The Meyer Levin Collection consists of manuscripts, letters, photographs, scrapbooks, printed material, and other items.
Manuscripts by Levin in the collection include numerous plays, novels, scripts, short stories, dispatches written while Levin was a correspondent, many short pieces, and other typescripts, carbon copies and notes for Levin's extensive writings.
Notable titles include Compulsion (drafts of the novel, the play, as well as photographs and programs of the show); The Illegals (screenplay, 1948); My Father’s House (novel, 1947; screenplay, 1948); Anne Frank (privately printed, 1957), Levin’s play adapted from The Diary of Anne Frank (several drafts; as well as his files regarding the play, Franks' original diaries, and the conflicts surrounding Levin's adaptation of the work); The Fanatic (1964); Bus to Sinai (about a dozen drafts of Levin's film commentary for NBC, 1968); Gore and Igor (1970; many drafts of the screenplay version, with some relevant letters); The Settlers (1972); The Spell of Time: A Tale of Love in Jerusalem (1974); The Obsession (autobiography, 1974); The Harvest (1978); large photocopy of parts 2 and 3 of an early version); The Architect (1981); and others. Additional items include other plays, some drafts of only a few pages in length; a great deal of short pieces, including fiction and nonfiction works that appeared in many different publications; song lyrics; speeches; teleplays; story outlines for about twenty screenplays. These pieces are generally only a few pages in length. Also present are drafts of Levin's introduction to Outstanding Novels of American Jewish Life (1970), a volume edited by Levin and Charles Angoff. There are several manuscripts in the archive that were not authored by Meyer Levin, including The Haunted Houses of Meyer Levin, by Tereska Torres (1991).
Correspondence in the collection includes letters of both personal and professional nature. Personal letters include letters from friends and fans, including Martha Gellhorn, Herbert Bayard Swope, and John Selby. The collection includes some letters from family members, such as Levin's sons, stepdaughter, and many letters from Levin's second wife, Tereska Torres. There are also over one hundred postcards from numerous individuals. Professional letters relate to various topics, including Levin’s finances, lawsuits and legal issues. These letters date, in general, from the 1940s to the 1970s and concern Broadway, litigation, television, book publishing, and more. Notable correspondents include Charles Angoff, Brooks Atkinson, Otto Frank, Jacob Javits, Garson Kanin, Eliz Kazan, Teddy Kollek, Charles Lederer, Rosemary Macomber, Norman Mailer, Marya Mannes, Monica McCall, Arthur Miller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Irwin Shaw, Sol Stein, George Stevens, Barbara Tuchman, Orson Welles, Walter Winchell, and James Yaffe. // Alphabetized
The collection has photographs from the 1940s to the 1970s.These are personal (Levin and family) as well as items Levin gathered for research use. Also present are film stills from adaptations of Levin's work.
There are three scrapbooks in the collection, dated 1940 to 1948. These contain clippings, reviews, and photographs regarding Levin’s works The Illegals, Citizens, and My Father's House.
Printed material in the collection includes numerous clippings about Levin and reviews of his work.
Other material in the collection includes research material; legal documents and files relating to Compulsion (the book, play, and film); and files of Levin's business records from the 1940s to the 1960s.