Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Vonnegut mss., 1941-2007, are the papers of novelist Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 1922-2007. Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. His first published work was a piece of short fiction, "Report on the Barnhouse Effect," which appeared in Collier's, February 1950. Over the years his short stories and articles have appeared in many magazines, but he is best known for his novels, the first of which, Player Piano, was published in 1952. Vonnegut also wrote for both the stage and screen, and many of his works have been adapted to film, television and theater.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. General correspondence; II. Writings; III. Farber files; IV. Publishing records; V. Miscellaneous; VI. Additions. VII. Additions II.

Much of the general correspondence is from colleagues, friends and fans. Along with major works, the Writings series contains screenplays, teleplays, play scripts and many short stories and articles. The Farber files are those of Vonnegut's agent and lawyer Donald C. Farber. They consist of contracts, correspondence and notes concerning translation, performance, and publication rights and permissions. The Publishing Records include royalty reports, contracts and items related to the publication of his works. Miscellaneous items include: awards and trophies, artwork, family related materials, school papers, photographs, and clippings. The first Additions series are materials received between 2002-2010. The Additions II series includes more drafts of Vonnegut's major works, including Player Piano, Sirens of Titan, Mother Night, Cat's Cradle, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, and Breakfast of Champions. The trunk that contained these manuscripts, from the home of Kurt Vonnegut's daughter, Edie Vonnegut, is also in the collection.

An inventory is available.

See also: Farber, Donald C. mss.

Acquired: 1997; 2002-2007; 2010; 2014

Collection size: 5,850 items

Related manuscripts: Vonnegut mss. II

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.