Alice B. Toklas 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
Alice Babette Toklas was born in San Francisco, California. She was the life partner of writer Gertrude Stein until Stein's death in 1946. Stein published her memoirs in 1933 under the teasing ns2:title The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, which, ironically, became Stein's bestselling book. In 1954, Toklas published her own literary memoir, a book that mixed reminiscences and recipes under the ns2:title The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, in which the most famous recipe was called "Hashisch Fudge", a mixture of fruit, nuts, spices, and "cannabis". The cookbook has not been out of print since it was published.
Consists chiefly of twenty-three autograph letters and cards (1952-1965) by Toklas to her poet friend Lloyd Frankenberg and his wife, the painter Loren MacIver, sent from Paris, where Toklas was living. In her letters, she writes about her long-time companion Gertrude Stein, mutual friends, her meetings with actor Donald Southerland, Frankenberg's poems and books, reviews of MacIver's artwork, other poets and authors such as Rousseau and Walt Whitman, and about her arthritis, doctors' bills, the bitter cold winters in Paris, her travels to Italy, and her editors. There are two letters written to Frankenberg and his wife on behalf of Toklas by Joseph A. Barry of the New York Post. Also included are two letters (1950) by Toklas to W. C. Clifford, thanking him for a book he sent and declining an invitation.
The letters are arranged in chronological order.
The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.
Letters to Frankenberg and MacIver were purchased on September 9, 1939.
Letters to C. W. Clifford were transferred from the Division of Rare Books, where they were laid in a copy of Chicago Inscriptions by Gertrude Stein, on May 2, 2004. . AM1994-31.
This collection was processed by Dina Britain on October 12, 2007. Finding aid written by Lauren Kustner on November 9, 2007. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (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.