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Caresse Crosby papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Caresse Crosby: Author and Artist

Caresse Crosby: Publisher and Patron

Caresse Crosby: Activist

Caresse Crosby: Printed Materials, Including Audio-Visual

Correspondence, unless otherwise noted

Harry Crosby Physical Objects

Photocopies of newspaper clippings

Proposed Black Sun Press Catalogue and Bibliography

Artwork

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Harry Crosby Scrapbooks

Oversized Material Drawer #15

Galley proofs of Transition

Page proof of Black Sun Press bookplate

Miscellaneous Portfolio leaves and related material

Credo: The Castle of Roccasinibalda

Page proofs of Bibliography of the Black Sun Press by Minkoff

French Communist party posters

"La Panorama Paris S'amuse"

Miscellaneous printed ephemera related to the Vatican and Pope Pius XII

Scrapbook of newsclippings related to Caresse Crosby's Washington galleries

Scrapbook of Caresse Crosby's political material

"World Citizen Passport cards of associates, 1606-20th Street, D.C., 1948-"


Caresse Crosby papers, 1912-1970 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Caresse Crosby papers, 1912-1970Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 140

Primary Creator: Crosby, Caresse (1891-1970)

Extent: 74.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Organized into five series: (1) Writing and artwork, (2) Publishing, (3) Political activism, (4) Miscellaneous, (5) Correspondence.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1963. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Black Sun Press., Crane, Hart, 1899-1932., Crosby, Caresse, 1892-1970., Miller, Henry, 1891-1980

Forms of Material: Artifacts., Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Correspondence, Correspondence., Crosby, Caresse, 1892-1970. - Manuscripts, Crosby, Harry, 1898-1929. - Correspondence, Diaries., Fiction, Lawrence, D. H.  (David Herbert), 1885-1930. - Correspondence, Ledgers (account books), Photographs, Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972. - Correspondence, Scrapbooks, Sound recordings, Writings.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Caresse Crosby Collection represents the largest extant body of Caresse and Harry Crosby's efforts in prose and poetry, printing and publishing, as well as their personal correspondence and assorted memorabilia. Of special interest is material of 20th century authors, such as a bound volume of letters to Harry and Caresse Crosby from D. H. Lawrence, galley proofs of The Bridge by Hart Crane, an extensive body of correspondence from both Kay Boyle and Ezra Pound, and artwork by Henry Miller.

This collection contains all titles published by the Black Sun Press, early Black Sun Press announcements,  news clippings, free-standing volumes, photographs and Caresse Crosby's literary manuscripts,  poems, short stories and plays, Caresse Crosby's art work as well as early typescripts of The Passionate Years, and its unpublished sequel, Who in the World.

The remainder of the collection consists of packages containing scrapbooks and miscellany, oversize materials that include a great deal of original artwork, Caresse Crosby's appointment calendars, inventories of the Crosby library, address books, miscellaneous documents, and several films.  Political materials date from 1948 to her death in 1970.

Biographical Note

Caresse Crosby was born Mary Phelps Jacob on April 30, 1891 in New Rochelle, New York, daughter of a prominent New England family. After a brief marriage to Richard Rogers Peabody, she married Harry Crosby in 1922 and soon after moved to France. In April, 1927, they founded a publishing company soon to become The Black Sun Press. The publications included a Hindu Love Book, The Fall of the House of Usher, and letters by Harry's cousin, Henry James, to Walter Berry. Other contributors to the Black Sun Press included D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Kay Boyle, Ernest Hemingway, Hart Crane, Rene Crevel, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound among others. Caresse wrote a book of poetry, Crosses of Gold, which they also published. In 1928, Harry met Josephine Noyes Rotch with whom he had an ongoing affair. On December 10, 1929, in an apparent suicide pact, Harry and Josephine were found dead in a hotel room. After Harry Crosby's suicide, Caresse kept the Black Sun Press going. She also established, with Jacques Porel, a side venture, Crosby Continental Editions, that published paperback books by Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and Dorothy Parker, among others. Ahead of her time, her paperback books did not sell well, and the press closed in 1933. The Black Sun Press, however, continued publishing into the 1950s. In 1936 Caresse and her new husband Selbert Saffold moved to Bowling Green, Virginia where she kept company with Salvador Dali, Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin. By 1941, having divorced Saffold, Caresse moved to Washington D.C., where she opened the city's only modern art gallery. She also started Portfolio: An Intercontinental Quarterly, a magazine that sought to continue her work with young and avant-garde writers and artists. She published six editions before she ran out of funds and sponsors. This was her last major publishing effort. She became politically active and founded the organizations Women Against War and Citizens of the World, which embraced the concept of a "world community" which other activists like Buckminster Fuller also supported. In 1953, Caresse published her autobiography, The Passionate Years. She died in relative obscurity from complications from pneumonia in Rome on January 24, 1970, aged 78.

