The John Horne Burns collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, printed material, research material, and other material.
Manuscripts by Burns in the collection include novels, short stories, articles, poems, and a play. Novels by Burns include The Stranger’s Guise (1953); What Wondrous Life (unfinished); Five Years is Five Centuries; Learn Valour, Child; The Cynic Faun; and Of Modern Grievance. Poetry includes the collections Anatomy; Verses and Songs; and twenty-seven other items, mostly dating from 1944. The play is a work titled Francesca di Rimini. In addition, there are several essays, poems and plays Burns wrote while a student at Harvard University.
Correspondence in the collection includes professional emails from 1980 to 2014, and correspondence from Harper and Brothers Papers.
Printed material in the collection includes five items written by Burns for various magazines between 1948 and 1951, as well as obituaries for Burns, book reviews and a cover for The Gallery, and a “fifteenth reunion report” regarding Harvard University. Other items in this series include newspaper and magazine clippings (1933-2014), flyers, and galley proofs of David Margolick’s biography of Burns, Dreadful.
Research material in the collection includes files regarding Burns’ life, work, travel, and family. The material dates from 1937 to 2014.
Other items in the collection include, a photograph album, photographs of Burns, a baby book, and a citation awarding Burns the rank of First Lieutenant, Military Intelligence. Also included are legal materials and electronic media.