Frank Daniel Papers

Frank Daniel Papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Purdy, James
Title: Frank Daniel Papers
Dates: circa 1928-1979
Quantity: 2.1 Linear feet (4 document boxes, 2 half boxes, 1 oversize folder A)
Abstract:Correspondence including letters from Georgia and Southern writers and internationally known celebrities; clippings, notes, writings by Daniel and others, printed material, photos, and other miscellaneous papers; and celebrity photos, including many which are autographed; together with correspondence (ca. 100 items, 1963-1977) from James Purdy to Daniel, draft of Purdy's novel, House of the Solitary Maggot (1974), and other material by and about Purdy. Other correspondents include James B. Cabell, Erskine Caldwell, Isa Glenn, Caroline Miller, Marion Montgomery, Susan Myrick, Frances Newman, Flannery O'Connor, Julia Peterkin, Jeannette Rankin, Celestine Sibley, Virgil Thomson, and Friedelind Wagner.
Coll. Number: ms835

Biographical/Historical Note

Frank Daniel was born William Frank Daniel in Thomaston, Georgia on September 7, 1900. He served briefly in the Navy during World War I and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1922. He went on to study for a year at Columbia University. In November of 1922 he began a job with the Atlanta Journal, but shortly took leave to travel. He returned to the Journal in January of 1925 where he worked for the next forty years in such capacities as reporter, opera critic, book editor, theater critic, and editorial page columnist. During this time Frank Daniel became associated with a number of Georgia and Southern writers as well as internationally famous theater, film, and music celebrities.

Daniel retired from the Journal in October of 1965 and in June of 1966 joined the Georgia Department of Archives and History where he edited the papers of former Georgia governors. He retired from there in 1979. Frank Daniel died in Atlanta, Georgia on September 2, 1981 at the age of 80.

Born in Ohio in 1923, author James Purdy came into recognition as a writer with the publication in England of his collection of stories, 63: Dream Palace (1957). This was later published in the United States under the title, Color of Darkness. Other works followed, including the novels Malcolm (1959), The Nephew (1961), Cabot Wright Begins (1964), The House of the Solitary Maggot (1974), and Narrow Rooms (1978). Besides other novels and short stories Purdy has written and published plays and poetry.

Scope and Content Note

The first collection of the Frank Daniel Papers was given by him to the University of Georgia Libraries Special Collections in 1973. He continued giving more material over the years until his death in 1981. The last installment was sent from his office in Atlanta and received in February of 1984.

The collection reflects Daniel's relationships with many Georgia and Southern writers as well as internationally famous theater, film, and music celebrities as a result of his 40 year career as a journalist and critic with the Atlanta Journal. Letters, pictures, and other items from many of these people are contained in this small but important collection consisting of six Hollinger boxes as well as several oversize items. Boxes 1 and 2 contain primarily correspondence (arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent) dating from about 1928 to 1979 and include letters from such writers as James B. Cabell, Erskine Caldwell, Isa Glenn, Marion Montgomery, Susan Myrick, Frances Newman (corr. to), Flannery O'Connor, Julia Peterkin, Jeanette Rankin, Caroline Miller Ray (the first Georgian to win the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, Lamb In His Bosom, 1932), and Celestine Sibley. Other correspondents include the music critic and composer, Virgil Thomson, and Friedelind Wagner (grand-daughter of Richard Wagner). There are also autographs of Don Marquis, Maurice Chevalier, and the conductor, Andre Kostelanetz.

Box 3 consists of various miscellaneous items including clippings, notes, printed material, personal photographs, and a few writings by Frank Daniel and others.

Box 4 contains entirely celebrity photographs that Frank Daniel collected over the years. Many are autographed and include such stars as Tallulah Bankhead, Ethel Barrymore, Gary Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Gloria Swanson, and Mae West. There are photographs of several musical personalities as well, including Ernó Dohnányi, Walter Gieseking, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Lily Pons, and Virgil Thomson.

The remainder of the Frank Daniel Papers is quite intriguing, as it concerns exclusively the American writer, James Purdy. Box 5 contains around 100 letters from Purdy to Daniel dating from 1963 through 1977 and written when Purdy was living in New York City. They are important, as they give a fascinating insight into his writing as well as reveal the trials and tribulations of a writer who refused to adapt to the current literary establishment.

Box 6 includes a xerox draft of Purdy's novel, The House of the Solitary Maggot, as well as some other miscellaneous material by and about Purdy.

With the Purdy letters, as well as those of the Southern writers aforementioned, the Frank Daniel Papers should prove to be a valuable source for research into American literary and artistic life in the twentieth century.


Arranged into 4 series and 2 subseries: Series 1. Correspondence, Series 2. Clippings, writings, and other materials, Series 3. Celebrity photographs, and Series 4. James Purdy materials (includes Subseries 4.1 Correspondence and Subseries 4.2 Writings by and about Purdy).

