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MS Am 1947-1947.1

Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955. Robert E. Sherwood papers, 1917-1968: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MS Am 1947-1947.1
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Robert E. Sherwood papers,
Date(s): 1917-1968 (inclusive),
Date(s): 1934-1955 (bulk).
Quantity: 1 collection (27 linear feet (78 boxes and 1 oversize volume )
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Letters, compositions, and other papers of the American writer Robert E. Sherwood.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

*76M-78. Gift of Madeline Sherwood; received: 1976.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Robert E. Sherwood Papers, 1917-1968 (MS Am 1947-1947.1). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Additional Sherwood papers, concerning Robert Emmet Sherwood's service under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, are housed at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.

Biographical / Historical

Sherwood was an American dramatist and political writer. Between 1940 and 1945 he was the principal speech writer for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and overseas director of the Office of War Information. Sherwood, who had won three Pulitzer prizes for his plays, won a fourth for Roosevelt and Hopkins, his book chronicling World War II.


Organized into the following series: Please note that item numbers 561-566 and 893-897 were inadvertently omitted from this finding aid.

Scope and Contents

The largest series in the collection is compositions by Sherwood. This consists of manuscripts in various drafts with revisions and notes of his plays; papers depicting the writing of Roosevelt and Hopkins from research notes and synopses of interviews he conducted to the various drafts of the book from the first version to galley proofs; manuscripts of his articles, short stories, and book reviews; speeches by Sherwood; speeches he wrote for others, especially Franklin D. Roosevelt; and contracts, awards, receipts, and scrapbooks of clippings related to his career. The correspondence falls chronologically and topically into three categories. The smallest category, letters from the 1930s, documents his play writing and work in Hollywood including discussion of casting and rewriting plays and the relationship between movies and the theater and between entertainment and partisan politics. The bulk of the correspondence, letters from the 1940s, pertains to America's conduct of the war and reflects Sherwood's own career in Washington and London as an American propagandist and speech writer and his efforts to research and write a book on the war. Other correspondence, from the late 1940s until his death, is from Sherwood's wide circle, both national and international, of friends and political colleagues in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Also contains a few manuscripts by others and condolence letters to his wife upon his death.

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