Scope and arrangement
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence of John Steinbeck; and correspondence of Chase Horton and of Elizabeth Otis relating to Steinbeck. There are also desk diaries, a memorandum book, and research notes kept by Horton relating to his work with Steinbeck, two photographic portraits of Steinbeck, and inscribed volumes. The correspondence (1935-1961) of John Steinbeck includes some thirteen autograph and typed letters signed by Steinbeck to various correspondents including his literary agent, Elizabeth Otis, together with carbon copies of letters (1935-40) by Otis to Steinbeck relating to motion picture rights to Tortilla Flat, his book Long Valley, royalty payments, publishers' contracts and other literary matters. There are also present typed transcript copies (1935-1959) of Steinbeck's correspondence, and copies of correspondence relating to him.
The correspondence of Chase Horton consists of seventeen letters (1958-1965) written to him by Elaine (Mrs. John) Steinbeck- Several of the letters were written while the Steinbecks were living in England and describe their travels and social life there and in Italy- There is also one folder of letters (1957-1965) some in transcript form from Horton to Steinbeck regarding Horton's researches for the book on King Arthur, and some miscellaneous correspondence (1948-1975) of Horton relating in part to Steinbeck - The correspondence (1935-1972) Elizabeth Otis relating to Steinbeck is mainly with publishers and relates to the publication of works by Steinbeck. The desk diaries (1957-1960 4 vols.) contain a record of historical research performed for Steinbeck, notes on hours worked and appointments with Steinbeck and expenses incurred- The memorandum book contains notes by Horton of meetings and social encounters with the Steinbecks in London and environs during June and July of 1958. The research notes reflect Horton's work on the King Arthur book. There are also a few pages of typed notes for textual changes for Grapes of Wrath. The inscribed volumes are copies of Steinbeck, A Life in Letters, edited by Elaine Steinbeck and Robert Wallstein (N. Y., Viking press, 1975 - 1 vol.); and The Acts of King Arthur... (1 vol.). Also, the Rare Book Room acquired some 36 books from the Horton Estate including inscribed first editions by John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent), Elaine Steinbeck (The Steinbeck House Cookbook), Thorne Smith (The Bishop's Jaegers), and Yeats (Latter poems snd plays in Prose and Verse.