Log In | Contact Us| View Cart (0)
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators Record Groups

William Gaddis Papers (MSS049)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Fiction

Essays and Critical Writings

Drama

Corporate Writings

Personal Papers

Business Papers

Miscellaneous Printed Materials

Photographs and Negatives

Articles and Clippings

Audiovisual

Realia

Works By Others

Restricted Material - Open as of May 9, 2012



Contact us about this collection

William Gaddis Papers (MSS049), 1902-1998 | MSS Manuscripts

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Email Us Contact Us About This Collection

Collection Overview

Title: William Gaddis Papers (MSS049), 1902-1998Add to your cart.

ID: MSS/MSS/049

Primary Creator: Gaddis, William, 1922-1998

Extent: 182.0 Boxes

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The William Gaddis papers consist largely of his own manuscript material: manuscripts and source material toward his books, drafts of various stories, published and unpublished, as well as essays, reviews, interviews, and a miscellaneous assortment of notes and other materials. Also present is a substantial amount of personal and general correspondence, primarily with family, friends, and fans. In addition, there is a relatively large amount of correspondence to editors, translators, and publishers, as well as correspondence with his colleagues in the literary community.

Collection Historical Note

William Thomas Gaddis, Jr. was born on December 29, 1922 in Manhattan and raised in Massepequa (Long Island), by his parents, Edith and William Thomas Gaddis, Sr. His father left the family when he was three years old. Two years later, Edith sent her only child to Merricourt Boarding School in Berlin, Connecticut. Gaddis continued in private school until the eighth grade, after which he returned to Long Island to receive his diploma at Farmingdale High School in 1941.

Gaddis entered Harvard University on scholarship in the fall of 1941, where he continued until an illness forced him to take a medical leave of absence. After being reinstated at Harvard in the fall of 1942, Gaddis majored in English. By the fall of 1943, Gaddis had joined the staff of the Harvard Lampoon, where he would eventually serve as President. After leaving Harvard without a degree in 1945, Gaddis moved to Greenwich Village. During this time, he worked at the New Yorker; however, his most important hours were spent socializing with the emerging Beat Generation and working on his first novel, The Recognitions (1955). During this period, Gaddis also traveled throughout Central America, Europe, and Northern Africa.

Shortly after the publication of The Recognitions, Gaddis married his first wife, Patsy Black, who would give birth to his only children, Sarah and Matthew. His first novel was not well-received by academia, literary critics, or the purchasing public, and so from the late 1950s to the the mid 1970s, Gaddis worked for Pfizer International, Eastman Kodak, IBM, and the United States Army, as a speechwriter and/or screenwriter to support his family.

In 1975, twenty years after his first novel, he published J.R., which would go on to win a National Book Award in 1976. By this time, he was also involved in his second marriage to Judith Thompson, which would dissolve shortly after J.R. was published. By the late 1970s, Gaddis had met Muriel Oxenberg Murphy, with whom he would reside until the mid-1990s.

Gaddis' third novel Carpenter's Gothic, (1985) which he called a 'romance,' would be nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award, while his fourth novel, A Frolic of His Own (1994), would earn him a second National Book Award in 1995. Gaddis was also awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Guggenheim, a Lannan Foundation grant, and a MacArthur Foundation award. He was a member of PEN and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

William Thomas Gaddis died of prostate cancer in 1998. His final work, Agapé, Agape was published four years later in the fall of 2002.

Administrative Information

Repository: MSS Manuscripts

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Copyright to significant portions of the collection held by Matthew and Sarah Gaddis. All inquiries concerning publication should be directed to The Wylie Agency, 250 West 57th Street, Suite 2114 New York, NY 10107.

Acquisition Method:

Purchased from the Estate of William Gaddis, circa March 2002.

Accession number 23969. Purchase from Ralph Sipper Books, June 24, 2011.

Accession number 23951. Purchase from Heritage Auction House, February 11, 2010.

Accession number 2012.025. Purchase from Ralph Sipper Books, September 18, 2012.

Related Materials: See also the Steven Moore Collection of William Gaddis (MSS156), the Richard Hazelton Papers (MSS131), the Hunter Low Papers (MSS132), the Charles Monaghan Papers (MSS076), and the Donald Oresman Papers (MSS130)

Preferred Citation: Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections

Processing Information:

Processed by Crystal Alberts: Summer 2003, 2004

Processed by Benjamin Cooper: Summer 2005

At Fortress FAE, before shipping, the older boxes in which the collection was packed (some of them apparently Gaddis' own liquor boxes), had to be replaced as they were water damaged. Often the shipping cartons into which the materials were placed were smaller than the original boxes, and so were re-numbered using letters of the alphabet. For example, during pre-shipping pre-processing, a box numbered 20 in the original booksellers inventory might be replaced with three cartons numbered 20a, 20b, and 20c. The same process was used with oversize folders, in order to save wear and tear on the materials as they were shipped. There is a shipping inventory that describes all of this. In addition to housing problems, a large portion of the collection was in poor order, but the decision was made to ship the materials and address the organization of the collection at Washington University.

