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Frary collection of William Faulkner materials

Identifier: MS-0902

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Content Description

This collection represents the manuscript portion of a larger holding of materials created by or relating to William Faulkner, compiled by collector Richard Frary. The collection includes: typewritten letters by or about Faulkner, original drafts and proofs of some of his writings, screenplays and promotional materials for film adaptations of his works, publications, and other printed ephemera. The holdings range in time from 1920 to 2000, most of the materials date from 1930 to 1970.


  • Creation: 1920 - 2000
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930 - 1970


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information. The collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

The collector, Richard Frary, was an alumnus of The Johns Hopkins University and president of a real estate firm in New York City. He was an avid book collector with a particular interest in 19th- and 20th-century American literature.

Biographical / Historical

William Faulkner was an American novelist and short-story writer born in New Albany, Mississippi on September 25, 1897, the eldest of four sons to parents Murry Cuthbert and Maud Butler Falkner (which he later spelled "Faulkner"). Faulkner's family moved to Oxford, Mississippi when he was a young child. Oxford is where Faulkner spent the majority of his life and served as a primary influence in his writing. In 1918, he joined the British Royal Air Force during World War I and trained as a cadet in Canada, though the war ended before his training was complete. Faulkner returned to Oxford and attended the University of Mississippi for three semesters before dropping out in 1920. Faulkner married Estelle Oldham in 1929, who already had two children, Victoria and Malcolm, from her previous marriage to Cornell Franklin. Estelle and Faulkner had a daughter named Jill in 1933. Faulkner authored several novels and short stories during his career, including The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), and Absalom, Absalom! (1936). He worked periodically as a screenwriter in Hollywood for such companies as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Warner Brothers, and Twentieth Century-Fox. Faulkner was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature, a National Book Award in 1951, and two Pulitzer Prize awards: one for the novel A Fable in 1955 and another posthumously for the novel The Reivers in 1963. Faulkner died on July 6, 1962.

Source: “William Faulkner.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Accessed April 4, 2022.


1.94 Cubic Feet (8 boxes, 1 map case folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence, screenplays, typescripts, film posters and stills, and other materials which document William Faulkner's career, collected by Richard Frary. The collection dates from 1920 to 2000; the bulk of the material dates from 1930 to 1970.


This collection is arranged into six series. The files within each series are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Partially purchased from Richard and Irene Frary in December 2020. The Frarys also gifted Special Collections with portions of this collection.

Separated Materials

This manuscript collection was acquired along with the Frary's book collection which also centered on William Faulkner as the collecting focus. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Processing Information

Processed by Kristen Diehl in April 2022.

Processing Information

[Name of folder or item], [Date], [Box number], [Folder number], [Collection title], [Collection number], Special Collections, The Johns Hopkins University.


Guide to the Richard Frary collection of William Faulkner materials
Kristen Diehl
2022 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA