Contents and Arrangement

Series 1: H. L. Mencken Material, 1908-1955

17 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of copies (typed transcripts, photostats) of the correspondence of H. L. Mencken from 1908 to 1942 gathered by Princeton Librarian Julian Boyd for his proposed book of Mencken's letters. The letters are arranged in two sub-series: first alphabetically by correspondent's name and then chronologically. The following pages identify whether the collection contains transcripts of letters, microfilm copies, or both; these two holdings do not completely overlap. It should be noted that the transcripts of Mencken's correspondence do not completely coincide with the letters on microfilm. There are no transcripts for those entries which have "n.a." for the Box and Folder; likewise, those entries which have "n.a." under the "Reel" header do not exist on microfilm. The other sub-series contain correspondence of Mencken and Boyd from 1927-1952, a number of original letters from Mencken, galley proofs for A New Dictionary of Quotations, an album of newspaper articles re Mencken, and miscellaneous photographs and manuscripts.


This series is arranged into five subseries: Letters by Mencken, Letters by Mencken, Boyd-Mencken (Chronological), Other Mencken Material: Letters, Manuscripts, Photographs, and Miscellaneous and Printed Material.

Collection History


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed October 2, 1995.

During 2022, restrictions on galley proofs and card files were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or digital photography of Boyd's copies (paper or microfilm) of Mencken letters is permitted. Otherwise, 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:

Series 1: H. L. Mencken Material; H. L. Mencken Collection, C0331, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Boxes 1-11; 16-21