The William Gaddis Papers arrived from Fortress FAE in New York City after having been packed in 42 archival cartons. They were accompanied by 3 pallets of books from his working library. The collection arrived with two inventories: one created by the bookseller and a partial inventory created and maintained by William Gaddis through 1994. The bookseller's inventory roughly followed Gaddis's.

In the course of processing at the university, the box numbers established by the bookseller's inventory were retained with the materials, but processing and preservation issues required a different arrangement with a new enumeration of boxes and folders. When an item was moved from a location in the intial inventory, a separation note was added to describe from where the item was taken and to where it was moved.

Currently the collection is housed in buffered archival folders and 8 1/2 x 14 clamshell manuscript boxes.

The correspondence in the collection was surveyed at Washington University. Two sorts of correspondence files were in the collection. There were files consisting of correspondence alone. These correspondence files were filed in chronological order by year in a correspondence series. Other correspondence within files was left where it was.

The novel drafts were left in the order in which Gaddis and/or the bookseller placed them. Some of the longer drafts were placed in multiple folders where this was necessary for preservation purposes. In certain cases, some of the drafts in the collection were created by Gaddis using strips of paper with typed text taped or glued to other pieces of paper. These were placed in protective mylar sleeves and photocopied. At times the strips had fallen off of the page because of the deterioration of the tape or glue. If this occurred, processors noted that the original order was lost.

The collection contains a large amount of newspaper print materials and faxed items. As Gaddis's works engage popular culture so intensely, these have been retained within the collection. There is no telling which bit of popular culture may have found its way into his novels. The most at risk of these items are being photocopied for preservation purposes. Occasionally, the items are so faded and/or deteriorated that they require a transcription by the processor in order to preserve the information. When this occurs, the processor makes a note that a transciption was made of the original. Rarely, the item is too damaged and/or faded to preserve the information.

Business papers consists of contracts and royalty statements found in correspondence files. These materials were transferred to their own series for preservation purposes.

Personal papers consists of materials related to personal, medical, and educational business, as well as genealogy that were found in correspondence files. These materials were transferred to their own series for preservation purposes.

The audiovisual series consists of cassette tapes, a Beta videocassette, photographs and negatives originally found throughout the collection. They were gathered into a separate series during the processing of the collection for preservation purposes. Most items have a separation note describing from which folder the item was taken.

Bound texts found in the collection, particularly those found in boxes designated by the bookseller as 12, 26-29, 41-42, were moved to Rare Books for cataloging. The books that made up William Gaddis' Working Library were also moved to Rare Books for cataloging. Whenever a bound text was transferred from the collection to Rare Books, a separation note was added.

Any items determined to be oversize were transferred from the location they were in when the collection arrived at Washington University to an oversize location for preservation purposes. Generally, separation notes accompany these items.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1902-1998],
[Series 2: Fiction],
[Series 3: Essays and Critical Writings, 1977-1997],
[Series 4: Drama],
[Series 5: Corporate Writings],
[Series 6: Personal Papers],
[Series 7: Business Papers],
[Series 8: Miscellaneous Printed Materials],
[Series 9: Photographs and Negatives],
[Series 10: Articles and Clippings],
[Series 11: Audiovisual],
[Series 12: Realia],
[Series 13: Works By Others],
[Series 14: Restricted Material - Open as of May 9, 2012],
[All]

Series 5: Corporate WritingsAdd to your cart.
Writing projects done for various corporations.
Sub-Series 1: IBMAdd to your cart.
Drafts and notes for work done for IBM.
Box 131Add to your cart.
Folder 468: IBM - SoftwareAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Drafts and notes for work done for IBM.

Folder 469: IBM Educational BrochureAdd to your cart.
(1 folder)
Sub-Series 2: Pile FabricsAdd to your cart.
Drafts of "A Pile Fabric Primer" as well as some work done for the Army's film on the battle of St. Vith.
Box 132Add to your cart.
Folder 470: Army FilmAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Material on battle of St. Vith.

Folder 471: Pile fabrics cromptonAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Drafts of "A Pile Fabric Primer."

Sub-Series 3: TelevisionAdd to your cart.
Drafts and notes from Gaddis' various work on the educational effects of television.
Box 133Add to your cart.
Folder 472: Teacher's College Symposium / ed. film projectAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Drafts and notes. Empty envelopes and folders.

Folder 473: National TV Program ReportAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Drafts and notes.

Folder 474: TV for Today's EducationAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Bound draft.

Folder 475: Instructional TVAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Draft of "TV for Today's Education."

