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Papers, 1863-1984,

Author: Margaret Bourke-White
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Margaret Bourke-White Papers, spanning 1863 through 1984, comprise biographical material, correspondence, writings, and memorabilia of the American industrial photographer, photojournalist, war correspondent and author. The collection not only reflects her personal life, but also illuminates the chaotic historical times Bourke-White chronicled as a photographer for Henry Luce's Time, Inc. (first for Fortune
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Genre/Form: Articles
Clippings
Correspondence
Manuscripts (for publication)
Scrapbooks
Biography
Pictorial works
Named Person: Ansel Adams; Frank Altschul; Sherwood Anderson; Elizabeth Arden; Boris Artzybasheff; Baba Pyare Lal Bedi; Alon Bement; Margaret Bourke-White; Pearl S Buck; Stanley Burnshaw; Erskine Caldwell; Mildred Stead Capron; Pablo Casals; George Edward Gordon Catlin, Sir; Winston Churchill; Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge; Marion Belden Cook; Norman Cousins; Robert Cromie; Imogen Cunningham; John Dewey; Evelyn Dewey; Kenneth Durant; Amelia Earhart; Dwight D Eisenhower; Alfred Eisenstaedt; Louis Fischer; Ray Fisher; H William Fitelson; Archibald Lang Fleming; Serge Fleury; Joseph Freeman; Lewis Gannett; Ruth Chrisman Gannett; Norman Bel Geddes; Will Geer; Francois Arch Gilfillan; Samuel Goldwyn; Sanford Griffith; Peter Grimm; John Gunther; Lillian Hellman; Wilson Hicks; Maurice Gerschon Hindus; Adolf Hitler; Robert E Hood; Hubert H Humphrey; Howard Von Hardenburg Inches; Ralph Ingersoll; Burl Ives; Jacob K Javits; Yousef Karsh; Helen Keller; Rockwell Kent; John Adams Kingsbury; Alfred A Knopf; Bert Kopperl; Andre Kostelanetz; Frederick Kuh; John La Montaine; Dorothea Lange; Colston Leigh; John V Lindsay; Joseph Liss; Isador Lubin; Henry Robinson Luce; Clare Boothe Luce; Ray Mackland; Tom Maloney; Jackie Martin; Edwin R Meiss; Eugene Meyer; Rose D Meyer; Jun Miki; F R Moraes; Willard D Morgan; Jawaharlal Nehru; Beaumont Newhall; Nancy Wynne Newhall; Richard M Nixon; Joseph North; Catharine Oglesby; Georgia O'Keeffe; Dorothy Parker; Fred P Peel; Peter Pollack; Arthur Upham Pope; Bonnie Prudden; George Palmer Putnam; Fred J Ringel; Eleanor Roosevelt; Franklin D Roosevelt; Elmo Roper; Alexander Grant Ruthven; Robb Hansell Sagendorph; Olga Samaroff Stokowski; Alexander Schneider; A Schwartz; Oscar Serlin; Lee Simonson; Upton Sinclair; Boris E Skvirsky; Bradley Smith; Nikolai Sokoloff; Benjamin Sonnenberg; Helen Sprackling; Deward Steichen; Ralph Steiner; Alfred Stieglitz; Anna Louise Strong; Roy Emerson Stryker; Harry Stack Sullivan; John Cameron Swayze; Béla Szilasi; Genevieve Taggard; Lowell Thomas; Clara Thompson; Dorothy Thompson; Cleon Throckmorton; Ernest Ulmer; John Vassos; Ruth Vassos; Joe Wershba; Wendell Westover; Edward Weston; Harold Weston; Alford Joseph Williams; Gluyas Williams; Russel Wright; Rudolph Wurlitzer; Hyman Yudewitz
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Margaret Bourke-White
OCLC Number: 122598452
Description: 75.0 linear ft.

Abstract:

The Margaret Bourke-White Papers, spanning 1863 through 1984, comprise biographical material, correspondence, writings, and memorabilia of the American industrial photographer, photojournalist, war correspondent and author. The collection not only reflects her personal life, but also illuminates the chaotic historical times Bourke-White chronicled as a photographer for Henry Luce's Time, Inc. (first for Fortune (1930-1936) and then, from its inaugural issue in 1936, Life, magazines).

