Main content

Padraic and Mary Colum papers


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

Mary Colum (nee Maguire) (1884-1957) was a literary critic known for her memoir, Life and the Dream, the posthumously published Our Friend James Joyce, as well as contributions to such magazines as Scribner's, The Saturday Review of Literature, and The Forum, where she also served as literary editor. Padraic Colum (1881-1972) was a poet, playwright, novelist, biographer, and folklorist, known primarily for his collections of myths and folktales for children, his novels Castle Conquer and The Flying Swans, a volume of collected poetry, and several plays. Born in Ireland, both were associated with William Butler Yeats and other figures of the Irish Literary Revival of the early twentieth century. Both were involved in the founding of The Irish Review, and Padraic Colum was involved in the founding of the Abbey Theatre. The couple married in 1912 and moved to New York City in 1914. In addition to publishing essays and reviews, Mary Colum taught literature at Columbia University beginning in 1941. Padraic Colum served as president of the Poetry Society of America from 1938 to 1939 and as president of the James Joyce Society in the 1960s.

Emmet Greene (1915-1984) was the nephew of Mary Colum. He worked for the Ford Motor Company and the War Shipping Administration, and was the author of Small Foreign Car Guide (New York: Arco, 1967) and Mechanix Illustrated Small Car Guide (Greenwich, CT: Fawcett Publications, 1967). In the 1960s, Greene became involved in managing Padraic Colum's business affairs and served as executor of Padraic Colum's estate upon Colum's death in January 1972.

This collection contains material relating to the works and careers of Padraic and Mary Colum, the management of Padraic Colum's estate following his death, and the life of Emmet Greene, nephew of Padraic and Mary Colum and executor of Padraic Colum's estate. This material includes correspondence, contracts, royalty statements, personal financial records, manuscripts, typescripts, notebooks (which contain drafts of novels, plays, and poems), photographs, and ephemera such as articles, poetry broadsides, and programs from productions of theatrical works. Series I and II will be of interest to scholars of authorship or publishing in the last half of the twentieth century. Researchers interested in the Colums themselves will find some correspondence of interest in Series I, but will be most interested in Series III and Series IV, which contain successive drafts of various works by both Padraic and Mary Colum, sometimes accompanied by marginal corrections and revisions. Proofs and galleys, also containing handwritten notes and corrections, are also included in these series. For further detail, see the content notes accompanying each series.

This collection was included among the Gotham Book Mart materials acquired through an anonymous gift in 2008 by the University of Pennsylvania. Padraic Colum had a connection to the Gotham Book Mart through the James Joyce Society, of which he served as president and which held its meetings at the Gotham. Documents in Series X reveal that Frances Steloff, the owner of the Gotham Book Mart, had hoped to establish a Padraic and Mary Colum Foundation, of which she would have served as director, shortly after Padraic Colum's death in January 1972, hence explaining how this material was included among the other Gotham materials donated to the University of Pennsylvania.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Jack Dwiggins (University of Pennsylvania, 2012)
Finding Aid Date
2014 May 23
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.

Collection Inventory

Request to View Materials

Materials can be requested by first logging in to Aeon. Then, click on the ADD button next to any containers you wish to request. When complete, click the Request button.

Request item to view

Scope and Contents

Correspondence to and from both Mary and Padraic Colum, organized alphabetically by correspondent's last name. The collection includes a mix of business correspondence relating to contracts, publication deals, royalties, and theatrical productions, as well as family and personal correspondence. Two folders consist of letters from Mary Colum and Padraic Colum to literary and business associates. The correspondence in these folders tends to be more substantive and literary, pertaining to more than just contracts and royalties. There are a few letters from readers or scholars of the Colums' work. Includes also some correspondence of people and organizations evidently connected to the Colums, such as extensive correspondence from the American Irish Association to various public officials and correspondence to Armenian folklorist Leon Herald. Some of this correspondence mentions either Padraic or Mary Colum, but is neither to nor from them. Notable correspondents include Van Wyck Brooks (one letter on the death of Mary Colum), Pearl S. Buck (one letter to Leon Herald), Charles Du Bos (two letters), James Laughlin (one letter to Mary Colum), John Hall Wheelock (twenty-eight letters, mostly to Mary Colum), and Elizabeth Yeats (one letter to Mary Colum).

