Downey, Fairfax (1892-1990)

The Fairfax Downey collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, printed materials, scrapbooks, and other materials.

Manuscripts included in the collection consist of full-length books, short stories, articles, and additional materials. Collected books include Louisbourg: Key to a Continent, My Books: How I Came to Write Them and How they Fared, and It Happened in New Hampshire. Manuscripts for short stories and articles include “Random Arrows,” “MSS Collection,” “When I was Very Young and Yale Memories,” and an article on birds. The collection also includes lyric and music sheets, an operetta titled “Troubadour,” scripts for various plays, and the screenplay for “Mr. Phipps Goes to College.” A number of radio scripts are included, as well, for shows such as Echoes of New York Town, The Cavalcade of America, and People to People.

Downey’s correspondence is well-documented between 1930 and 1941, and the collection includes letters to and from a wide audience of editors, writers, cartoonists, newspapermen, and others. Notable correspondents include Lady Nancy Astor, Robert Benchley, Stephen Bonsal, and James Bellah.

Printed materials in the collection include Yale yearbooks, Downey’s chapters from Civil War History, Reader’s Digest, and Field Artillery Journal, and notes and clippings from Downey’s newspaper career.

Scrapbooks organize much of the collection’s miscellaneous material. Kept from 1910 to 1978, Downey’s scrapbooks document nearly every stage of his life. Scrapbooked items include juvenilia and Yale memorabilia (awards and publications), reviews, research, royalty statements, letters from military men, and photographs, among other material. 

Notable Figures
1. Downey, Fairfax, 1893-1990
Associated Subjects
1. Literary Collections Subject Guide
2. Children's Literature Subject Guide