University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

James T. Farrell:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979
Title: James T. Farrell Collection
Dates: 1923-1966, undated
Abstract: Includes manuscripts and correspondence of the American novelist James T. Farrell. Major correspondents include Van Allen Bradley, wife Hortense Alden Farrell, and son Kevin James Farrell.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-1360
Extent: 5 boxes (2.10 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Katherine Noble, 2012


This finding aid replicates and replaces information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.

Container List


1.2 Unidentified work, signed handwritten manuscript / incomplete, 134 pages, undated. Includes pages numbered 929-1232. From the Bernard Clare trilogy.
1.3 Art, typescript with handwritten emendations, 17 pages, undated. Another version of story titled Wally.
1.1 Funeral games, typescript / incomplete with handwritten emendations, 13 pages, undated. Chapter XIV of autobiographical work numbered 211-224, lacking 218.
Music and food in town, typescript, 2 pages, undated.
Poems, 4 signed handwritten manuscripts, 7 pages; 1 carbon copy handwritten manuscript, 2 pages; 6 typescripts with handwritten emendations, 6 pages; 1929-1963.
Universality, typescript, 3 pages, undated.
1.4 Wally, typescript, 24 pages; typescript / incomplete, 12 pages; carbon typescript, 24 pages; undated.
1.1 Young writer, typescript / incomplete, 6 pages, undated.


1.5 ALS to unidentified recipient, 13 September no year.
FL to unidentified recipient, 12 January 1955. As chairman of American Committee for Cultural Freedom, Inc.
FL The United Farrell Action Committee to unidentified recipient Comrade, undated.
2 TL to unidentified recipient Kennels, undated.
TccL to unidentified recipient Laurence, 25 April 1949.
3 TLS to Ballou (Robert), Publishers, 1935.
2 ALS, printed invitation to Bradley, Van Allen, 1955, 25 August 1962, undated. Included with these: poems, typed and carbon copy manuscript, 6 pages; 7 mimeo or photocopied articles or stories by or about Farrell, 6 with handwritten inscriptions or notes, 22 pages total; 6 envelopes addressed to Bradley from Farrell, 1962-1966.
8 TLS to Bradley, Van Allen, 1949-1950. Addressed to Bradley at the Chicago daily news.
1.6-2.3 107 ALS, 2 ALI, 62 TLS, 2 TLI, 24 TL, APCS, 6 telegrams to Farrell, Hortense Alden, 1937-1951, undated. Included with these: APCS James Farrell to Kevin Farrell.
1.5 2 TL to Farrell, Hortense Alden, undated.
ALI to Farrell, Hortense Alden, undated. Included with this: envelope addressed to Hortense and to Kevin Farrell; ALS / fragment James Farrell to unidentified recipient.
2.4 47 ALS, 20 TLS, 2 TL, 2 APCS to Farrell, Kevin James, 1947-1954.
1.5 TccL to Fessenden, Hart, 17 May 1951.
TccL to Lowenfels, Walter, 1 October 1931.
TLS to Malaquais, Jean, 3 December 1946.
TccLS to New Masses, 14 August 1936. Letter directed to the editors.
TccL to North, Joe, 23 November 1934.
TLS to Solon, S. L., 29 November 1936.
3.1 5 TccLS, TccL to Sulkie, Tom, 1934.


