Scope and arrangement
Papers consist chiefly of Halper's correspondence, 1919-1984, and literary work, 1928-1982. Correspondence is divided into four sections. Family correspondence, 1909-1969, contains letters to Halper from his four brothers and sister, his first wife, Pauline, and son, Thomas, as well as a few letters exchanged among other family members. Incoming letters, 1928-1984, contain all other letters written to Halper, while outgoing letters, 1919-1983, contain those written by Halper to family members and others. Both the incoming and outgoing letters are arranged chronologically by decade and consist mainly of correspondence with editors and literary agents regarding Halper's work. Although there are very few letters to Halper from prominent literary figures of the 1930s, his own letters to editors, fellow writers and friends reveal his opinions about his work, other writers, the Communist Party and political and literary issues of the period. In addition, there are letters from readers of Halper's memoir, Good-Bye, Union Square, and from researchers which discuss the radicalism of the period. Bulk of the correspondence dates from the 1950s-1980s, documenting Halper's struggles to get his work published and his plays Top Man and Aunt Daisy produced.|||There is a separate box of correspondence and other papers concerning the two anthologies he edited, This is Chicago (1952) and The Chicago Crime Book (1965-1967).|||Halper's correspondents in the literary world include Benjamin Appel, Edward Aswell, Leonard Ehrlich, John Fante, Nelson Algren, Elliot Cohen, Marshall Best, Maxim Lieber, Elizabeth Nowell, and Joseph Epstein. In addition, there are single letters of encouragement or recommendation from Sherwood Anderson, H.L. Mencken, Marianne Moore, Lewis Mumford, and Paul Rosenfeld during the years 1928 to 1933.|||The most extensive series in Halper's papers consists of his writings, both published and unpublished. It includes preliminary notes and outlines, drafts, manuscripts, typescripts, and published copies of his novels, short stories, essays, plays, and screenplays. Published copies consist primarily of magazines containing his shorter works, and press clippings. Included also is a copy of Post War (1942), his privately published volume of drawings.|||The remainder of the collection consists of publishing records (contracts, royalty statements, releases, and copyright and permission records), personal financial and legal records, desk calendars, 1975-1981, art work by Halper and others, photographs, ephemera and memorabilia, press clippings and writings about Halper and his work. Latter includes a biography, a disseration, journal articles, book reviews, and other items clipped from magazines and newspapers.