Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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
Harold Dies was a trustee of the Dreiser Trust from its establishment following Helen Dreiser's death in 1955 to his own death in 2012. The Dreiser Trust managed the income and approved contracts for sale of Theodore Dreiser's published works.
Harold Dies was born on October 20, 1914, the son of Carl and Josie Dies, and was raised in Seattle, Washington. He graduated from high school in 1933 and struggled to find employment in the midst of the Depression. During World War II, he served as a cargo security officer, transporting supplies and troops to the Pacific Theater of Operations. He eventually resigned his commission of active duty with the Army on December 16, 1947.
Theodore Dreiser died on December 28, 1945, and his wife, Helen, was cousin to Harold Dies. She asked him to help her with her autobiographical work, My Life With Dreiser, and Dies moved to Los Angeles, after leaving his service with the Army. In addition to working with Helen Dreiser, Dies took a course in music and worked to have some of his compositions published, as well as becoming an ordained minister with the Jehovah's Witnesses. When Helen died in 1955, Dies and Helen's sister, Myrtle Butcher, were joint executors of her estate. The Dreiser Trust was established and it controlled rights to all of Theodore Dreiser's published works throughout the world.
Harold Dies died on March 2, 2012, in New York, at the age of 97.
This collection, dating from 1903 to 2013, documents Harold Dies' work with the Dreiser trust and includes financial information; agreements, copyright, correspondence, and royalty statements relating to the works of Helen Dresier, Theodore Dreiser (bulk), and Paul Dresser; correspondence relating to the Trust and the estates of family members; legal and court records relating to estates of family members; some personal material of Harold Dies and members of the Dreiser family (including Gertrude A. Hopkins Dorn (niece of Theodore Dreiser), Helen Dreiser, Theodore Dreiser, Vera Dreiser, and Paul Dresser (brother of Theodore Dreiser)); and publications using Dreiser material or Dreiser-inspired content.
The collection is arranged in six series. For the most part, material relating to works of Theodore Dreiser are contained within Series II. Agreements, copyright, correspondence, and royalty statements, which is arranged alphabetically by title of work. However, researchers should be aware that all the material within the collection is very intertwined and it may be necessary to look at multiple series. For additional information, please see notes at the series level.
Gift of Harold Dies, 2012
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Holly Mengel
- Finding Aid Date
- 2018 November 8
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.