Scope and arrangement
The collection is composed largely of correspondence, but also includes some writings and printed material. The correspondence (1920-1981) consists of letters with friends, family, colleagues, editors and publishers in chronological order. Most letters relate to Werner's literary contributions to various periodicals including Colliers, The New Yorker, The New Republic and The Saturday Evening Post, his work as a foreign correspondent for The Yorkshire Post (Leeds, England) and for the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune, and his books, especially his unpublished biography of Fiorello H. LaGuardia. The correspondence for 1920 contains letters by Werner while he was a sales agent for chemical dyes at Shanghai, China, for the Lamie Chemical Company of New York, describing conditions in China at the outbreak of the Civil War, the Chinese national character, bargaining with local buyers and the difficulties of penetrating the Chinese market in the face of competition from German, Japanese and other foreign suppliers. There are also letters from George E. Sokolsky (columnist, author, lecturer) at Shanghai concerning conditions in China, journalistic and personal matters (1921-1923, 1927) and a few letters (1930) by Werner written from Moscow in which he gives his impressions of that city and its people. The correspondence for 1948-1949 contains letters by Geoffrey Parsons in Paris describing financial and journalistic problems of the New York Herald Tribune, of which he was editor. Other correspondents include Sir William Linton Andrews, Bruce Bliven, Newbold Morris and William Shawn. Subsequent alphabetical additions of letters to Werner from literary figures including E(dward) E(stlin) Cummings, John Dos Passos, Harry Houdini Abraham Henry Hummel, George Bernard Shaw, Frank Sullivan and Edmund Wilson (cal922-1976) and a series of letters to Werner from writer and biographer, Gamaliel Bradford (1922-1931) are filed at the end of the collection, along with five folders of historical manuscript letters collected by Werner, which were purchased (in part) from The Anderson Galleries. The latter includes letters by Andrew Carnegie, August Belmont (Sr.), David B. Hill, Jacob Riis, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., William L. Stone and William Sulzer.
The Writings consist of typescripts of articles by Werner (1920-1966) and a typescript in 13 chapters (chapter 11 missing) of his biography of LaGuardia. There is also a small amount of printed ephemera.
Three series: I. Correspondence; II. Writings; III. Printed Material