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Collection Overview

David Lloyd Agency
David Lloyd Agency Records on Pearl S. Buck
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1928-1958 (mostly 1934-1952)
72 boxes, 1 folder, and 28.8 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-72


The David Lloyd Agency Records on Pearl S. Buck Collection consists of correspondence, publication and translation rights, financial records, and other publishing-related material collected by the David Lloyd Agency regarding their client, the American novelist Pearl S. Buck.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of correspondence and legal documents relating to Buck's publishing activities from 1928 to the early 1950s, when she was a client of the David Lloyd Literary Agency. The records demonstrate Lloyd's role as a liaison between Buck, her publisher, John Day (often represented by Buck's husband, Richard J. Walsh), and many publishing houses and popular magazines. The documents concern, among other things, translations, foreign publishing rights, and serialization of Buck's novels, short stories, and articles. Thirty-six different languages are represented in the collection.

Much of the collection consists of inter-agency correspondence between Lloyd and the London firm of A. P. Watt & Son regarding Buck's foreign interests, as well as correspondence with magazines such as Red Book, Cosmopolitan, Saturday Evening Post, and Ladies Home Journal relating to serializations of Buck's works. The collection also contains numerous legal documents, such as memoranda of agreement, financial records, and correspondence regarding film and stage rights, and the works of John Sedges, a pseudonym for Buck. Also included are materials relating to Buck's withdrawal from the agency and the termination of their association in 1957, when she joined Harold Ober Associates. In addition, there are some correspondence and permanent registers of other authors represented by the David Lloyd Agency.

Collection Creator Biography:

David Lloyd Agency

Pearl S. Buck was born Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker on June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. While still an infant, she moved to eastern China with her Presbyterian missionary parents, Absalom and Caroline (Stulting) Sydenstricker. She was educated by her mother and a Chinese tutor until the Boxer Rebellion forced her family to flee to Shanghai, where she attended boarding school. Buck credited her tutor and her immersion in Chinese culture as shaping her perception and understanding of China, which influenced her literary works. Buck continued her education at Randolph Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1914. She taught psychology for a few months there before returning to China to care for her ailing mother. In 1917, she married John Lossing Buck, an agricultural expert stationed in northern China. While living there, Buck became familiar with Chinese peasant families and their daily lives, but also noticed a strong divide between whites and the Chinese. She used her observations to pen non-fiction articles about Chinese daily life, which were published in American magazines.

In 1925 Buck returned to America to seek care for her daughter, Carol, who was severely retarded, and in 1926 she received an MA from Cornell. Upon returning to China, she continued writing and published her first novel, East Wind, West Wind, in 1930. In 1931, Buck published The Good Earth, her most famous novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and the Howells Medal in 1935, and which was adapted into a MGM film in 1938. In 1938, she also became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature. Before her death, Buck published over 70 books, including novels, poetry, biographies, and dramas and collections of stories. In all of her works, she sought to bridge the cultural gap between Asia and the West.

Buck left the political unrest in China and returned to America in 1934 to be closer to both her daughter, who was hospitalized in New Jersey, and Richard Walsh, her editor, whom she would marry in 1935 after receiving a divorce. Throughout their marriage, Buck and Walsh adopted five children. She became active in the civil and women's rights movements in America. After being outraged that current adoption agencies did not allow the adoption of Asian or mixed race children, Buck established Welcome House, the first international, interracial adoption agency. Since its establishment, Welcome House has assisted in the placement of over six thousand children. Buck and Walsh also formed the East and West Association in 1942, an organization dedicated to cultural exchange between Asia and the West. Pearl S. Buck died in 1973 at the age of 80.

Collection History


The materials in this collection were a gift of Ms. Andrea Lloyd.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Laura Hidalgo and Rachel Jordan in 2006. Finding aid written by Laura Hidalgo and Rachel Jordan in 2006.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

David Lloyd Agency Records on Pearl S. Buck; 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 1-72