University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Arthur and Barbara Gelb:

A Preliminary Inventory of Their Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Descriptive Summary

Creator Gelb, Arthur, and Gelb, Barbara
Title Arthur and Barbara Gelb Papers
Dates: 1954-1986
Abstract: The papers focus primarily on the research and joint authorship of O'Neill, a biography of Eugene O'Neill.
Extent 31 boxes, 1 oversize box, 12 galley files (15.46 Linear Feet)
Language English.
Repository: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

The papers of Arthur and Barbara Gelb focus primarily on the research and joint authorship of O'Neill, the biography of Eugene O'Neill, published in two editions by Harper and Row in 1962 and 1973. While some research material, including holograph notebooks, interviews, and correspondence, remains restricted and unavailable for research, a substantial portion of O'Neill material is accessible. These papers provide a full range of literary expression from manuscripts to the published versions. Also included are numerous articles written by the Gelbs on O'Neill, as well as other theater-related pieces. In addition, Arthur Gelb's career at The New York Times, in various editorial capacities, is well represented in several book-length works, articles, reviews, and associated material.

The collection is divided into four series: Works about Eugene O'Neill, Other Works, Personal, and Works by Others.

Series I, Works about Eugene O'Neill, is subdivided into three sections dealing with O'Neill, articles about O'Neill, and research material. Leading this series is material for O'Neill, including an early corrected typescript "Life of Eugene O'Neill,"the precursor to the 1962 Harper and Row edition. It is followed by typescripts corrected by Brooks Atkinson and others, a second corrected typescript, and the final setting copy. Several versions of page proofs and galley proofs are also present.

The articles on O'Neill in Subseries B are arranged by title and contain works by Arthur and Barbara Gelb, both as joint and individual authors. These include articles written for The Critic, Horizon, The New York Times, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Grolier, sound recording and theater program notes, and a script for the documentary "The Face of Genius."

Subseries C contains research material for O'Neill, including an address book with notes and interview sources, as well as photocopies of O'Neill's correspondence from 1913 to 1953. Other O'Neill research material remains restricted.

The non-O'Neill works in Series II provide insight into the Gelb's diverse interests. Subseries A contains book-length works arranged in alphabetical order, beginning with Barbara Gelb's 1954 book on natural childbirth. This work is followed by a series of books edited by A. M. Rosenthal and Arthur Gelb, while serving as editors of the Metropolitan desk at The Times. The events of The Great Blackout of November 9, 1965 are captured in The Night the Lights Went Out, derived from stories written by The Times reporters and wire service reports. "All the news that's fit to print"was composed by candlelight the night of the blackout and went to press in New Jersey where the electricity had not failed. The late city edition published on November 10th--the only New York morning newspaper published that day--is present, in addition to the original typescript of the book, reporter's copy, notes, wire service reports, and newspaper clippings.

One More Victim: The Life and Death of An American-Jewish Nazi delivers a chilling account of the life and suicide of Daniel Burros, an anti-semitic New York State grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan of Jewish descent. A considerable amount of research material was gathered for this work, including transcriptions of taped interviews, handwritten notes, documents, pamphlets, correspondence, and background information on the Nazi movement in the United States, as well as activities of the Ku Klux Klan.

Undaunted by a crippling newspaper strike, the staff of The New York Times covered the visit of Pope Paul VI to the United States on October 4, 1965 as though their reports would go to press. However the strike was not resolved during the Pope's visit, so the stories were compiled in book format under the direction of Rosenthal and Gelb and published by Herder & Herder as The Pope's Journey to the United States. Included in the collection are the original corrected typescript, reporter's and news agency copy, and press releases which cover every angle of the trip from security precautions to the Pope's impact on world peace.

Other, shorter works by the Gelbs included in Subseries B provide a range of topics. These articles, tributes, and reviews are arranged by author. Arthur Gelb's works include articles on Cape Cod, book reviews, and tributes for Irving Spiegel and Sidney Gruson. Barbara Gelb's writings for the Sunday Drama section of The New York Times constitute the bulk of the articles included.

Correspondence from 1963-1986 dominates the Personal material in Series III. Both professional and personal correspondence is present, including some of Arthur Gelb's outgoing correspondence. The letters are arranged in alphabetical order by correspondent and, in some cases, by organization. Miscellaneous material follows the correspondence and includes folders on Mayor John V. Lindsay, The New York Times, proofs of the journal The Public Interest, the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center, and the World's Fair in New York.

