The David Karp collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, personal memorabilia, printed materials, professional materials, research materials, legal materials, financial materials, film and video, audio materials, photographs, diaries and journals, and other items.
The collection includes manuscripts for novels, short stories, poems, television episodes, movies, and more.
Collected novel manuscripts include The Last Believers, Platoon, Sleepwalkers, Service for the Dead, Exit Lines, Night Light, and Who Will Stop the Rain?, A Memoir.
Collected short story manuscripts include “The Broken Mirror,” “The Crazy Life,” “The Big Splash,” “The Philanderer,” and “A Matter of Time and Love.”
Collected poem manuscripts include “Guild Meetings,” “Lady Magpie,” “The Handyman,” “Hills.,” “Election,” “Blame,” “I am the Sleeper,” “Myself,” “Orgy,” “An Overdue Call,” and “Now She is Gone,” among others.
Collected television scripts include various episodes of series such as The Defenders, Saints and Sinners, Hawkins, Alias Mark Savage, Slattery’s People, Anatomy of a Murder, Murdock, Archer, The Insider, Quincy, W.E.B. / Web, and Profiles in Courage.
Collected screenplays include Cervantes and Che!.
Also present are various manuscripts pertaining to “Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories” radio soap opera (1952-54); book reviews for Saturday Review; and numerous items regarding Tahiti (a musical). Additional manuscripts materials include outlines, scenes, notes, corrections, drafts, treatments, and more.
Correspondence in the collection, dated primarily between 1958 and 1999, consists of cards, letters, and emails containing both personal and professional content. Letters to friends and family frequently include informal discussions about articles, movies, and money matters, while professional exchanges address television series, events (including the Emmy Awards), and the Writers Guild of America. Notables include Martin Reiser, Tom Kuhn, Joe Fox, Frederick Pohl, Allen Rivkin, Larry Menkin, and others.
Collected personal memorabilia includes a large selection of juvenilia; a binder containing his early work (including radio scripts, short stories, and high school and college papers composed prior to 1949), as well as a commencement program from City College of New York constitute much of the memorabilia. Also present are Karp’s diplomas from James Monroe High School and City College (B.S. in Social Science), collected alongside diplomas belonging to his first wife, Lillian Klass. Additional items include a citation from the American Library Association; tickets to the Emmys and Golden Globes; and a tribute speech to Karp’s second wife, Claire, for her birthday.
The collection’s printed materials consist of newsclippings, dust jackets, programs, booklets, and various publications, such as The Nation, Mercury, Credit Union Magazine, Spirit of ’66, Television Quarterly, Peliculas y Exhibidores, Variety, Argosy, The Monthly Supplement, Quest, Wilson Library Bulletin, New York, New Times, and Publisher’s Weekly. A number of book gifts are also present, including The Brotherhood of Velvet, The Day of the Monkey,, One, Sleepwalkers, Escape to Nowhere, The Last Believers, All Honorable Men, Platoon (published under pseudonym Adam Singer), and more.
Professional materials in the collection frequently concern the production process of various movies and television shows. Items include shooting schedules and locations, memos, casting information, call sheets, press releases, and more. Office materials, such as call lists, planners, calendars, and catalogues, are collected as well. Other professional items are organized under subject headings, including “Project Vanguard,” “Writers Guild of America,” and “Law and Order – speech.”
Collected research materials include articles by Martin Reiser (“A Police Psychologist’s View of the Badge,” “The Police Psychologist as Consultant,” and “The Police Department Psychologist”); various legal research; and assorted items regarding Woodrow Wilson, Democrats, and the KKK, among others.
Legal materials in the collection include contractual documents pertaining to The Defenders and Hawkins. Karp’s passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, and house lease are also present, alongside Lillian Karp’s Certificate of Citizenship for the United States of America.
Karp’s financial materials are particularly well documented and include earning statements, income tax returns, bills, checks, deposit and withdrawal documents, travel expenses, receipts, IRS documents, investment records, pension benefit plans, insurance forms, and more.
The collection film and video materials are documented on a variety of formats (8mm, 16mm, 35mm reels; betacasettes; and VHS cassettes) and chronicle Karp’s travels and work, such as “The Seven Hundred Year Old Gang – Part 1.”
Audio materials are collected on reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, and LPs. Recorded items include a number of interviews and auditions.
Collected photographic materials consist of negatives, slides, contact sheets, and black and white and color prints. Subjects range from notables (Patty Weaver, Martin Spear, Byron Mabe, and Jimmy Stewart) and the moon landing, from family events to travels abroad.
Karp maintained diaries and journals throughout his life, many of which are present in the collection. Items range primarily from 1955 to 1980 and include both holograph and typescript entries.
Additional items in the collection include a doctor’s report; a “Rule” sheet for Karp’s son, Ethan; prop newspapers; a wooden Indian used in “The Hickory Indian”; and a parody of Hemingway for City College’s Mercury.