Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Harris, Frank, 1856-1931
Frank Harris Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1889-1930 (mostly 1915-1925)
9 boxes and 3.67 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-9


Consists primarily of typescript manuscripts, often with holograph corrections, representative of the literary production of American author Frank Harris: books, plays, stories, essays and articles, and biographical portraits. A good amount of the material is about the life and writings of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the popular and controversial Irish author. Also included are a small amount of correspondence, documents, and printed material.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of typescript copies of literary works by the American expatriate author Frank Harris, arranged by form and genre. Many have been heavily revised and corrected. Most of his published books are represented in some part, though shorter pieces, such as articles and contemporary portraits, predominate. A major part deals with his criticism and interpretation of various works by Oscar Wilde, his biography of Wilde, and his own biography, My Life and Loves. Correspondence of Harris from his last decade (primarily letters from booksellers, translators, and publishers), as well as some financial and printed material, is also included

Further accessions include correspondence with Arnold and Blance Rittenberg, and Gordon Young.

Collection Creator Biography:

Harris, Frank, 1856-1931

Primarily remembered today for his sexually frank reminiscences ( My Life and Loves, 3 vols., 1923-1927), Harris was an American expatriate writer who lived for many years in Nice, France. Born in Ireland (1856), raised and educated in the United States, Harris drifted to Europe for further education, eventually editing various magazines in England, becoming friends with Max Beerbohm, Bernard Shaw, and Oscar Wilde, and gaining a literary reputation for books and short stories. He returned to the U.S. and edited Pearson's Magazine, but his pro-German sympathies during World War I forced him to retire in France, where he died in 1931. Harris's other major publications include Elder Conklin (stories, 1894), Montes the Matador (stories, 1900), Mr. and Mrs. Daventry (play, 1900), The Man Shakespeare (psychological study, 1909), Great Days (novel, 1914), Oscar Wilde: His Life and Confessions (biography, 2 vols, 1916), and Undream'd of Shores (stories, 1924).

Collection History


Purchased by the Department in August 2004 .

Custodial History

This collection was first bought from a bookshop in Nice shortly after Frank Harris's death in 1931. The material relative to Oscar Wilde has been collected; but the rest has been left largely as found, with the titles of each folder (where there is a folder, or a title) as left by Harris.


No accruals are expected.


One printed item was transferred to Rare Books Division for cataloging; the rest has been retained.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by John Delaney in September 2004. Finding aid written by John Delaney in October 2004.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available 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:

Frank Harris Papers; 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:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-9

Find More

Related Materials

The Esar Levine Collection of Frank Harris (C0873) consists of the writings, correspondence, and printed matter of, and relating to, Harris as collected by Esar Levine (b. 1899), Harris's disciple, agent, and friend.


Frank Harris (New York, Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1970) by Robert B. Pearsall was consulted during preparation of the biographical note.

Subject Terms:
Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence.
Authors, American--20th century--Manuscripts.
Genre Terms:
Harris, Frank, 1856-1931
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900