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Evelyn Shrifte Collection Relating to Vanguard Press

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Shrifte, Evelyn.
Title: Evelyn Shrifte Collection Relating to Vanguard Press
Inclusive Dates: 1928-1990
Quantity: 3 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence and memorabilia relating to Vanguard Press, of which Shrifte was president for more than thirty-five years. Includes correspondence with several notable authors including Saul Bellow, Pierre Boulle, Joyce Carol Oates, and Madeleine L'Engle.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

The Vanguard Press was established in 1926 with a $100,000 grant from the Garland Fund, a philanthropic foundation. The Garland Fund was noted for its support of left-wing and radical causes, organizations and institutions, and Vanguard Press published a wide assortment of new and classic works on radical topics, including studies of the Soviet Union, socialist theory, and politically-oriented fiction. In 1932 the press severed its relationship with the Garland Fund and moved into publishing more mainstream authors and titles. The firm was sold to a larger publishing firm in the late 1930s and in 1988 it was acquired by Random House.

Evelyn Shrifte (1900 or 1901-1999) was an American editor and president of Vanguard Publishing for more than thirty-five years. Educated at Barnard College, she worked for the Musical Quarterly and owned and operated a bookstore in New York City before going to work for Vanguard in the early 1930s. She became its president in 1952, a position she held until Vanguard's sale to Random House in 1988. Among the books published during her tenure were Saul Bellow's first two novels, Dr. Seuss' first two books, and many novels by Joyce Carol Oates.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Spanning 1928 to 1990, the Evelyn Shrifte Collection Relating to Vanguard Press comprises correspondence and memorabilia relating to Vanguard Press, of which Shrifte served as president from 1952 to 1988, when it was sold to Random House. Although the bulk of the Vanguard Press Archive was subsequently donated to Columbia University Library, Evelyn Shrifte retained an assortment of materials relating to a number of authors with whom she had worked.

Correspondence-subject files (Boxes 1-4) contains any combination of incoming and outgoing personal and business letters, book manuscripts, and printed material pertaining to Vanguard Press authors Saul Bellow, James T. Farrell, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Phillips, and Edith Sitwell, among others. Of greatest depth and duration (1948-1962) are materials relating to a number of Sitwell titles, including The Canticle of the Rose, Collected Poems, English Eccentrics, and Music and Ceremonies. In addition, the collection includes two versions of the Dr. Seuss manuscript for The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

A history of Vanguard Press, notes for two projects, five catalogs from between the years 1928 and 1938, and an assortment of reviews constitute Memorabilia.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically.

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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.

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Related Material

Three story manuscripts ("Did You Ever Slip on Red Blood?"; "The Lady with Pet Dog"; "Nightmusic") and the partial manuscript for an unpublished novel, How Lucien Florey Died, and Was Born, have been transferred to and integrated with the Joyce Carol Oates Papers. Two published books by Louis Slobodkin have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging; please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

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Subject Headings


Boulle, Pierre, 1912-1994.
L'Engle, Madeleine.
Oates, Joyce Carol, 1938-
Seuss, Dr.
Shrifte, Evelyn.
Sitwell, Edith, 1887-1964.
Slobodkin, Louis, 1903-1975.

Corporate Bodies

Vanguard Press.


Publishers and publishing -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Book reviews.
Catalogs (documents)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.


Publishers and publishing.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Evelyn Shrifte Collection Relating to Vanguard Press,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Bernice Woll, 1999.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Mar 2000
Revision history: 29 Jul 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC); 26 Feb 2016 - oversize rehoused, inventory updated (MRC)

