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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 8: Proposed Black Sun Press Catalogue and BibliographyAdd to your cart.

David Bond's notes on Series 8. When Caresse Crosby donated her library and manuscript collection to SIUC in November 1963, the Southern Illinoisan informed the reader that “An illustrated catalog of the material is being prepared with Mrs. Crosby’s help.”

The March 6, 1965 Daily Egyptian highlights Morris Library’s Rare Book collection, particularly the Black Sun Press, as well as Rare Book Librarian Ralph Bushee. “Bushee is working on a complete bibliography of publications of and correspondence relating to the Black Sun Press. Henry Miller has already written an introduction for the bibliography.”

This introduction appears in a previous BSP catalog, compiled by Millicent Bell of Brown University in 1961.

Another DE article on May 20, 1967, features Bushee’s moving to a new home, along with his 50,000 book collection. The article mentions that, “Presently, he is writing a book on Caresse Crosby and the Black Sun Press of Paris.”

Included in letters from Kay Boyle (VFM 1643) is one to Ralph Bushee in August 1967 concerning the proposed catalog draft, which she cites as very inaccurate. She notes, too, that Bushee will need to have written permission to re-print any of her letters in the catalog.

On September 4, 1967, Caresse writes to Bushee (VFM 1643) that she is "very discouraged about the catalogue." She continues that the proof sheets have many mistakes and that "your running comment often made discouragingly dull prose."  She also raises the question of permission to quote from various authors--Boyle and Gerard Lymington, for example.

Therefore, she states that she is withholding permission to "quote any or all of Harry's writings and letters to which I hold the legal rights until (1) I see and can make necessary corrections in the entire set of proofs and (2) until a contract is forthcoming and (3) that your own comment is cleared up."

A letter dated April 7, 1969, from Harry T. Moore to Caresse (VFM 1535) mentions that, according to Ralph McCoy, "they are typing up a final draft of material to send you right now." He states that "publication is a quite different matter," and that it will be "an expensive venture, with a high initial cost."

In the preface to Geoffrey Wolff’s Black Sun, published in 1976, Wolff writes that while doing research at Morris Library in 1975, “Ralph Bushee was kind enough to let me look at his catalogue of the collection, as yet unpublished.”

All this leads one to the conclusion that, although many notecards, boxes of duplicate manuscripts and pages and pages of unorganized bibliographic information do exist, the final “catalogue raisonne” of the BSP archives was never finished.

Box 76Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Newspaper accounts of proposed catalogue projectAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Proposed catalogue title page, contents, list of illustrations, preface, and acknowledgementsAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: "Three Decades," foreword by Henry Miller (April 23, 1961)Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Afterword by Kay Boyle (1975)Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Catalogue of the Caresse Crosby Collection, edited, with a preface by Millicent Bell, Brown University, The Black Sun Press, Paris, 1961Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Correspondence between Caresse Crosby and Ralph Bushee; also CC and Ralph McCoy and others.Add 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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