Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Mencken, H.L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
H. L. Mencken Correspondence with Dent Smith
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1


Consists of 108 letters by Mencken to Dent Smith between the years 1938 and 1945, with Smith's side of the correspondence present in carbon copies.

Collection Description & Creator Information


Consists of 108 letters by Mencken to Dent Smith between the years 1938 and 1945, with Smith's side of the correspondence present in carbon copies. The correspondence concerns Mencken's mentoring of Smith during his attempts to publish his autobiography and then later during his editorship of the magazine ENCORE. Mencken discusses his experiences in publishing, his health, his various works in progress, his dissatisfaction with the Roosevelt administration, and his mistaken belief that "war remains unlikely" less than a week before Germany invaded Poland to herald the start of World War II.


Arranged chronologically.

Collection Creator Biography:

Mencken, H.L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956

H. L. (Henry Louis) Mencken (1880-1956) was an American journalist, magazine editor, critic, satirist and essayist. He was born in Baltimore and lived there all his life, and was known as the "Sage of Baltimore." He started his writing career as a journalist at the Baltimore Morning Herald , from 1899 to 1905, and then moved to The Baltimore Sun , where he contributed full-time until he suffered a stroke in 1948. In 1908, he became a literary critic for the magazine The Smart Set , and in 1924, he and George Jean Nathan founded The American Mercury . Dent Smith was founder and editor of the Hoboken-based literary magazine ENCORE between 1942 and 1944.

Collection History


Purchased with support from the Richard M. Ludwig Endowment established by Michael Spence, Class of 1966, 2012 .

Archival Appraisal Information:

No materials were separated durin 2012 processing.

Processing Information:

Folder inventory added 2012 by Feng Zhu '14.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is 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:

H. L. Mencken Correspondence with Dent Smith; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
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