Scope and arrangement
Langston Hughes Collection consists of material in a variety of formats by and about Hughes. His letters to Ruth Jett and Lindsay Patterson (1959-1967) include his review of the Broadway play, "The Long Dream." Writings include manuscript and printed versions of his play scripts "Mulatto," "Jerico-Jim Crow," "Don't you want to be free?" the libretto for "Simply Heavenly," the poem "Song of Spain," as well as essays. There are also translations of his poems into other languages, programs, reviews of Hughes' work, biographical material and clippings about him.
One third of the collection consists of legal records held by Maxwell T. Cohen, one of Hughes' attorneys. Represented are three lawsuits filed in the mid-1960s on Hughes behalf. One of the cases deals with a suit brought by Hughes against Gospel, Inc. and the Civic Theatre, Inc., for monies owed from a touring production of "Black Nativity." The files consists primarily of letters from Cohen to William Ming, Jr., attorney for Gospel, Inc. as well as legal documents. The second lawsuit was filed in 1965 against Educational Heritage, Inc., publisher of the Negro Heritage Library. The suit charged that the defendant used Hughes' name, portrait and alleged endorsement of Educational Heritage, Inc. in advertisements and other venues, without Hughes' consent. These files also contain correspondence and court documents.