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MacKinlay Kantor Papers

Identifier: MsC0635

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Scope and Contents

The papers of MacKinlay Kantor consist of four boxes of manuscripts, dating from 1950 to 1958. The vast majority of these papers relate to his Civil War novel, Andersonville. There are correspondence files, drafts in a variety of stages, printer's and foundry proofs, and Kantor's notes, all of which concern the writing of Andersonville. There are also drafts from some of his other books, including Author's Choice, God and My Country, and Don't Touch Me. The final folder of the collection is made up of correspondence, publicity photographs and biographical information promoting a lecture tour for his novel Signal Thirty-Two.


  • Creation: 1950-1958


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

MacKinlay Kantor was born in Webster City, Iowa, on February 4, 1904. His mother, Effie McKinlay, was the editor of the Webster City Daily News. Kantor's writing career began on this newspaper when he was seventeen. His first novel, Diversey, was published in 1928 -- he was twenty four years old. The book was not a success and Kantor returned to writing for newspapers in Iowa. In 1934, he published Long Remember which became his first best seller. Hollywood bought the novel and Kantor moved to California to work as a screenwriter. World War II cut short his screenwriting career. As a war correspondent, he covered the air battles in Europe. In 1945, Kantor published Glory for Me, which became the film The Best Years of Our Lives. Ten years later, Andersonville was published. Kantor was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for this Civil War novel. During the course of his career, MacKinlay Kantor published thirty-two books and hundreds of short stories, essays, poems, and articles. He died on October 11, 1977, at the age of seventy-three.


4.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Author. Manuscript drafts, proofs, correspondence, etc. for his novel, Andersonville, with drafts for some other books.

Method of Acquisition

This collection was given to the University of Iowa Libraries by Mr. Kantor over a period of years.

Related Materials

The Library of Congress is the primary repository for MacKinlay Kantor's papers. Separately acquired, the Libraries holds a TLS 1p (MsL K167ro) to Edward G. Robinson (1893 -- 1973), Sarasota, Florida, 7 Dec. 1940, apologizing for having no ideas for a radio program; hoping Robinson can make a picture on General Grant; admitting he does have a screen treatment about Mosby.

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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)