Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Tarkington, Booth (1869-1946)
Booth Tarkington Papers, 1812-1956
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1812-1956 (mostly 1899-1946)
281 boxes and 131.9 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-166; 168-279; custom; 221A


Consists of extensive writings -- novels, plays, short stories, articles, film scenarios, radio scripts -- and correspondence of "The Gentleman from Indiana" Booth Tarkington, noted American author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the writings and correspondence of Tarkington (Princeton Class of 1893), one of the most prolific authors of his time. Nearly all of his manuscripts, many in autograph form--from his childhood diaries, through the illustrated stories of his college years, to his posthumously published novel--are preserved in the collection, including his Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Adams and The Magnificent Ambersons, his best known work Penrod, and numerous magazine serials, short stories, plays, film scenarios, radio scripts, poems, and articles. Non-literary activities represented include Tarkington's work for the Seeing Eye, Inc., a foundation for the blind, and his war work in World War II. Illustrations, photographs, memorabilia, documents, and printed material round out the extensive collection.

There is no Box 167 in the numerical sequence.

Collection Creator Biography:

Tarkington, Booth

Booth Tarkington (1869–1946), native of Indianapolis and student at Purdue and Princeton universities (Princeton Class of 1893), was perhaps Indiana's most famous author, both as a playwright and as novelist. His best-known works were written in the first decades of the twentieth century: The Gentleman from Indiana (1899), Penrod (1910), Seventeen (1917), The Magnificent Ambersons (1918), and Alice Adams (1921). The last two won Pulitzer Prizes. In his work he showed an appreciation of the development of his native city, and an amiable understanding of the real and imagined problems of young people. He was an early member of The Dramatic Club, founded in 1889, and often wrote plays and directed and acted in its productions.

Collection History


Gift of Miss Elizabeth Trotter, John T. Jameson, Donald O.B. Jameson, Booth T. Jameson, ,Miss C.E. Murray, Joseph D. Dudley, Mr. and Mrs. Burton Currie, Mrs. James B. Wyman, Mildred G. Burrage, Mrs. Lewis Booker, Bruce Willsie, Betty K. Davis, T.T. Newbold, Thomas H. Creden, and Mr. and Mrs. David Lawrence Chambers. 3 photographs purchased from David Holmes

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a departmental practice of combining into one collection manuscript material of various accessions relating to a particular author.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

In 2022, restrictions on original material where researchers were required to use a surrogate were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

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:

Booth Tarkington Papers, 1812-1956; 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): Boxes 1-166; 168-279; custom; 221A