Baker, F. Sherman (1902-1976)

The F. Sherman Baker collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, printed material, and other items. Much of the collection pertains to the novelist and memoirist John D. Volker, whom Baker edited and published in the 1950s and 1960s.

Manuscripts by Baker in the collection consist of his novel The Making (Cleveland, 1966), as well as his notes for John D. Voelker regarding Voelker’s novel Anatomy of a Murder (St. Martin’s, 1957) and Voelker’s own corrections for his novel Hornstein’s Boy (St. Martin’s, 1962).

Correspondence in the collection is extensive, and includes letters from family, friends, admirers, and colleagues, as well as purely professional correspondence.

The largest group of correspondence is the letters between Baker and Voelker. They date from 1954 to 1971, and are primarily from Volker; cumulatively, they present a narrative of the origins and success of Volker’s novel Anatomy of a Murder and its subsequent film adaptation for Columbia Pictures, directed by Otto Preminger (1959), as well as several hundred letters regarding Volker’s books Hornstein’s Boy, Anatomy of a Fisherman (McGraw, 1964), and Laughing Whitefish (McGraw, 1965). Notable correspondence to Voelker also includes letters from William O. Douglas, Ralph Nader, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Another group of letters pertains to the writer Samm Sinclair Baker and his book The Permissible Lie (World Publishing, 1968); the collection also includes clippings and promotional material regarding the book.

Other letters pertain to all aspects of Baker’s career and personal life. Notable correspondents include Cleveland Amory, Stephen Birmingham, Van Wyck Brooks, Niven Busch, Bruce Catton, J. Frank Dobie, Brendan Gill, A. J. Langguth, Glenn T. Seaborg, Wallace Stegner, Gore Vidal, and John Wain.

Printed material in the collection consists primarily of reviews of Baker’s and Voelker’s writings. Other items in the collection include professional documents (meeting minutes, reports, etc.) regarding Baker’s editing and publishing career; photographs of Volker; royalty statements; contracts; and other miscellaneous material.

Notable Figures
1. Baker, Sherman, 1902-1976
2. Voelker, John D. (John Donaldson), 1903-1991
Associated Subjects
1. Literary Collections Subject Guide
2. Editing and Publishing Subject Guide
3. Transcripts
4. Anatomy of a murder (Motion picture)
5. Reports – United States
6. Authors, American
7. Minutes
8. Photographs