What follows is a brief description of our holdings of Letters, Notebooks, Literary Manuscripts, Autobiography, Scrapbooks, First Editions and Reprints, Mark Twain's Personal Library, Pictures, and Contemporary Documents.
The Project maintains separate, chronological files of all known letters by Clemens or his immediate family, and all known letters to or about Clemens and his immediate family. It is possible to see any of various selections from these files (all letters to Bret Harte, for instance, or all letters from Harte to Clemens); it is also possible to read every letter in chronological order for any given period between 1853 and 1910. Catalogs of both files have been published and are for sale by the University of California Press: The Union Catalog of Clemens Letters (1986) and The Union Catalog of Letters to Clemens (1992), both edited by Paul Machlis. (These catalogs constitute an index to the letters, with fields such as "addressee" and "date," not a reading file of the letter texts themselves.) Copies of these catalogs are available in the Bancroft Library Reading Room and
in the Mark Twain Papers offices. A regularly updated on-line version of both catalogs is
available (see Databases). The
texts of Clemens's earliest letters, dating from 1853 through 1875, have been published in
the first six volumes of the Mark Twain Project's Letters series (see our list of
Publications for details).
A searchable electronic file (as yet in rough, uncorrected form) of all other known letters
by Clemens, encompassing the years 1876 through 1910, is now available in the Papers. In
addition, all the original letters owned by the Mark Twain Papers are available on
Clemens kept between 1855 and June 1891 have been edited and indexed by the Project and
published by the University of California Press in Mark Twain's Notebooks & Journals
, volumes 1-3 (see our list of Publications). Notebooks kept after June 1891 are available
in typescripts, and have been indexed by card file in the Mark Twain Papers offices. All
of the original notebooks are available on microfilm.
Both published and unpublished manuscripts together
with related documents such as drafts, typescripts, or
proofs may be accessed through a card-file index in the Papers. An analytical index of
all original manuscripts that are available on microfilm has been prepared by Paul
Berkowitz, an independent Mark Twain scholar, and may be searched in the Papers, either
in its hard copy or in electronic form.
Both the published and the
unpublished portions of this sprawling work may be consulted in a photocopy of the
original manuscripts and typescripts, the latter dictated and sometimes revised by Clemens.
An incomplete card-file index is in the Papers; published forms of the Autobiography
are also indexed. All of the original documents are available on microfilm.
More than three dozen scrapbooks,
some of which are Clemens's own patented design, contain miscellaneous clippings and
documents saved by Clemens or his family. Some hold unique documents, such as the only
surviving clippings of letters and stories Mark Twain published in the early 1860s in the
Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. Clemens himself mined a few of the scrapbooks
for printer's copy while writing The Innocents Abroad and Roughing It.
A printed finding guide to the scrapbooks is available in the Papers.
The Project maintains an extensive working library of Mark Twain's books in various editions, as well as contemporary and foreign language reprints. These books are cataloged on OskiCat.
The archive includes about 150 books from
Mark Twain's home library. An easily searchable printed inventory of the
titles is available, and the books are also cataloged on OskiCat. In addition, photocopies of marginalia from about 140 books owned by other institutions and private collectors are filed in the Papers.
The Project's pictorial collection contains over 2000 items. Visitors to the archive may research this collection (mainly photographs, but also including cased miniatures, drawings, caricatures, and engravings) through several albums of viewing prints, arranged chronologically, and segregated by subject: (1) Clemens; (2) the Clemens family; (3) photographs taken by Clemens's youngest daughter, Jean, between 1900 and 1905; (4) photographs taken by Clemens's secretary, Isabel V. Lyon, between 1904 and 1908; and (5) photographs of people and places associated with Clemens, arranged alphabetically.
Our collection of cased photographs and
miniatures may be viewed online, along with full descriptive notes.
The archive's holdings range from original documents that belonged to Clemens himself, including mining deeds, book contracts, and financial records, to countless photocopies gleaned from contemporary newspapers reporting on Clemens and his associates. This body of information grows on a daily basis as the editorial project identifies and adds materials. Much of this documentation is filed and indexed alphabetically by subject. There are also extensive files of unindexed miscellaneous materials arranged chronologically.