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John Dos Passos papers

 Collection 0078-LIT

John Dos Passos (1896-1970) was one of the major novelists of the post-World War I Lost Generation that included authors and artists such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, and Sherwood Anderson. After graduating from Harvard University in 1916, he volunteered to be an ambulance driver in World War I. His experiences there led to the bitter antiwar novel Three Soldiers (1921). In the postwar years he also produced his trilogy U. S. A., which consists of The 42nd Parallel (1930); 1919 (1932); and The Big Money (1936). Dos Passos worked as a newspaper correspondent during World War II and continued to write novels after the war. He published forty-two novels, as well as poems, essays, and plays. He was also a student of art and created and exhibited more than 400 pieces of art. The Dos Passos papers include manuscripts and notes relating to his translation of Panama; or, The Adventures of My Seven Uncles (1931), his play Fortune Heights (1934), and his novel Manhattan Transfer (1925), as well as correspondence and manuscripts related to his work in the theater.


  • 1923-1970
  • Majority of material found within 1925-1933

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

This collection is unprocessed. This means that materials are in the same state we received them and have not been reviewed for content or condition. The collection may need to be screened prior to use. Please contact us before visiting the Special Collections reading room to view this collection. A preliminary inventory is available under the Inventories/Additional Information section

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


0.75 Linear Feet

Guide to the John Dos Passos papers
Minimally Processed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742