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Series I: Research Files for Clifford Odets-American Playwright: The Years from 1906-1940, 1940-1999
At a Glance
Material is arranged into three series.
The collection consists of Margaret Brenman-Gibson's research files for her biography on American playwright, Clifford Odets, entitled Clifford Odets - American Playwright: The Years from 1906-1940. Brenman-Gibson constructed detailed chronologies of Odets life, taken through his various diaries, notes, and correspondence. These chronological notebooks form the basis for the collection. She also, in the course of her research, copied a good deal of Odets personal papers: correspondence, diaries, notes, plays, and screenplays. The files she created when applying for grants while writing and researching the biography are represented in the collection. Additionally, Brenman-Gibson performed interviews with numerous friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and family members of Odets. Both her notes on the interviews and the tapes of the interviews can be found in the collection. Additionally, she corresponded with many of her interviewees, including Marlon Brando, Harold Clurman, Sammy Davis Jr., Elia Kazan, Lee and Paula Strasberg, and Luise Rainer. The correspondence in the collection primarily relates to the biography, and includes permission agreements. There is a small section of personal correspondence between Margaret and her husband William Gibson with Clifford Odets during the 1950s as well as with the Gibson's and Clifford's son and daughter, Walt and Nora, after his death in 1963.
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 off-site. You will need to request this material at least 2 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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Margaret Brenman-Gibson Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Selected Related Material -- at Columbia
Clifford Odets Papers, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University
No additions are expected
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ownership and Custodial History
The Margaret Brenman-Gibson Papers were the gift of William Gibson in 2008. The donor agreement was signed by Montana Katz, who had power of attorney for Gibson. It came through the rare book dealer George Robert Minkoff. An addendum to the collection was donated in 2011.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
2008.2009.M008: Source of acquisition--William Gibson. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--2008.
2011.2012.M003: Source of acquisition--William Gibson. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--2011.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed Adrien Hilton October 2012.
Finding Aid written Adrien Hilton 10/25/2012.
Collection is processed to folder level.
2012-10-26 xml instance created by Adrien Hilton
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Margaret Brenman-Gibson was a Harvard professor in the department of Psychiatry. In 1982, she became the first woman to be appointed as a full professor. Brenman-Gibson was the first non-physician from any discipline to receive full clinical as well as research psychoanalytic training in America. She is considered the first psychologist. Brenman-Gibson also had a deep interest in nuclear weapons and the use of nuclear power. She picketed and protested in numerous places, including Los Alamos. William Gibson, the husband of Margaret was an American playwright and novelist. The couple married in 1940. Shortly thereafter, Brenman-Gibson took a job as psychoanalyst at Stockbridge, Massachusetts and William published his book, The Cobweb, which was set in a psychiatric ward. In addition to her work on hypnosis and hypnotherapy, and her interest in nuclear weapons, she was also the biographer of American playwright Clifford Odets. Odets and the Gibson's were friends, as the correspondence between them reveals.