Scope and arrangement
The Lajos Egri papers date from 1895 to 1983 (bulk dates 1942 to 1966) and document Egri's work as a writer and teacher of writing with correspondence, manuscripts, and scrapbooks.
Correspondence in the collection is both personal and professional in nature. In addition to letters from Egri's friends Martin Frank and Thomas Collision, and letters from Egri School of Writing students, there is also family correspondence between Egri, his wife, and their children. Professional correspondence from agents and publishers discuss sales, promotion, and copyright matters for Egri's instructional writing books. Correspondence that dates after Egri's death is addressed to his wife Ilona.
Egri School of Writing files consist of notes for lectures, analysis assignments completed by Egri, and student evaluations and summaries of the courses. These files contain promotional materials for the school, such as brochures and letters from prominent students and writers.
Family papers include brief biographical excerpts written by Egri, his wife, and children; Egri's will; a datebook; drawings by Egri's son, Ted; and a journal recording the weekly activities of his family during the late 1920s.
Scrapbooks span Egri's career in the United States, beginning with reviews and programs from his plays produced in the 1920s. The Egri School of Writing is represented in the scrapbooks by advertisements, clippings, and brochures as well as photographs of and clippings about former students. Scrapbooks also feature reviews and other press regarding How to Write a Play and The Art of Dramatic Writing. Some clippings and programs are in Hungarian, particularly for early plays performed in Egri's native language.
Manuscripts include typed drafts of plays, short fiction, poetry, essays, and partial book chapters, and comprise the bulk of the collection. Many of the manuscripts are undated and untitled. Preceding the manuscripts is an index of titles and works likely represented within the collection. Playscripts begin with Egri's earliest work in America and include plays that were not produced. Most of the essays and book chapters discuss the principles of writing drama and fiction, and the critical analysis of creative writing. These essays and chapters relate thematically to Egri's books, though it is unclear as to whether the manuscripts are early drafts of his published work.
The collection contains two published books: a Persian translation of The Art of Creative Writing, and a 19th century volume of Sándor Petőfi's poetry owned by Egri.
The collection is arranged by document type or subject: Correspondence; Egri School of Writing; Family Papers; Manuscripts; Published Books; and Scrapbooks. A small number of manuscripts are arranged by genre and title.