The MacCarthy mss., 1836-1991, consist of the papers of British drama and literary critic Desmond MacCarthy, 1877-1952, and his wife, author Mary (Warre-Cornish) MacCarthy, 1882-1953. Desmond's first experience as an editor was with New Ouarterly and then Eye Witness (later renamed: New Witness). In 1913 he began writing a weekly column for the New Statesman eventually becoming literary editor in 1920, then the drama critic. Desmond also contributed weekly articles to the London Sunday Times and broadcast literary talks for the BBC. Mary (or Molly, as she was known to most) wrote two books, A Pier and a Band and A Nineteenth Century Childhood as well as other works. Although not particularly well-known for their writings, the MacCarthys were surrounded by the colorful personalities that defined the turn-of-the-century English drama, art, literature, and society in general.
The papers contain correspondence with their colleagues and friends as well as a large quanity between Desmond and Molly. Also present is coorespondences of both Desmond's and Molly's families. The writings contain many drafts and typescripts of Desomnd's articles and a few writings by Molly. Miscellaneous materials include calendars and diaries for both, and school reports for Desmond. In addition, there are school reports, writings and other miscellaneous materials for members of both families.