Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Richter, Conrad, 1890-1968
Conrad Richter Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
102 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-102


Consists of material relating to the American author Conrad Richter, including manuscripts, writing notebooks, notes, and galley proofs for several of his novels and other writings. Includes a substantial amount of personal and professional correspondence, as well as photographs.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection contains manuscripts for various works of fiction and nonfiction by Richter: notes, notebooks, autograph and typescript manuscripts, galley proofs, related correspondence, clippings, and other background material for his trilogy The Trees (1940), The Fields (1946), and The Town (1950), collectively published as The Awakening Land (1966); the introduction and early drafts for The Sea of Grass (1937); outlines, notes on the Delaware Indian language, drafts, galley proofs, and early chapters entitled "My Enemy, My Son" for The Light in the Forest (1953); and corrected typescripts for The Grandfathers (1964) and A Country of Strangers (1966).

Additional material includes James Lee Barrett's screenplay of The Awakening Land, a chronology of the trilogy, several articles, four chapters from The Fields and a few early manuscript pages from The Lady (1957), notebooks on writing and various western topics, correspondence with Alfred Knopf (Richter's publisher), Paul R. Reynolds (both the father and son were Richter's literary agents), Erdmann N. Brandt (of The Saturday Evening Post), friends, literary associates, and readers. There is also a large selection of correspondence between Conrad Richter and his wife and daughter. Furthermore, there are miscellaneous notes and outlines for short stories and articles, including stories published in his Early Americana and Other Stories (1936), and personal journals (1925-1966), as well as four drawers of file cards on which Richter kept notes and ideas. The collection includes a fair amount of genealogical material on the Richter and Achenbach families, with items dating to the early 19th century.

Collection Creator Biography:

Richter, Conrad, 1890-1968

Conrad Michael Richter was born on October 16, 1890, in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1951 for The Town, the third and final installment in his pioneer trilogy entitled The Awakening Land. Richter may be best-known for two of his other novels -- The Sea of Grass and The Light in the Forest -- both of which were made into films. Richter, his wife, Harvena (Harvey) Maria Achenbach, and their daughter, Harvena (Vene), moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1928. In 1950, Richter returned to Pine Grove and lived there until his death on October 30, 1968.

Collection History


Acquired as gifts from Conrad Richter and, after his death, from his wife and daughter.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2003 and the original finding aid was written in 2003. Sylvia Yu processed the collection again starting in September 2010 through 2012. Jill Baron processed the final additions of materials to the collection and completed the finding aid in 2012, with great assistance from Lauren Hoffman '15.

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.

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:

Conrad Richter 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 1-102