Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Adams mss., 1912-1981, are the letters, photographs, and writings by and about Booth Tarkington, 1869-1946, author of The Magnificent Ambersons. The materials were collected by Reily Gibson Adams.

Biographical materials include clippings and printed matter about Tarkington, beginning with a copy of his marriage certificate in 1912 and concluding with a notice of the observance of his 112th birthday. Among the undated items are some of his bookplates.

The correspondence spans the period from 1917 to 1981 and includes letters of Tarkington, his friends and relatives, as well as those of Adams. Correspondents are: Reily Gibson Adams, Vernon L. Clark, Margaret Wade (Campbell) Deland, Lynn Fontanne, Helen Hayes, Margaret (Booth) Jameson, George Horace Lorimer, Carleton Buel McCulloch, Anna (Mosser) Roberts, Kenneth Lewis Roberts, Julian Leonard Street, Booth Tarkington, Susanah (Keifer) Robinson Tarkington, Robert William Glenroie Vail, James Leslie Woodress.

Photographs of Tarkington number twenty, ranging from childhood to old age, alone and in groups. Other photographs are those of his wife, Susanah (Keifer) Robinson Tarkington; the Tarkington and Jameson families which among others include his parents and his daughter Laurel; the homes, their interiors, and boat of Tarkington; and Elizabeth Trotter, his secretary.

Two prose pieces by Tarkington, entitled "Peter" (Apr. 1942) and "Why the Solid South?" (Nov. 8, 1944), and two undated poems are filed with the correspondence, as well as an undated poem by Mrs. Tarkington.

The writings are biographical accounts of Tarkington by relatives Susanah (Jameson) Mayberry in 1979 and Eleanor Adams Linsmith in 1981. The Mayberry manuscript has been published as My Amiable Uncle, West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 1983 (Main PS3539 .A727 1983).

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 1983

Collection size: 97 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.