The Patricia Benton collection consists of manuscripts, artwork, audio recordings, correspondence, printed material, personal memorabilia, and photographs.
Manuscripts by Benton in the collection include poetry, plays, and other items. Poetry in the collection includes typed, one-page drafts of over fifty poems by Benton, as well as several poems written by schoolchildren. Drafts of plays include “Spangles of Desire” (written for Arizona Festival of Arts, 1968); “Under the Young Grass Moon”; and “Miracle of the Roses.” Other manuscripts include galley proofs for Of the Heart’s Own Telling; “Profiles of the Years”; “Highlights of Arizona”; “Arizona: The Source and the Answer”; and eight musical scores with lyrics by Benton.
Artwork in the collection includes seven drawings, labeled “The Legend of St. Leonard,” as well as twelve pen and ink drawings of Zodiac signs for Your Baby’s First Horoscope.
Audio recordings in the collection consist of songs with lyrics by Benton, including “Merry-Go-Sounds at the Zoo,” “Miracle of the Roses,” "Tip Toesy the Cat,” and “Manhattan Mosaic” (with the voice of Norman MacDonald).
Correspondence in the collection is extensive, including numerous letters dating from the early 1900s to the 1960s. Notable correspondents include Barry Goldwater, John Lindsay, and publisher Frederick Fell.
Printed material in the collection includes various publications and articles by or about Benton and her work. These include reviews of works like the Star Child series, Barkie the Dog, Gift of Christmas, and Of the Heart’s Own Telling. Also present are clippings regarding the National Society of Arts and Letters; articles written by Benton, including items about Arizona and New York Poetry Day; an article about Benton’s brother, killed in World War II, and other items regarding Benton’s family; and several copies of Benton’s Our Baby books (World Publishing Co., 1962, 1963, 1970) related to the various Zodiac signs.
The collection includes a large amount of material regarding Benton’s years of work for National Poetry Day. These items include letters, publicity material, children’s poems, official documents from Arizona and New York, manuscripts, and more. The material dates from the 1950s to 1964.
Also present is material regarding the Arizona Chapter of National Society of Arts and Letters. The collection includes several pages of notes, speech drafts, programs and invitations, photographs, and a scrapbook of the Benton estate in New York. Also included are four reports to the National Society of Arts and Letters dated 1965-1968,and awards and proclamations from 1963 to 1968 relating to Benton and her artistic and literary work. There are over fifteen issues of different publications from the mid-1960s which mention Benton and/or the National Society of Arts and Letters, including Southwestern Art Scene, The Record, The Two Lamps Review, Dramatists Guild Quarterly, and others.