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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2083

Nahum Sabsay papers

Correspondence of Harvard graduate and author, Nahum Sabsay, with libraries and publishers, manuscripts of published and unpublished works, and one photograph.


  • 1924-1969

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


2.5 linear feet (2 boxes)

The collection documents Sabsay's writing career with which his wife was also very involved. Includes correspondence with libraries and publishers, typescript copies of published and unpublished works (many with annotations by Elizabeth K. Sabsay), and one photograph.

Correspondents include Miriam Allen De Ford, Maxwell E. Perkins, Bliss Perry, and Paul Stassevitch. Typescripts include Sabsay's works: America, The death of fear, The lure, One night in November, and his short stories.

Biographical / Historical

Born in Simferopol on the Russian Crimean peninsula, Nahum Sabsay served in the Russian and Belgian armies in World War I. Fleeing the Red Army as commander of a Jewish self-defense unit, he traveled across Siberia and arrived in the U.S. in 1918. He entered Harvard to study mining engineering and graduated in 1923. He settled in California, worked as a tool and die and instrument maker, and mastered English while writing novels, short stories, and essays, which he and his wife, Elizabeth K. Sabsay, worked to get published. Sabsay died in 1965.


Arranged in three series:
  1. I. Correspondence of Nahum and Elizabeth K. Sabsay with others
  2. II. Compositions of Nahum Sabsay
  3. III. Other materials

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

87M-115. Bequest of: Elizabeth K. Sabsay; received: 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by: Melanie Wisner
Link to catalog
Sabsay, Nahum, 1890-. Nahum Sabsay papers, 1924-1969: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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