Abramson, Eva-Burwell, Basil, 1937-1975.
Box 1 Folder 1
Calmar, Jane-Colm, Jr., 1922-1971.
Box 1 Folder 2
Colum, Mary, 1934-1950.
Box 1 Folder 3
Colum, Padraic, 1934-1971.
Box 1 Folder 4
Conlon, Mary-Dyson, K.S., 1931-1971.
Box 1 Folder 5
Ebinger, Shirley F.-Fryatt, Norma R., 1942-1970.
Box 1 Folder 6
Galantiere, Lewis-Gregory, Horace, 1920-1971.
Box 1 Folder 7
Ham, Edward O.-Josephson, Hannah, 1912-1971.
Box 1 Folder 8
Keitel, Frances-Lavery, Emmet, 1939-1972.
Box 1 Folder 9
Leach, Henry-MacCatonaol, Seorain, 1914-1971.
Box 1 Folder 10
MacDermott, Rose-Myers, Robin, 1930-1972.
Box 1 Folder 11
National Collection and Credit Service-Oxford University Press, 1934-1971.
Box 1 Folder 12
Packard, Federica-Ryan, William G., 1946-1972.
Box 1 Folder 13
Sanderson, Paul G.-Sweeney, Maire, 1943-1971.
Box 2 Folder 1
Taft, Maria-Vuckovic, Jovica M., 1954-1970.
Box 2 Folder 2
Wade, James O.-Zimmerman, Barbara, 1936-1971.
Box 2 Folder 3
Unidentified correspondents, 1940-1970.
Box 2 Folder 4

Scope and Contents

This series contains a mix of legal and financial documents relating to Padraic Colum, including contracts (official signed and duplicate copies), royalty statements, tax information and tax returns, and personal financial records for Padraic Colum such as invoices and canceled checks. This material is organized chronologically.

Box 2 Folder 5
Box 2 Folder 6
Box 2 Folder 7
Box 2 Folder 8
Box 2 Folder 9
1971-1978, undated.
Box 2 Folder 10

Scope and Contents

Manuscripts and typescripts of reviews and articles by Mary Colum, organized alphabetically by title, if known. Notably includes a near-complete typescript of Colum's autobiography Life and the Dream with marginal corrections and notations. Includes also one bound notebook. Other bound notebooks, including a diary of the year 1901, potentially belonging to Mary Colum (though ownership is unconfirmed) have been placed in Series V, box 10, folder 1. Boxes 16 and 17, oversize, contain three complete or nearly complete sets of galleys for Life and the Dream, as well as fragments of galley copies. Some typescripts of articles that appeared in Forum in 1939 are included with the published articles in Series VIII, box 11, folder 12.

Box 2 Folder 11
Life and the Dream, p.1-110.
Box 2 Folder 12-15
Life and the Dream, p.111-563, index.
Box 3 Folder 1-7
Box 3 Folder 8
Box 3 Folder 9
Bound notebook.
Box 3 Folder 10
Life and the Dream galleys.
Box 17 Folder 1 Box 16 Folder 1

Scope and Contents

Contains manuscripts and typescripts of works by Padraic Colum, divided into prose (including stories, reviews, other essays, and, notably, partial drafts of Ourselves Alone, Colum's biography of Sinn Fein founder Arthur Griffith), plays, and poetry. The poetry subseries is of particular interest, as it contains both handwritten and typed drafts of poems, showing multiple instantiations of individual poems. Some typed drafts contain handwritten revisions or marginal comments. These materials are organized alphabetically by title, if known, within each category. In the case of poetry, untitled poems are alphabetized based on their first lines. Contains also several bound notebooks and composition books containing original drafts of stories, essays, plays, and poems, which include drafts of Colum's novel The Flying Swans and the play Monasterboise. Much of the material is undated and miscellaneous. These notebooks are organized chronologically based on dates found within the notebooks. Box 18, folder 1 contains one oversize proof of Colum's short story, Jason and the Golden Fleece.

