Guide to the H. L. Mencken Collection

Finding Aid Authors: Special Collections and University Archives staff.
© Copyright 2001 Special Collections & University Archives. All rights reserved.
2001-04-12
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the H. L. Mencken Collection 1914/1968

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: H. L. Mencken Collection
Dates: 1914-1968
Identification: MS-0001
Creator: Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956
Physical Description: 21.00 items
Language of Materials: English French
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
Phone: 619-594-6791

Biographical Information:

H. L. Mencken was a critical but humorous journalist, literary reviewer, and language expert. In 1899 he became a reporter for the Baltimore Morning Herald; beginning in 1906, and continuing throughout much of his life, he worked at various intervals for The Baltimore Sun. He was co-editor of The Smart Set, and was co-founder of the American Mercury. Additional publications of his were Prejudices, The American Language, and an autobiographical trilogy.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Personal Papers
Publications

Personal Name:

Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956

Topical Term:

Journalism -- United States
Satire, American

Administrative Information

Accruals:

1976

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Identification of item, folder title, box number, H. L. Mencken Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Scope and Contents

This small collection of pamphlets, reprints, and correspondence is part of the larger collection of one hundred individually cataloged monographs and serials by and about H. L. Mencken, which is also housed in Special Collections. These small items consist of promotional materials, special event publications, letters, and one sound recording.

Detailed List of Contents

Box 1

A Personal Word. Description of the editorial and business organization of the Smart Set, a circulation booster. n.p., n.d. [1914], 16 pages.

Box 1

The American Language. A chapter from the 4th edition. Publisher's advance printing of one complete chapter with descriptive text on cover. Prints the entire preface to the new edition and the complete chapter X: Proper Names in America. n.d. [ca. 1939], 83 pages.

Box 1

American Profanity. Reprinted from American Speech, New York: Columbia, University Press, Dec 1944, 9 pages. Signed by H.L. Mencken.

Box 1

The Eminent Physician by H.L. Mencken. Berkeley: Gillick Press, n.d. [1940], 7 pages.

Box 1

The Incomparable Physician by H.L. Mencken. San Francisco: McDonald, 1936, 14 pages.

Box 1

Menckeniana. A selection from H.L. Mencken's Mencken Chrestomathy with a forenote by George Jean Nathan. New York: Knopf, 1949, 16 pages. Green wrappers, printed label.

Box 1

The Smart Set. Suggestions to our visitors. 26 policy statements "issued as a jocosity" by Mencken N.Y. n.d. [1915], 4 pages.

Box 1

Suggestions to our visitors by George Jean Nathan and H.L. Mencken, editors of The Smart Set. Reprinted at San Francisco, 1968 by the Roxburghe Club, 8 pages.

Box 1

Spiritual Autopsies, an article on Gamelia Bradford. by H.L. Mencken. Issued as an advertisement by the publisher for Bradford's American Portraits. New York: Houghton, 1921, 4 pages.

Box 1

Upton Sinclair. Biographical and critical opinions from England, France, Germany, Belgium and the U.S.A including Henry Barbusse, H.L. Mencken and others. Pasadena: Sinclair, n.d. [1922], 32 pages.

Box 1

H.L. Mencken by Walter Lippmann. Reprinted from The Saturday Review, Dec. 11, 1926. New York: Knopf (1926), 8 pages.

Box 1

The Love Story of an Old Maid by Sara Haardt. Girard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Publications. Blue Book no. 375, n.d. [192?], 32 pages.

Box 1

A Literary Chameleon: A New Estimate of Mr. H.L. Mencken by J.D. Logan. Milwaukee: privately printed, 1926, 22 pages. Copy no. 30 of 300 numbered copies, signed by the author. Also signed by Mencken in full, on the cover.

Box 1

H.L. Mencken Speaking. Mencken conversing with Donald H. Kirkley Sr. of The Baltimore Sun, recorded by the library of Congress, D.C., June 30, 1948. 33 1/3 LP record, and cassette tape.

Box 1

Book review for L'Action Française, Sept. 14, 1933. One 3x5" card.

Scope and Contents

La revue de critique l'American Mercury, que dirige le Juif Mencken, est, de l'avis de M. Bernard Fay, spècialiste des choses d'Amérique, "l'une des plus vivantes, des plus pittorerques, des plus typiques des Etats-Unis." en mème temys "qu'une des forces d'opinion les plus solides."
Box 1

Typed letter signed to Mr. Silvay. One sheet, signed in full on American Mercury green letterhead. Dated Jun. 10, 1926

Box 1

Typed letter signed to Mark Sullivan, Washington D.C. On the letterhead of The Smart Set, The Aristocrat of Magazines. Dated April 4, 1922.

Box 1

Two typed letters signed to Harry Ruby. Beverly Hills. On the author's personal Baltimore stationary, with the mailing envelope. Dated November 1933 & November 25, 1933.

Box 1

Two typed letters signed to Mr. Dellquest. On the author's personal Baltimore stationary. Dated May 5, 1944 and April 28, 1945.

Box 1

Two typed letters signed and addressed to "Gentlemen." On the author's personal Baltimore stationary. Dated September 28, 1944 and September 7, 1945.

Box 1

Typed letter signed to Miss Day. One sheet on American Mercury green letterhead. Dated April 25, no year.