Scope and arrangement
The Claude McKay Papers, 1915-1952, consist of LETTERS, Sent 1915-1947 and LETTERS Received, 1937-1952 and WRITINGS. Included are letters from McKay to Carl Cowl, his literary agent; Max Eastman, a friend and patron; and Carl Van Vechten, the author of Nigger Heaven. Among the letters McKay received are letters from Louise Bryant, the wife of communist John Reed and one of McKay's patrons, Cedric Dover, and Arthur A. Schomburg. Included writings are typescripts of Banana Bottom and Banjo, the unpublished novels Harlem Glory and Romance in Marseilles, a musical score for McKay's most famous poem "If we must die, "a notebook containing a holograph draft of My Green Hills of Jamaica, an unpublished poem "Pushkin", and the essay "Why I became a Catholic".
Papers organized into four series: I Correspondence Sent; II Correspondence Received; III Legal Documents; and IV Writings