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Gressley, Gene M, 1960-1986
Collection Description & Creator Information
The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, and ephemera by and relating to John Steinbeck collected by Preston Beyer. Included is a large amount of correspondence (circa 1939-1993) of Beyer with bibliographers, critics, collectors, biographers, universities, friends, and relatives concerned with the life and works of John Steinbeck. Some of these correspondents are Gwendolyn and Elaine Steinbeck (former wife and widow, respectively), Carlton Sheffield (Steinbeck's roommate at Stanford), John Hargraves, Adrian H. Goldstone, Robert J. Demott, John Ditsky, Warren G. French, author of John Steinbeck's Fiction Revisited (1994), Tetsumaro Hayashi, author a A New Steinbeck Bibliography, 1971-1981 (1983), Roy S. Simmonds, Nelson Valjean, and Robert Wallsten, editor, with Elaine Steinbeck, of Steinbeck: A Life in Letters (1994). Also present is correspondence with university libraries containing collections of Steinbeck books and manuscripts, such as San Jose State University and Ball State University.
Original Steinbeck material includes 27 cards and letters (1951-1967), some written by his secretaries, to Lemuel and Shirley Ayers, Preston Beyer, Mary Bradford, one to Martin Luther King (March 31, 1965), June Hunderson, and a few others. In addition, there is a photograph (1962) of Steinbeck taken by Carlton Sheffield, a three-page, typed, signed article entitled "Rationale," and a signed copy of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech (1962). Related materials include a holograph review (1939) by George Stevens of Steinbeck's Uncovered Wagon, and a script (1954) for a dance-drama adaptation by John H. Jones of Steinbeck's The Pearl. Also included are 13 photographs from the 1992 John Steinbeck Conference in Nantucket, as well as other Steinbeck Society events.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
These items were not kept with the manuscript portion; they were separated out and put with the main book collection:
"Pacific Weekly, A Western Journal of Fact and Fiction," pub. Nov. 9, 1936, vol. V, no. 19, contains JS's story "Breakfast" (1 p.), later used in The Grapes of Wrath.
"Vanderbilt Clinic by John Steinbeck," a report for the friends and supporters of the Hospital, pub. March 1947.
"The Monterey Beacon, The Literary Magazine of the West," June 22, 1935, vol. 1, no. 44, stamped "This Book Belongs to Carol and John Steinbeck," contains JS's story "The Snake."
"The Smoker's Companion," March 1927, 2 photostat copies of JS's[?] story "The Gift of Iban" by John Stern (pseud.?), also photostat of the table of contents (2 pp.), order form for the copy from the New York Public Library, & letters to the National Assoc. of Tobacco Distribution in search of this story.
Dinner program in honor of Carl Sandburg on his 85th birthday, and the publication of his book of poems Honey and Salt, June 6, 1963, the guest list includes Mr. & Mrs. John Steinbeck.
Note: See the curator of the Rare Books Division for information concerning the Preston Beyer Collection of John Steinbeck books and related published material.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Open for research.
- Conditions for Reproduction and 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:
Gressley, Gene M; Preston Beyer Collection of John Steinbeck, C0768, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA
- Storage Note:
- Firestone Library (mss): Box 5