Finding Aid for the Carey McWilliams Correspondence, 1924-1975 (bulk 1924-1950)

Processed by Andrea Eitsert, with assistance from Laurel McPhee; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
©2006 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Title: Carey McWilliams correspondence
Collection number: 1356
Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1924-1975 (bulk 1924-1950)
Abstract: Carey McWilliams (1905-1980) was a writer, lawyer, journalist, lecturer, activist, as well as Chief of the California Division of Immigration and Housing (1938-1942) and editor of The Nation (1955-1975). This collection contains correspondence, primarily letters written to McWilliams.
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Creator: McWilliams, Carey, 1905-

Processing History

Collection 1356 was donated to the Library in 2004 by McWilliams's son, Wilson Carey McWilliams. At the time of accessioning, the papers were organized in an approximate alphabetical order. In 2006, Andrea Eitsert rehoused the materials and created a folder-level inventory of the items to facilitate enhanced access to materials and to generate a finding aid.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Carey McWilliams Correspondence (Collection 1356). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 5390623 

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Wilson Carey McWilliams, June 2004.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:
  1. Correspondence.

Biography

Carey McWilliams was born December 13, 1905 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He completed his Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1927. From 1927-1938, McWilliams was an attorney at the law firm Black, Hammack in Los Angeles. In 1938, he was appointed as Chief of the Division of Immigration and Housing of the State of California, a position he kept until 1942. During the period from 1945-1955, he began his long association with The Nation, becoming successively contributing editor, associate editor, and then editorial director. From 1955-1975, he was The Nation's editor. In addition to his editorial duties, McWilliams was a prolific lecturer and writer, speaking on many subjects and contributing articles and essays to numerous publications. After his retirement from The Nation, he continued to write a regular column for that publication. His monographs include Ambrose Bierce, a biography (1929); Louis Adamic and shadow America (1935); Factories in the field: the story of migratory farm labor in California (1939); Ill fares the land: migrants and migratory labor in the United States (1942); Brothers under the skin (1943); Prejudice: Japanese-Americans, symbol of racial intolerance (1944); Southern California country: an island on the land (1946); A mask for privilege: anti-Semitism in America (1948); North from Mexico: the Spanish-speaking people of the United States (1949); California: the great exception (1949); Witch hunt: the revival of heresy (1950); and his autobiography The education of Carey McWilliams (1979). In the late 1970s, McWilliams was briefly a Regents Lecturer at the University of California Riverside and then taught one quarter at the University of California Los Angeles in the History Department. He died of cancer at the age of 74 on June 27, 1980 in New York, New York.

Scope and Content

The collection contains Carey McWilliams's correspondence, primarily letters that were written to him. Many of the letters are from writers mentioning reviews or articles he composed about their work. Some of them discuss future writings or McWilliams's work on topics such as Ambrose Bierce, Louis Adamic, George Sterling, and western regionalism. The collection also contains fan mail, letters addressing McWilliams's research or political causes, some of McWilliams's responses, and assorted supporting materials.

Related Oral History

The following oral history is available through the UCLA Library Center for Oral History Research:

Subjects and Indexing Terms

McWilliams, Carey, 1905- --Archives.
Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources.
Periodical editors--United States--Archival resources.

Container List

 

Correspondence. 1924-1975 (bulk 1924-1950).

Physical Description: 2 boxes (1 linear foot)

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of correspondence. Files are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the correspondent, in respect to the original order. In each folder, letters are arranged chronologically with undated ones filed at the beginning. Unidentified correspondents are located at the end of the series, as is a folder of miscellaneous printed materials.
Box 1, Folder 1

American Jewish Committee. 1948.

Physical Description: 3 items.

Scope and Content Note

Letter from McWilliams, a joint memorandum, and a 7-page typewritten manuscript entitled "Memorandum" by McWilliams.
Box 1, Folder 2

American Red Cross. 1946.

Physical Description: 3 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.
Box 1, Folder 3

Appell, George. 1946 July.

Physical Description: 2 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.
Box 1, Folder 4

Baldwin, Roger. 1945-1946.

Physical Description: 6 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.
Box 1, Folder 5

Bancroft, Hubert Howe. 1946 July.

Physical Description: 1 item.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.
Box 1, Folder 6

Beardsley, Helen and Charles E.. 1946 August.

Physical Description: 2 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.
Box 1, Folder 7

Bunzel, Jack. 1949 September 18.

Physical Description: 1 item.

Scope and Content Note

Card to McWilliams.
Box 1, Folder 8

California State Library. 1936.

Physical Description: 5 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes related materials on California's poet laureates.
Box 1, Folder 9

Carlson, Evans. 1945 September 11.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 10

Carson, Charles A.. 1949 December.

Physical Description: 5 items.
Box 1, Folder 11

Chandler, Norman. 1931, October 3.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 12

Chapman, Oscar. 1949 November 30.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 13

Cohn, Morris. 1944.

Physical Description: 2 items.