Box 3 Folder 11
Box 3 Folder 12
Box 4 Folder 1
Box 4 Folder 2
Box 4 Folder 3
Ourselves Alone.
Box 4 Folder 4-5
Box 4 Folder 6
Box 4 Folder 7
Box 5 Folder 1
Unidentified fragments.
Box 5 Folder 2-7
Box 5 Folder 8
Box 6 Folder 1
Box 6 Folder 2
Box 6 Folder 3
Box 6 Folder 4
Box 6 Folder 5
Box 6 Folder 6
Box 6 Folder 7
Box 6 Folder 8
Box 6 Folder 9
Box 6 Folder 10
Box 7 Folder 1
Box 7 Folder 2
Unidentified fragments.
Box 6 Folder 11
Flying Swans/Swift; Thomas Musherry, 1934-1937.
Box 7 Folder 4
Flying Swans, 1938-1955.
Box 7 Folder 5
Poets Circuits; Ten Poems/Images of Departure/Thomas Musherry/miscellaneous poetry; Casement, 1960-1963.
Box 7 Folder 6
Cloughoughter; Lecture on Joyce/miscellaneous poetry, 1963-1964.
Box 7 Folder 7
Monasterboise; miscellaneous poetry and notes, 1964-1966.
Box 7 Folder 8
Miscellaneous poetry and prose; Balloon, 1967-1969.
Box 7 Folder 9
Miscellaneous poetry and prose, 1969.
Box 8 Folder 1
Alkassin and Nicholette; Flying Swans/Balloon/Swift; Poets of the Nation, Undated.
Box 8 Folder 2
Miscellaneous poetry and prose, Undated.
Box 8 Folder 3
Miscellaneous prose and notes, Undated.
Box 8 Folder 4-7
Road Round Ireland proof.
Box 9 Folder 1
Roofs of Gold galley; Stone of Victory typesetting instructions.
Box 9 Folder 2
Jason and the Golden Fleece galley.
Box 18 Folder 1

Scope and Contents

An assorted collection of manuscripts and typescripts (primarily typescripts) not by Mary Colum or Padraic Colum. This includes Colum-related works by other authors, such as reviews, bibliographies, or works of scholarship. A handwritten birthday poem for Padraic Colum by William Jay Smith is also included. Sometimes, the works have been sent to Padraic or Mary Colum. Often, however, the connection to Colum is unclear. This material is organized alphabetically by author, if known. This series also contains bound notebooks and composition books that did not clearly belong to Mary or Padraic Colum. A few owners are identified in the books, but the bulk are unidentified. Several bound record books and one diary for the year 1901 (box 10, folder 1) are suspected to have belonged to Mary Colum, but ownership cannot be confirmed.

Box 9 Folder 3
Box 9 Folder 4
Box 9 Folder 5
Unidentified authors.
Box 9 Folder 6
Bound notebooks and composition books.
Box 10 Folder 1-4 Box 9 Folder 7-8
Proofs and galleys.
Box 10 Folder 5

Scope and Contents

Contains portrait photographs and snap shots of both Padraic and Mary Colum, as well as a folder of unidentified or non-Colum photographs, some of which are inscribed to either Padraic or Mary Colum. The bulk of the Padraic Colum snap shots were taken by his nephew Emmet Green and cover the period from 1970 to 1971. Materials in box 18 are oversize.

