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.