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Hamlin Garland Papers: Finding Aid
mssGD 1-1158  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Hamlin Garland Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1757-1973
    Bulk dates: 1910-1941
    Collection Number: mssGD 1-1158
    Creator: Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940
    Extent: 1225 pieces
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the papers of American novelist, playwright, and author Hamlin Garland (1860-1940) and consists primarily of letters written by Garland to his wife Zulime Mauna (Taft) Garland and to his daughters. Subject matter chiefly includes biographical information on Garland, his literary activities while on the lecture circuit, his experiences in England and Europe in 1924-1925, and general family matters. Business correspondence is concentrated in the years 1930-1940.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Hamlin Garland Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    The majority of collection was purchased from Mary Isabel (Garland) Johnson Lord in 1968. 39 additional letters purchased from Constance (Garland) Harper Doyle in March 1968 have been incorporated into the collection.

    Biographical Note

    Hamlin Garland (1860-1940) was an American novelist, playwright, and author. Born on September 14, 1860, and raised on farms in Wisconsin and the Midwest, Garland was provided early on with the practical experience of farm and mid-western life that was to become the foundation for his realistic style of writing and unsentimental accounts of farm life in both his fictional and non-fictional accounts.
    Garland's literary career did not begin until 1884 when he left the West for Boston. He was just able to support himself teaching and lecturing on literature, and writing for journals such as the Transcript, American Magazine, Harper's Weekly, and Century. Only a portion of his writing dealt with reviewing or discussing literature; mainly Garland expressed his own views of life in the West through fiction, non-fiction, and verse. His early writings were praised for their accurate depiction of farm life in the Midwest. His famous Son of the Middle Border (1917) was based on the life of his father, Richard Garland, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Daughter of the Middle Border (1921) traced the homestead life of his mother, Isabelle Charlotte (McClintock) Garland. The popularity of these books prompted him to continue putting his family saga down on paper. The result was a series of books that cover his father's boyhood, his parents' lives, and his own life until roughly 1928.
    Garland married Zulime Mauna Taft (1870-1942) in 1899, sister to sculptor Lorado Taft. Though the Garlands lived in Chicago and New York, they spent summers in West Salem, Wisconsin, and upstate New York. The Garlands had two children, Mary Isabel (Garland) Johnson Lord (1903-1988) and Constance (Garland) Harper Doyle (1907-1988).
    Garland spent the last 10 years of his life residing in Hollywood, California, mainly occupied by an interest researching psychic phenomena. He also continued to write articles and books, and to give lectures for various literary groups. He died on March 5, 1940.


    Åhnebrink, Lars. The Beginnings of Naturalism in American Fiction. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. 1950.
    Holloway, Jean. Hamlin Garland, A Biography. University of Texas Press, Austin. 1960.
    Pizer, Donald. Hamlin Garland: Newspaper and Periodical Publications, 1885-1895: A Bibliography. Bulletin of Bibliography. Vol. 22, no. 2. Jan.- Apr. 1957.
    Pizer, Donald, ed. Hamlin Garland's Diaries. The Huntington Library, San Marino. 1968.
    Contemporary Authors, vol. 104, p. 160.
    Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 12, pp. 203-212; vol. 71, pp. 71-81; vol. 78, pp. 179-194.
    National Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 8, p. 37.

    Scope and Content

    This collection primarily contains the personal papers of American writer Hamlin Garland, chiefly dealing with various family matters, Garland's experience travelling abroad and in the United States, and publication matters. The collection also contains diaries and notebooks from Garland's European and domestic travels. The correspondence consists chiefly of letters written by Garland to his wife, Zulime Mauna (Taft) Garland, and daughters, Mary Isabel (Garland) Johnson Lord, and Constance (Garland) Harper Doyle. The letters chiefly contain biographical information on Garland: his literary activities while on the lecture circuit, books and articles in progress, work with publishers, and general family matters. His business correspondence is concentrated in the years 1930-1940.
    A large number of letters to his daughter, Mary Isabel (Garland) Johnson Lord, during the years 1936-1937 describe his activities with Mr. & Mrs. Parent and his searches for buried Spanish and Indian crosses which lead to the published work, The Mystery of the Buried Crosses. Another large group of letters to his family shares his experiences in England and Europe in 1924 and 1925.


    The collection is arranged in the following 7 series:
    • 1. Diaries (Boxes 1-6)
    • 2. Notebooks (Boxes 7-8)
    • 3. Manuscripts (Boxes 9-10)
    • 4. Correspondence (Boxes 11-27)
    • 5. Scrapbooks (Box 28)
    • 6. Ephemera (Box 29).
    • 7. Oversize folders (GD 1159-1166)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940 -- Archives.
    American literature -- 20th century.
    Authors, American -- 19th century -- Archives.
    Authors, American -- 20th century -- Archives.


    Diaries -- United States.
    Ephemera -- United States.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States.
    Manuscripts for publication -- United States.
    Notebooks -- United States.

    Alternate Authors

    Garland, Zulime Mauna Taft, correspondent.