Vonnegut mss. IV, 1950-1998

Papers of Kurt Vonnegut, 1950-1998, at the Lilly Library, Indiana University

Finding aid created by Ava Dickerson

Creator: Vonnegut, Kurt
Creator: Burger, Knox
Title: Vonnegut mss. IV
Collection No.: LMC 2916
Dates: 1950-1998

Quantity: 0.3 linear feet

Abstract: The Vonnegut mss. IV, 1950-1998, consist of letters from author Kurt Vonnegut to editor, writer, and literary agent Knox Burger.
Location: Missing
Language: English .
Repository: Lilly Library
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500
Business Number: 812-855-2452
URL: https://libraries.indiana.edu/lilly-library

Biographical Note

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis on November 11, 1922. He attended Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, where he wrote for the Shortridge High School Echo, one of the few daily high school newspapers in the country. At the urging of his father, Vonnegut attended Cornell University to study chemistry and biology. While at Cornell, Vonnegut worked for the Cornell Daily Sun, even writing his own column. However, before he could complete his degree, he enlisted in the Army. Vonnegut had seven children in all, three from his first marriage to Jane Cox, his three nephews, and a daughter he adopted with his second wife, Jill Krementz. Vonnegut lived in New York with Jill until his death on April 11, 2007.

His first published work was a piece of short fiction "Report on the Barnhouse Effect" which appeared in Collier's, Feb. 1950. Over the years his short stories and articles have appeared in many magazines, but he is best known for his novels, the first of which, Player Piano, was published in 1952. Vonnegut has also written for both the stage and screen, and many of his works have been adapted to film, television and theater.

Knox Burger, 1922-2010, was an editor, writer, and literary agent responsible for publishing Vonnegut's first short story. After serving in World War II, Burger worked as the fiction editor of Collier's, followed by Dell and Fawcett Publications. In 1970, he founded Knox Burger & Associates, a literary agency, with his wife.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence from Kurt Vonnegut to editor, writer, and literary agent Knox Burger. Also included are several letters to Burger from others (including Lenny Bruce) and a few carbons of Burger's letters to Vonnegut.


The collection is arranged following original order.


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Related Materials

See Vonnegut mss., Vonnegut mss. II, and Vonnegut mss. III, also located at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indexed Terms

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Item], Vonnegut mss. IV, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase: 2013