Skip to main content

Matheson collection of Mary McCarthy materials

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0318

Scope and Contents

This is an artificially assembled collection formed by items removed from Mary McCarthy's published volumes cataloged for Rare Books, Special Collections. The collection includes publicity releases from the publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1979), a hand-written letter (1985), and two photographs of Mary McCarthy.

The publicity releases are dated August 13, 1979 and include biographical information and a brief promotion for McCarthy's 1979 novel, Cannibals and Missionaries. In a letter included in the collection, McCarthy wrote to Tom Goldwasser (April 3, 1985) that she had sold the bulk of the papers to Vassar College. A photograph of McCarthy in earlier years (undated), most likely taken around 1979 for publicity purposes, is also included. Final items in the collection are a press release, dated January, 1987 and a letter of Willa M. Perlman announcing the publication of McCarthy's memoir, How I Grew also in January, 1987.


  • Creation: 1979-1987


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This 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

Mary McCarthy, an American author was born in Seattle, Washington, June 21, 1912. She graduated from Vassar College in 1933 and began her writing soon afterwards. She was successful as novelist, short story writer, memoirist, essayist, and critic. She wrote literary criticism for New Republic and Nation and drama reviews for Parisian Review. Her stories and articles appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic. McCarthy also taught English at Bard and Sarah Lawrence colleges. In 1949, Miss McCarthy won the Horizon Award for a short novel, The Oasis. A full-length novel, The Groves of Academe, was published in 1952 followed by A Charmed Life (1955), The Group (1963), Birds of America (1971), and Cannibals and Missionaries (1979). An autobiographical account of her years, Memories of a Catholic Girlhood was published in 1957 and supplemented with How I Grew published in 1987. In addition, Miss McCarthy wrote a number of political books: Vietnam (1967), Hanoi (1967), and Medina (1972). An expression of Miss McCarthy's artistic thought can be found in Venice Observed (1956) and The Stones of Florence (1959). McCarthy died in New York City, October 25, 1989.


0.167 Cubic Feet (5 items)

Language of Materials



Mary Therese McCarthy (1912–1989) was an American novelist, critic and political activist. The collection includes publicity releases from the publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1979), a hand-written letter (1985), and two photographs of Mary McCarthy.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The items that form this collection were included with a gift of Mary McCarthy published volumes given to the University by William and Nina Matheson in 1987. The publicity releases (1979), the letter (1985), and the photograph were transferred to the Manuscript Department, October 1991. The Accession number is 91-92.14. The publicity release (1987) and the letter of Willa M. Perlman (1987) were added to the collection in February, 1993. The Accession Number for the latter items is 92-93.25.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in March 1992, February, 1993.

Matheson collection of Mary McCarthy materials
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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