The final series contains works by others in various formats. Authors include Brooks Atkinson, Simone de Beauvoir, William H. Davenport, August R. Ebel, John V. Lindsay, Norman Mailer, Eugene O'Neill, James O'Neill, Edwin Rosskam, A. L. Rowse, and Jean-Paul Sartre.



Open for research; 7 reel-to-reel tapes and 8 boxes of O'Neill research material are Restricted

Administrative Information


Gift no. 1969 (1968); Reg. nos. 1654, 1790, 2386, 2829, 3081, and 4907 (1963-1966)

Processed by

Liz Murray, 1996

Arthur and Barbara Gelb Papers--Box List

Series I. Works about Eugene O'Neill

Subseries A. O'Neill
"Life of Eugene O'Neill, "corrected typescript
1 Chapters 1-25
2 Chapters 26-48
3 Chapters 49-64
4 Uncorrected carbon draft of first six chapters later revised
Carbon draft of first six chapters with corrections by Brooks Atkinson
Notes on ms. made by Brooks Atkinson, John Leggett, and Leonard Harris
Uncut (second) version with authors' handwritten corrections
Chapters 1-8
Chapters 9-15
Chapters 16-20
5 Chapters 21-25
Chapters 26-32
Chapters 33-42
6 Chapters 43-48
Chapters 49-51
Chapters 52-55
Chapters 56-63
O'Neill, 1962 Harper & Row edition
7 Uncut setting copy
Chapters 1-9
Chapters 10-19
Chapters 20-24
Chapters 25-31
8 Chapters 32-38
Chapters 39-44
Chapters 45-49
Chapters 50-54
9 Chapters 55-58
Chapters 59-64
Uncorrected unbound page proofs, 3/27/62
10 Uncorrected bound page proofs
11 Unbound first edition, 1962
Corrected unbound page proofs, "original abridgment" returned from Delacorte Press, July 1965
[Galley proofs with authors', editor's, and lawyer's corrections, Aug. 28, 1961, Oct. 24-27, 1961, and Dec. 20, 1961 removed to Galley Files]
Subseries B. Articles
12 "The Catholicism of Eugene O'Neill"(AG), The Critic, corrected typescript, final draft, and correspondence, April-May 1965
"The Child O'Neill Tore Up"(BG), The New York Times, corrected typescript, final draft, printed version, notes, clippings, programs, and other articles related to More Stately Mansions, October 29, 1967
"Eugene O'Neill: 1888-1953"(AG & BG) for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, corrected typescript, final draft, correspondence, and printed version of O'Neill entry written by Gelbs for The New Book of Knowledge, 1968
"Eugene O'Neill: 1888-1953" (AG & BG) for Grolier article on O'Neill, corrected typescript, final draft, and correspondence
Eugene O'Neill and "Marco Millions" (AG & BG), for The Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center Theatre, corrected typescript, correspondence, and press release, 1964
"The Face of Genius"(AG & BG), five script versions of documentary for Westinghouse Broadcasting Company on WBZ-TV, correspondence, press clippings, reviews, 1966
"Jason Robards Returns in O'Neill's Hughie"(AG & BG), The New York Times, corrected typescripts, galley proof, press releases, playbill, and printed article, Dec. 20, 1964
"On Stage He Played the Novelist"(AG), The New York Times Book Review, corrected typescript, final version, printed review, and correspondence, Aug. 30, 1964
O'Neill and "Strange Interlude"(AG & BG) for program of Columbia Masterworks recording, corrected typescript, galley proofs, and correspondence
[ "The Start of a Long Day's Journey,"corrected page proofs of March 1960 Horizon article removed to Oversize Box 32]
Subseries C. Research Material
13 Address book with interview sources and notes re: O'Neill
Correspondence (photocopies) from O'Neill, Mrs. O'Neill, and friends
14 1929-1931