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Correspondence-subject files
Box 1 Aistrop, Jack Bentley 1965, 1968
Box 1 Allan, Mabel Esther 1957
Box 1 Bader, Barbara 1986-1987
Box 1 Banning, Evelyn I. 1964
Box 1 Beach, Edward Latimer 1968
Box 1 Beaton-Jones, Cynon 1968, 1989
Box 1 Bellow, Saul 1944-1948, 1964, undated - photocopies of correspondence with James Henle and Evelyn Shrifte
Box 1 Benasutti, Marion 1968
Box 1 Blackwell, Louise 1965
Box 1 Boulle, Pierre 1989, 1992, undated
Box 1 Brandon, Evan 1964
Box 1 Carter, Helene 1947
Box 1 Cavanah, Frances 1968
Box 1 Chapelle, Howard Irving 1968
Box 1 Cheesebrough, Sue undated
Box 1 Closs, August 1967
Box 1 Conrad, Sybil 1968
Box 1 Cooper, Brian 1964
Oversize 1 Corsaro, Frank undated - Falstaff drawing (watercolor and crayon)
Box 1 Cost, March 1970
Box 1 Ethridge, Willie Snow [1968] 1978
Box 1 Fabricant, Noah D. 1958
Farrell, James T. 1954-1957, 1976
Box 1 The Face of Time - partial manuscript, various paging (3 folders)
Box 1 The University of Kansas City Review (inscribed issue Summer 1945
Box 1 Transcripts of letters from Evelyn Shrifte 1953-1956
Box 1 Fisher, Avery 1982
Franklin, Hugh
See L'Engle, Madeleine.
Box 1 Frenaye, Frances 1957
Box 1 Gallenkamp, Charles 1956
Box 1 Gardner, Diana 1946
Box 1 Garnett, Richard 1970
Geisel, Theodor Seuss
See Seuss, Dr..
Box 1 Gillon, Philip 1956
Box 1 Gottlieb, Robert 1987
Box 1 Hannum, Alberta 1970, undated
Box 1 Heard, Gerald 1964
Box 1 Helwig, Hans 1958
Box 1 Heyen, William 1976, 1989
Box 1 Hogeboom, Amy undated
Box 1 Ianovskii, Vasilii S. 1980
Box 1 Jagendorf, Moritz Adolph 1959, 1962, undated
Box 1 Jenkyns, Chris 1957
Box 1 Jones, Bruce E. 1989
Box 1 Kasdan, Sara 1956-1957, 1965
Box 1 Kling, Samuel G. 1957
Box 1 Knopf, Alfred A. 1926
Box 1 Knopf, Blanche 1962
Box 1 Leekley, Thomas B. 1959
Box 1 L'Engle, Madeleine 1964, 1983
Box 1 Long, Barbara undated
Box 1 Marion, John Francis 1988
Box 1 Marsh, Gwen 1967
Box 1 Mayfield, Julian 1970
Box 1 McCann's 1947
Box 1 McGinnis, Bruce 1989
Box 1 McKenna, Rollie 1955
Box 1 McKone, Jim 1990
Box 1 McKown, Robin 1965
Box 1 Mizener, Arthur 1965
Morrison, Margaret Mackie
See Cost, March.
Box 1 Nourse, James I. 1968
Box 2 Oates, Joyce Carol 1969, 1972-1974, 1986
Box 2 Philipson, Morris H. 1968
Phillips, Robert
Box 2 General 1967, 1968, 1970, 1990
Box 2 Face to Face (Houston: Wing Press) (inscribed copy) 1993
Box 2 Inner Weather (Francestown, N.H.: Golden Quill Press, circa 1966)
Box 2 The Pregnant Man (Garden City: Doubleday) (inscribed copy) 1978
Box 2 Potok, Chaim 1982 (photocopy)
Box 2 Ross, Bill D. 1988
Box 2 Rudge, William Edwin 1955
Box 2 Ruhm, Herbert 1962, 1989
Box 2 Russell, Robert 1964
Salter, Stefan
See Wolf, Helen.
Box 2 Self, Margaret Cabell 1964
Seuss, Dr.
Box 2 The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins - manuscript, with pencil corrections and annotations, 2 versions
Sitwell, Edith
Box 2 General 1948-1962, undated
The Canticle of the Rose
Box 2 Correspondence (telegrams) 1949
Box 2 Galley proofs (2 folders)
Box 3 "Proof of finished plate" (2 folders)
Box 3 Page proofs
Box 3 Selected pages, with corrections (New York: Vanguard, c1940) (inscribed)
Collected Poems
Box 3 Section 1949-1954, editing questions
English Eccentrics
Box 3 Typescript manuscripts (partial)
Box 3 Production records (partial)
Music and Ceremonies
Box 3 Correspondence 1963
Box 3 Production records (3 folders)
Box 3 "The Wind of Early Spring" - holograph poem "For Evelyn Shrifte"
Box 3 Slade, Caroline 1959, undated
Slobodkin, Florence and Louis
Box 3 Sarah Somebody (New York: Vanguard Press, circa 1969) - photocopy, with notes
Slobodkin, Louis
Hustle and Bustle (New York: Macmillan) 1948
Transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate this item.
Oversize 1 One Is Good, But Two Are Better - artwork and production records
Our Friendly Friends (New York: Vanguard) circa 1951
Transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate this item.
Box 4 Sootin, Harry 1981
Box 4 Tabor, Grace 1964
Box 4 Trease, Geoffrey 1980
Box 4 Venezis, Ilias 1957
Box 4 Waller, George Macgregor 1988
Box 4 Weart, Edith Lucie 1956
Box 4 Weaver, Harriett E. 1988, 1989
Box 4 Wier, Ester 1965
Box 4 Willingham, Calder 1968, , 1976 - includes 18-page enclosure to H. Wouk
Box 4 Wiseman, Ann Sayre 1964
Box 4 Wolf, Patricia 1983
Box 4 Wolff, Helen - 1982 appeal on behalf of book designer Stefan Salter, also two copies of manuscript ("Balance Sheet") by Salter
Box 4 Woytinsky, Wladimir S. 1989
Yanovsky, V. S.
See Ianovskii, Vasilii S..
Box 4 Zaidenberg, Arthur 1963
Box 4 Rights and permissions 1957-1988
Box 4 Miscellaneous 1948-1990, undated (2 folders)
Box 4 Days with Lenin, International Publishers 1932
Box 4 History of Vanguard Press circa 1980 - typescript manuscript by unknown author
Box 4 Masterpieces of Hogarth, Frederick A. Stokes Co., undated
Box 4 Notes (2) about possible projects undated
Box 4 P.M.: an Intimate Journal for Production Managers, Art Directors, and Their Associates Feb-May 1936
Box 4 Publicity
Box 4 Catalogs 1928, 1930, 1933, 1935, 1938
Box 4 Miscellaneous
Box 4 Reviews of Vanguard Press authors

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