Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Dreiser mss. III, 1928-1945, consist of materials pertaining to author Theodore Dreiser, 1871-1945. Dreiser was born the twelfth of thirteen children in Terre Haute, IN and attended Indiana University in Bloomington briefly before dropping out in 1890. He married Sara White in 1898, and they separated in 1909 although never formally divorced. Dreiser became a renowned author of literary naturalism (other American writers in the movement included Jack London, Edith Wharton, Frank Norris, and Stephen Crane). His best known novels are Sister Carrie (although a commercial failure at the time in 1900), Jeannie Gerhardt (1911), and An American Tragedy (1925). Politically, Dreiser was involved in socialist causes and wrote a non-fiction book, Dreiser Looks at Russia (1928), based on his experiences visiting the Soviet Union. He did not officially join the American Communist Party until shortly before his death in 1945.

The collection consists of nineteen photographs and one lithograph. Most of the photographs are undated. Included are photographs of Theodore Dreiser with Olin Downes, busts of John Cowper Powys and Paul Robeson, and two photographs of busts of Theodore Dreiser by Edgardo Simone. One photograph and the lithograph are in a folio folder.

An inventory and a finding aid are available.

Gift. Dr. Vera Dreiser, New York, New York. 1960

Collection size: 20 items

Related manuscripts: Dreiser mss. IV, Dreiser mss.

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.