Subject/Index Terms

Black Sun Press.
Crane, Hart, 1899-1932.
Crosby, Caresse, 1892-1970.
Miller, Henry, 1891-1980

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Accruals: Additions 1970, 1984 and 2018

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Purchased

Related Materials: Caresse Crosby photograph collection, PH 49. For more information please see http://archives.lib.siu.edu/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=3177.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Caresse Crosby Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Caresse Crosby: Author and Artist],
[Series 2: Caresse Crosby: Publisher and Patron],
[Series 3: Caresse Crosby: Activist],
[Series 4: Caresse Crosby: Printed Materials, Including Audio-Visual],
[Series 5: Correspondence, unless otherwise noted],
[Series 6: Harry Crosby Physical Objects],
[Series 7: Photocopies of newspaper clippings],
[Series 8: Proposed Black Sun Press Catalogue and Bibliography],
[Series 9: Artwork],
[Item 1: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 2: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 3: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 4: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 5: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 6: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 7: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 8: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 9: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 10: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 11: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 12: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 15: Oversized Material Drawer #15],
[Item 16: Galley proofs of Transition],
[Item 17: Page proof of Black Sun Press bookplate],
[Item 18: Miscellaneous Portfolio leaves and related material],
[Item 19: Credo: The Castle of Roccasinibalda],
[Item 20: Page proofs of Bibliography of the Black Sun Press by Minkoff],
[Item 21: French Communist party posters],
[Package 4: "La Panorama Paris S'amuse"],
[Item 22: Miscellaneous printed ephemera related to the Vatican and Pope Pius XII],
[Package 5: Scrapbook of newsclippings related to Caresse Crosby's Washington galleries],
[Package 6: Scrapbook of Caresse Crosby's political material],
[Package 7: "World Citizen Passport cards of associates, 1606-20th Street, D.C., 1948-"],
[All]

Series 6: Harry Crosby Physical ObjectsAdd to your cart.
A variety of objects belonging to Harry Crosby. Also one box of printing ink blocks from BSP.
Box 73Add to your cart.
Item 1: Green Roulette Table Coverings, 2 each. Besides books, Harry loved gambling.Add to your cart.
Item 2: Sun Robe, Red silk, made for Harry Crosby, c. 1927.Add to your cart.
Item 3: Sterling Silver Hip Flask, engraved. “H.G.C. from S.V.R.C.. [Henry Grew Crosby] from [Stephen Van Rensselaer Crosby], April 22, 1922.”Add to your cart.

Sunburst on cap and on convex side of flask. Crosby Cross on convex side.

On concave side: “Drink! For you know not whence you came, nor why

                            “Drink! For you know not why you go, nor where”

List of engraved names follows, as shown on envelope.

