Scope and arrangement
The Philip Hamburger papers document the literary career and personal life of the author best known for essays published in The New Yorker magazine since 1939. The collection spans the years 1924 to 2004 and consists of correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, research files, news clippings, printed matter, photographs and audio recordings. The papers provide insights on the life and work of a representative New Yorker author during the years of that magazine's greatest influence and popularity. The Philip Hamburger papers are an important resource for the study of American magazine literature, and provide background information regarding many figures associated with The New Yorker, including Harold Ross, William Shawn, William Maxwell, Joseph Mitchell and Tina Brown.
The Philip Hamburger papers are arranged in seven series:
Philip Hamburger's correspondence files contain primarily incoming letters, postcards and miscellaneous enclosures. The material is arranged chronologically, and includes items received by Hamburger from professional colleagues, family members and friends. Among those most frequently represented are John Bainbridge, William Maxwell, Katrina McCormick Barnes, Sidney and Brian Urquhart and Timothy Woodman. There are more than twenty letters and cards from S. J. Perelman scattered throughout the correspondence from the 1960s and 1970s. Single items or occasional notes from Arthur Schlessinger, Jr., St. Clair McKelway, Katherine White, E. B. White, Mel Calman, Janet Flanner, Bel Kaufman, Rex Stout, Roger Angell and Brendan Gill also appear. Among the family correspondents are Hamburger's former wife, Edith Iglauer Daly, his sons, Richard and Jay, and his sister-in-law, Rosamond Tirana. In addition, there are several folders of letters from New Yorker readers concerning various articles published in the magazine.
There are some additional items of correspondence filed with papers relating to various writing projects contained in Series II, described below. This includes letters to and from various subjects of biographical essays, responses to his published writings and letters of thanks for copies of his books. Notable among the latter are thank-you notes from Walker Evans and Harry S. Truman for copies of An American Notebook, and from J. Edgar Hoover, Cordell Hull and Henry Stimson for copies of The Unconquered People.
Finally, there is some additional correspondence from the period of Hamburger's service with the Office of War Information contained in Series III, described below.
This series contains published and unpublished writings by Philip Hamburger including essays, short stories, plays and books, as well as several folders of notes, drafts, outlines and fragments. Many folders contain correspondence, news clippings and printed material gathered by Hamburger in the course of his research for the project concerned. The bulk of the series is devoted to Hamburger's work for The New Yorker, and includes notes, manuscripts and proofs of essays that appeared in the magazine's “Notes for a Gazetteer,” “Profiles,” “A Reporter at Large,” and “Talk of the Town” columns.
Of particular interest are “Notes for a Gazetteer” folders containing maps, brochures, menus, postcards, clippings, press releases and chamber of commerce publications collected by the author in the course of his exploration of various American cities. A complete set of tear sheets of articles for this column is contained in Box 26.
Material relating to Hamburger's “Profiles” essays is filed alphabetically by subject, and includes notes, interviews, drafts, typescripts, proofs, printed matter and correspondence. Subjects range from Dean Acheson to Louis Schwartz (Louie the Waiter), who sold an extraordinary number of war bonds from the New York delicatessen where he worked. A large file of material was collected for Hamburger's 1986 Profile of Vartan Gregorian, who was then president of The New York Public Library. Also included are five boxes of material concerning Joseph Papp, compiled by Philip Hamburger for a never-completed article on the theatrical producer.
“A Reporter at Large” files are arranged chronologically and include notes, drafts, typescripts, printed matter, ephemera and some correspondence. Subjects include “Winds Off the Pampas,” a report of a trip to Peron's Argentina, and “That Great Big New York Up There,” regarding Hamburger's visit to Mexico to meet with former New York City Mayor and U. S. Ambassador, William O'Dwyer. Other topics include the cog railway at Mount Washington (”Rack and Pinion”) and a visit to Kent State University one year after four students were killed there by the United States National Guard (”Aftermath”).
“Talk of the Town” materials are arranged chronologically and include notes, typescripts, story suggestions, and unsorted manuscripts. Several files also contain tear sheets, proofs and ephemera. Several of Hamburger's “Notes and Comment” and “Our Man Stanley” pieces appeared in this column, and are interfiled here.
The series also includes such miscellaneous New Yorker writings as “Our Far Flung Correspondent” columns, issues of overseas editions of the magazine published during World War II, and “The Conflict”, an in-house publication reporting on the staff members engaged in war-time activities.
This series also includes several boxes of writings not directly related to The New Yorker. There are drafts, typescripts, proofs and editorial correspondence for several books published by Hamburger. Also included are typescripts, notes, drafts, book reviews and articles that appeared in publications other than The New Yorker. Among the most popular of these was “The Great Judge,” a profile published in Life in 1946.
Philip Hamburger worked in the U. S. Government's Office of Facts and Figures, later called the Office of War Information (OWI), from 1941 to 1943. Records pertaining to his service include correspondence, writings, scrapbooks, clippings and printed matter. Personal and work-related correspondence includes OWI memos and letters from colleagues and friends serving in the military. There is also a file of correspondence and memos both to and from Harold Guinzburg, Chief of the Bureau of Publications of the OWI. Writings include speeches, memos, notes, reports, drafts and typescripts. The bulk of this material relates to three pamphlets written by Hamburger, Divide and Conquer, Tale of a City, and The Unconquered People. Three scrapbooks filed here are made up mostly of clippings, but also include some printed matter such as memos and press releases. Additional loose news clippings include general news stories on the OWI and newspaper serializations of writings by Hamburger. Printed matter includes OWI publications and other war-related material, mostly pamphlets.
Filed here are materials gathered by Philip Hamburger in the course of his research for numerous writing projects. These include files on individuals and organizations, as well as chronologically sorted news clippings on a variety of subjects. There are also some biographical materials regarding Hamburger. The file on Johns Hopkins University contains several of the author's college papers, and a 1933 issue of Black and Blue Jay, a literary magazine he edited while a student.
Filed here are color and black and white photoprints, photographic negatives and a few drawings. Subjects of the images include Philip Hamburger, his friends, family and colleagues. The material is arranged chronologically.
Included are audio recordings of a 1991 speech made by Philip Hamburger at The New York Public Library, and a 1996 memorial event for New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell. Original audio cassette tapes contained in Box 98 are unavailable for research for preservation reasons. Service copy duplicates of the original recordings available and may be ordered by the control numbers listed below.
Numerous additions to the collection were received from Philip Hamburger during the 1990s. This material has been arranged into three subseries: A. Correspondence, B. Writings, C. Subject Files. The contents of each subseries are generally similar to those of the previously accessioned records series described above.
Additions received from the estate of Philip Hamburger in 2005 have been arranged into three subseries: A. Correspondence, B. Writings, C. Subject files and D. Appointment books. Additions received in 2012 consist of notes and correspondence regarding Matters of State: A Political Excursion (2000).