Contents and Arrangement

V.I.P. Letters and Autographs, 1928-1978

2 folders

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Two folders of routine correspondence with well-known literary figures, including Edward Albee, Maxwell Aley, Woody Allen, Sherwood Anderson, Sholem Asch, Louis Auchincloss, W. H. Auden, Paul Auster, Saul Bellow, Richard Bennett, Naomi Bliven, Vance Bourjaily, Joy Chute, Joan Crowell, Malcolm Cowley, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Jimmy Carter, John Dos Passos, T. S. Eliot, Allen Ginsberg, Barbara Goldsmith, Nadine Gordimer, Lillian Hellman, John Hersey, Chang Hon-Hai, Langston Hughes, Clifford Irving, John Irving, Edward Kennedy, Robert Lowell, Norman Mailer, Bernard Malamud, Thomas Mann, Somerset Maugham, Carson McCullers, Arthur Miller, Alva Myrdal, Gunnar Myrdal, Anaïs Nin, Grace Paley, Octavio Paz, Katherine Anne Porter, James Purdy, Mario Puzo, Ann Reiss, Elmer Rice, Muriel Rukeyser, Grace Schulman, Harrison Salisbury, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Susan Sontag, Wallace Stegner, John Steinbeck, Adlai E. Stevenson, William Styron, James Thurber, Barbara Tuchman, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, Aileen Ward, Robert Penn Warren, Alec Waugh, Eudora Welty, E. B. White, Patrick White, Thornton Wilder, Richard Wright, and Arnold Zweig.


The arrangement of materials at the time of their transfer has been retained with the exception of material filed in multiple places, which has been consolidated under the most descriptive original heading. Files are arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within.

Collection History


Approximately 100 linear feet of material was separated in 2010, including duplicate material, clippings, general administrative and logistical files, general membership files, general reference files, publications (transferred to Firestone Library general collections) and extraneous material.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jennifer Bowden with the assistance of Jennifer Watkins in 1994. Finding aid written by Jennifer Bowden with the assistance of Jennifer Watkins in 1994.

Reprocessed by Regine Heberlein in 2010.

Original audiovisual media were digitized in 2015-2017 as part of a grant-funded digitization project in collaboration with PEN America. Description of audiovisual materials was enhanced by Kelly Bolding in 2018, using description provided by PEN America.

In 2022, restrictions on the P.E.N. Writers' Fund files were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

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.

Online access to most digitized audiovisual media in the collection is available through the PEN America Digital Archive site.

Credit this material:

V.I.P. Letters and Autographs; P.E.N. American Center Records, C0760, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 20