Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Ira and Edita Morris papers, 1892-1988

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0904
Bib ID 5420146 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Morris, Edita, 1902-1988 ; Morris, I. V (Ira Victor), 1903-
Title Ira and Edita Morris papers, 1892-1988
Physical Description 30.1 linear feet (52 document boxes 2 flat boxes)
Language(s) English , Japanese , Swedish , French , German .

This 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.

This collection has no restrictions.



Arranged in twelve series.



Manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, documents, printed materials, books, and other papers of Ira V. and Edita Morris from 1892 to 1988. The couple's literary careers are documented by typescripts, notes, book reviews, and published versions of their work. Some of these materials are written in French, German, Swedish, Japanese, and other foreign languages. Included are subject files, financial records, and materials related to the Hiroshima House for atomic bombing victims and the couple's political activities. In addition, there is correspondence, documents, and photographs related to Edwin Seaver and his family.

  • Series I: Cataloged Correspondence

    Correspondence sent to Ira V. and Edita Morris from editors and notable literary figures. Also includes correspondence to and from Edwin Seaver.

  • Series II: Arranged Correspondence

  • Series III: Manuscripts

    Drafts, notes, book reviews, published versions, and other materials related to manuscripts written by Ira V. and Edita Morris. It appears both authors edited each others work, therefore the handwritten corrections on drafts cannot be definitively identified.

  • Series IV: Writings by Others

    Poems, essays, short stories, and other manuscripts written by authors other than Ira V. and Edita Morris. Arranged alphabetically by author's last name.

  • Series V: Subject Files

  • Series VI: Notebooks

    Eight bound notebooks with handwritten notations, messages, drafts, and other information. The notes appear to have been written by Ira V. and Edita Morris. Arranged numerically by assigned number.

  • Series VII: Address Books

    Five bound address books with handwritten entries. Arranged numerically by assigned number.

  • Series VIII: Documents

    Legal documents, certificates, passports, lists, identification cards, and other records of Ira V. and Edita Morris. Included are wills for other Morris family members and materials related to Edwin Seaver and his wife, Elaine. Arranged chronologically.

  • Series IX: Photographs

    Mostly black and white photographs along with a few negatives and color prints. The identified pictures depict the Morris family and friends, the Hiroshima Rest House, atomic bombing of Japan, and related subjects. Many of the pictures are unidentified.

  • Series X: Art

    Two pencil drawings on paper, arranged alphabetically by the observed subject of each piece.

  • Series XI: Books

    Mainly bound books written by Ira V. and Edita Morris. There are numerous foreign editions of their novels, especially The Flowers of Hiroshima. In addition, there are books written by other authors, five with inscriptions written to the Morris's. Arranged alphabetically by author, then title.

  • Series XII: Printed Materials

    Principally newspaper clippings about Ira V. and Edita Morris's writing careers. Also contains business cards, an obituary for Ira's mother Constance Lily Morris, and miscellaneous materials. Arranged alphabetically by title.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This 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.

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); Ira and Edita Morris papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Bridget T. Lerette and Ashley White 5/2/1999.

Revision Description

2010-02-17 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.

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:"
American literature -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American literature -- Women authors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hiroshima-shi (Japan) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japan -- Hiroshima-shi Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

The authors Ira V. Morris and Edita (deToll) Morris married in February 1925. The son of Ira Nelson and Constance Lily (Rothschild) Morris, Ira V. Morris (1903-1972) was born in Chicago, Illinois. His father was a diplomat and he was raised abroad before earning a B. A. from Harvard University. During his literary career, Ira's fiction and non-fiction works often depicted the intrigues of Americans abroad and political subjects. Born in Orebro, Sweden, Edita deToll Morris (1902-1988) began her career writing short stories. Edita's first literary works were inspired by her childhood and then her writing expanded to reflect her travels and political interests. Her most notable success was The Flowers of Hiroshima, a novel about post-WWII Japan that earned international acclaim. In 1957, the couple founded Hiroshima House, a recreation center and hostel for the survivors of the atomic bombings. In addition, the Morris's were political activists committed to nuclear disarmament, opposed to many U.S. policies of the Cold War, and related causes. Edwin Seaver (1900-), an American author and critic, was born in Washington, D. C. During his career, Edwin worked for the publisher Little, Brown, the Book of the Month Club, several magazines, and various newspapers. He edited short stories by Edita Morris for publication in Cross Section and other collections. It appears that Edwin had a relationship with Edita Morris following the deaths of their spouses.