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Harley Hammerman Collection on Eugene O’Neill (MSS160)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence from Eugene O'Neill

Manuscripts by Eugene O'Neill

Correspondence and Documents Related to the Work of Eugene O'Neill

Photographs

Materials Related to Primary Eugene O'Neill Productions

Materials Related to Secondary Eugene O'Neill Productions

Materials Related to Eugene O’Neill’s Personal Life

Materials By Others Relating to Eugene O'Neill

Web Content

Cataloged Items



Contact us about this collection

Harley Hammerman Collection on Eugene ONeill (MSS160), 1879-2018 | MSS Manuscripts

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Collection Overview

Title: Harley Hammerman Collection on Eugene ONeill (MSS160), 1879-2018Add to your cart.

ID: MSS/MSS/160

Primary Creator: O'Neill, Eugene (1888-1953)

Extent: 55.0 Boxes

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Harley Hammerman Collection of Eugene O’Neill consists of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and other materials related to the life and work of playwright Eugene O’Neill. Along with first editions of the playwright’s works located in Rare Books (many inscribed), the collection features autograph and typed letters written by O’Neill to significant cultural figures, handwritten manuscripts and typescripts, photographs of ONeill and his immediate family and friends, and rare handbills, posters, scripts, recordings, films, and promotional books related to productions of his plays.

Collection Historical Note

Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953) was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in literature. O'Neill was born in a Broadway hotel room in Longacre Square (now Times Square), in the Barrett Hotel, to an Irish immigrant father and a mother of Irish descent. His father was an actor and his mother accompanied him on frequent tours with a theater company, so Eugene was sent to a Catholic boarding school, where he discovered a love of reading. He decided to devote himself full-time to writing plays after his experience in 1912–13 at a sanatorium where he was recovering from tuberculosis. O'Neill had previously written poetry and been employed by the New London Telegraph, as a reporter.

In the 1910's, O'Neill became a part of the Greenwich Village literary scene, including the Provincetown Players, which staged his early plays. His work was influenced by "radical" thinkers like Communist Labor Party founder John Reed. O'Neill brought to American drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg. His plays were among the first to include speeches in American vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair.

O'Neill's first published play, Beyond the Horizon, opened on Broadway in 1920 to great acclaim, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His first major hit was The Emperor Jones, which also ran on Broadway in 1920, and obliquely commented on the U.S. occupation of Haiti that was a topic of debate in that year's presidential election.  His best-known plays include Anna Christie (Pulitzer Prize 1922), Desire Under the Elms (1924), Strange Interlude (Pulitzer Prize 1928), Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), and his only well-known comedy, Ah, Wilderness!, a wistful re-imagining of his youth. In 1936, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. After a ten-year hiatus, O'Neill's now-renowned play The Iceman Cometh was produced in 1946. The following year, A Moon for the Misbegotten failed to make an impression, but decades later gained recognition as being among his best works.

O'Neill suffered from many illnesses in his life, including alcoholism and depression, and Parkinsons-like tremors took away his ability to write the last 10 years of his life, leaving many scripts unfinished. He died (also in a hotel room) in Boston, Mass., in 1953. Both Iceman and Moon were heavily autobiographical in nature, as was Long Day's Journey Into Night, widely considered to be his finest, but published and produced posthumously. Although his written instructions had stipulated that it not be made public until 25 years after his death, it was published in 1956 and produced on stage to tremendous critical acclaim and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957. Other posthumously-published works include A Touch of the Poet (1958) and More Stately Mansions (1967).

Harley Hammerman (July 22, 1949 - ) was born in St. Louis, son of Irv and Selene Hammerman. He graduated from University City High School, where he met his wife, Marlene, in 1967. He obtained his undergraduate (A.B., 1971) and medical (M.D., 1975) degrees at Washington University in St. Louis. Hammerman completed his diagnostic radiology residency at Jewish Hospital and Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (1975-1979). While serving as staff radiologist at SSM St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake St. Louis in the 1980s, Hammerman conceived the idea to start his own company. In 1994, Metro Imaging was born. Sold to Mercy in 2018, Hammerman continues to serve as president.

Hammerman collected rocks, stamps, and coins as a boy, but by the time he was 17, his passion for collecting Eugene O’Neill began with the purchase of a first edition of Ah, Wilderness! at the St. Louis Book Fair. After 35 years of amassing the largest ONeill archive in private hands, Hammerman launched eOneill.com. In 2018, Hammerman sold his O’Neill collection to Washington University in St. Louis, creating the second-largest ONeill collection at an institution.

Hammerman married Marlene in 1971. They have three children, Adam, Zachary and Abigail, and three grandsons, Calvino, Masa and Levi. Hammerman currently focuses his attention on his website, Lost Tables, documenting the culinary history of St. Louis.

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.)

Acquisition Source: Gift and purchase

Acquisition Method:

Accession number 23001. Gift of Harley Hammerman. Originally laid in The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill.  PS3529 N5 I3 1946

Accession number MSS2018-027. Purchase and gift of Harley Hammerman, December 7, 2018.

Separated Materials: Three hundred sixty-nine books and other publications have been cataloged separately. Click here to see these records.

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


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence from Eugene O'Neill, 1918-1946],
[Series 2: Manuscripts by Eugene O'Neill, 1910-1967],
[Series 3: Correspondence and Documents Related to the Work of Eugene O'Neill, 1924-1961],
[Series 4: Photographs, 1893-2000],
[Series 5: Materials Related to Primary Eugene O'Neill Productions, 1919-2012],
[Series 6: Materials Related to Secondary Eugene O'Neill Productions, 1890-2018],
[Series 7: Materials Related to Eugene ONeill’s Personal Life, 1907-1912, not dated],
[Series 8: Materials By Others Relating to Eugene O'Neill, 1879-2014, not dated],
[Series 9: Web Content],
[Series 10: Cataloged Items],
[All]

Series 9: Web ContentAdd to your cart.
Item 1: The Electronic Eugene ONeill Archive [eoneill.com], 1999 – 2016Add to your cart.

The Electronic Eugene O’Neill Archive [eoneill.com] is a comprehensive collection of materials and resources related to the work and life of Eugene O’Neill created by Harley Hammerman.  The electronic archive contains a library of online plays, database of productions, descriptive bibliography, primary source archive, reference catalogue and audio and video versions of many ONeill productions.  Many of the materials contained in the Harley Hammerman Collection are made available on the website.

The website was archived in its entirety on January 24, 2019 and is preserved in Washington University Libraries’ Archive-it Collection.  Full text searching of the website is available through Archive-it.


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence from Eugene O'Neill, 1918-1946],
[Series 2: Manuscripts by Eugene O'Neill, 1910-1967],
[Series 3: Correspondence and Documents Related to the Work of Eugene O'Neill, 1924-1961],
[Series 4: Photographs, 1893-2000],
[Series 5: Materials Related to Primary Eugene O'Neill Productions, 1919-2012],
[Series 6: Materials Related to Secondary Eugene O'Neill Productions, 1890-2018],
[Series 7: Materials Related to Eugene ONeill’s Personal Life, 1907-1912, not dated],
[Series 8: Materials By Others Relating to Eugene O'Neill, 1879-2014, not dated],
[Series 9: Web Content],
[Series 10: Cataloged Items],
[All]


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