Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Kahler, Hugh MacNair, 1883-1969
Hugh MacNair Kahler Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1900-1964 (mostly 1900-1950)
9 boxes
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-9


Consists of writings, correspondence, documents, photographs, and other miscellanea of the American editor, novelist, and storywriter Hugh MacNair Kahler.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, documents, and photographs of Kahler, with some papers of other persons. Included are an extensive range (1904-1931) of Kahler's letters to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Kahler, detailing his personal and professional life; photographs of James Boyd, Kenneth Roberts, Booth Tarkington, and others, as well as photographs taken by Kahler of the 1924 Princeton-Harvard football game; and Joseph Hergesheimer's holograph manuscript "The Triumph of George Royer" (1916), which he inscribed to Kahler. Kahler's own writings include the outline, notes, and various incomplete drafts of an unpublished novel, Joy in Heaven, seven typed installments of Life is Like That, typescripts of two short stories and an article on Princeton University football.

An addition to the papers consists of 115 tearsheets of Kahler's short stories and serialized works (1914-1944) removed from such magazines as the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, Collier's, and The Country Gentlemen. Many of the stories are accompanied by explanatory notes by Kahler. Also included are letters by George H. Lorimer of the Saturday Evening Post, William Chenery, Bruce Gould, Booth Tarkington, and others, fan mail, and lists of published stories.

A further addition to the papers consists of 57 letters of Kahler, written while he was an undergraduate at Princeton University to his parents, describing his life as a student at Princeton.

The following standard abbreviation is used to identify materials in this collection: TMsS = typed manuscript signed.

Collection Creator Biography:

Kahler, Hugh MacNair, 1883-1969

Hugh MacNair Kahler was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 25 February 1883. He was the son of Frederick A. and Margaret Torbert (MacNair) Kahler. In 1904 he graduated from Princeton University. Kahler married Louise Kingsley on 15 October 1907; together they had one daughter, Kingsley.

Kahler wrote The Collector's Whatnot: A Compendium, Manual, and Syllabus of Information and Advice on All Subjects Appertaining to the Collection of Antiques, Both Ancient and Not So Ancient (1923) both under a pseudonym (Murgatroyd Elphinstone) and in collaboration with Booth Tarkington and Kenneth Lewis Roberts, who also used assumed names (Cornelius Obenchain Van Loot and Milton Kilgallen, respectively). Other published works by Kahler include the novels MacIvor's Folly (1925), Father Means Well (1930), Big Pink (1932), and Bright Danger (1941), as well as the short story collections Babel (1921), The East Wind and Other Stories (1923), and Hills Were Higher Then (1931). Two of Kahler's short stories became motion pictures: The Six Best Cellars (1920) and Fools First (1922).

From 1943 to 1960 Kahler was the fiction editor at Ladies' Home Journal. He contributed over a hundred stories to periodicals such as American, Collier's, Country Gentleman, and Saturday Evening Post.

Kahler died on 10 July 1969; he was eighty-six years old.

Collection History


Gift of Mrs. Frank W. Hubby


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Ran Tao, Princeton Class of 2006 in 2004. Finding aid written by Ran Tao, Princeton Class of 2006 in 2004.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Hugh MacNair Kahler Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-9