Birmingham, Stephen (1930-2015)

The Stephen Birmingham collection includes manuscripts, printed material, and correspondence. 

Manuscripts for novels by Birmingham have multiple drafts for most titles, usually typed, sometimes carbon copies, with many  versions corrected by hand.  There are galley proofs present for some of the books, as well as notebooks, loose notes, interviews, and revisions.  Titles include Young Mr. Keefe (Little, Brown, 1958); Barbara Greer (Little Brown, 1958); The Towers of Love (Little, Brown, 1961); Those Harper Women (McGraw, 1964); Fast Start, Fast Finish (New American Library, 1966); Miss M. (unpublished), present in many drafts; The Right People (Little, Brown, 1968).  Other books include the short story collection Heart Troubles (Harper, 1968); the non-fiction book The Grandees: America’s Sephardic Elite (Little, Brown, 1971), including a large amount of manuscript and research material; and the non-fiction book Our Crowd (Harper, 1967).  Drafts for the latter also have extensive research material, including letters, genealogy charts, printed material, and notebooks. 

Other manuscripts includes several magazine articles and short stories by Birmingham, on such topics as Walt Disney, Irene Dunne, Florida, Peter Lawford, Aristotle Onassis, Louis Auchincloss, sports, and Sun Valley; these were published in American Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, Holiday, Ladies Home Journal, McCalls, Signature, Sports Illustrated, The Purple Cow, The New York Times, and elsewhere.  Also present are over twenty short stories; a radio play titled The Sound of Death; poetry; five speeches written for William F. Steers and delivered to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (Apr.-May 1966); and nearly sixty stories and a play written for Birmingham’s English composition class at Williams College (all unpublished), some of which bear the written comments of his professors.  In addition, the collection includes an unpublished biography of Walter E. Sachs, given to Birmingham by Sachs; and an unpublished autobiography of Adolph Lewisohn, a gift to Birmingham from Lewisohn. 

Printed material in the collection includes published articles regarding Birmingham and his writings; book jackets for his works; and fliers advertising some of his books. 

Correspondence in the collection includes letters to and from publishers, fan mail, letters regarding Birmingham’s research, and other items.  There are about two thousand letters total, dating from 1952 to 1971.  Notable correspondents include Ava Gardner, Lucius Beebe, Joseph M. Proskauer, Carol Brandt, Louis Auchincloss, Frederick M. Warburg, John L. Loeb, Thomas Fleming, Alfred A. Knopf, Peter De Vries, William Manchester, Marcia Davenport, Ann Landers, Mayor John V. Lindsey, John P. Marquand, Jr., Theodore Bernstein, Carl Brandt, Meyer Levin, Walter Lehman, Olivia De Havilland, Maxwell Geismar, Canfield Cass, Margaret Culkin Banning, and Lowell Thomas.

Notable Figures
1. Birmingham, Stephen
Associated Subjects
1. Literary Collections Subject Guide