3.2 Unidentified author. TPC to Farrell, 2 December 1936.
American Writers Congress. 2 TLS to Farrell, 4 and 23 March 1935.
The anvil. TLS to Farrell, 6 August no year.
The anvil. TLS to Farrell, 30 July 1935.
3.3 Bradley, Van Allen. 4 TccL to Farrell, 1949. Bradley writes as literary editor of Chicago daily news.
3.2 Cantwell, Robert, 1908- . 3 TLS to Farrell, 1934-1936.
Carmon, Walt. 3 TLS to Farrell, 1933-1934.
Collier's. 2 TLS to Farrell, 11 December 1934 and 25 March 1935.
Colmer, Alan. 2 TLS to Farrell, undated.
Daily worker. TLS to Farrell, 23 November 1934.
3.4-4.3 Farrell, Hortense, Alden. 25 ALS, 12 ALI, 3 AL, AL / incomplete, 112 TLS, 8 TLI, 123 TL, 5 TL / incomplete to Farrell, 1935-1951, undated. Included with these: Confessions of Hortense, typescript, 2 pages, undated; These are the facts, typescript, 1 page, undated.
3.2 Farrell, Hortense, Alden. 8 telegrams to Farrell, 1936-1941. Included with these: ALS Kevin Farrell to James Farrell.
Henle, James. ALS to Farrell, 1 July 1950. Attached to this: TccL Vanguard Press to Care, Inc.
Henle, James. TccLS, TccL to Farrell, 14 July and 8 August 1950. Included with these: 2 TccL Farrell to Henle; TLS Henle to Hortense Farrell.
Illinois Merchants Trust Company, Chicago. FL to Farrell, 19 July 1923.
Lewton, Val. 3 TLS to Farrell, 15 November 1935, 17 March 1942, undated. Letterheads: Selznick International Pictures, Inc.; RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Lieber, Maxim. 8 TLS to Farrell, 1931-1935. Included with these: TccLS, TccL / incomplete Farrell to Lieber.
5.1 New masses. 3 ALS, 41 TLS, rejection slip to Farrell, 1929-1944, undated.
3.2 New masses. TLS to Farrell, 17 February 1930.
5.2 New republic. 14 TLS editor Malcolm Cowley to Farrell, 1932-1937.
3.2 P.E.N. American Center. TLS to Farrell, 4 June 1937.
Scientific Research Institute of Critics and Bibliography, Literary Section. TLS / fragment to Farrell, 23 March 1934.
Scribner's magazine. ALS, 15 TLS to Farrell, 1932-1934.
Special Libraries Association. New York Chapter. ALS to Farrell, 26 November 1945.
Strauss, Frances. TL to Farrell, 2 June 1934.
5.3 Sulkie, Tom. 11 ALS, 6 TLS, TL to Farrell, undated. Marginal notes by Farrell on one TLS.
3.2 Sunday Worker. 2 TLS to Farrell, 17 February and 16 March 1936.
Workers Music Olympiad. ALS to Farrell, James and Dorothy, undated.


5.4 Unidentified author. APCS to Dunne, 10 May 1949.
Unidentified author. TL / draft to New York times, undated. Written on this: AN to Farrell.
Unidentified author Alexander. 4 ALS, 2 TL to unidentified recipient Queen, undated. Included with these: 2 ALS, TL Alexander to Minnie; TL Alexander to Kennels; ALS Red to Queen; 2 TLS Mickey to Queen; TLS Us to Queen; 2 TL Red to Kennels.
Cohn, Sanford L. Farrell fragments at the University of Texas, typescript / photocopy, 29 pages, undated.
Farrell, Hortense Alden:
5.4 Contract with Luther Greene, FDS, 1 page, 17 July 1941.
5.5 Journal of domestic difficulties with James and Kevin Farrell, typescript, 6 pages, 19-26 November 1950.
ALI, 2 TL, TccL to unidentified recipients, 10 September no year, 14 September 1941, undated.
5.4 2 TL to unidentified recipient Alexander, undated.
5.5 ALS, 5 TL to unidentified recipient Dinty, undated.

Explanatory Note Concerning Manuscript Collections Cataloged in the Card Catalog

Prior to 1990 when archival cataloging procedures were adopted at the Ransom Center, all manuscript collections were described in a card catalog.

Organization of Collections:

Manuscripts for each author collection were organized into four categories:

  • Works: manuscripts by the author, arranged alphabetically by title;
  • Letters: the author's outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by recipient name;
  • Recipient: the author's incoming correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the author of the letter; and
  • Miscellaneous: all other manuscripts and correspondence, arranged alphabetically by creator.

Materials that did not fit into these categories, such as art, photographs, books, and near-print materials such as newspaper clippings, were dispersed to other Ransom Center collections for cataloging and storage.

Abbreviations Used in Descriptions:

The symbols below were used in combinations. For example ALS means autograph letter signed; Tccms means typed carbon copy manuscript, etc.

  • A = autograph (i.e., handwritten)
  • T = typed
  • S = signed
  • I = initialed
  • Ms = manuscript
  • Mss = manuscripts
  • L = letter
  • FL = form letter
  • N = note
  • D = document
  • C = card
  • PC = post card
  • cc = carbon copy
  • p = page
  • pp = pages
  • l = leaf
  • ll = leaves
  • nd = no date
  • inc d = incomplete date