Collection inventory

Special Collections home page

Manuscript (periodical) Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: EL
Date: Sep 1978

Biographical History

The literary periodical Manuscript, a bimonthly founded by John Rood (1902- 1974), was first published in January 1934 with John Rood, Mary Lawhead, and Flola L. Shepard as editors. Printed at the Lawhead Press in Athens, Ohio (where the editors also published a pamphlet, Manuscript News), the periodical published eighteen issues. Manuscript took particular interest in the work of new writers and encouraged their submissions without imposing limits on length or format. Among the writers whom it first brought into national print were Irving Shulman, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams. Other authors who appeared in its pages include Erskine Caldwell, Jack Conroy, August Derleth, and James Laughlin. In the mid-1930s John Rood began to devote more time to his sculpture, at which occupation he would spend the rest of his life, and Manuscript ceased publication with the issue of December 1936.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Manuscript Records consist largely of incoming letter files. There are also some submitted manuscripts, a complete run of Manuscript, and miscellaneous items. These records date from 1933, the year before publication began, through 1937, the year after publication ended.

Letter files contain letters sent to Manuscript and its staff (John Rood, Mary Lawhead, and Flola L. Shepard) between 1933 and 1937 are chronologically arranged in boxes 1-3. These are mostly letters from contributors, subscribers, and literary friends of the editors. Besides routine letters regarding subscriptions and di stri buti an , there are covering letters for submitted manuscripts and letters in which the writers discuss submissions, work in progress, and the literary scene of the mid-1930s in the United States. Some other letters are from convicts on the staffs of prison periodicals. Except for an occasional returned letter (so indicated in the Index to correspondence), there are no outgoing letters. A complete name-date index of the letters is appended to this inventory. Among the principal literary figures represented by letters (counts in parentheses) are:

Other correspondents whose letters appear in number include:

These letter files are incomplete. Originally arranged in alphabetical folders , the letters are largely from correspondents whose names fall between A and M. The files for N through Z, including reported letters from Gertrude Stein, Eudora Welty, Thornton Wilder, and Tennessee Williams, are not at Syracuse and are assumed to be lost.

Other files that might be expected in these records, including financial files, editorial memoranda, and galley proofs, are not present. There are no subscription lists, although some lists, apparently of another publication, are enclosed with an undated letter of Duane Decker in Box 3.

Manuscript (complete run) contains a complete set of all eighteen issues of the periodical, January 1934 through December 1936. The collection also contains three Manuscripts submitted to Manuscript, and a small group of Miscellanea.

Arrangement of the Collection

Letter files and the complete run of Manuscript are in chronological order. Submitted manuscripts are alphabetical by author.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Algren, Nelson, 1909-1981.
Ankenbrand, Frank, 1905-1972.
Appel, Benjamin, 1907-1977.
Belitt, Ben, 1911-2003.
Blakeston, Oswell.
Bower, Warren.
Brinnin, John Malcolm, 1916-1998.
Brown, Bob, 1886-1959.
Brown, Dee, 1908-2002.
Conroy, Jack, 1898-1990.
Crichton, Kyle, 1896-1960.
De Vries, Peter, 1910-1993.
Derleth, August, 1909-1971.
Edmunds, Murrell, 1898-1981.
Gale, Zona, 1874-1938.
Hatcher, Harlan, 1898-1998.
Kees, Weldon, 1914-1955.
Lawhead, Mary, ed.
Mangan, Sherry, 1904-
Mendes, Alfred H. (Alfred Hubert), 1897-1991.
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980.
Morang, Alfred, 1901-1958.
Rood, John, 1902-1974, ed.
Shepard, Flola, ed.
Wallace, Irving, 1916-1990.
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963.

Associated Titles

Manuscript (Athens, Ohio) -- Archives.


American literature -- 20th century.
American poetry -- 20th century.
Periodicals -- Publishing -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Manuscript (periodical) Records,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Rood, 1967.

Table of Contents

Letter files


Manuscripts submitted


Index to correspondence


Index to correspondence