Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Pearl S. Buck Collection, 1932-1956

Summary Information

Abstract

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.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0162
Bib ID 4079821 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Buck, Pearl S (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973
Title Pearl S. Buck Collection, 1932-1956
Physical Description .84 linear feet (2 document boxes)
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 is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series.

Description

Summary

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.

  • Series I: Manuscripts by Pearl S. Buck, 1932-1956

    This series is comprised of manuscripts for short stories, plays, essays, and speeches by Pearl S. Buck on a broad range of topics. Writings within the collection emphasize the need for global cross-cultural understanding in order to achieve harmony of the human race. The roles of various groups within the United States to achieve this goal are addressed in Buck's "A Letter to Colored Americans" essay and her speeches both to the New York Urban League and the New York Board of Education. Other items of note include the incomplete manuscript for Buck's biography of her father, Fighting Angel: Portrait of a Soul, which includes corrections and additions in Buck's handwriting, and the unpublished play script inserts and prose manuscript for Flight into China, which Buck later expanded into her novel Peony.

  • Series II: Manuscripts by other authors, 1930, 1964, 1977

    This series consists of published materials 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

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 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); 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

Accruals

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Typescripts: Source of acquisition--Asadorian, William. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--06/30/92. Accession number--M-92-06-30.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed by Jenny Mathias, July 2010.

Revision Description

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.

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.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Articles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bibliographies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Carbon copies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Drafts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Essays Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fiction (general genre) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lectures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mimeograph copies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Speeches (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
American literature -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Authors, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Authors, American -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Buck, Pearl S (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Buck, Pearl S (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Buck, Pearl S (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Novelists -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Philanthropists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sedges, John, 1892-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women authors, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women dramatists, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women novelists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

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.

External users and Columbia affiliates may view materials on-site at RBML. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only Columbia affiliates may view materials on-site at Avery, Starr, and Burke. After clicking 'Submit Request', users will login with their UNI and password (Columbia affiliates) or their special collections account (external users). Appointments are required and will be arranged according to each individual repository's policy.


Series I: Manuscripts by Pearl S. Buck, 1932-1956

This series is comprised of manuscripts for short stories, plays, essays, and speeches by Pearl S. Buck on a broad range of topics. Writings within the collection emphasize the need for global cross-cultural understanding in order to achieve harmony of the human race. The roles of various groups within the United States to achieve this goal are addressed in Buck's "A Letter to Colored Americans" essay and her speeches both to the New York Urban League and the New York Board of Education. Other items of note include the incomplete manuscript for Buck's biography of her father, Fighting Angel: Portrait of a Soul, which includes corrections and additions in Buck's handwriting, and the unpublished play script inserts and prose manuscript for Flight into China, which Buck later expanded into her novel Peony.



Box 1 Folder 1 "Between These Two", undated


Box 1 Folder 2 "The Big Dance", undated


Box 1 Folder 3 The Big Wave, 1956

(Television drama from her book The Big Wave for the Alcoa Hour on NBC)


Box 1 Folder 4 "The Bullfrog,", undated


Box 1 Folder 5 "Daughters of China", undated


Box 1 Folder 6 "Education for Life for Our World," Speech to Supervisors, Principals and First Assistants of the Board of Education, New York,, January 19, 1944


Box 1 Folder 7 The Empress: A Play in Three Acts, 1937


Box 1 Folder 8 "Fiction and the Front Page", undated

(Published in Yale Review, March 1936)


Box 1 Folder 9 "Fiction Versus Biography", undated


Box 1 Folder 10 "Fighting Angel: Portrait of a Soul", undated


Box 1 Folder 11 "Flight into China", undated


Box 1 Folder 12 Flight into China, undated

(incomplete manuscript, unpublished, produced at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey on September 11, 1939)


Box 1 Folder 13 "Going Home", undated


Box 1 Folder 14 "The Good Deed", undated


Box 1 Folder 15 "Heat Wave", 1935

(published in American Mercury, April 1935)


Box 1 Folder 16 "A Letter to Colored Americans", 1942


Box 1 Folder 17 "The Lovers", undated


Box 1 Folder 18 "Letter Home", undated



Box 2 Folder 1 "Of Men and Measuring Worms", undated


Box 2 Folder 2 "New Word for Children", undated


Box 2 Folder 3 "Mrs. Witler's Husband", undated


Box 2 Folder 4 "Morning in Okinawa", undated


Box 2 Folder 5 "The Old Chinese Nurse", 1932

(autobiographical essay published in Fortnightly, June 1932)


Box 2 Folder 6 "Our Last Chance in China", 1944

(published in Common Sense, August 1944)


Box 2 Folder 7 "The Patriot", undated


Box 2 Folder 8 "The Scene in the American Novel", undated


Box 2 Folder 9 "The Sheriff", undated


Box 2 Folder 10 Speech Delivered at the Dinner of the New York Urban League, 1935


Box 2 Folder 11 "The Strawberry Vase", undated


Box 2 Folder 12 "The Three Daughters", undated


Box 2 Folder 13 "True Story U.S.A.", undated


Box 2 Folder 14 "The Wandering Little God", undated

(published in Asia, April 1928)


Box 2 Folder 15 "What the Heart Must", 1937

(published in Woman's Home Companion, September 1937)


Box 2 Folder 16 "What We Can Do About The Children Waiting", undated


Box 2 Folder 17 "The Writing of East Wind: West Wind", undated

(published in Colophon, December 1932)


Box 2 Folder 18 "Youth in China", undated

Series II: Manuscripts by other authors, 1930, 1964, 1977

This series consists of published materials by other authors including an exhaustive bibliography of Buck's work by Lucille S. Zinn of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation, Inc.


Box 2 Folder 19 Cody , Lyman V, "An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy", undated


Box 2 Folder 20 Lindsey, Jason, "Pearl Buck I", 1964


Box 2 Folder 21 Slade, William Adams, China: A Bibliographical List, 1930


Box 2 Folder 22 Zinn, Lucille S., "The Works of Pearl S. Buck: A Bibliography", 1977