The Judson Jerome collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, professional material, photographs, printed material, and other items.
Manuscripts in the collection primarily consist of writings by Jerome, including articles, poems, reviews, plays, essays, radio programs, speeches, lectures, and book-length works. Manuscripts for the latter include Poetry: Premeditated Art (Houghton Mifflin, 1968), Culture Out of Anarchy: The Reconstruction of American Higher Education (Herder and Herder, 1970); Plays for an Imaginary Theatre (University of Illinois Press, 1970); and the novels Nude (Appelzaba, 1991); Theodore and the Mermaid (unpublished), and Olive (unpublished); as well as many writings that were anthologized and/or collected into published volumes. Also present are Jerome’s essay written for his Master of Arts degree (1950) and a draft of his Ph.D. dissertation (1955).
Correspondence in the collection is extensive. The items date from 1953 to 1973, and include personal and professional letters, especially letters to and from important American literary figures. Notable correspondents include Orson Bean, John Ciardi, Ernest Hemingway, Walter Kerr, Archibald MacLeish, Frank O'Hara, Lewis Mumford, George Plimpton, John Crowe Ransom, Bertrand Russell, Rod Serling, Karl Shapiro, Anne Sexton, Gary Snyder, Shane Stevens, Herman Wouk, and many others. Also present are many letters to and from various members of Jerome's family, dating from the 1940s through the 1960s. In addition, the collection contains numerous letters to and from various editors, agents, and college administrators, including almost two hundred letters between Jerome and Karen Hammond of Houghton Mifflin, Co., regarding the publication of Poetry: Premeditated Art (1967-1968).
Professional material in the collection consists of various writings by Jerome and others pertaining to his teaching career and his classes at Antioch College, including several papers by his students, class lists, registration forms, instruction sheets, forms, schedules, calendars, notes from students, administrative materials, and other items. There is also some material present related to other educational institutions, including Alverno College (1969), the University of Dayton (1969), Nasson College in Springvale, Maine (1967-1969), and others. Also, there are several items regarding Jerome's attempts to get a film made about Arthur Morgan, including grant applications and other material.
Photographs in the collection primarily consist of images of Jerome in childhood and youth, dating from 1938 to 1945. Also present are several photographs from Jerome's time in the U.S. Army, in the Virgin Islands and Okinawa, Japan, dating from the late 1940s.
Printed material in the collection primarily consists of literary journals containing published writings by Jerome, dating from the 1950s and 1960s. Titles include The Yale Review, Southwest Review, Writer's Digest, Antioch Review, Shakespeare Quarterly, College English, Saturday Review, Writer’s Yearbook, and others. Also present are several periodicals with articles that mention Jerome, as well as articles and reviews that Jerome collected (1966-1969)
Other material in the collection includes Jerome's diary; reproductions of Jerome's U.S. Army records; legal material; financial material; an audio recording; Jerome's Student Pilot Certificate and Airman Identification Card (1953); and material regarding Jerome's studies at the University of Oklahoma in the 1930s and 1940s.