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Collection Overview

Adamič, Louis 1899-1951
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Louis Adamic Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1848-1951 (mostly 1921-1951)
113 boxes, 6 items, and 58.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
This is stored in multiple locations. Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 1-100; 113 ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 101-112


Louis Adamic was an author deeply concerned with American immigrants and their experiences in the "melting pot." This collection consists of papers of Adamic, including manuscripts of his books, short stories, articles, and lectures, as well as sketches, paste-ups, and proofs of Adamic's own journal T & T. Also included are correspondence, subject files, and works of other writers.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The papers contain a wide variety of material spanning roughly 30 years of Adamic's life. The manuscripts of 15 of his books, many of his short stories, articles, and lectures, as well as sketches, paste-ups, and proofs of Adamic's own journal T & T, are all included in the collection. Among the books are Cradle of Life (N.Y.: Harper, 1936), Dinner at the Whitehouse (N.Y.: Harper, 1946), Dynamite (N.Y.: Viking, 1931), The Eagle and the Roots (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1952), From many Lands (N.Y.: Harper, 1940), Grandsons (N.Y.: Harper, 1935), The House in Antigua (N.Y.: Harper, 1937), Laughing in the Jungle (N.Y., Harper, 1932), My America (London: H. Hamilton, 1938), My Native Land (N.Y.: Harper, 1943), A Nation of Nations (N.Y.: Harper, 1945), The Native's Return (London: V. Gollancz, 1934), and Two-Way Passage (N.Y.: Harper, 1941). In addition to the manuscripts, which comprise nearly one third of these papers, a significant body of correspondence with many individuals, among them prominent American literary and political figures of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, is also preserved here. These communications relate to Adamic's business, political, and social involvements, his on-going interest in American society, and, in his later years, his interest in post-war reconstruction, foreign policy, and world understanding.

Also included are Adamic's subject files, which are divided into two parts. The first of these files, arranged by nationality--such as British, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Polish, Scottish, Slovak, Swedish, Swiss, Ukranian, and Yugoslav--houses clippings, pamphlets, and correspondence related to Adamic's interest in the experiences of American immigrants and their problems. A general file contains material on topics such as refugees, labor, and prejudice. In addition, the collection has an assortment of contracts, copyrights, awards, press releases, advertising, and other ephemera related to Adamic's career and is enhanced by the inclusion of many personal photographs of his family friends, home and haunts, as well as photographs and maps of Yugoslavia before, during, and after World War II.

There are over 120 works of other writers included in these papers, ranging from a one-page book review by Mary Austin, to a typed speech by Marshall Tito, as well as several full-length books. Supplementing this is a rich assortment of printed matter, notably, complete sets of The Bulletin of the United Committee of South Slavic Americans, IN RE: Two-Way Passage, T & T, and 15 issues of Common Ground, plus tearsheets, pamphlets, periodicals, and clippings. Documentation of recent symposia on Adami''s life and work forms the final element of this archive.

Collection Creator Biography:

Adamič, Louis 1899-1951

Louis Adamic was an author deeply concerned with American immigrants and their experiences in the "melting pot." Born in Blato, Austria (now Slovenia), in 1899, Adamic emigrated to the United States as a teenager and performed odd jobs throughout the American West while he learned English. He was naturalized in 1918 and entered the United States Army during World War I. After the war, he began writing, focusing his attention on the immigrant experience in America. His first few books, Dynamite and Laughing in the Jungle, showed the darker side of life as an immigrant, while Native's Return, Grandsons, and Cradle of Life told his own story of returning to his homeland. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant-in-aid from the Rockefeller Foundation for his work in the field of immigrant studies. In 1940, Adamic became director of the Common Council for American Unity and editor of Common Ground, its quarterly magazine. During World War II, his controversial political views led him to become a target of the Communists. He died under mysterious circumstances in 1951.

Collection History


Gift of Mrs. Louis Adamic. Additions are a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Klancnik

Custodial History

Following the death of Adamic in 1951, Mrs. Stella Adamic contacted the Princeton University Library and asked that the Library put on deposit what can be termed the "literary contents" of the Adamics' home in Milford, New Jersey. Subsequently, Mrs. Adamic believed she could not donate the materials to the Library; therefore, via Janko N. Rogelj and the Louis Adamic Memorial Foundation Mrs. Adamic was paid for the materials and they were then given to the Library. The S. Adamic - Rogelj - Dix correspondence is on file in the Library.

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.

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:

Louis Adamic 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:
This is stored in multiple locations. Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 1-100; 113 ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 101-112