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Maxine Finsterwald Papers

Identifier: MsC0427

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Scope and Contents

The papers of Maxine Finsterwald date from 1928 to 1983 and document her literary career. The papers measure 2.5 linear feet and are arranged in four sections: 1) general files; 2) published material; 3) typescripts; and 4) playbills and programs. The general files include such items as correspondence, photographs, and two scrapbooks (one devoted to her play, On Whitman Avenue and one to biographical articles, notices, programs, and reviews). The published materials series is divided into fiction and nonfiction and includes articles on medical subjects as well as short stories and plays. Her typescripts are separated into plays, radio plays, radio shows, speeches, and teleplays. There is also one entire box of playbills and programs from theater performances she attended, unrelated to her own works.


  • Creation: 1928-1983
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1940-1960


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Maxine Finsterwald was born in Marion, Wisconsin, in 1906 and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She was a graduate of Wellesley College and the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Finsterwald got her start writing for radio while still in Detroit. She wrote, directed, and acted in the Kaffee Klatch and wrote half-hour comedies for Playhouse of the Air. Moving to New York, she wrote for "Words at War" at NBC. She also wrote plays for the theater, newspaper and magazine features, and medical articles. She was published in everything from the Atlantic Monthly and Seventeen to the Medical Tribune and Radiology News. She wrote her plays using the pen name, Maxine Wood. One of her early plays, Giants in Chains, won the Otto H. Kahn prize in 1928. Another of her works, On Whitman Avenue, addressed race relations. Her works have been performed on and off Broadway as well as in regional theaters.


2.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Radio scriptwriter (Kaffee Klatch and Playhouse of the Air among others) and playwright (as Maxine Wood). Correspondence, photographs, clippings, scrapbooks, typescripts, etc. Finsterwald, playwright and author, published under the name "Maxine Wood".

Method of Acquisition

These papers were donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Maxine Finsterwald in 1983.

Related Materials

Lee, Canada. Letter to Maxine Wood. Buffalo, NY. 1946 April 10. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Department. MsL L4773wo.

Carmer, Carl Lamson. Letter to Maxine Wood. New York, NY. 1931 February 18. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Department. MsL C2872wo.

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)