Index Terms

American literature.
American newspapers--Georgia.
Atlanta Journal.
Authors, American--Georgia.
Authors, American--Southern States.
Authors, American.
Autographs (manuscripts)
Miller, Caroline Pafford, 1903-1992 -- Correspondence
Myrick, Susan -- Correspondence
Newman, Frances, 1883-1928 -- Correspondence
O'Connor, Flannery -- Correspondence
Peterkin, Julia Mood, 1880-1961 -- Correspondence
Rankin, Jeannette, 1880-1973 -- Correspondence
Sibley, Celestine -- Correspondence
Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989 -- Correspondence
Wagner, Friedelind, 1918- -- Correspondence

General Notes

In part, photocopy of typewritten draft of House of the Solitary Maggot by James Purdy.

House of the solitary maggot.


Restrictions on Access

Access partially restricted.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Series 1: Correspondence

11Bonner, John
2Borsten, Orin
3Bramley, Dick
4Cabell, James Branch
Caldwell, Erskine & Virginia
16(printed material)
17Cehanovsky, George
18Chambers, ?
19Chevalier, Maurice (autograph)
20Cole, Lois Dwight
21Coulter, E. Merton
22Decatur Federal Savings & Loan Asso.
23Eaton, Quaintance
24Edwards, Kate F.
25Eidson, John O.
26Elliott, J.H. (printed material)
27Estes, David E.
28Fortson, Ben W., Jr.
29Friendship House
30Glenn, Isa
31Greenburger, Francis
32Grosser, M.
33Hilsman, Camille
34Hobson, Fred
35Jacobs, Sinclair (printed material)
36Kostelanetz, Andre (autograph)
37Lane, Mills
38Leginska, Ethel
39Marquis, Don (autograph)
40Melton, Marjorie M. (Mrs. James)
41Miller, Kathleen A.
42Re. Mitchell, Stephens (note)
43Montgomery, Marion
44Moody, Minnie Hite (Mrs. W.O.)
45Myrick, Susan
46Newman, Frances (corr. to)
47O'Connor, Flannery
48Page, Wilson (corr. to)
49Peterkin, Julia
50Pope, B.
51Rankin, Jeanette
Ray, Caroline Miller
541975 76 & undated
21Reap, James
2Reeves, Hope & Joel (card)
3Roberts, Debra
4Roberts, Mrs. M. Hine
5Robinson, Francis
6Schwarzschild, Bettina
7Shaffer, Randolph
8Sherril, Bob
9Sibley, Celestine
10Sims, Mrs. Louise L.
11Smith, Lillian (poem)
12Stephens, Ralph
13Sulka, A. & Co.
14Ternes, Marge
15Thompson, Virgil
16Turk, Elizabeth
17Upson Historical Society
18Wagner, Friedelind
19Wilson, Larry
20Woodbury, Mrs. Robert T.

Series 2: Clippings, Writings, and Other Materials

2Miscellaneous notes, etc.
3Miscellaneous personal papers
4Miscellaneous printed material
7Writings by Frank Daniel
8Writings by Others. Metropolitan Opera in Atlanta, 1919-1925

Series 3: Celebrity Photographs

41Anderson, Marian
2Bankhead, Tallulah
3Barrymore, Ethel
4Bell, Vereen
5Burke, Billie
6Cooper, Gary
6ACornell, Katherine
7Dana, Viola
8Danilova, A.
9Dohnanyi, E.
10Dunne, Irene SEE: Hunter, Louise
11Eastwood, Clint
11AEberle, Harry
12Farrar, G.
OS Folder
1AFlagstad, Kirsten
413Fontanne, Lynn SEE: Lunt, Alfred
14Gieseking, Walter
14AGigli, Benjamin
14BHayes, Roland
15Heifetz, Jascha
16Hill, Terence
17Hofmann, Joseph
18Hunter, Louise; Wright, Ethel L.; & Dunne, Irene
19Keyes, Evelyn SEE: Rutherford, Ann
20Kreisler, Fritz
21Lamar, Mirabeau
21ALawrence ?
22Lunt, Alfred & Fontanne, Lynn
23McCoy, Gertrude
OS Folder
1AMiller, Caroline
423BMorgan, Helen
24Newman, Frances & Peterkin, Julia
25Pickford, Mary
26Pons, Lily
27Rutherford, Ann & Keyes, Evelyn
27ASchumann-Heink, Ernestine
28Smith, Lillian
OS Folder
1ASullivan, Margaret
429Swanson, Gloria
30Thomson, Virgil
31West, Mae
32Wright, Ethel L. SEE: Hunter, Louise
33Yates, Peter
OS Folder

Series 4: James Purdy Materials

Subseries 4.1: Correspondence

41969 January-February
51969 March-May
61969 June-September
71969 October-December
81970 January-July
91970 August-December

Subseries 4.2: Writings by and about Purdy

61-8 The House of the Solitary Maggot (xerox of a draft)
9 Mr. Evening (book)
10"An Oyster Is a Wealthy Beast" (book)
11"Short Papa" (xerox from the Antioch Review)
12"Some of These Days" (xerox from New Directions 31)
13"Writing from Inner-Compulsion"
14Writings about Purdy (book reviews, interview, etc.)