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H. L. Mencken Collection, 1914-1968 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Special Collections and University Archives staff

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Collection Overview

Title: H. L. Mencken Collection, 1914-1968Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis) (1880-1956)

Extent: 21.0 Items

Subjects: Journalism--United States, Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956, Satire, American

Forms of Material: Personal Papers

Languages: English, French

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This small collection of pamphlets, reprints, and correspondence is part of the larger collection of one hundred individually cataloged monographs and serials by and about H. L. Mencken, which is also housed in Special Collections. These small items consist of promotional materials, special event publications, letters, and one sound recording.

Biographical Note

H. L. Mencken was a critical but humorous journalist, literary reviewer, and language expert.  In 1899 he became a reporter for the Baltimore Morning Herald; beginning in 1906, and continuing throughout much of his life, he worked at various intervals for The Baltimore Sun.  He was co-editor of The Smart Set, and was co-founder of the American Mercury.  Additional publications of his were Prejudices, The American Language, and an autobiographical trilogy.

Subject/Index Terms

Journalism--United States
Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956
Satire, American

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 1976

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, H. L. Mencken Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.


Box and Folder Listing


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[Box 1],
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Box 1Add to your cart.
Item 1: A Personal Word. Description of the editorial and business organization of the Smart Set, a circulation booster. n.p., n.d. [1914], 16 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 2: The American Language. A chapter from the 4th edition. Publisher's advance printing of one complete chapter with descriptive text on cover. Prints the entire preface to the new edition and the complete chapter X: Proper Names in America. n.d. [ca. 1939], 83 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 3: American Profanity. Reprinted from American Speech, New York: Columbia, University Press, Dec 1944, 9 pages. Signed by H.L. Mencken.Add to your cart.
Item 4: The Eminent Physician by H.L. Mencken. Berkeley: Gillick Press, n.d. [1940], 7 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 5: The Incomparable Physician by H.L. Mencken. San Francisco: McDonald, 1936, 14 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 6: Menckeniana. A selection from H.L. Mencken's Mencken Chrestomathy with a forenote by George Jean Nathan. New York: Knopf, 1949, 16 pages. Green wrappers, printed label.Add to your cart.
Item 7: The Smart Set. Suggestions to our visitors. 26 policy statements "issued as a jocosity" by Mencken N.Y. n.d. [1915], 4 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 8: Suggestions to our visitors by George Jean Nathan and H.L. Mencken, editors of The Smart Set. Reprinted at San Francisco, 1968 by the Roxburghe Club, 8 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 9: Spiritual Autopsies, an article on Gamelia Bradford. by H.L. Mencken. Issued as an advertisement by the publisher for Bradford's American Portraits. New York: Houghton, 1921, 4 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 10: Upton Sinclair. Biographical and critical opinions from England, France, Germany, Belgium and the U.S.A including Henry Barbusse, H.L. Mencken and others. Pasadena: Sinclair, n.d. [1922], 32 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 11: H.L. Mencken by Walter Lippmann. Reprinted from The Saturday Review, Dec. 11, 1926. New York: Knopf (1926), 8 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 12: The Love Story of an Old Maid by Sara Haardt. Girard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Publications. Blue Book no. 375, n.d. [192?], 32 pages.Add to your cart.
Item 13: A Literary Chameleon: A New Estimate of Mr. H.L. Mencken by J.D. Logan. Milwaukee: privately printed, 1926, 22 pages. Copy no. 30 of 300 numbered copies, signed by the author. Also signed by Mencken in full, on the cover.Add to your cart.
Item 14: H.L. Mencken Speaking. Mencken conversing with Donald H. Kirkley Sr. of The Baltimore Sun, recorded by the library of Congress, D.C., June 30, 1948. 33 1/3 LP record, and cassette tape.Add to your cart.
Item 15: Book review for L'Action Française, Sept. 14, 1933. One 3x5" card.Add to your cart.
La revue de critique l'American Mercury, que dirige le Juif Mencken, est, de l'avis de M. Bernard Fay, spècialiste des choses d'Amérique, "l'une des plus vivantes, des plus pittorerques, des plus typiques des Etats-Unis." en mème temys "qu'une des forces d'opinion les plus solides."
Item 16: Typed letter signed to Mr. Silvay. One sheet, signed in full on American Mercury green letterhead., Dated Jun. 10, 1926Add to your cart.
Item 17: Typed letter signed to Mark Sullivan, Washington D.C. On the letterhead of The Smart Set, The Aristocrat of Magazines., Dated April 4, 1922.Add to your cart.
Item 18: Two typed letters signed to Harry Ruby. Beverly Hills. On the author's personal Baltimore stationary, with the mailing envelope., Dated November 1933 & November 25, 1933.Add to your cart.
Item 19: Two typed letters signed to Mr. Dellquest. On the author's personal Baltimore stationary., Dated May 5, 1944 and April 28, 1945.Add to your cart.
Item 20: Two typed letters signed and addressed to "Gentlemen." On the author's personal Baltimore stationary., Dated September 28, 1944 and September 7, 1945.Add to your cart.
Item 21: Typed letter signed to Miss Day. One sheet on American Mercury green letterhead., Dated April 25, no year.Add to your cart.

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