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MC42. Handy Writer's Colony Collection, 1930-1964

Identifier: MC-42

Scope and Contents

A writers' colony, located in Marshall, Illinois, opened in 1950 by Lowney and Harry Handy and best-selling novelist James Jones. It supported numerous young writers, many of whose stories and novels were published. The colony dissolved with the death of Lowney Handy in 1964.

The collection includes: by-laws, minutes, correspondence, membership, and financial records of the colony regarding its founding, organization, finances, philosophy, and teaching methods; approximately 2,000 letters written by  Lowney Handy, Harry Handy, James Jones, colony members, relatives, publishers, editors, friends, and fans; military records, and other personal papers of James Jones; commonplace books, memorabilia, and other papers of Lowney Handy; class  notes, journals, and poetry of colony member Charles Robb; an extensive clipping file concerning the colony and Jones's career; photographs and negatives of the Handys, Jones, the colony and its members.

Also included are about 100 published and unpublished manuscripts of  Lowney Handy, and colony writers, including Rex Bollin, Tom T. Chamales, Edwin Daly, William Duhart, Edward Kurtz, Jere Peacock, Charles Robb, Jerry Tschappat ("Gerald Tesch"), Charles Stevenson Wright, and others.

The collection includes an extensive collection of  notes,  manuscript drafts, and galleys of James Jones's 1951 novel From Here to Eternity, as well as some of his early essays, short  stories, and his first, unpublished novel, "They Shall Inherit the Laughter."


  • Created: 1930 - 1964


Conditions Governing Access

RESTRICTED:  Access upon special request.  Reproduction restricted.


33.00 Cubic Feet



Source of Acquisition

Margaret C. Turner - Gift of 1983 and 1984

Related Materials

See the detailed published Guide to the Handy Colony Collection (1989): [url=][/url] . See also P/Lennon (J. Michael Lennon Papers, 1983-1984) for production videotapes for the television documentary "James Jones: Reveille to Tapes," produced by Sangamon State University and first aired on PBS in 1984. See also MC 42/1, Stephen R, Carter Papers, 1972-1975 for correspondence between James Jones and a Jones scholar. See also MC 42/3, Charles T. Robb Papers, 1951-1997, for poetry and correspondence of a Handy Colony member. Writer and poet, resident of New York City and Lincoln, Maine. Member of the Handy Colony in Marshall, Illinois, 1953, 1955-57. See also MC 42/4, William H. Duhart Papers, 1956 for correspondence of a Handy Colony member. Duhart was one of two African American writers at the Handy Writers Colony in Marshall, Illinois and published his first novel, The Deadly-Pay-Off, in 1958. See also MC42/5 Tinks Howe Books and Letters, a collection given to Tinks by Lowney Handy. Tinks traveled with Lowney and the group at various times during this period and served as their sponsor on a regular basis to help with expenses. See also MC 42/6 James Jones Literary Society Papers founded in 1991, became a national organization devoted to promoting the general and academic interests in the literary works and life of Robinson, Illinois native - James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity,The Thin Red Line, and others.


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Repository Details

Part of the UIS Archives/Special Collections Repository

Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407 US