Scope and Content Note

Letter from McWilliams, and a clipping concerning Judge Goodwin Knight.
Box 1, Folder 14

Collier, John. 1934, 1942.

Physical Description: 4 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes printed materials dealing with the Mission Indian Federation.
Box 1, Folder 15

Cushman, Rober E.. 1950, August 4.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 16

Danton, George H.. 1948 August 25.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 17

Davis, H.L.. 1930.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box 1, Folder 18

Dienstein, William. 1948 July 15.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 19

Dobie, Charles Caldwell. 1930-1933.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box 1, Folder 20

Dumont, Henry. 1935-1936.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box 1, Folder 21

Elias, Robert H.. 1939 August 5.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 22

Federal Parole Board. 1950 August 24.

Physical Description: 1 item.

Scope and Content Note

Letter from McWilliams concerning Alvah Bessie's parole.
Box 1, Folder 23

Fee, Marcia Gayle. 1926.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 1, Folder 24

Fenelon, Eugenie. 1928 January 12.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 25

Fenton, Frank. undated.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 26

Fergusson, Erna. 1949 January 10.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 1, Folder 27

Fergusson, Harvey. ca. 1940.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 28

Field, Sara Bard. 1929.

Physical Description: 4 items.
Box 1, Folder 29

Firkins, O.W.. 1931 January 13.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 30

Foote, Mary Hallock. 1930-1936.

Physical Description: 9 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes typewritten notes on and quotations from her books.
Box 1, Folder 31

Francis, R.W.. 1932, November 18.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 32

Gallagher, Leo. 1935 October 20.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 33

Gidlow, Elsa. 1937 June 16.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 34

Godard, Howard. 1938 June 18.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 35

Gray, H.D.. 1925 March 4.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 36

Gudenian, Haig. 1935.

Physical Description: 3 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes a publicity brochure on Gudenian.
Box 1, Folder 37

Hadley, J. Nixon. 1943.

Physical Description: 2 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.
Box 1, Folder 38

Haines, Paul. 1934.

Physical Description: 3 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes typewritten notes.
Box 1, Folder 39

Hanna, Phil Townsend. 1934-1935.

Physical Description: 4 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.
Box 1, Folder 40

Hart, James D.. 1930-1932.

Physical Description: 20 items.
Box 1, Folder 41

Hazlitt, Henry. 1933 August 7.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 42

Hergesheimer, Joseph. 1929 February 11.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 43

Hicks, Granville. 1930.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 1, Folder 44

Higgins, F.R.. 1931-1932.

Physical Description: 14 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with and concerning Higgins. Also includes a clipping, and typewritten and signed copies of Higgins's poems.
Box 1, Folder 45

Hogan, Edward. 1939 August 17.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 46

Holt, Madora. 1935 December 4.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 47

Hood, Juliette. 1937 June 14.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 48

Hubbell, Jay B.. 1930 February 11.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 49

Hughes, Glenn. 1929 November 25.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 50

James, E.. 1924 July 18.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 51

Johnson, Harold R.. 1936.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 1, Folder 52

Johnson, Lucius W.. 1937 June.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 1, Folder 53

Johnson, Roosevelt. 1930.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 1, Folder 54

Johnstone, Helen Louise. 1946 October 8.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 1, Folder 55

Jones, Idwal. 1929-1939.

Physical Description: 7 items.

Scope and Content Note

Also includes 1 letter from Phil Townsend Hanna to McWilliams and 1 letter from Hanna to Jones.
Box 2, Folder 1

Jones, Nard. 1929-1934.

Physical Description: 20 items.

Scope and Content Note

Also includes 1 clipping, and an image of Jones.
Box 2, Folder 2

Josephson, Matthew. 1975 February 13.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 3

Kaplan, J.M.. 1947-1948.

Physical Description: 3 items.

Scope and Content Note

Also includes an article about the Welch Grape Juice Company.
Box 2, Folder 4

Kelly, Mr.. 1948 March 14.

Physical Description: 1 item.

Scope and Content Note

6 page letter from McWilliams concerning the publicity for North from Mexico.
Box 2, Folder 5

Klein, Herb. 1931-1933.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 2, Folder 6

Kramer, Dale D.. undated.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 7

Krutch, Joseph Wood. 1925-1930.

Physical Description: 5 items.
Box 2, Folder 8

La Motte, Ellen Newbold. 1929.

Physical Description: 5 items.
Box 2, Folder 9

Lavrin, Janko. 1930-1935.

Physical Description: 4 items.
Box 2, Folder 10

Le Sueur, M.. undated.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box 2, Folder 11

Leary, Mary Ellen. undated.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 12

Leckenby, Maurice. undated.

Physical Description: 2 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes a letter of recommendation for McWilliams.
Box 2, Folder 13

Lengyel, Cornel. 1943.

Physical Description: 7 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes typewritten copies of Lengyel's poems.
Box 2, Folder 14

Lewis, Janet. 1930 July 9.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 15

Lewis, Oscar. 1929-1930, 1974.

