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Inventory of the George Sterling Papers, 1895-1927
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Subject matter
  • Persons represented by five or more pieces
  • Some important or interesting items

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: George Sterling Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1895-1927
    Creator: Sterling, George, 1869-1926
    Extent: 666 pieces
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Purchased in 1954 from Thor Liliencrantz, nephew of Sterling.


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George Sterling Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    George Sterling (1869-1926), California lyric poet, was born in Sag Harbor, New York. After leaving school he came to California and in 1892 first met Ambrose Bierce, who was to become a major influence in his life. In 1908 Sterling and his wife (Caroline Rand) moved from Oakland to Carmel. Then, after several years in New York, Sterling lived at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. Thus, most of the years he was writing poetry were spent in the San Francisco-Carmel region. He published ten volumes of verse, five separately published poems, four dramatic poems, and much uncollected magazine prose and verse. Carey MeWilliams writes of Sterling: The remarkable range and the intimate quality of his acquaintance, coupled with his long residence in the West, gave a cultural significance to his career quite apart from his writing.
    The present collection of correspondence and poems well illustrates the breadth of Sterling's acquaintance. One of his best friends, of course, was Jack London. A valuable part of the present collection is the fine series of letters from Sterling to London. In addition to the Sterling interest, there is valuable material in the collection for the student of poetry in America for the years 1915-1925.

    Subject matter

    • I. George Sterling, his life and poetry
    • II. Poetry in America, 1915-1925
    • III. Ambrose Bierce-frequent references
    • IV. Prohibition-frequent mention in Mencken's letters
    • V. European description and travel-Scheffauer's early letters

    Persons represented by five or more pieces

    BYNNER, Witter
    5 pieces, 1913-24
    COBB, Margaret Smith
    34 pieces, 1923-26
    COOLBRITH, Ina Donna
    26 pieces, 1907-26
    DE CASSERES, Benjamin
    8 pieces, 1926
    GREENWOOD, May Snowdrop
    65 poems 1917-26
    HOPPER, James
    5 pieces, 1926-28
    HUMPHRIES, Rolfe
    6 pieces, 1924-25
    JEFFERS, Robinson
    12 pieces, 1924-26
    JENNINGS, Leslie Nelson
    45 pieces, 1917-22
    LONDON, Jack
    18 pieces, 1902-16
    LOVEMAN, Samuel
    19 pieces, 1915-26
    MENCKEN, Henry Louis
    63 pieces, 1916-26
    NEIHARDT, John Gneisenau
    50 pieces, 1912-25
    STERLING, George
    Poems: 43 To Miscel. persons: 5 To London: 72 (1910-16)
    MIHAN, Leo Bergin
    5 pieces, 1924-26
    O'CARROLL, Joseph
    9 pieces, 1923-26
    O'HARA, John Myers
    5 pieces, 1911-16
    ROBERTSON, Louis Alexander
    7 pieces, 1904-08
    SCHEFFAUER, Herman George
    57 pieces, 1904-21
    WHITE, Edward Lucas
    5 pieces, 1925
    WILCOX, Ella (Wheeler)
    5 pieces, 1914-15

    Some important or interesting items

    • BENET, William Rose. 1921, Nov. 17. About Sterling's verse.
    • COOLBRITH, Ina. 1907, Feb. To Blanche Partington. He is the best boy in the world as well as one of its few great poets...
    • JEFFERS, Robinson. 12 letters, mostly about poetry. 1924-26
    • LINDSEY, Vachel. 1913, June 1. Long letter on his own career and poetry.
    • LONDON, Jack. 1916, Mar. 7. Critique of severl short stories by Sterling.
    • LONDON, Jack. 1908, Feb. 10. And I speculate and speculate, trying to make you out, trying to lay hands on the inner side of you...
    • MENCKEN, Henry L. 63 letters, containing numerous references to Prohibition
    • O'HARA, John Myers. 1911, May 7. Letter of praise and criticism.
    • OSBOURNE, Lloyd. 1895, Oct. 24. Advising Sterling against a proposed adventure to Samoa.
    • SCHEFFAUER, Herman George. 1904, June 19. Description of visit to St. Louis fair.
    • SCHEFFAUER, Herman George. 1904, Sep. 8. Description of trip through Scotland and England
    • SCHEFFAUER, Herman George. 1904, Dec. 20. Letter of 52 pages, octavo, describing trip through Germany and France. His letters are of above average interest.
    • STERLING, George. Letters to Jack London. 1910-1916.
    • STERLING, George. Notebook containing vocabulary aid. c.1915.
    • STERLING, George. 1919, Apr. 9. To W. S. B. Braithwaite. Draft of a letter of protest over the mis-printing of his poems.