Mary Colum - portraits, circa 1934-1957.
Box 10 Folder 6
Mary Colum - portraits.
Box 18 Folder 2
Mary Colum - grave marker.
Box 10 Folder 7
Mary Colum - grave marker slide.
Box 10 Folder 10
Padraic Colum - portraits.
Box 10 Folder 8
Padraic Colum - group shots.
Box 10 Folder 9
Padraic Colum - snap shots, circa 1920-1971.
Box 11 Folder 1
Padraic Colum - photographs of Padraic Colum exhibit, 1968.
Box 11 Folder 2
Padraic Colum - funeral, 1972.
Box 11 Folder 3
Padraic Colum - slides and negatives, 1968-1971.
Box 11 Folder 4
Non-Colum and unidentified.
Box 11 Folder 5-6

Scope and Contents

Contains other personal papers of Padraic and Mary Colum, including Mary Colum's passport, Padraic Colum's address book, biographical sketches (most of which were prepared for different editions of Who's Who in America), and funeral memorials.

Mary Colum passport, 1949.
Box 11 Folder 7
Mary Colum eyeglass prescription.
Box 11 Folder 8
Mary Colum gravestone design.
Drawer 50 Folder 1
Padraic Colum address book.
Box 11 Folder 9
Biographical sketches.
Box 11 Folder 10
Mary and Padraic Colum funeral memorials.
Box 11 Folder 11

Scope and Contents

Contains various types of ephemera relating to Padraic and/or Mary Colum, most notably articles, broadsides, and programs from productions of plays by Padraic Colum. Material relating to films about Padraic Colum, a museum exhibition on Colum's life and work, and a class on Colum taught at Fordham University in 1978 and 1979 are also included. Colum reportedly was in the habit of tearing pages, or even whole articles, from books and magazines, which may explain the inclusion of book fragments. Materials in box 18 are oversize. Box 19 contains medals, plaques, and other odd format materials.

Box 11 Folder 12
Articles about Mary Colum - originals and photocopies, 1934-1957.
Box 11 Folder 13 Box 18 Folder 3
Articles by Mary Colum for magazines, newspapers, and journals - galleys, originals, and photocopies, 1917-1951.
Box 11 Folder 14-15
Articles about Padraic Colum - originals and photocopies, 1925-1983.
Box 12 Folder 1-3
Articles about Padraic Colum - originals and photocopies, 1930-1982.
Box 18 Folder 4
Articles about Padraic Colum - originals and photocopies, 1972-1981.
Drawer 50 Folder 1
Articles by Padraic Colum for magazines, newspapers, and journals - galleys, originals, and photocopies, 1924-1969.
Box 12 Folder 4
Articles by Padraic Colum for magazines, newspapers, and journals - galleys, originals, and photocopies, 1936-1969.
Box 18 Folder 5
Articles by Padraic Colum for magazines, newspapers, and journals - galleys, originals, and photocopies, 1964.
Drawer 50 Folder 1
Awards and honors.
Box 12 Folder 5
Awards and honors.
Box 19 Box 18 Folder 6
Broadside poetry.
Box 12 Folder 6
Broadside poetry.
Box 18 Folder 7
Dust jackets.
Box 12 Folder 7
Film and media.
Box 20 Box 12 Folder 8
Materials relating to Padraic Colum course at Fordham University.
Box 12 Folder 9
Miscellaneous (photocopies and fragments torn from books).
Box 12 Folder 10
Miscellaneous (photocopies and fragments torn from books).
Box 18 Folder 8
Padraic Colum at 87 exhibit prospectus and outline.
Box 12 Folder 11
Box 12 Folder 12
Publicity and advertisements.
Box 12 Folder 13
Publicity and advertisements.
Box 18 Folder 9
Sheet music.
Box 12 Folder 14
Society memberships and affiliations.
Box 12 Folder 15

Scope and Contents

Includes broadsides, other literary materials, and article clippings not directly associated with Padraic or Mary Colum, much of it nonetheless pertaining to Irish literature or culture more broadly. Padraic Colum reportedly was in the habit of tearing pages from books, which may explain the inclusion of some book fragments. Otherwise, reasons for inclusion among Colum papers are often unclear, and some of the material may have instead been collected by Emmet Greene, the nephew of Padraic and Mary Colum and executor of Padraic Colum's literary estate after 1972. Anti-semitic pamphlets were found within original boxes of Colum materials, and it is unclear if they were collected by Colum or Green or if they were only used as packing material in the boxes. Materials in box 18 are oversize.

