Research Catalog

S. N. Behrman papers

S. N. Behrman papers, 1912-1987.
Behrman, S. N. (Samuel Nathaniel), 1893-1973.
Supplementary Content
Finding Aid

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Additional Authors
37 linear feet (88 boxes).
Access (note)
  • Restricted access;
Source (note)
  • Behrman, David
Biography (note)
  • American author of works for the stage and screen also noted for his biographical essays and memoirs.
Indexes/Finding Aids (note)
  • Unpublished finding aid available at repository and on Internet.
Processing Action (note)
  • Cataloged.
Call Number
MssCol 248
Behrman, S. N. (Samuel Nathaniel), 1893-1973.
S. N. Behrman papers, 1912-1987.
The S. N. Behrman Papers document the literary career and personal life of the playwright and essayist. The date span of the papers is 1912-1987. They include personal and professional correspondence; diaries; notebooks, manuscripts, typescripts, galley proofs and publication tearsheets of Behrman's writings; news clippings; scrapbooks; photographs; and a few items of ephemera. The S. N. Behrman Papers are an important resource for the study of the American theatre, the Hollywood film industry, popular magazine literature and New York intellectual culture. Prominent correspondents include: Maxwell Anderson, Brooks Atkinson, Bernard Berenson, Isaiah Berlin, Edna Ferber, Felix Frankfurter, Ira Gershwin, F. Tennyson Jesse, George S. Kaufman, Joshua Logan, Sonya Levien, W. Somerset Maugham, St. Clair McKelway, J. Kenyon Nicholson, Cole Porter, Joseph Verner Reed, Gottfried Reinhardt, Harold Ross, Siegfried Sassoon, William Shawn, Robert E. Sherwood, Salka Viertel, Rebecca West, Katharine White, Edmund Wilson, Alexander Woollcott.
Restricted Access
Restricted access; Manuscripts and Archives Division; Permit must be requested at the division indicated.
American author of works for the stage and screen also noted for his biographical essays and memoirs. S. N. Behrman was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1893. He was educated at Clark College, Harvard College (B.A. 1916) and Columbia University (M.A. 1918). During the late 1910s Behrman's short stories and book reviews appeared in magazines and newspapers including The Smart Set and The New York Times. During the 1920s he collaborated on stories and plays with Kenyon Nicholson. Behrman achieved commercial success with the 1927 Broadway production of his comedy The Second Man. He followed this play with a string of sophisticated comedies including Serena Blandish (1928), Biography (1933), End of Summer (1936) and No Time for Comedy (1939). He wrote or collaborated on numerous Hollywood screenplays, including Tess of the Storm Country (1932), Anna Karenina (1935) and Waterloo Bridge (1940). Behrman was a founder of The Playwrights' Producing Company, established in 1938 to stage the work of its members. During the 1940s-1950s he was a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, and many of his biographical essays for that magazine were eventually collected and published as books. Behrman's last dramatic work, But For Whom Charlie, was staged in New York in 1964. He then focused on narrative prose, producing the novel The Burning Glass (1968) and the memoir People In A Diary (1972). S. N. Behrman died in New York City on September 9, 1973.
Unpublished finding aid available at repository and on Internet.
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Added Author
Anderson, Maxwell, 1888-1959.
Atkinson, Brooks, 1894-1984.
Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959.
Berlin, Isaiah, 1909-1997.
Ferber, Edna, 1887-1968.
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965.
Gershwin, Ira, 1896-1983.
Gregory, Paul, 1920-
Jesse, F. Tennyson (Fryniwyd Tennyson), 1888-1958.
Kaufman, George S. (George Simon), 1889-1961.
Levien, Sonya, 1888?-1960.
Logan, Joshua.
Lunt, Alfred.
Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965.
McKelway, St. Clair, 1905-1980.
Nicholson, Kenyon, 1894-1986.
Porter, Cole, 1891-1964.
Reed, Joseph Verner, 1902-
Reinhardt, Gottfried.
Ross, Harold.
Sassoon, Siegfried, 1886-1967.
Shawn, William.
Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955.
West, Rebecca, 1892-1983.
White, Katharine Sergeant Angell.
Wilson, Edmund, 1895-1972.
Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943.
Research Call Number
MssCol 248
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