Item 4: 10-1/4” Knife with Metal Scabbard. One side of scabbard engraved with Crosby Cross. The other reads: H.G.C. from S.V.R.C. from J.S.C. Taken from the body of a Christian killed outside the walls of Canea Crete. Aug. 10, ’97.Add to your cart.
Item 5: Circular Metal Casting of Harry’s Profile. Engraved on back,”Henry Grew Crosby by Caresse Crosby, 1924” Also has engraved Crosby Cross.Add to your cart.
Item 6: Gold Plated or Painted Horseshoe.Add to your cart.
Item 7: Five Leather and Cloth Wallets or Coin Purses, VariousAdd to your cart.
Item 8: One Wallet with Paper Photo of Engraved Profile of HarryAdd to your cart.
Item 9: Corkscrew with Crosby Cross Engraved Into HandleAdd to your cart.
Item 10: Metal Casting of Crosby Cross in front of what looks like a tombstone.Add to your cart.
Item 11: Metal Bookplate, Ex Libris Henry Grew Crosby with the Crosby Cross and other engravings.Add to your cart.
Item 12: 8” Sword-Letter OpenerAdd to your cart.
Item 13: Framed Letter to Harry Crosby. Election to Harvard’s A.D. Club, signed by Richard S. Humphrey, President, February 16th, [1921]. After three election rounds, Harry was finally invited to join.Add to your cart.
Item 14: Leather Card Case Containing Metal Cross Engraved with Crosby Cross and Sunburst on Back.Add to your cart.
Item 15: Various Military Decorations; One Bracelet Reading “American Field Service”Add to your cart.
Item 16: Small Jewelry Case with “emergency screwdriver” and animal tooth inside. Also in envelope are Crosby Cross book plate stickers and a key.Add to your cart.
Item 17: Cloth Belt, Possibly the “Gold Belt” that Constance Coolidge, the Lady of the Golden Horse, had given Harry.Add to your cart.
One of the items listed as being with Harry Crosby at his death.
Item 18: Ashes of Harry Crosby in Black Cloth Bag with Gold Ring. Also ashes in separate envelope with “Instructions (to be carried out at our death” written in Harry’s handwriting on envelope, which has red seal with sunburst impression. Included is Certificate #34977, “Ashes of Henry G. Crosby, Cremated Dec. 12, 1929 by United States Cremation Co., Ltd.”, as well as ½” snapshot of Harry Crosby.Add to your cart.
Item 19: One 4” Oval Photo of Lady, unidentified.Add to your cart.
Item 20: Black Silk Flower Worn by Harry Crosby as a BoutonniereAdd to your cart.
Item 21: Gold Cigarette Case, originally made for Harry Crosby. [gift of Mrs. A.H. Whitman]. Inscribed with “Sonnet for Caresse,” the Crosby Cross and a sun.Add to your cart.
Because of value, located in SCRC Vault.
Box 74Add to your cart.
Item 1: Large Storage Box with 9-Volume Fake Book Front (Valery title), Lid Broken But IncludedAdd to your cart.
Item 2: Faux Book Box #1 titled “Crosby Letters.” It has a metal clip inside to hold letters or papers.Add to your cart.
Item 3: Faux Book Box #2 titled “Voltaire, 37, Politique Legislatio 4”Add to your cart.
This has the Crosby Book Plate stamped on front and inside is a small matchbox with shell on top containing two tiny buttons. Also in the faux book are a number of small buttons reading “Boullanger Paris France,” a small medal and a clipped out word—“Yes!”
Item 4: Faux Book Box #3 titled “Histoire Romaine, Tom XIV”Add to your cart.
Also has Crosby Book Plate stamped on front. Inside is a white handkerchief and a small photo of an unidentified woman.
Item 5: Faux Book Box #4 titled “Exercice De Piete, Tom IV”Add to your cart.
Inside is a metal folding ruler, an empty Cartier ring box, a small key, and two different metal stamps of sunbursts.
Item 6: Faux Book Box #5 titled “Grey Princess”Add to your cart.
This box is a two-piece construction similar to what the Crosby’s used for “Hindu Love Book.” Inside is a 4-1/2” X 4” framed drawing or etching of a young woman, perhaps the “Grey Princess”?
Item 7: End of Faux Book Box titled “Shadows of the Sun, Vol. 2”Add to your cart.
Appears to have fallen off of original book box, but is all that’s left.
Box 75Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Caresse Crosby: Author and Artist],
[Series 2: Caresse Crosby: Publisher and Patron],
[Series 3: Caresse Crosby: Activist],
[Series 4: Caresse Crosby: Printed Materials, Including Audio-Visual],
[Series 5: Correspondence, unless otherwise noted],
[Series 6: Harry Crosby Physical Objects],
[Series 7: Photocopies of newspaper clippings],
[Series 8: Proposed Black Sun Press Catalogue and Bibliography],
[Series 9: Artwork],
[Item 1: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 2: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 3: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 4: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 5: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 6: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 7: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 8: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 9: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 10: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 11: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 12: Harry Crosby Scrapbooks],
[Item 15: Oversized Material Drawer #15],
[Item 16: Galley proofs of Transition],
[Item 17: Page proof of Black Sun Press bookplate],
[Item 18: Miscellaneous Portfolio leaves and related material],
[Item 19: Credo: The Castle of Roccasinibalda],
[Item 20: Page proofs of Bibliography of the Black Sun Press by Minkoff],
[Item 21: French Communist party posters],
[Package 4: "La Panorama Paris S'amuse"],
[Item 22: Miscellaneous printed ephemera related to the Vatican and Pope Pius XII],
[Package 5: Scrapbook of newsclippings related to Caresse Crosby's Washington galleries],
[Package 6: Scrapbook of Caresse Crosby's political material],
[Package 7: "World Citizen Passport cards of associates, 1606-20th Street, D.C., 1948-"],
[All]

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