Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Harper & Brothers Publishers
Selected Records of Harper & Brothers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1909-1960 (mostly 1939-1955)
34 boxes, 2 folders, and 5.95 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-34


The Selected Papers of Harper & Brothers consist primarily of the editorial and business correspondence of Harper & Brothers, a distinguished publishing firm, between 1909 and 1960.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Selected Papers of Harper & Brothers consist primarily of editorial and business correspondence, 1909-1960, with the bulk of the material dating from ca. 1939-1955. In addition, there are several folders of correspondence of Cass Canfield in connection with the 1956 Presidential campaign of Adlai E. Stevenson. Among the broad spectrum of American and European writers included are Gwendolyn Brooks, Virginia Cowles, Max Eastman, Andre Maurois, Adlai Stevenson, and Richard Wright. Within each author's correspondence there may be letters to and from other well known literary figures such as Dorothy Canfield Fisher, H.L. Mancken, Van Wyck Brooks, Louis Auchincloss, or Upton Sinclair. Among the few manuscripts in the collection is a holograph manuscripts of a Gwendolyn Brooks poem and proposals for books by various authors.

For a history of Harper & Brothers see The House of Harper (New York: Harper & Bros., 1967) by Eugene Exman.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by author and then chronologically.

Collection Creator Biography:

Harper & Brothers Publishers

Harper & Brothers was a distinguished publishing firm in the nineteenth century. The firm was established in 1817 by James and John Harper, and its first venture into publishing was with John Locke's Essay on Human Understanding. Brothers Joseph and Fletcher Harper later joined the business, and the company took on the name Harper & Brothers in 1833. The firm launched Harper's New Monthly Magazine in 1850, Harper's Weekly in 1857, and Harper's Bazar (later Bazaar) in 1867. Harper & Brothers passed out of family hands in 1900.

Collection History


The collection is a gift of Harper & Brothers.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Biography written by Jessica Marati, '08.

In 2022, restrictions on Richard Wright materials where researchers were required to use surrogates were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

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:

Selected Records of Harper & Brothers; 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 1-34