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Kay Boyle papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Family History, Biographical, and Financial Material


Correspondence with Children and Grandchildren

Writings, Miscellaneous

Writings and Poetry

Writings: Short Fiction

Writings/Fiction Collected

Novels and Works for Children

Nonfiction Writings

Printed Ephemera

Miscellaneous Ephemera


Sandra Spanier's Dissertation

Oversized Boxes

Kay Boyle papers, 1914-1987 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Kay Boyle papers, 1914-1987Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 090

Primary Creator: Boyle, Kay, (1902-1992)

Extent: 106.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged by record type in 14 series.

Subjects: Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992, Communism - United States - History, Franckenstein, Joseph., San Francisco State University - Faculty, Vietnam War, 1961-1975, World War, 1939-1945 - Women - United States

Forms of Material: Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Correspondence, Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Manuscripts, Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Photographs, Correspondence., Diaries., Ephemera., Franckenstein, Joseph. - Correspondence, Franckenstein, Joseph. - Photographs, Manuscripts for publication., Photographs, Postcards, Records (documents), Writings.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection spans the majority of Kay Boyle's lifetime, illustrating her life as a noted professor, humanitarian, and author.   The correspondence, writings, photographs, assorted ephemera, and other personal papers document her life during her early years, her expatriate years, her work as a news correspondent during World War II and in Germany in post World War II, the charge of anti-loyalty during the McCarthy era made against Franckenstein and herself, her Vietnam years, her years as a professor at San Francisco State, as well as insight into her marriages and her children.

Biographical Note

Kay Boyle was born in 1902 and was a member of the American expatriate movement of the 1920s and 1930s.  As a young woman Boyle studied architecture at the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati.  Boyle's first contribution to a national publication was a letter to the editor, which appeared in Harriet Monroe's Poetry: A Magazine of Verse in 1921.

Sometime in 1925 Boyle became involved in This Quarter, a literary review, which published her work in the first three issues.  Her first published pieces had been poems in Poetry, Broom, Forum, and Contact. In 1929 the Crosbys' Black Sun Press published Boyle's first book, titled Short Stories, in a limited edition of 185 copies.

In the late 1930's Boyle befriended several of the period's most notable writers, including James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, as well as Robert McAlmon.  In addition to lending advice as a fellow artist, McAlmon helped her to leave Duncan Colony and provided financial assistance when funds were low.  Although they never produced a collaborative work during his lifetime, Boyle revisited McAlmon's 1938 autobiography after his death, adding chapters that gave her perspective on the events he described.  The result was a revised edition of Being Geniuses Together, published in 1968.  During this time Boyle met Joseph Franckenstein, an Austrian baron, mountain climber, skier, and scholar.  In 1943 Franckenstein and Boyle were married.  He became an American citizen that year, and as an OSS officer, parachuted into France to help the Resistance.  Much of Boyle's World War II writing is inspired by Franckenstein.  He and Boyle were in Germany during the occupation when Boyle turned out some of the finest postwar fiction for the New Yorker (collected in 1951 in The Smoking Mountain). He also was with her when she was accused of communist sympathies during the McCarthy era of the early fifties, and consequently lost his government job.  Though the charges were fought and ultimately dismissed, the blacklisting and the time and resources required to fight the charges exacted immeasurable harm on their personal and professional lives.  Shortly after moving to San Francisco, where Boyle had been appointed to the creative writing faculty of San Francisco State College in 1963, Franckenstein died of cancer.  They had two children. Boyle died in 1992.

Subject/Index Terms

Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992
Communism - United States - History
Franckenstein, Joseph.
San Francisco State University - Faculty
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
World War, 1939-1945 - Women - United States

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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

Acquisition Method: The Kay Boyle Papers were purchased for the most part from Kay Boyle in the 1970s.

Related Materials:

Alice L. Kahler collection of Kay Boyle letters.

Ann Watkins, Inc. collection of correspondence with Kay Boyle (2)

Ann Watkins, Inc. correspondence with Kay Boyle (1)

Antoinette Wilson collection of correspondence with Kay Boyle.

Kay Boyle vertical file manuscript.

Herman and Fay Rappaport collection of Kay Boyle papers.

Kay Boyle and Joseph Franckenstein correspondence.

Kay Boyle manuscript of "The Crazy Hunter."

Kay Boyle manuscript of "Being Geniuses Together."

Kay Boyle photograph collection.

Kay Boyle, Herman and Fay Rappaport collection of photographs.

Robert Carlton Brown collection of correspondence with Kay Boyle.