Physical Description: 4 items.
Box 2, Folder 16

Lloyd, J. William. 1930-1931.

Physical Description: 7 items.
Box 2, Folder 17

Long, H.. 1930 October 15.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 18

Ludovin, Anthony. 1924 September 9.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 19

MacKaye, James. 1932 August 7.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 20

Mayo, Morrow. 1929.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box 2, Folder 21

McCarthy, John R.. 1929-1933.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box 2, Folder 22

McCoy, Frank J.. 1938 April 16.

Physical Description: 1 item.

Scope and Content Note

Concerning Horace A. Vachell's books.
Box 2, Folder 23

Merriam, H.G.. 1928-1934.

Physical Description: 16 items.

Scope and Content Note

Also includes indexes to The Frontier: a magazine of the Northwest, and a program.
Box 2, Folder 55

Miscellaneous materials. 1935, 1942.

Physical Description: 7 items.

Scope and Content Note

Report on importation of Negro labor to California prepared by McWilliams as Chief of the Division of Immigration and Housing. Also contains a clipping on Henry Lafler, an essay "Benjamin DeCasseres: a fourth dimensional mind" by S.P. Rudens, a typewritten poem "The night court" by Ruth Comfort Mitchell, and ten black and white (approximately) 3.5 x 4 photographs of Lloyd at Roscoe.
Box 2, Folder 24

Monaghan, Frank. 1929-1935.

Physical Description: 9 items.
Box 2, Folder 25

Moore, Wm. E.. 1934-1935.

Physical Description: 2 items.

Scope and Content Note

Moore was the managing editor of The Sun.
Box 2, Folder 26

Nakazawa, Ken. 1929-1935.

Physical Description: 4 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes a clipping.
Box 2, Folder 27

Nathan, Otto. 1947.

Physical Description: 9 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes a memorandum, correspondence between Nathan and Margaret O'Connor, and a resume. These materials relate to fund-raising for Harold Laski.
Box 2, Folder 28

Niven, Frederick. 1930.

Physical Description: 4 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.
Box 2, Folder 29

Nussbaum, Olga. 1940 August 5.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 30

Pearce, Charles A.. 1932 March 15.

Physical Description: 1 item.

Scope and Content Note

Letter to Maxim Lieber concerning McWilliams.
Box 2, Folder 31

Phipps, Margaret R.. 1950 January 3.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 32

Powell, William Clark. 1937-1938.

Physical Description: 2 items.

Scope and Content Note

Letters to McWilliams concerning a column he wrote on Will Levington Comfort.
Box 2, Folder 33

Purdy, James. 1972-1973.

Physical Description: 5 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams. Includes a press release and a clipping.
Box 2, Folder 34

Rourke, Constance. 1931 May 4.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 35

Ryan, Don. 1929-1930.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 2, Folder 36

Smith, Paul. 1950 August 31.

Physical Description: 1 item.

Scope and Content Note

Letter from McWilliams.
Box 2, Folder 37

Stevens, James. 1925-1926.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box 2, Folder 38

Stewart, George R. Jr.. 1931-1936.

Physical Description: 6 items.
Box 2, Folder 39

Stolberg, Benjamin. 1930-1935.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 2, Folder 40

Tracy, Henry C.. 1929-1936.

Physical Description: 16 items.

Scope and Content Note

Also includes 1 letter from McWilliams.
Box 2, Folder 54

Unidentified correspondents. 1930-1931.

Physical Description: 5 items.
Box 2, Folder 41

United States Atomic Energy Commission. 1949.

Physical Description: 3 items.
Box 2, Folder 42

Vachell, Horace Annesley. 1938 March 14.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 2, Folder 43

Wallace, William Kay. 1933 April 8.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 44

Watson, E.L. Grant. 1930.

Physical Description: 6 items.

Scope and Content Note

Also includes an article by Watson, and a brochure on his lectures.
Box 2, Folder 45

Watterson, Elsie. 1930.

Physical Description: 4 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes a letter from the California State Prison to McWilliams.
Box 2, Folder 46

Weisberg, Goldie. 1929-1931.

Physical Description: 7 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes 2 letters from McWilliams to publishers, and a clipping.
Box 2, Folder 47

Weisz, George. 1949 April 26.

Physical Description: 1 item.
Box 2, Folder 48

Welch, Marie de L.. 1929.

Physical Description: 2 items.

Scope and Content Note

Includes clippings of Welch's poems.
Box 2, Folder 49

West, G.. 1930 August.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 2, Folder 50

Whipple, T.K.. 1931.

Physical Description: 2 items.
Box 2, Folder 51

Winter, Ella. undated.

Physical Description: 4 items.
Box 2, Folder 52

Wydra, Miriam. 1943 August.

Physical Description: 2 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.
Box 2, Folder 53

Young, A. Beatrice. 1940-1941.

Physical Description: 3 items.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence with McWilliams.