Paul Corey Papers
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Scope and Contents
Paul Corey began donating his papers to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1940, when he deposited the manuscript of his first novel, Three Miles Square. It was one of the first Iowa Author manuscripts received by the libraries and the director's letter of acknowledgment to Corey stated "we hope it will form the nucleus of a collection of manuscripts." Corey continued to deposit his papers (and those of his wife, poet Ruth Lechlitner) with the libraries throughout his lifetime. His daughter, Anne, made the final gift in 1993, less than one year after his death. The papers of Paul Corey consist of twenty-six linear feet of records dating from 1920 to 1992. They document not only his literary accomplishments, but his personal, political, and environmental interests. The papers are organized into four series: Correspondence, Subject Files, Manuscripts, and Scrapbooks. The Correspondence Series dates from 1920 to 1992 and is arranged chronologically. It includes letters from: Clarence A. Andrews, Buel Griffith Beems, Jack Conroy, Phyllis Crawford, August Derleth, John T. Frederick, Philip Gerber, Granville Hicks, Darrell Huff, Ruth Lechlitner, Frank Luther Mott, and Jerre Mangione. The Subject Files Series is arranged alphabetically. Here can be found biographical material about Corey; information about his European trip taken in 1928 -- 1929; financial records; classroom material relating to his home-building course taught at Napa College; research about mountain lions, etc. The third series is made up of Manuscripts. These are arranged alphabetically within three subseries: A. Articles and book reviews; B. Short stories, plays, movies, and novellas; and C. Books and novels. This series documents Corey's literary career with typescript drafts, research, correspondence, galley proofs, reviews, etc., from his published and unpublished works. The last series contains two Scrapbooks kept by Corey.
- Creation: 1920 - 1992
- Corey, Paul (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. This collection is stored at an offsite location. When requesting materials, please allow two business days for items to arrive at the Special Collections reading room.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.
Biographical / Historical
Paul Corey was born in the family farmhouse near Marne in Shelby County, Iowa, on July 8, 1903. He was the youngest of seven children. His father died before he was two, but his mother, with the help of her older sons, continued to operate the one hundred-sixty acre farm. When he was fourteen, he moved to Atlantic, Iowa, with his mother and one brother. He graduated from high school there in 1921. Corey attended the University of Iowa, receiving his B.A. in journalism in 1925.
Corey's first job, after graduating, was as a reporter for a trade paper in Chicago. After only a few months there, he moved to New York City where he had a variety of jobs, including work for the Encyclopedia Brittanica and the Real Estate Record and Builder's Guide. While in New York City, Corey married the poet, Ruth Lechlitner. They spent a year in Europe (1928 -- 1929) before moving back to Cold Spring-on-Hudson, New York. There Corey pursued his writing career, while he built their house, and raised chickens for profit. His farm trilogy: Three Miles Square (1939), The Road Returns (1940), and County Seat (1941) was written and published while building that house. The Corey's only child, Anne, was also born in Cold Spring, New York.
In 1947, they moved to Sonoma, California. Here Corey built another house, while continuing his writing. He published a number of "how-to" books and articles for amateur home builders. He also taught a home building class at Napa College.
Paul Corey was a serious environmentalist, animal activist, and political liberal. His most consuming interest was the preservation of the mountain lion in northern California. He was also active in local efforts to spay and neuter domestic pets. A cat lover, Corey published numerous articles, stories, and books regarding feline behavior. He advocated the non-intrusive observation of animals rather than controlled scientific or laboratory testing (which he deplored). His politics remained liberal throughout his life. His was a familiar name on petitions and letters to the editor in Sonoma, protesting local politics and national policies.
Active into his last year, Paul Corey died of a cerebral hemorrhage on December 17, 1992, at the age of 89.
26.00 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Writer Three Miles Square (1939), environmentalist, and animal activist. Correspondence, subject files, scrapbooks, and preliminary drafts of writings.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection materials were gifted by Ann M. Corey.
Genre / Form
- Language of description
- Script of description