Sub-Series 4: UNESCOAdd to your cart.
Source material and draft of "Unesco World Review."
Box 134Add to your cart.
Folder 476: Unesco Paris 1950Add to your cart.

(1 folder)

Clippings, "Unesco World Review" draft.

Sub-Series 5: TextronAdd to your cart.
Motion picture script for Textron.
Box 134Add to your cart.
Folder 477: TextronAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Motion picture script for Textron.

Sub-Series 6: IBM (Software)Add to your cart.
Motion picture scripts for IBM.
Box 134Add to your cart.
Folder 478: IBM World Trade SoftwareAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Motion picture scripts for IBM.

Sub-Series 7: KodakAdd to your cart.
Drafts and notes for speeches done for Kodak.
Box 134Add to your cart.
Folder 479: Old billings KodakAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Kodak speech, clippings.

Folder 480: Miscellaneous computer filesAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Notes, clippings.

Box 135Add to your cart.
Folder 481: KodakAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Drafts, notes. Loose old folders.

Sub-Series 8: Corporate BrochuresAdd to your cart.
Gaddis' corporate brochures: "Answer to Cancer," "The Growth of American Industry," "Educational Technology Shapes the Future."
Box 135Add to your cart.
Folder 482: Corporate BrochuresAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Gaddis' corporate brochures: "Answer to Cancer," "The Growth of American Industry," "Educational Technology Shapes the Future."

Folder 483: Cancer brochureAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Numerous copies of "Answer to Cancer."

Sub-Series 9: Vacutainer Culture Bottle SystemAdd to your cart.
Notes and drafts for Vacutainer Culture Bottle System film.
Box 135Add to your cart.
Folder 484: Film Enterprises - Vacutainer Culture Bottle SystemAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Notes, drafts.

Sub-Series 10: Army MaterialsAdd to your cart.
Army documents and materials for Army Pictorial Center at Ft. Sill. Notes and scripts for films on battle at St. Vith's and the Siegfried line.
Box 136Add to your cart.
Folder 485: St. Vith's Film (a)Add to your cart.

(1 folder)

First part of notes on the film.

Folder 486: St. Vith's Film (b)Add to your cart.

(1 folder)

Second part of notes on the film.

Folder 487: St. Vith's Film (c)Add to your cart.

(1 folder)

Third part of notes on the film. German booklet.

Box 137Add to your cart.
Folder 488: Army / DOD Contract / Application / Security CheckAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Initial documents for Ft. Sill Army Pictorial Center.

Folder 489: Army Artillery Survey Ft. SillAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Notes, script.

Folder 490: Siegfried Line Film (a)Add to your cart.

(1 folder)

Notes, drafts of scripts.

Box 138Add to your cart.
Folder 491: Siegfried Line Film (b)Add to your cart.

(1 folder)

Notes, drafts of scripts.

Sub-Series 11: PfizerAdd to your cart.
Work done for Pfizer, including medical profiles on various healthcare figures, speeches, and brochures.
Box 138Add to your cart.
Folder 492: Medical ProfilesAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Medical profiles on various healthcare figures for Pfizer.

Folder 493: PfizerAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Correspondence and brochures.

Box 139Add to your cart.
Folder 494: Miscellaneous (a)Add to your cart.

(1 folder)

Pfizer speeches, more medical profiles.

Folder 495: Miscellaneous (b)Add to your cart.

(1 folder)

Clippings.

Sub-Series 12: USIA Writing Tour, circa 1976Add to your cart.
Various travel documents, receipts, schedules, and notes from Gaddis' International Writing Tour.
Box 140Add to your cart.
Folder 496: USIA Asia 1976Add to your cart.

(1 folder)

Notes, schedules.

Folder 497: USIA BusinessAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

German receipts and tickets.

Folder 498: USIAAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Australian travel documents, clippings.

Sub-Series 13: Harcourt RoyaltyAdd to your cart.
Handwritten notes for Harcourt Royalty.
Box 140Add to your cart.
Folder 499: Harcourt RoyaltyAdd to your cart.

(1 folder)

Handwritten notes.


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1902-1998],
[Series 2: Fiction],
[Series 3: Essays and Critical Writings, 1977-1997],
[Series 4: Drama],
[Series 5: Corporate Writings],
[Series 6: Personal Papers],
[Series 7: Business Papers],
[Series 8: Miscellaneous Printed Materials],
[Series 9: Photographs and Negatives],
[Series 10: Articles and Clippings],
[Series 11: Audiovisual],
[Series 12: Realia],
[Series 13: Works By Others],
[Series 14: Restricted Material - Open as of May 9, 2012],
[All]


Page Generated in: 0.645 seconds (using 231 queries).
Using 10.96MB of memory. (Peak of 11.26MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-3
Copyright ©2017 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign