won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1932. Buck's impressive body of work earned her the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938. According to the Nobel Prize Committee for Literature, Buck earned the prize "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces." She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and continues to be the sole female recipient of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize to date.
Buck was also an influential humanitarian who campaigned on behalf of a wide variety of causes particularly those relating to international and interracial adoption. In 1949, Buck founded Welcome House, the first international, interracial, adoption agency in the United States. In 1964-65, Buck established Opportunity House, an organization designed to address the issues of poverty and discrimination faced by children in Asian countries. Buck died on March 6, 1973.