Thornton Wilder Collection
Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Thornton Wilder, the noted American novelist and playwright, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of a U.S. diplomat. Wilder served briefly in the Coast Artillery Corps during World War I. Following the war, Wilder attended Yale University, graduating in 1920. In 1926, Wilder received his M.A. in French from Princeton University and subsequently taught at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Wilder left the Lawrenceville School in 1928, the same year that he received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey. After leaving Lawrenceville, Wilder taught at the University of Chicago (1930-1937) and published Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1942). Wilder enlisted in the army at the outset of World War II, and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Army Air Force. After his discharge from the army, Wilder continued to write and teach.
The collection consists of a collection of Wilder letters and papers from various sources. Included are about 35 letters (1929-1961) to Mrs. S. G. Frantz, discussing his works and travels and accompanied by an inscribed photograph, and other letters to Hyde Solomon, Carlos Baker, William Bowen, Robert F. Goheen, and Van Allen Bradley. Also present are Wilder's addresses to the Harvard Alumni Association (1951) and the Princeton Alumni Association (1974).
This collection was the gift of Mrs. Hamilton Cottier in 1983.
Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.
No appraisal information is available.
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
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.