Davis, Christopher (1928- )
NOTE: All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Several days' advance notice is required for retrieval.
The Christopher Davis collection consists of manuscripts, audio, correspondence, professional material, photographs, and printed material.
Manuscripts by Davis in the collection includes drafts of various works, including historical novels; social commentary; plays; screenplays; librettos; poetry; academic lectures; and magazine pieces. Title include Egbert in the Land of Don’t Believe, published as Scotty (children's book, 1959); Sad Adam-Glad Adam (1966), including correspondence to Davis related to the book from author Louis Untermeyer (1962); an incomplete set of captions for a children’s book with illustrations; an untitled teenage idol novel; Lost Summer (1958), including a play version by David Taradash titled There was a Little Girl (1958); A Kind of Darkness (1962); Belmarch: A Legend of the First Crusade (1964), including illustrations for the dust jacket; The Shamir of Dachau (1966); Ishmael: A Self-Portrait (1967); Requiem (1966-1967); A Peep into the Twentieth Century (1971), including notebooks, research material, and a theatrical adaptation for a production staged at the Philadelphia Festival for New Plays, Annenberg Theater (1988); The Producer (1972), about film and theater producer Hilliard Elkins, including correspondence related to the writing of the book from Elkins (1971) and critic Kenneth Tynan (1971), research material, playbills, reviews, and trade publications; The Sun in Mid-Career (1975); Suicide Note (1977); A Death Row Sketchbook (ca. 1977); Waiting For It: Life on Death Row (1980), including research material concerning the case of escaped prisoner Troy Gregg, and correspondence related to the book (1974-1979); and Dog, Horse, Rat (1990). Also present are drafts of miscellaneous poems (1940s-1960s) and a number of Davis' notebooks, filled with writing exercises; prose drafts; play, film, novel and short story notes and ideas; notes on Philadelphia (1940s-1970s); copies of speeches, given by Davis, at Friends Central Book Fair (1964) and the Professional Writer's Club of Philadelphia (1959); and a number of unpublished articles, essays, and reviews on the subjects of art, poetry, literature, and teenagers.
Audio recordings in the collection include a tape of "A Lincoln Broadcast" (1953) with a draft of the text; and a tape of the radio broadcast of "The Great Boffo and His Talking Dog" (1961).
Correspondence in the collection. Notable correspondence in the collection includes Edward Albee, Leonard Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, Malcolm Cowley, Ralph Ellison, Lillian Hellman, Bernard Malamud, Norman Mailer, Ned Rorem, May Sarton, Rex Stout, Paul Theroux, Louis Untermeyer, Carl Van Vechten, Glenway Wescott, and Richard Yates.
Professional material includes business files and files of Davis' early school documents from his eighth grade report card (1942) to his University of Pennsylvania undergraduate degree (1955). The collection contains Davis’ Creative Writing and Literature course notes (1958-1971); there are students’ papers from Davis’ creative writing classes (1961-1966); as well as students’ evaluations of courses Davis taught at Bryn Mawr College (1990-1993).
Photographs in the collection include photos of Davis, alone; Davis and his family; friends; travel photos; and photographs of his artwork.
Printed material includes three pieces by Davis that appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette, a publication of the University of Pennsylvania: "God and Harvey Cox at Harvard" (1980); "His Early Years," about Houston-based artist, John Atlas (1988); and "Touching" (1982). There are also printed pieces by Davis from The Abraham Lincoln Gazette; Argosy; Esquire; Holiday; The Jewish Exponent; The Listener; The Los Angeles Times West Magazine; The New York Times; The Pennsylvania Literary Review; The Philadelphia Bulletin; The Saturday Evening Post; and Travel and Leisure.