Department of Special Collections and University Archives
McFarlin Library. University of Tulsa.  2933 E. 6th St.  Tulsa, OK.  74104-3123 (OKT - OkTU)

Cyril Vernon Connolly papers

Collection 1976-002

Dates:  1912-1974.

Extent:  (32 boxes).

Level of Description:  Folder and item level.

Name of creator(s):  Unknown.

Date of creation:  Undetermined.

Scope and Content:  The papers are organized into four series:  Series 1: Correspondence, Series 2:  Writings, Series 3:  Photographs, and Series 4:  Personal.

Series 1: Correspondence consists of handwritten, typed, and carbon copy typescript letters and postcards between Connolly, his spouses (Frances Jean Bakewell, Barbara Olive Skelton, Lys Dunlap, and Deidre Craig); family members (Matthew William Kemble Connolly, Muriel Maud Vernon Connolly, Jessie Kemble, Dorothy Kemble-Stevens, Grandmother Vernon); friends, colleagues, publishers and producers.  The correspondence dates from 1912-1974; early family correspondence, not to Connolly, dates from 1864.This series is arranged alphabetically by surname or by first name if surname is unknown.

Series 2: Writings is organized into three sub-series: Writings, Book Reviews, and Notebooks and Journals and consists of the following:  Writings: Handwritten, typed, and carbon copy typed drafts and draft fragments of poems, short stories, commentaries for Horizon, fiction and non-fiction, including The Evening Colonnade, James Joyce in Paris, One Hundred Key Books of the Modern Movement of England, France and America 1880-1950, Previous Convictions, and The Unquiet Grave, arranged alphabetically by title or first line where title is not known, and followed by unidentified fragments.  Book Reviews: Handwritten, typed, and carbon copy typed drafts, page or galley proofs, and/or press cuttings of reviews, arranged alphabetically by author's surname.  Notebooks and Journals: Handwritten drafts and draft fragments of poems, school reports and satirical pieces from Connolly's St. Cyprian's and Eton College years, short stories, commentaries for Horizon, fiction and non-fiction, travel journal entries, miscellaneous notes and unidentified material in 43 manuscript notebooks, notepads, spirals, and journals.The general contents of each notebook and journal have been listed in the inventory.

Series 3: Photographs consists of 409 photographs, photo-reproductions, postcard photographs, photo-negatives, and slides, of Connolly, and/or spouses, family members, friends, colleagues, and companion animals.  The photographs are organized into the categories: people (identified and unidentified), arranged alphabetically by surname; locations (identified and unidentified), arranged alphabetically; and animals; travel photos as well as exterior and interior views of various residences at Victoria Bay, Lorn House, The Heatherlands, and the library at Bushey Lodge; photo-scrapbook of Richard Aldington containing 38 snapshots of individuals such as Michael Arlen, Nancy Cunard, Norman Douglas, Brigit and Derek Patmore, Osbert Sitwell, and H.G. Wells; 30 snapshots of Karen Blixen, Mrs. Dineson, Isak and Thomas Dineson, and scenes of their farm in Africa; and photos of Connolly's lemur.

Series 4: Personal consists of various accounts of the Connolly, Kemble, and Vernon family histories; Connolly's early school records from St. Cyprian's and Eton College years, including grade reports, autograph letters from teachers and headmasters to Matthew William Kemble Connolly concerning Connolly's progress, copies of the Eton College Chronicle, programs from school events, and handwritten draft class essays by Connolly, all dating from 1912-1923; family documents including court summons, divorce decree, and related papers in the case of Frances Jean Bakewell Connolly and Connolly; certified copy of certificate of marriage between Connolly and Barbara Olive Skelton; photostatic copy of the Last Will and Testament of Muriel Maud Vernon Connolly; autograph draft of the Last Will and Testament of Connolly (1942, 1950, and 1959 versions); and passports; travel ephemera including maps, brochures, railway/airline schedules, etc.  for various locations including Africa and Spain; gallery exhibition announcements and invitations; programs for operas, theatre performances, dinners, and dance performances; menu of a dinner held in honor of Connolly's 70th birthday (signed by guests, 1973); excised articles pertaining to environmental concerns in Kruger National Park in Africa; excised newspaper and magazine articles concerning the assassination of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and surrounding controversy; miscellaneous press cuttings, excised pages from magazines; miscellaneous materials including mimeograph typescript of the running order and stage direction for “An Evening with Cyril Connolly--with Robert Hardy;” cross-stitched band bearing the initials SAAC, sewn to a red ribbon; pencil and ink sketches/caricatures; S.S. Patuca breakfast menu, 1925, signed by various individuals on verso; and dance cards for the Liguanea Club Resident Bachelor's Ball (1926) and the Holderness Hunt Ball (1929).

Administrative/Biographical History:  Literary critic, editor of Horizon magazine, and writer, these papers document Connolly's life and career: Access and Copyright: 

Language and Scripts:  English

Finding aid/Inventory:   Finding aid is available online.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition:  The preponderance of the collection, including Connolly's personal library (records for which can be accessed through the on-line catalogue), was purchased from Bertram Rota in 1976.

Date(s) of description:   Re-organized by Milissa Burkart, date unknown.

Access Points:

Subject Headings

Personal names

Corporate names



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Revised: 12/08/11.

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