Advertisements, announcements, and flyers, 1938-1978 (1972-1978).
Box 12 Folder 16
Art and prints.
Box 12 Folder 17 Box 18 Folder 10
Articles (originals and photocopies), 1893-1980.
Box 13 Folder 1-3 Box 18 Folder 11
Broadside poetry.
Box 13 Folder 4
Box 13 Folder 5
Fragments torn from books.
Box 13 Folder 6
Funeral memorials, 1920-1957.
Box 13 Folder 7
Box 13 Folder 8
Newsletters and circulars, 1943-1981.
Box 13 Folder 9
Pamphlets, 1890-1978.
Box 13 Folder 10
Box 18 Folder 12-14
Drawer 50 Folder 1
Box 13 Folder 11
Box 18 Folder 15
Programs, 1941-1980.
Box 13 Folder 12
Restaurant menus and placemats.
Box 18 Folder 16
Box 13 Folder 15

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, legal documents, and financial documents pertaining to publication of, copyright permissions for, and royalties from works of Padraic and Mary Colum following Padraic Colum's death in January 1972. While most correspondence is business-related, some is from scholars of Colum's work and pertains to their scholarship. This series also includes personal papers, financial records, and photographs of Emmet Greene, nephew of Mary and Padraic Colum and executor of Padraic Colum's estate; and Freda Magnus, a nurse who assisted Greene after a stroke in 1973 until her death in 1975. These papers cover the 1920s-1980s. Greene served in the War Shipping Administration and Magnus served in the Royal Norwegian Air Force (stationed in Ontario, Canada) during World War II, and some of their papers pertain to the war, including wartime correspondence from Greene to family members, forms and reports prepared by Greene for the War Shipping Administration, and photographs. Greene was also the author of Small Foreign Car Guide (New York: Arco, 1967) and Mechanix Illustrated Small Car Guide (Greenwich, CT: Fawcett Publications, 1967), and some of his papers, especially his photographs, pertain to automobiles.

Adams, Stanley-Frey, Ann, 1972-1983.
Box 13 Folder 13
Gershman, Mildred-Gurry, John V., 1971-1982.
Box 13 Folder 14
Henden, Charles-Krochalis, Edmund J., 1972-1980.
Box 14 Folder 1
L., H.-Phillips, Mary, 1969-1984.
Box 14 Folder 2
Redmond, G.A.-Ryan, Jeanne Ward, 1969-1982.
Box 14 Folder 3
Saffer, Judith M.-Tricia, 1972-1982.
Box 14 Folder 4
University College, Dublin-Zelaya, Lydia, 1972-1983.
Box 14 Folder 5
Unidentified correspondents.
Box 14 Folder 6
Last will and testament of Emmet Greene, copyright permissions, royalty statements, 1972-1974.
Box 14 Folder 7
Contracts, copyright permissions, royalty statements, 1975-1978.
Box 14 Folder 8
Royalty statements, expense records, 1979-1980.
Box 14 Folder 9
Copyright permissions, royalty statements, expense records, 1981-1983, undated.
Box 14 Folder 10
Memos, affidavits, miscellaneous legal reference, undated.
Box 14 Folder 11
iii. Catalogs and records of related archival collections.
Box 14 Folder 14
Correspondence, 1922-1984.
Box 14 Folder 12
Other personal papers of Emmet Greene, 1915-1983.
Box 14 Folder 13
Official reports, 1943-1944.
Box 15 Folder 1
Notes for reports, 1943, undated.
Box 15 Folder 2
War Shipping Administration memoranda, 1944, undated.
Box 15 Folder 3
Blank forms.
Box 15 Folder 4
ii. Correspondence and personal papers of Freda Magnus, 1940-1975.
Box 15 Folder 5
Emmet Greene photographs, circa 1915-1971.
Box 15 Folder 6
Freda Magnus photographs, circa 1920-1966.
Box 15 Folder 7
Miscellaneous snapshots.
Box 15 Folder 8-10
Slides and negatives.
Box 15 Folder 11

Print, Suggest