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Manuscript Division



Women's Suffrage
Health and Medicine
Papers of Presidents and First Ladies
Congressional Collections
Legal Collections
Military and Diplomatic Affairs
Literature and Journalism
arrow graphicPlaywrights
Federal and Private Literary Patrons
White House Journalists
New York Herald-Tribune
Washington Post
Foreign Correspondents
Editors, Publishers, and Others
Artists, Architects, and Designers
Actresses and Actors





Complementing the papers of women novelists are several collections relating to women playwrights, including Clare Boothe Luce (see Women Members). Sixty-three volumes of diaries, love letters exchanged with her fiancé, and drafts of her plays make up the papers of playwright and peace advocate Olivia Cushing Andersen (1871-1917), sister-in-law of Hendrik Christian Andersen (12,000 items; 1844-1940; bulk 1880-1920) [catalog record].

Paul Field Sifton and his wife Claire G. Sifton (1897-1980) [catalog record] collaborated on several literary and theatrical works, but the most appealing part of their papers (25,500 items; 1912-80) are Claire's diaries, which span the time from her junior high school days in Kansas City to her retirement in Mexico. They contain detailed descriptions of college life in the 1915-16 period, thoughts of a young working woman in New York in the early 1920s, the concerns of a government official's wife in late New Deal Washington, and interesting philosophical observations of a senior citizen spending her retirement in Maine and Mexico.

Transfers from the Copyright Office account for several collections of women's plays.

  • Actress Mae West (1893-1992) [catalog record] submitted for copyright registration at least thirteen unpublished plays that she wrote between 1921 and 1964, including “The Hussy,” “Sex,” and “Diamond Lil.”

  • Social worker and reformer Rose Pastor Stokes (1879-1933) [catalog record] also submitted plays for copyright (5 items; 1913-15), as did Djuna Barnes (1 item; n.d.), [catalog record] Barbara Garson (1 item; 1966) [catalog record], and Ruth St. Denis (2 items; 1905) [catalog record].

  • Additional playscripts are likely to join these as the product of the division's ongoing effort to microfilm copyright submissions and retain selected originals as part of the Library of Congress Copyright Office Manuscript Plays Collection [catalog record].

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