Scope and arrangement
The Lorraine Hansberry Papers chronicle the life of the award-winning playwright, and documents her legacy which was largely amassed and constructed by her late former husband, Robert Nemiroff, and his third wife, Jewell Gresham-Nemiroff. The papers include virtually all of Hansberry's writings, autobiographical materials, journals, diaries, personal and professional correspondence, and related materials generated by Nemiroff and Gresham-Nemiroff, as the executors of the Lorraine Hansberry Estate. The papers are organized into four series, PERSONAL PAPERS, WRITINGS, PROFESSIONAL, and LEGACY.
The Lorraine Hansberry papers are arranged in six series:
Contains materials created primarily by Hansberry from 1950 until her death in 1964. Included are diaries, journals and autobiographical notes, information regarding education and employment, subject files, correspondence, and interviews. Information about her extended illness and get-well cards are also filed here.
Largest series, divided into two subseries, Play Scripts and Other Writings. The series contains the bulk of Hansberry's play scripts, articles, lectures and speeches, short stories, poems and other writings.
Series is divided into two subseries, Correspondence and Employment. The series is mainly comprised of correspondence Hansberry had with various organizations and individuals, and materials concerning her early employment history. Among the files are records that pertain to her career in journalism in the 1950s.
The final series, LEGACY, is divided into two subseries, Robert Nemiroff and Lorraine Hansberry Legacy and Projects. The first subseries, Robert Nemiroff files, is further subdivided into two sub-subseries, Nemiroff's Biographical Information, and Lorraine Hansberry Estate.
Additionally there are articles from the 1970s and 1980s where Nemiroff was quoted speaking about his late former wife. Also found here are a number of slightly different drafts for a musical, "Kicks and Co"., an interracial musical by Oscar Brown, Jr. It is not known what Nemiroff's role was regarding the play.
Originally an editor, music publisher and award-winning songwriter, Nemiroff produced Hansberry's second play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window. He also had his own play, Postmark Zero, his adaptation of the book, The Last Letters from Stalingrad, presented on Broadway in 1965, in London and on national television.