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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2096

John Mason Brown additional papers


Primarily correspondence of the American drama critic, John Mason Brown.


  • 1933-1984


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff members to determine retrieval policies and times.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


3.5 linear feet (4 cartons)

These additional papers include correspondence between John Mason Brown and his wife Catherine Screven (Meredith) Brown created and received during Brown's lecture tours in the United States, letters received by Catherine Brown after John Mason Brown's death, and a small amount of other correspondence. Also included are manuscripts of Brown's last book published posthumously, The ordeal of a playwright: Robert E. Sherwood and the challenge of war as well as correspondence, reviews, and other materials relating to the book. Finally, there are photographs of John Mason and Catherine Brown and of unidentified people and places.

Biographical / Historical

Brown was an American author. He graduated from Harvard College in 1923. He was drama critic for the New York Evening Post (1929-1941) and New York World (1941-1942) and was a columnist and editor for Saturday Review (1944-1969). He served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy beginning in 1942 and took part in the invasions of Africa, Sicily, and Normandy. Brown died in 1969 after a short illness.


Arranged into four series:

  1. I. Correspondence between John Mason Brown and Catherine Brown.
  2. II. Miscellaneous correspondence.
  3. III. Materials relating to The ordeal of a playwright: Robert E. Sherwood and the challenge of war.
  4. IV. Photographs.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

92M-15. Manuscripts presented by Meredith M. Brown; received: 1992 October. 13.

92M-39. Manuscripts presented by Meredith M. Brown; received: 1993 June 24.

94M-5. Manuscripts presented by Meredith M. Brown; received: 1994 August 12.

Processing Information

Processed by: Jackie Dean.

Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969. John Mason Brown additional papers, 1933-1984: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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