Robert W. Smith collection of correspondence with Kay Boyle.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Kay Boyle papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Family History, Biographical, and Financial Material, 1890-1980s],
[Series 2: Correspondence, 1898-1981],
[Series 3: Correspondence with Children and Grandchildren, 1937-1987],
[Series 4: Writings, Miscellaneous, 1913-1967],
[Series 5: Writings and Poetry],
[Series 6: Writings: Short Fiction],
[Series 7: Writings/Fiction Collected],
[Series 8: Novels and Works for Children],
[Series 9: Nonfiction Writings],
[Series 10: Printed Ephemera],
[Series 11: Miscellaneous Ephemera],
[Series 12: Photographs, ca.1900-1985],
[Series 13: Sandra Spanier's Dissertation],
[Series 14: Oversized Boxes],

Series 10: Printed EphemeraAdd to your cart.
This series includes articles from newpapers and magazines saved by Kay Boyle. They are arranged alphabetically by title.
Box 90Add to your cart.
Folder 1: AAdd to your cart.

Achtung - Die Neue Zeitung (5 copies)

Aisling, Summer 1975

American Judaism, Vol. X., No. I

Amnesty of John David Herndon by James Reston

Antaeus Autumn 1971

Ararat, Summer 1971

Artists Protest, "End Your Silence"

Association of the Bar of the City of New York, "Committee on International Law"

The Astronomer's Universe, "Reality or Delusion?" by Eric Holmberg, Center for Advance Studies Wesleyan University

Atoms for Peace, New York, July 9, 1955

An Auction of Literary and Artistic Materials for the

Benefit of Antiwar Congressional Candidates, Oct. 8, 1970

Awake, Aug. 22, 1971

Folder 2: B-DAdd to your cart.

Barn, Nemerov, Poetry, Apr. 26, 1967

The Battle of Ross, Old Irish Ballad

The Bloomsbury Review, Jan/Feb 1981

California Men's Colony, informational booklet (2 copies);

Summary of Rules and Regulations pertaining to mail and visits

The Castle of Roccasinibalda

Change, Vol. 3, No. 4, Summer 1971

Jim Chapson, We long to live.

Cheltenham Art Centre, A branch of the Aegean School of Fine Arts

Cole, Perley, A Recognition of, 1962

Columbia College, 81st Commencement Bulletin, 1971; Record of Honors, 1965-71

The Commonwealth

Concentration Camps, American, Wilamette Valley Observer, Nov. 171, 1978

Die Nuwe Orde, Oct. 16, 1948

Drug Swoops at Sligo Festival by Paul Duncan

Dublin Dispatch (spoof on Kennedy) 1973

Folder 3: E-GAdd to your cart.

An Evening of Poetry, Kay Boyle and William Dickey

Evergreen, No. 89, May 1971

Box Folder

Fellowship, Spring 1973

Footprints VI, March 2-4, 1959

Führer durch München

The Genocide Convention, Who's holding up the Genocide Convention? Why?; An appeal to World Conscience by Gabriela Mistral

Box 91Add to your cart.
Folder 1: HAdd to your cart.

Harpers, Dec. 1935, March 1936

The Harvard Advocate, Fall 1966

Histoires Naturelles

Folder 2: I-JAdd to your cart.

Iberica for Free Spain

In Freedom's Cause--Reproductions of Amos

Doolittle's Famous English

The Japanese American Incarceration, a case for redress, June 1978

The Jewish Museum presents the Tinguely Machine Mystery by Kenneth Koch

John O'London Weekly, Sept. 17, 1937

Junior League, November-December 1964

Folder 3: LAdd to your cart.
Liberation, July, August 1968, February 1966, Oct. 1963, June 1960, March 1965, April 1966 (2), August 1966 (2), Sept. 1966, Sept. 1971, Feb. 1965
Box 92Add to your cart.
Folder 1: LAdd to your cart.

Library of Congress, Calendar of Events, April 1963

Life, Aug. 1969

Liddy, James, "Mist lay on the land..."

Lost Generation Journal, Vol. III, #3, Fall 1975

Lowenfels, Walter, "The Prisoners -- Poems for Amnesty"

Folder 2: MAdd to your cart.

MacDowell Colony News, September 1962

Marin Shakespeare Festival Calendar, 1965

Mark, Jan. 16, 1960, July 30, 1960

The Mark Twain Journal, Vol.  XIV., 1 (2),2,4; Vol.  XVI., 1

Folder 3: MAdd to your cart.

Metal I, Aug. 1951

The Middlebury College Newsletter 1957

Folder 4: NAdd to your cart.

