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Collection Number: 03418

Collection Title: Burton Emmett Papers, 1888-1939

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


This collection was processed with support from the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1993.

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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 260 items)
Abstract Burton Emmett was an advertising copywriter and executive in New York City. He collected woodcuts, prints, engravings, and literary manuscripts, and was president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in the 1920s. The collection includes correspondence concerning Emmett's collecting activities and his work with the American Institute of Graphic Arts; handwritten and typed versions of poems, plays, and other works by various authors; and miscellaneous other items. Correspondence includes about fifty letters, 1926-1935 and undated, to Emmett from his close friend, Sherwood Anderson, and one or two letters from Robert Louis Stevenson, Ernest Hemingway, Eugene O'Neill, Ezra Pound, Booth Tarkington, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Willa Cather, Robinson Jeffers, Owen Wister, Theodore Dreiser, Christopher Morley, Thornton Wilder, Maxfield Parrish, and Rockwell Kent. Works by authors include a playscript each by Thornton Wilder and Lewis Ely, two poems by Robinson Jeffers, an untitled poem beginning "In the night..." by Stephen Crane, a speech by Sherwood Anderson, and stories and a poem by Christopher Morley. Other items include typed transcriptions of eight letters, 1925 and undated, from Ernest Hemingway to Ernest Walsh; a photograph purportedly picturing Aubrey Beardsley; two reels of microfilm of drafts of works by Sherwood Anderson and other items relating to Anderson, originals of which were apparently transferred in 1954 or 1955 from the University of North Carolina to the Newberry Library, Chicago; and a scrapbook of Northwestern University memorabilia, 1888-1890, compiled by Emmett.
Creator Emmett, Burton, 1871-1935.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Burton Emmett Papers, #3418, Rare Book Literary and Historical Papers, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available of original Sherwood Anderson letters in this collection.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Burton Emmett was an advertising copywriter and executive in New York City. He collected woodcuts, prints, engravings, and literary manuscripts, and was president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in the 1920s.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence concerning Emmett's collecting activities and his work with the American Institute of Graphic Arts; handwritten and typed versions of poems, plays, and other works by various authors; and miscellaneous other items. Correspondence includes about fifty letters, 1926-1935 and undated, to Emmett from his close friend, Sherwood Anderson, and one or two letters from Robert Louis Stevenson, Ernest Hemingway, Eugene O'Neill, Ezra Pound, Booth Tarkington, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Willa Cather, Robinson Jeffers, Owen Wister, Theodore Dreiser, Christopher Morley, Thornton Wilder, Maxfield Parrish, and Rockwell Kent.

Works by authors include a playscript each by Thornton Wilder and Lewis Ely, two poems by Robinson Jeffers, an untitled poem beginning "In the night..." by Stephen Crane, a speech by Sherwood Anderson, and stories and a poem by Christopher Morley. Other items include typed transcriptions of eight letters, 1925 and undated, from Ernest Hemingway to Ernest Walsh; a photograph purportedly picturing Aubrey Beardsley; two reels of microfilm of drafts of works by Sherwood Anderson and other items relating to Anderson, originals of which were apparently transferred in 1954 or 1955 from the University of North Carolina to the Newberry Library, Chicago; and a scrapbook of Northwestern University memorabilia, 1888-1890, compiled by Emmett.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated.

About 235 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

The correspondence primarily relates to Burton Emmett's attempts to buy authors' literary manuscripts and other Americana. Some personal correspondence between Emmett and his close friend Sherwood Anderson is also included, as well as some letters from Anderson's wife, Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 1a

Folder 1

1896; 1901-1921 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1922 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1923 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1924 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1925 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

January-May 1926 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

June-December 1926 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

1927 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

1928-1932 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

1933 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

1934-1937; 1941 #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

1952 and undated #03418, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1896-1952 and undated." Folder 12

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Writings, 1888-1934.

About 20 items.

This series contains various literary typescripts and manuscripts, an article clipped from the New Yorker, and a scrapbook from Burton Emmett's days as a college student.

Folder 13

Miscellaneous pamphlets #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 13

Folder 14

"The Library Mouse" by Lewis Ely (typescript) #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 14

Folder 15

"Queens of France" by Thornton Wilder (typescript) #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 15

Folder 16

Typed copies of Hemingway letters #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 16

Folder 17

"Sailor's Snug Harbor," from the New Yorker, 26 May 1934 #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 17

Folder 18

"Paumanok" by Christopher Morley, 1926 #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 18

Folder 19

Items from "Leaves from the Book" #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 19

Folder 20

Sherwood Anderson speech (manuscript) #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 20

Folder 21

Untitled Stephen Crane poem (manuscript) #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 21

Folder 22

Volume 1: "The Mews," manuscript volume of Burton Emmett #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 22

Folder 23

Volume 2: "The Farm," manuscript volume of Burton Emmett #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 23

Folder 24

Volume 3: Composition book containing notes on bridge #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 24

Folder 25

Volume 4: Portfolio containing manuscript of "An Artist" by Robinson Jeffers, 1928 #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 25

Folder 26

Volume 5: Portfolio containing manuscript of "First Book" by Robinson Jeffers #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 26

Also included are a letter from Robinson Jeffers to Elmer Adler, 27 February 1932, and a printed copy of "First Book."

Folder 27

Volume 6: Manuscript volume of Christopher Morley titled "I Know a Secret" #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 27

Contains a poem titled "I Know a Secret," a manuscript titled "Roslyn Fairy Tales," and a manuscript of several short sketches and stories.

Folder 28

Volume 7: Scrapbook of Burton Emmett as a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., 1888-1900 #03418, Series: "2. Writings, 1888-1934." Folder 28

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Photographs.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, March 2011

This collection was processed with support from the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1993.

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