The Harry Kemelman collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, printed materials, professional materials, notebooks, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous materials.
The collection includes manuscripts for books, plays, and articles.
Collected book manuscripts chronicle Kemelman’s legendary Rabbi Small series and include Conversations with Rabbi Small; One Fine Day, the Rabbi Bought a Cross; The Day the Rabbi Resigned; The Great Academic Conspiracy; Monday the Rabbi Took Off; Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red; Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet; Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out; Friday The Rabbi Slept Late; Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry; Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home; Someday the Rabbi Will Leave; Thanksgiving the Rabbi Ate Well; and The Nine Mile Walk. Manuscript fragments regarding Rabbi Small are also present.
Collected play scripts include A Play in 12 Scenes; They Always Start Where They Left Off Last Time; and Thursday the Rabbi Gave Thanks.
Collected article manuscripts include "By Way of Explanation" (autobiography); "The College Goes Pro"; and "Higher Education in the United States."
Correspondence in the collection includes letters, cards, printed materials, and memorabilia. Materials are both professional (regarding speaking engagements and novels, 1964-2000) and personal (1973-84). Additional correspondence is filed under headings such as "Arthur Field's Correspondence"; "Fan Mail"; "Israeli Film Co"; "Letters from England"; "Putnam's Corr."; and "Scott Meredith Correspondence." Letters concerning the Rabbi series (1985-1996; 1999-2000) may be of particular interest.
The collection's printed materials include proofs for many of the Rabbi novels, as well as clippings, catalogues, periodicals, bulletins, programs, flyers, posters, calendars, and more -- the majority of which regard Kemelman’s books and public appearances. Issues of Boston University Alumni Today, The Literary Guild Magazine, People, and Publisher’s Weekly are also collected, alongside miscellaneous items (bookmarks, radio announcements, invitations). Of note are a series of articles regarding Kemelman, his work, and Jewish life (1988-2003).
Professional materials are collected in subject files with headings such as "Assorted Light Essays," "Crabbed Reflections – Poetry," "Design for the Future," "Footnote of Social Sciences," "The God Complete," "The ID and I," "I Love a Man Who Smokes a Pipe," "Play Outs," "Smoking for Pleasure," "Villains in Shakespeare," and more. Two press releases regarding a book release and a retirement party constitute additional items.
The collection includes a number of Kemelman’s notebooks. In addition to notebooks pertaining to the Rabbi series, the collection also includes notes organized as "England 1964," "On Man and Woman," "On the Psychology of Religion," and "Spain."
Collected scrapbooks include correspondence, news clippings, and flyers. Scrapbooked documents pertain to the Rabbi series, public appearances, and fan mail.
Miscellaneous materials consist of various family photographs; a child’s drawing; nine reel-to-reel audio tapes; and a signed publishing contract regarding That Day the Rabbi Left Town (1991).