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A Guide to the Noel Behn papers M1084
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Processing Information note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Acquisition Information
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Arrangement
  • Separated Materials note
  • Biography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Noel Behn papers
    Collection number: M1084
    Repository: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: EnglishEnglish
    Collection size: 93.0 Linear feet (183 manuscript boxes, 1 carton, 2 flat boxes)
    Dates: >circa 1950-1998
    Abstract: The papers feature the materials from Noel Behn's career as an author and a producer; and, include manuscripts (by him and other authors), personal notebooks, appointment books, research materials (clippings, magazines, printouts, off-prints, related to Hauptman-Lindbergh case and other famous criminal cases, and books by other authors, heavily annotated), annotated texts and proofs, actors' portfolios, Writers' Guild of America documents, legal and financial papers, and Correspondence.
    Physical Location: Special Collections materials are stored offsite and must be paged 36 hours in advance. For more information on paging collections, see the department's website: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/spc.html.
    Creator: Behn, Noel

    Processing Information note

    Processed in 2008 by Ekaterina Fleishman.

    Preferred Citation note

    [identification of item], Noel Behn Papers, M1084. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was given to Stanford University, Special Collections by Tom Fontana, executor of the estate of Noel Behn, in 1999.


    Unrestricted. Except that: "Hauptmann Case Films" (May 1936) are badly damaged and are awaiting conservation; The Fra (not for mummies): A Journal of Affirmation (Vol. 2, Oct. 1908 - March 1909) has been transferred to the Rare Book Collection.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.


    Series I. Personal papers
    Series II. Correspondence
    Series III. Writings by Noel Behn
    Series IV. General files
    Series V. Video and audio materials
    Series VI. Works by others
    Series VII. Clippings and magazines

    Separated Materials note

    The collection contained originally "Hauptman Case Films" (May, 1936), now in conservation; "The Fra (not for mummies). A Journal of Affirmation," Volume 2, Oct. 1908-March 1909, now in Rare Books; a comprehensive collection of Noel Behn's published works in various editions and translations, as well as books by other authors (most of the books went to the Green library stacks).


    Noel Behn was a novelist, screenwriter, theatrical producer, and actor who spent his whole creative life in Manhattan. A graduate of Stanford University, class of 1950, Behn was active in the New York Theater Community for more than 50 years as the producing director of the Cherry Lane Theater, a pioneer of the off Broadway theater movement. Among the influential works premiered there under his direction were Sean O’Casey’s "Purple Dust" and Samuel Beckett’s "Endgame". His first novel, The Kremlin Letter (1966), based on his experiences in the United States Counterintelligence Corps, was made into a popular film by John Huston in 1970 which starred Orson Welles. He later wrote The Big Stick-up at Brink’s (1977), a nonfiction account of the 1950 Brink’s Robbery in Boston, subsequently made into the film The Brink’s Job. In 1991 Noel Behn was hired as a consultant for the popular TV series, Homocide: Life on the Street, for which he periodically wrote scripts. His latest book, Lindbergh: The Crime (1994) is currently being developed as a feature film.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Fontana, Tom
    American literature