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Harvey Breit Correspondence

Identifier: MS1

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection of more than 225 pages of correspondence sent to reviewer Harvey Breit between 1940 and 1965 includes letters and some manuscripts from more than fifty literary and political figures of the mid-twentieth century. Most entries consist of only one or two letters, but more frequent correspondents include W.H. Auden, Dudley Fitts, Marianne Moore, Katherine Anne Porter, C.P. Snow, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams. John Steinbeck's file includes the typescript of an article he intended to send to the Saturday Review. William Carlos Williams, Louis Armstrong, and W.H. Auden files also include some manuscript material.


  • 1940 - 1965
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1945 - 1955


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for materials resides with the literary executors of individual letters. All users must comply with federal copyright regulations.


1.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



Harvey Breit, poet, playwright, and interviewer, was a reviewer for the New York Times Book Review from 1940-1965. This collection consists of more than 225 pages of correspondence sent to Breit during this period by more than fifty authors and public figures.

Arrangement Note

All materials are arranged alphabetically by author.

Method of Acquisition

This collection of correspondence to Harvey Breit was acquired by the McCormick Library of Special Collections from the firm of Hamill & Barker in the early 1970s.

14 of the letters were donated in January of 2011 to Northwestern by Paula Frosch, who acquired them as a gift from the American Chess Foundation.  A portion of the letters was first donated to Columbia University, and then given to Northwestern to complement our existing collection (with Frosch's permission) by Michael Ryan, Director of Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

The letters included were from Atkinson; Barzun, Bemelmans; Bourke-White (1/30/1949); Caldwell; Chambers; Evans; Fitts (3/12/1948); Kober; Lindbergh; Rome; Schulberg; Trilling; and Westcott (9/14/1955).

Accruals and Additions

Jason Nargis processed the additions in January, 2011.

Other Descriptive Information

Correspondence to Harvey Breit consists of approximately 225 pages from fifty-six authors.

Guide to the Harvey Breit Correspondence
Sigrid Pohl Perry
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US