Scope and arrangement
The ten linear feet of David Feinberg's papers consist of correspondence (mostly incoming); writings, both published and unpublished; clippings; such miscellany as desk calendars and monthly bank statements; photographs, and sound recordings. The materials date from the mid-1970s to 1994.
The David B. Feinberg papers are arranged in five series:
The correspondence consists almost primarily of incoming letters. The correspondence is mostly personal, from friends and relatives. There are also some fan letters from readers.
Notable correspondents include John Hersey, Feinberg's creative writing teacher at M. I. T. (one letter, November 22, 1977); Larry Kramer (one letter, circa August 15, 1991); and Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich, who became friends of Feinberg after writing him to praise Eighty-Sixed (about two dozen letters, February 1989 through January 1992).
Series II contains novels, stories, and articles by Feinberg (and one box of writings by others), including many drafts and sketches for uncompleted works. Among these papers are his first, unpublished novel, Calculus (Box 7); drafts of early short stories, possibly from his college writing class (Box 8); Behavior, an unfinished novel (Box 9); The Pathological Flirt, the play on which he was working at the time of his death; and the beginnings of a memoir about his family.
My Secret History, which he evidently started writing during his final hospital stay in 1994 (Box 11).
Also in Series II are published copies of Eighty-Sixed, including a German paperback edition, and Spontaneous Combustion (Box 12), and copies of Mandate Magazine from 1986-1987, featuring Feinberg's column, "Tales From Hell's Kitchenette" (Box 14).
Feinberg's papers do not include the typescripts of his three published books, although passages from them, often fragmented or in different form, are scattered within this series.
These items include five folders of clippings and newsletters about AIDS and two folders of material about ACT UP (Box 16); Feinberg's desk calendars for 1981 through 1993 (Box 17); and an assortment of personal files, from financial records and N. Y. U. transcripts to copies of his invitations to parties (Box 18).
Series IV consists of photo albums, framed pictures, loose snapshots, and slides. None of the people, places, or dates of these pictures is identified, though there are several broad categories of topics: gay rights demonstrations, including those of ACT UP; parties; vacations; and family gatherings.
This series contains six miniature cassettes, partly or wholly unidentified; and five cassettes, labeled "Spontaneous Combustion." Researchers should check with the Manuscripts and Archives staff about access to these items.