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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2105

Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence

Editorial correspondence of Houghton Mifflin Company, publishing house of Boston, Massachusetts.


  • 1881-1981
  • Majority of material found in 1940-1979

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


44 linear feet (174 boxes)

Correspondence is between Houghton Mifflin Company and the authors they published. Houghton Mifflin Company editors and staff include Paul Brooks, Dorothy de Santillana, Mary Silva Cosgrave, Ferris Greenslet, David Harris, Robert Lescher, Robert Newton Linscott, Richard B. McAdoo, Hardwick Mosely, Lovell Thompson, Diggory Venn, and Craig Wylie, among others. Authors include Ansel Adams, James Agee, Isaac Asimov, Elizabeth Bishop, Rachel Carson, John Dos Passos, Martha Foley, Esther Forbes, John Kenneth Galbraith, John Howard Griffin, Archibald MacLeish, Carson McCullers, Roger Tory Peterson, H. A.(Hans Augusto) Rey, Arthur Meier Schlesinger, and many others. In addition to correspondence with authors, the files can contain book jackets, correspondence with literary agents and with other publishers, compositions, contracts, interoffice memoranda, jacket blurbs, photographs, and press releases.

Compositions, photographs, and book jackets are noted in the cataloging. Some files do not contain correspondence with the authors because they were no longer living or were communicating by proxy; these files are described as "Correspondence about." There is a small amount of correspondence deemed by Houghton Mifflin Company not extensive enough to require its own file and this is arranged alphabetically at the end of the collection.

Biographical / Historical

Houghton Mifflin Company, publishing house of Boston, Massachusetts, traces its roots back to the firm of Ticknor and Fields, the premier "literary" publishing house in the United States during the middle years of the nineteenth century; and to the Riverside Press, Henry Oscar Houghton's printing establishment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After a series of changes within each firm, Ticknor and Fields and the Riverside Press merged together in 1878 to become Houghton, Osgood, and Company. Two years later, James R. Osgood left the partnership and George Harrison Mifflin and Henry Oscar Houghton formed Houghton, Mifflin, and Company. In 1908, Houghton, Mifflin and Company changed from a partnership to a corporation as the Houghton Mifflin Company. The company became publicly owned in 1967 and was bought by the French conglomerate, Vivendi Universal SA, in 2001. The succession of corporate names in the period covered by this correspondence is: Houghton, Mifflin and Co. (1880-1908); and Houghton Mifflin Company (since 1908).


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent with a separate alphabetic sequence of miscellaneous correspondence at the end.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

*85M-63. Gift of Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992; received: 1978-1985.

Processing Information

Processed by: Mary Hammer with assistance from Lan Bui, Jackie Dean, Rochelle Friedman, and Meghan Kiel.
Link to catalog
Houghton Mifflin Company. Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence, 1881-1981 (inclusive), 1940-1979 (bulk): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Cataloging of this collection was supported by grants from Houghton Mifflin Company and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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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