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Albert Gross papers

 Collection 0008-LIT
Albert H. (Pete) Gross (1895-1948) worked in publishing for more than two decades. His collection consists primarily of correspondence and manuscripts he accumulated during his tenure at Boni and Liveright, Inc.; Horace Liveright, Inc.; A. and S. Lyons, Inc.; and Coward-McCann, Inc. Manuscripts and correspondence relating to Thomas Mann's "Letter to the Civilized World: A Manifest" are particularly notable, as are other manuscripts and galley proofs, such as those for Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time. The collection also contains correspondence from such literary figures as Sholem Asch, Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Atherton, Theodore Dreiser, Robinson Jeffers, and Eugene O'Neill.

Dates

  • 1924-1946
  • Majority of material found within 1924-1946

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Extent

.75 Linear Feet (One Hollinger Box, One Half-Hollinger Box, and 7 Items Stored in a Map Case)

7 Items

Scope and Contents

The Albert H. Gross Collection, which spans the years 1924 to 1946, consists primarily of correspondence and manuscripts Gross accumulated during his tenure at Boni & Liveright, Inc.; Horace Liveright, Inc.; A. and S. Lyons, Inc.; and Coward-McCann, Inc. Manuscripts and correspondence relating to Thomas Mann's "Letter to the Civilized World: A Manifesto" are particularly notable. The collection contains correspondence from such literary figures as Sholem Asch, Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Atherton, Theodore Dreiser, Robinson Jeffers, and Eugene O'Neill. Also included in the collection are a manuscript and galley proofs for Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time; galley proofs of Eugene O'Neill's Dynamo; and manuscripts and other materials by and about Theodore Dreiser, including a manuscript of The Bulwark and galley proofs of "The Stoic," the third section of his novel An American Tragedy. In addition the collection contains writings of Hart Crane and Ernest Toller and advertisements for works by Theodore Dreiser and e. e. cummings.

Biography

The personal life of Albert H. (Pete) Gross (1895-1948), who worked in publishing and translated Sholem Asch's East River from Yiddish, is largely undocumented. Gross was born in Leeds, England, and moved to the United States sometime before 1924. He died of a heart attack on August 16, 1948. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Henrietta (Slater) Gross and their two children, Nancy and Herman.

In 1924, Gross, Alexander Trachtenberg, and A. A. Heller founded International Publishers, a socialist publishing house in New York. The firm specialized in English translations of leftist European literature. Their notable publications included Trotsky's Literature and Revolution, a collection of post-Revolutionary Russian short stories, and English translations of the novels of Pierre Hamp. By 1927, Gross had ended his association with International Publishers. He was later employed by publishers, including Boni & Liveright, its successor Horace Liveright, Inc., and Coward-McCann, Inc., and by A. and S. Lyons Inc., which negotiated movie and play rights for writers.

Gross worked in publishing for more than two decades. Among the writers he helped bring to mass audiences were Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser, Gene Fowler, Ernest Hemingway, Robinson Jeffers, and Eugene O'Neill. During his publishing career, he also corresponded with such literary and intellectual figures as Albert Einstein, William Faulkner, Georgia O'Keefe, Upton Sinclair, and Thornton Wilder. In 1938 and 1939, while at A. and S. Lyons, Gross worked to publish Thomas Mann's anti-Nazi work, "To the Civilized World: A Manifesto." He sought signatures from contemporary authors and intellectual figures in support of Mann's manifesto and organized a round-table discussion featuring literary and intellectual figures concerning Naziism and fascism, held on December 18, 1938, at Carnegie Hall. Despite Gross's efforts, there was little public support for Mann's manifesto, and the author eventually withdrew it from publication.

Arrangement

The collection is organized as five series:
  1. Series 1: Thomas Mann's "To the Civilized World: A Manifesto,"
  2. Series 2: Correspondence of Albert Gross
  3. Series 3: Letters Collected by Albert Gross
  4. Series 4: Writings Collected by Albert Gross
  5. Series 5: Photographs

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the Albert H. Gross Collection in May 1974.

Related Material

Authors and individuals with significant materials in the Albert Gross Collection include Sholem Asch, Theodore Dreiser, Ernest Hemingway, Horace Liveright, Thomas Mann, and Eugene O'Neill.

Primary sources related to Sholem Asch can be found in the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Library, New York, New York, and the Nathan Asch Papers, at Winthrop University, Rockville, South Carolina.

Primary sources for Theodore Dreiser are located at the University of Pennsylvania; the University of California; the Huntington Library, San Marino, California; Cornell University; Columbia University; the University of Virginia; and the Indiana Historical Society Library, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Primary sources related to Ernest Hemingway are located at Southern Illinois University; Boise State University; Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois; the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard University; Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri; Penn State University; University of Virginia; and in the Ernest Hemingway Collection in the University of Maryland Libraries.

The personal papers of Horace Brisbin Liveright are located at the University of Pennsylvania.

European locations of primary sources for Thomas Mann include the Thomas Mann Archiv in Zurich, the Thomas Mann Archiv in Berlin, and the Handschriftenabteilung der Stadtbibliothek, in Munich. In the United States, primary sources for Thomas Mann are located at Yale University and at Princeton University.

Eugene O'Neill's papers are located at Yale University; Harvard University; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Princeton University; and the University of Virginia.

Processing Information

The Thomas Mann manifesto materials, which existed as a discrete grouping before processing, were arranged as Series I. The remainder of the correspondence in the collection was divided into two series: "Correspondence of Albert Gross" and "Correspondence Collected by Albert Gross." The original order of all of the correspondence, alphabetical by correspondent, was retained.

Remaining materials were divided into two series, "Writings" and "Photographs," and arranged alphabetically by author or subject. The galley proofs for Dreiser's "The Stoic," Hemingway's In Our Time, and O'Neill's Dynamo were flattened and placed in oversize storage. Photographs, which were originally interfiled with the correspondence, were also removed from the collection, placed in mylar sleeves and housed in oversize storage. All staples and paper clips were removed and replaced with plastic clips; fragile items were placed in mylar sleeves. All materials were placed in acid-free folders and acid-free boxes.
Title
Guide to the Albert Gross papers
Status
Completed
Author
Processed and guide completed by Steve Hausfeld.
Date
1998-10-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
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

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212