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Harry C. Perry, Jr. papers

 Collection 0043-LIT

Harry C. Perry, Jr. (b. 1919), was Katherine Anne Porter's tax accountant for approximately five years in the early 1960s. He filed Porter's federal and District of Columbia tax returns from 1959 until 1964. The collection documents Porter's financial situation before and after the publication of Ship of Fools. Included in the collection are financial papers, correspondence, and newspaper clippings related to Porter.


  • 1958-1966
  • Majority of material found within 1959-1964

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

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers of Harry C. Perry, Jr., span the years 1958 to 1966, with the bulk created between 1959 and 1964. The collection contains financial papers related to Katherine Anne Porter's federal and District of Columbia income taxes, such as tax returns, itemized lists of expenses and income, and receipts. The collection also contains correspondence between Porter and Mr. Perry, mainly relating to Porter's finances. They also discuss political and personal topics such as Porter's experiences during her residence in Europe and her opinions of the Civil Rights movement.


Harry C. Perry, Jr., Katherine Anne Porter's first accountant in Washington, D. C., was born in Frederick, Maryland, on February 20, 1919. He was the second of thirteen children born to Nannie Frances (Bentz) and Harry Clay Perry, Sr. During the Depression, the Perry family moved from Frederick to Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Mr. Perry received his Master of Commercial Science degree in 1954 from Benjamin Franklin University, where he also earned his bachelor's degree. He worked in Washington, D. C., as an accountant for Malin and Dery, Public Accountants, from 1951 until 1962, when he was named a partner in the firm. He and his wife, Violet Fern Caldwell, have two children, Harry Clay III and Judith Suzanne. He has three grandchildren and continues to work in the District of Columbia as the surviving member of the Malin, Dery, and Perry accounting firm.

Mr. Perry became Katherine Anne Porter's accountant in 1960 through the agency of a mutual friend, John Prince. Mr. Perry acted as Porter's accountant from 1960 until 1964. He prepared and filed her federal and District of Columbia tax returns from 1959 until 1962. The final return, for 1962, was filed during Porter's 1963 residence in Europe.


The collection has been arranged into one series.

Series 1
Correspondence and Financial Papers

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Harry Perry, Jr., donated his papers relating to Katherine Anne Porter to the University of Maryland Libraries in October 1983.

Related Material

Additional materials related to Porter's finances, including her correspondence with Mr. Perry, can be found in Series I and IV of the Papers of Katherine Anne Porter. Materials related to John Prince, who introduced Porter to Mr. Perry, can be found in the Papers of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Prince and the Papers of Katherine Anne Porter, Series I.

Processing Information

The collection was placed into one series. Items in the collection were arranged chronologically and foldered by tax year. All staples and paper clips were removed and replaced with plastic clips. All materials were placed in acid-free folders in an acid-free box.

Guide to the Harry C. Perry, Jr. papers
Processing begun by: Pascale Compere, May 1998. Processing and guide completed by: Steve Hausfeld, July 1998.
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