Collection ID: LMC 1013
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Collection context


Allen, Harriet Herron Collins (Mrs. Samuel Ellsworth Allen), 1866-1942, Allen, Ruth Collins, 1895- (Wolkowska, Mrs. Tadeusz S.), and Lindsay, Vachel, 1879-1931
The Allen family mss., ca. 1908-1972, consist of five letters from poet Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, 1879-1931, to Harriet Herron Collins Allen, (Mrs. Samuel Ellsworth Allen) of Cincinnati, Ohio, and of letters from several individuals involved with the theatre to the Harriet Allen's daughter, Ruth Collins Allen.
3 Boxes (3 standard)
English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Allen Family mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Harriet Herron Collins Allen, 1866-1942, of Hamilton County, Ohio. Ruth Collins Allen, a writer and the daughter of Harriet Allen, owned and directed a business in New York called International Playwrights Service.

Scope and Content:

The Lindsay letters, dating from June 1919 through March 1921, relate primarily to getting him for lectures and readings in Cincinnati, which was finally accomplished March 3, 1921. Two of the letters, June 26, 1919 and January 29, 1920, enclose printed statements written by Lindsay regarding the sort of recital engagement he prefers to make. The first is titled: The KIND of a VISIT I LIKE to MAKE, to which he has penned "This is to be read with a certain sense of humor and it is not for publication." The second is titled: A Letter For Your Wicked Private Ear Only, again with an inked note appended at the bottom. The larger part of the collection consists of letters to Ruth Collins Allen relating chiefly to theatrical productions and to the placement of scripts for stage or film production. Included in this portion is a group of more than ninety letters, dating 1932-1965, from English writer and play producer Malcolm Morley. At some point prior to this correspondence, Morley had been in Cincinnati with the Allens and his friendship with Ruth and other members of her family continued over a period of nearly four decades. The first three letters are in fact addressed to Ruth's mother, Harriet Collins Allen, first as Mrs. Allen, then as "Dear American Mother". All the letters are chatty and particularly interesting for the London scene during World War II, and especially of economic conditions immediately following it. He also discusses throughout the plays and other writing projects he is undertaking, the theatrical adjudications he does both in England and during a couple of summer trips to Canada in the 30s, and the activities of some of the actors and other stage personalities that he and Ruth both knew. A four-page typescript titled "London Scene" and several news clippings and playbills connected with Morley complete this section of the collection. Other, smaller correspondence files include Russian playwright, Nicolas Evreinoff; New York writer Edward Hungerford (including an exchange with George S. Kaufman on Hungerford's behalf); and French playwrights Henri-René Lenormand and MadeleLey. An inventory of all the correspondents is available in-house. A water color paper doll rendition labeled "Miss Allen", writings of "The Devilish Geniuses of the Turret," 1876-1877, and a few miscellaneous printed items complete the collection.

Acquisition information:
Gift: 2001

The collection is arranged into the following series: I. Correspondence, II. Artwork, III. Writings, and IV. Miscellaneous Printed Items.

Physical location:
Lilly - Stacks

Indexed Terms

World War, 1939-1945



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[Item], Allen Family mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452