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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 (mss): 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


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 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:

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 (mss): Box 1-9

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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