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James Stern papers

 Collection 0031-LIT

James Stern (1904-1993) was an Irish-born author of more than fifty short stories, non-fiction, and translations. His works include The Heartless Land (1932); The Hidden Damage (1947); and The Stories of James Stern (1969). Stern's papers consist primarily of correspondence he received relating to Djuna Barnes, both from her and from others. The papers also include newspaper and magazine articles about Miss Barnes. Major topics include Nightwood, The Antiphon, mutual acquaintances, social events, personal affairs, and requests for information about Djuna Barnes.


  • 1940-1986
  • Majority of material found within 1940-1986

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

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.


0.25 Linear Feet


James Andrew Stern, author, was born on December 26, 1904, in County Meath, Ireland. He attended Eaton and Sandhurst.

The author of more than fifty short stories, his works included The Heartless Land (1932); Something Wrong (1938); The Hidden Damage (1947) (written after viewing the damage wrought by World War II as a member of the Strategic Bombing Survey in Germany); The Man Who Was Loved (1952); The Stories of James Stern (1969); and Thank You Fog (1974). Together with his wife, Constanze (Tania) Kurella, whom he married in 1935, Stern translated from German the works of Franz Kafka; Bertolt Brecht; Thomas Mann; Erich Maria Remarque; Hugo von Hofmannsthal; and Sigmund Freud. Mr. Stern also wrote for numerous newspapers and magazines including New Yorker; London Magazine; Irish Times; Harper's Magazine; Nation; and New Republic.

Mr. Stern also worked as a bartender, pig farmer, cattle rancher, and steeplechase rider. He died on November 22, 1993, at the age of eighty-eight.


This collection is organized as two series:

Series 1
Series 2
Articles About Djuna Barnes

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

James Andrew Stern bequeathed these papers to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries. The Libraries received them in June 1994.

Related Material

The University of Maryland also holds the Papers of Djuna Barnes. Correspondence with James Stern is located in Series II. There is also Stern correspondence in Series I of the Papers of Katherine Anne Porter, also among the holdings of the Archives and Manuscripts Department.

Processing Information

The papers of James Stern were divided into two series. Letters were removed from envelopes and flattened. Envelopes were discarded except those containing annotations. The date of a letter was recorded in brackets on its envelope if it differed from the date of the postmark. Paper clips were removed, and the collection was placed in acid-free folders and boxes.

Guide to the James Stern papers
Processed by Jennifer Lynn Pitts.
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