New Directions Books, 1962, 1973

Newport Bridge

The New Republic, Jan. 1, 1962, Feb. 26, 1966, Jan. 17, 1970 (2), Set. 21, 1942, Feb. 8, 1975, March 15, 1975

New York Herald Tribune Book Review, Oct. 7, 1951

Newsweek, Jan, 25, 1960

Nickel Review Section 2, April 13, 1970

Box 93Add to your cart.
Folder 1: The NationAdd to your cart.
The Nation, Dec. 29, 1956, May 29, 1967, June 11, 1955, Sept. 10, 1955, July 12, 1947, Oct. 15, 1949, Dec. 15, 1951, July 14, 1956, June 4, 1955, Jan. 29, 1955, Dec. 12, 1953, March 22, 1975, May 4, 1957, Feb. 7, 1972, March 24, 1969, Jan. 13, 1969, Aug. 26, 1968, May 29, 1967, Jan. 14, 1961, Jan. 4, 1958, Dec. 21, 1957, Nov. 16, 1957, June 9, 1945, Oct. 13, 1945, Oct. 27, 1945, March 8, 1947, May 24, 1947
Box 94Add to your cart.
Folder 1: OAdd to your cart.

Oakland Induction Center, Oct. 16

An Obligation to Tomorrow, by Albert Schweitzer

Ohioana Quarterly, Vol., XVI, Spring 1972

The Opening Statements of Russell Means and Dennis Banks in U.S. v. Means, 1974

Our Animals, Vol. 65, #6, Nov. 1971

Our Democracy, How can it be improved? by Albert Guerard

Folder 2: Pacific SunAdd to your cart.
Pacific Sun, April 18-24, 1974, Fall 1975, Final 1974
Folder 3: PAdd to your cart.

Pelham Books Ebury Press

PEN American Newsletter

People's World, July 14, 1979

Petition to the President of the U.S.

The Phoenix, Vol. VI. 1 & 2

Folder 4: PAdd to your cart.

A Poem for Black Hearts by Leroi Jones

Poetry, Vols. 93,6; 95, 6; 97, 5; 99, 4

Poetry, a magazine of Verse, Apr. 1947

Poetry Readings, Oct. 1966

Post-induction refusal celebration and feast

Prevent World War III, summer 1966

The Progressive, June 1965, Feb. 1966, Nov. 1966, Dec. 1967, Oct. 1968

Box 95Add to your cart.
Folder 1: PAdd to your cart.

Prose #3, Fall 1971

Publisher's Weekly, March 28, 1966 (2)

Folder 2: RAdd to your cart.

The Races of Mankind by R. Benedict and G. Weltfish

Ramparts, July 13, 1968; Oct. 1972

Report of the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice on Recodification of Federal Law

Roosevelt, Mrs

Folder 3: SAdd to your cart.

San Francisco Express Times, July 17, 1968

San Francisco Women for Peace Newsletter, Aug. 1973

SCI International Voluntary Service

Science and History by Eric Kahler, 1966

Scribner's, June 1932

Skidmore College, 66th Commencement Exercise 1977

Skidmore Scope, Spring 1977

St. Molo, St. Servan, Dinod

Solidarity with the Greek Students, 1973

Sozialistischer Bund, 1968

The Straight Theatre Company presents William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Folder 4: TAdd to your cart.

The Teacher the Americans Sent

The Teachers' Strike and the Trustees (2 copies)

Tomorrow, May 1948, March 1951 transition

Trantino, "The Sunday Record Magazine", Nov. 25, 1973

Trilling, Lionel, Wanted by the FBI

Troubdour, November 1928

Folder 5: U-YAdd to your cart.

UN Works for you, American Association for the United Nations

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Office of Public Information

University of Delaware, DE Bulletin 1957

Voice Books, June 13, 1963

Wagner College, Holiday Festival of the Arts, 1964

The Watchtower, Aug, Sept. 1971

Weissman, Evelyn announces the completion of her thesis and her eminent graduation

Wesleyan University, The Center for Advanced Studies Roster of Fellows, 1959-63

What is behind the Kremlin's latest March of Crime?  A Fact Sheet: The American Jewish Committee, 1953

When all Nations Collide Head on with God by Watchtower, 1971

The Wire, April 1974

Wols, introduction by K. Boyle, 1959

The World, April 5, 1970

Young Socialist, June 1968

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Family History, Biographical, and Financial Material, 1890-1980s],
[Series 2: Correspondence, 1898-1981],
[Series 3: Correspondence with Children and Grandchildren, 1937-1987],
[Series 4: Writings, Miscellaneous, 1913-1967],
[Series 5: Writings and Poetry],
[Series 6: Writings: Short Fiction],
[Series 7: Writings/Fiction Collected],
[Series 8: Novels and Works for Children],
[Series 9: Nonfiction Writings],
[Series 10: Printed Ephemera],
[Series 11: Miscellaneous Ephemera],
[Series 12: Photographs, ca.1900-1985],
[Series 13: Sandra Spanier's Dissertation],
[Series 14: Oversized Boxes],

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