Series II. Other Works

Subseries A. Books
14 The ABC of Natural Childbirth, Barbara Gelb Corrected typescript, setting copy, 1954
[Galleys removed to galley file and page proofs removed to Oversize Box 32]
The Night the Lights Went Out, edited by A. M. Rosenthal and Arthur Gelb, 1965
Corrected typescripts
15-17 Reporter's copy, carbon typescripts
Notes and memoranda
Notes, reviews, and photographs
18 Newspaper clippings [first section of The New York Times for Nov. 10, 1965 and tearsheet of article on the blackout, Nov. 14, 1965, removed to Oversize Box 32]
Wire service reports
One More Victim, by A. M. Rosenthal and Arthur Gelb, 1967
18 Original typescript with handwritten corrections by Rosenthal and Gelb
Revised typescript
Uncorrected bound proofs
19-22 Research material
23 The Pope's Journey to the United States, edited by A. M. Rosenthal and Arthur Gelb, 1965
Corrected typescript, setting copy
Notes and memorandum
Reporter's copy
News agency copy
24-25 News agency copy
Press releases
Subseries B. Articles, Tributes, and Reviews
Arthur Gelb
26 Holograph notebook for article on Jerome Robbins and on culture in California
New York Times article on Cape Cod, galley proofs, notes, and carbon typescript
"A Party for Pat,"tribute for Irving Spiegel, correspondence, notes, typescripts, and program, June 6, 1967
"Theater: Gruson's Art,"honoring Sidney Gruson, 1966
Reviews read on Channel 13 during the newspaper strike of 1962-1963
Book reviews for The New York Times
Experimental column for The New York Times carbon typescript (never published)
Barbara Gelb
26 "... And Some Roses for Ulu,"The New York Times, corrected typescript, final draft, printed version, and advance proofs of Frank Gilroy's The Subject Was Roses, May 9, 1965
"Question: Am I My Brother's Keeper?"The New York Times, Sunday Drama section, Nov. 29, 1964 [tearsheet of article removed to Oversize Box 32]
"Quintero in the Square,"The New York Times, holograph notes, corrected typescripts, galley proofs, and tearsheet, Feb. 16, 1964,
"Robbins: He Kicks Up a Temperamental Storm,"The New York Times, corrected typescripts, galleys, and tearsheet, Nov. 1, 1964,
27 Article on Peter Shaffer and The Royal Hunt of the Sun, The New York Times, Nov. 14, 1965
"6th graders find politicking is fun,"The New York Times, corrected typescript and article, Sept. 18, 1964
Newspaper and magazine reviews of AG & BG works

Series III. Personal

Correspondence, 1963-1986
27 A-B
28 G-H
29 Sa-Sh
29 John V. Lindsay, candidacy for mayor
The New York Times, various subjects [tearsheet from The New York Times, featuring reporters assigned to the Metropolitan desk; and souvenir program of testimonial dinner for The New York Times circulation manager Nathan Goldstein, removed to Oversize Box 32]
The Public Interest, first issue press proofs, 10/24/65
30 Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center, 1963-1965
Theater brochures, re: O'Neill
World's Fair, 1964-1965 [tearsheets from The New York Times, 1965 reopening of the World's Fair removed to Oversize Box 32]
Miscellany [galley proofs of New York Times article giving complete list of books selected for Presidential Library in the White House (including O'Neill) removed to Galley Files]

Series IV. Works by Others

31 Atkinson, Brooks. Corrected typescript re: death of Van Wyck Brooks for The New York Times column
Beauvoir, Simone de. Force of Circumstance, publisher's advance announcement of final section
Davenport, William H. "The Published and Unpublished Poems of Eugene O'Neill"
Ebel, August R. "I Knew O'Neill When... "unpublished typescripts
3 versions
Lindsay, John V. Journey Into Politics, galley proofs [removed to Galley Files]
Mailer, Norman. The Armies of the Dead, galley proofs [removed to Galley Files]
O'Neill, Eugene.
More Stately Mansions, galley proofs of "Prefatory Note" and correspondence
[Galley proofs of abridged version removed to Galley Files]
Ten "Lost" Plays, uncorrected advance proofs
O'Neill, James. "History of the San Francisco Theatre, Volume XX," typescript, 1942
Rosskam, Edwin. The Alien, promotional excerpt
Rowse, A. L. William Shakespeare: A Biography, uncorrected proof with correspondence and publicity material
Sartre, Jean-Paul.
[ "Why I Will Not Go to the United States, "page proofs of article in The Nation, April 1965, removed to Oversize Box 32]
32 Oversize material