Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Hitt mss., 1891-1938, consist primarily of letters from poet James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916, to journalist George Cooper Hitt, 1851-1944. George C. Hitt & Co. published Riley's first book: The Old Swimmin'-hole, and 'Leven More Poems, in 1883.

Other correspondents present are L.L. Dickerson, librarian of the Indianapolis Public Library; John Marcus Dickey; and George Cooper Hitt. The exchange between Dickerson and Hitt in 1938 involves the publishing record of "The old Swimmin'- hole...," including number of copies printed and the disposition of those copies.

Rudyard Kipling is the subject of an exchange between Riley and Hitt in 1891 and Riley's letter of February 21 includes a copy of a poem Kipling wrote for Riley, and Riley's poetic response.

A bound ledger containing the "accounts of George C. Hitt & Co., publishers of 'The Old Swimmin'-Hole...,'" tear sheets for "The Object Lesson," noted as being by Riley and carrying penciled notations and changes, and two clippings from 1909 re: a facsimile edition of "The Old Swimmin'-Hole" complete the collection.

Collection size: 26 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.