Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Tarkington, Booth
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


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 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:

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