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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1877

Edgar Watson Howe papers


Includes correspondence, compositions, and drafts of novels written by American author and newspaper editor E. W. Howe.


  • 1872-1969

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


52.5 linear feet (55 boxes)

Correspondence (chiefly 1925-1937), manuscripts of writings, business papers, clippings, photographs, and printed material. Compositions include early and late drafts of The Story of a Country Town with many revisions, early drafts and printer's copy of his autobiography Plain People, and early drafts of The Mystery of the Locks and of A Moonlight Boy. There are also 14 part-books for the play version of Story of a Country Town. There are also letters of sympathy on Howe's death sent to his niece Adelaide Howe, together with other correspondence of Adelaide Howe.

Biographical / Historical

Howe was an American newspaper editor and author, best known for his grim portrayal of small town life, The Story of a Country Town.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Letters to Edgar Watson Howe
  2. II. Letters from Edgar Watson Howe
  3. III. Letters to Adelaide Howe
  4. IV. Other letters
  5. V. Compositions
  6. VI. Other papers
  7. VII. Business papers
  8. VIII. Miscellaneous

Physical Location

b, pf

Immediate Source of Acquisition

69M-134. Purchased with the Amy Lowell Fund; received: 1970 March 19.

Howe, E. W. (Edgar Watson), 1853-1937. Edgar Watson Howe papers, 1872-1969: 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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