Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975.
Thornton Wilder Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1


Consists of selected papers of Thornton Wilder, the celebrated American novelist and playwright, winner of three Pulitzer Prizes.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of a collection of Wilder letters and papers from various sources. Included are about 35 letters (1929-1961) to Mrs. S. G. Frantz, discussing his works and travels and accompanied by an inscribed photograph, and other letters to Hyde Solomon, Carlos Baker, William Bowen, Robert F. Goheen, and Van Allen Bradley. Also present are Wilder's addresses to the Harvard Alumni Association (1951) and the Princeton Alumni Association (1974).

Collection Creator Biography:

Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975.

Thornton Wilder, the noted American novelist and playwright, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of a U.S. diplomat. Wilder served briefly in the Coast Artillery Corps during World War I. Following the war, Wilder attended Yale University, graduating in 1920. In 1926, Wilder received his M.A. in French from Princeton University and subsequently taught at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Wilder left the Lawrenceville School in 1928, the same year that he received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey. After leaving Lawrenceville, Wilder taught at the University of Chicago (1930-1937) and published Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1942). Wilder enlisted in the army at the outset of World War II, and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Army Air Force. After his discharge from the army, Wilder continued to write and teach.

Collection History


This collection was the gift of Mrs. Hamilton Cottier in 1983.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

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:

Thornton Wilder 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