Rare Book & Manuscript Library

View Series V. Writings: Articles, Lectures, Prefaces, Introductions, and Book Reviews

Series VI. Writings: Plays, Screenplays, Short Fiction, and Poems

2 boxes.

These files of typescripts, manuscripts, notes, and clippings represent one of the least-known aspects of Mumford's multifaceted career. As a young man, Mumford had great aspirations as a playwright and writer of fiction, and his lack of success in these areas was a source of frustration to him throughout his career. A few of his poems were published in The New Yorker and The Saturday Review of Literature, but for the most part, his literary output diminished to an occasional birthday poem in his later years. Screenplays have been filed with plays written for the stage, because Mumford worked on both during the same period in his life and brought the same concerns and motivations to both. His work for documentary films belongs to later phases of his development.

While still in his teens, Mumford and his friend Beryl Morse collaborated in writing screenplays for silent films. In this collection, Morse's contributions can sometimes be detected through Mumford's notes or by her handwriting, but such clarity in identification is rare. Unfortunately, the only film script that was produced no longer exists on paper, and the film itself has not survived. The Bells, based on Poe's work of the same name, was produced by the Edison Studios in 1913 but undoubtedly met the same fate as many other silent films.

Container Container Contents
163 7819-7833 Plays and screenplays, most pre-1920, some written with Beryl Morse
163 7834-7836 Plays and screenplays, fragments and unidentified items
163 7837-7838a Short fiction, various early works and fragments
163 7839 Asters and Goldenrod (Wild Asters and Goldenrod or Sumach and Goldenrod, play, begun 1917-1918 and finished ca. 1925, then retrieved by Mumford in the mid-1970s)
1929 prose sketch titled Sumach and Goldenrod ; 1 973 synopsis; 1973 postscript; and ca. 1973 script
163 7840-7842 The Bridge (The Builders of the Bridge ; play, originally written 1927)
1973 "uncorrected" ts. carbon
164 7843-7845 Very early poems, including some mss., and high school publications
164 7846-7849 "The Little Testament of Bernard Martin" (poem, published as a prose poem, begun August 1926)
drafts in verse form
164 7850-7851 "The Little Testament of Bernard Martin"
drafts in prose form
164 7852 "The Little Testament of Bernard Martin"
two prose draft fragments, verse "Envoi, " and one ms. note
164 7853 "Fantasia on Time" (poem, published 1939)
various tss., most with ms. revisions
164 7854-7855 Poems, 1925 and after, ts. and ms.
164 7856 Poems for Sophia Mumford's birthdays, various dates, ts. and ms.
164 7857-7858 Poems related to death of Geddes Mumford, various dates, ts. and ms.

View Series VII. Writings: Film and Television Documentaries
Last update: Friday, 31-Jan-2003 21:22:07 EST
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