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Introduction   I   II   III

Lois Williams Bry Collection of
Eugene O'Neill, Jr.


Finding aid created by Miriam B. Spectre
Copyright 1998 by the Yale University Library.


Gift of Lois Williams Bry, 1986.


The Lois Williams Bry Collection of Eugene O'Neill, Jr. is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.


Lois Williams Bry Collection of Eugene O'Neill, Jr. Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.


This collection is open for research. Restricted Fragile in box 5 may only be consulted with permission of the appropriate curator. Preservation photocopies or photographic prints for reference use have been substituted in the main files.


Eugene O'Neill, Jr. and Lois Williams Bry were childhood friends in Douglaston (New York, N.Y.) and remained close friends throughout O'Neill, Jr.'s life. They corresponded regularly until 1949, the year before O'Neill, Jr.'s death. At the time of his death, Bry had lived for many years with her husband and children on a ranch in Ennis, Montana, where O'Neill, Jr. visited them several times. A biographical sketch of O'Neill, Jr. is provided in the Eugene O'Neill, Jr. Collection (YCAL MSS 126).


The Lois Williams Bry Collection of Eugene O'Neill, Jr. contains materials concerning Eugene O'Neill, Jr. that Bry received from Eugene O'Neill, Jr. or that she collected. These include correspondence, writings of Eugene O'Neill, Jr., clippings, and programs, spanning the years 1925 to 1986. The bulk of the material, however, dates from 1936 to 1950. The collection is organized into three series: Correspondence, Writings, and Subject Files, and is housed in five boxes.

Series I, Correspondence, is organized into two subseries: Eugene O'Neill, Jr. Letters and Third Party Correspondence. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically. The Eugene O'Neill, Jr. Letters mainly contains letters from O'Neill, Jr. to Bry, spanning the years 1925 to 1949. (There is an unexplained gap from 1929 to 1934.) This collection does not contain Bry's letters to O'Neill, Jr., which were returned to her by Elsie and Frank S. Meyer after O'Neill, Jr.'s death in 1950.

O'Neill, Jr. wrote detailed letters to Bry, discussing his work, his marriages, and his personal life; many of his letters mention O'Neill, Jr.'s Newfoundland dog, Cabot, whom he brought to live with the Brys on their ranch. There are also two letters to Bry's husband, N. William Bry, and one letter to Bry's sister.

Third Party Correspondence consists of letters from friends to Bry about O'Neill, Jr. and his death. There is also one letter to Bry from O'Neill, Jr.'s first wife, Mary Elizabeth Green, dated 10 March 1936, regarding a possible summer visit to Montana.

Series II, Writings, consists chiefly of printed versions of O'Neill, Jr.'s writings, many inscribed by him to Bry. The series is organized into four subseries: Articles, Reviews, Other Writings, and Writings of Others. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically. The first subseries, Articles, contains printed versions of O'Neill, Jr.'s articles in the field of classical studies. The second subseries, Reviews, contains printed versions and clippings of printed versions of O'Neill, Jr.'s reviews of other authors' works in the field of classical studies. The third subseries, Other Writings, contains a letter by O'Neill, Jr. to the editor of The Key Reporter, and the printed version of O'Neill, Jr.'s 1947 commencement address at Connecticut College. The fourth subseries, Writings of Others, contains a printed version of an article by Julian L. Rogatz, on a medical topic, inscribed to Bry and her husband. There is also a holograph version of a poem by an unidentified author.

Series III, Subject Files, is arranged alphabetically and mostly contains material collected after O'Neill, Jr.'s death. This includes clippings about friends, family, and associates of O'Neill, Jr., including Agnes Boulton, Oona Chaplin, and Paul Robeson. There are programs for three of Eugene O'Neill's plays, as well as numerous clippings about him and his work. There is also a program from O'Neill, Jr.'s commencement from Yale in 1932 and a 1936-37 course catalog for Yale that includes information about courses that O'Neill, Jr. taught.


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