Biographical material contains autobiographical documents, chronologically arranged biographical items, and awards.

Correspondence-Subject Files are categorized as Family and General. Arranged chronologically, Family correspondence begins with letters dated 1863 of Bourke-White's maternal grandparents, and also includes those of parents Minnie and Joseph White, sister Ruth, brother Roger, and several other aunts, uncles and cousins. The General Correspondence-Subject Files are arranged alphabetically and extend to Bourke-White's death in 1971. Through the mid-1950s, correspondence of most depth and duration includes that of advertising agency Meldrum & Fewsmith, Inc., friend M. Jerry Papurt, publishers Simon & Schuster, secretary Margaret Smith, and Time, Inc.

Reflecting the scope of her influence and career, Bourke-White's correspondence includes that of artists (Boris Artzybasheff, Rockwell Kent, Georgia O'Keeffe, Lee Simonson, John Vassos, Gluyas Williams) authors (Sherwood Anderson, Pearl Buck, Stanley Burnshaw, Norman Cousins, Theodore Dreiser, Joseph Freeman, John Gunther, Lillian Hellman, Maurice G. Hindus, Joseph North, Robb Sagendorff, Stefansson Vilhjalmur); entertainers (Pablo Casals, Maurice Chevalier, Burl Ives, Andre Kostelanetz, Alexander (Abrasha) Schneider); journalists (Robert Cromie, Irv Kupcinet, Frank Moraes, Edward R. Murrow, Robert L. Sherrod, John Cameron Swayze, Lowell Thomas, Dorothy Thompson, Louis Wiley); photographers (Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Yousef Karsh, Dorthea Lange, Jackie Martin, Edward Steichen, Ralph Steiner, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston); and politicians/world leaders (Dwight D. Eisenhower, Hubert H. Humphrey, Jacob Javits, John Lindsay, Clare Boothe Luce, Jawaharlal Nehru, Richard Nixon, Franklin D. Roosevelt).

A pioneer in architectural and industrial photography, Bourke-White's literary collaboration with and marriage (1936-1942) to author Erskine Caldwell introduced her to progressive causes and cultivated her dedication to social reform. Correspondence with the American Artists Congress, American League for Peace and Democracy, American Youth Congress, Friends of the Soviet Union, Frederick Kuh, League of American Writers, League of Women Shoppers, Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy, New Masses, the New School for Social Research, Upton Sinclair, Anna Louise Strong, and Genevieve Taggard reflects Bourke-White's leftist political orientation and was subsequently cited (1951) as evidence of possible un-American activity. After Bourke-White was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1954, correspondence centers around her illness and Time, Inc.

Writings include holograph and/or typescript manuscripts and published versions of articles, books, interviews, and lectures, as well as notes and miscellany. Reference notes are arranged by subject for various writing projects and include those Bourke-White assembled while on various photography assignments and as a World War II war correspondent, as well as the notebooks she kept in Japan and Korea. Miscellany contains the manuscript for an unpublished book, juvenilia, film notes and reviews.

Memorabilia consists of financial, legal, and printed materials, photographic equipment, scrapbooks, and miscellany. Financial material is predominantly banking records and Bourke-White Studios (1928-1941) business. Legal memorabilia comprises various insurance policies, contracts, wills and studio releases. Photographic equipment ranges from a simple pocket box camera to a large camera specifically designed for aerial photography, and also includes a wooden view camera, 35mm cameras, and optically complex German lenses. Printed material consists of books; chronologically arranged clippings about Bourke-White, followed by those arranged by subject relating to India, Life, PM, and the Soviet Union; and various issues of periodicals, including Trade Winds.

Scrapbooks (9) contain a variety of clippings about Bourke-White. Miscellany consists of mementos (memberships and identifications, theatre programs, stenographers' notebooks, photography studio plans, war bonds posters); items about Bourke-White (books, films, a 1984 video, her war record which she gathered as a defense to anti-American accusations); and items from other people (writings by others, including the diary of her physical therapist, music, and a pencil portrait).

Bourke-White's photographs and negatives comprise a separate collection, also located at the George Arents Research Library.

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