Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953.
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Eugene O'Neill Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1913-1993 (mostly 1913-1944)
1 box and 0.45 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1


Eugene O'Neill, the celebrated American playwright, was a director of the Provincetown Players and a founder of the Theatre Guild. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Strange Interlude (1928) and, posthumously, for Long Day's Journey Into Night (1956). The collection consists of fifteen manuscripts of O'Neill, most of which are first drafts of plays and include preliminary notes.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection contains fifteen manuscripts of O'Neill, most of which are first drafts of plays and include preliminary notes. Included is The Web (originally entitled The Cough), the first play written by O'Neill. He notes on the title page of the manuscript that, although he wrote skits for the stage prior to 1913, it was not until that year that he wrote The Web, "the first play I ever wrote." Also included is the original manuscript for "Tomorrow," the only short story by O'Neill ever to be published during his lifetime.

A small addition to the collection includes correspondence, photographs, and printed material of O'Neill. There is correspondence with William M. Agar; Francesco Bianco; Princeton University Librarian (1940-1952) and professor of history, Julian P. Boyd; there is correspondence with Mark Van Doren of the War Bond Committee related to some of O'Neill's original scripts, and to the War Bond Campaign; and there is one letter to Earle V. Rodgers.

Collection Creator Biography:

O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953.

Eugene O'Neill was an American playwright and Nobel Prize winner. Suspended from Princeton University, he spent a number of years at sea. O'Neill's first published play, Beyond the Horizon, opened on Broadway in 1920 to great acclaim, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His best-known plays include Anna Christie (Pulitzer Prize 1922), Desire Under the Elms (1924), Strange Interlude (Pulitzer Prize 1928), Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), and Long Day's Journey into Night (Pulitzer Prize, 1957).

Collection History


Multiple purchases, 1941-1969.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2002. Finding aid written in 2002.

Biography written by Alyxandra Cullen, '09.

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:

Eugene O'Neill Collection; 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:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1