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James Stern papers


James Stern papers
Stern, James
Collection number:
0.25 linear feet
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
Literature and Rare Books
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

James Stern (1904-1993) was an Irish-born author of more than fifty short stories, non-fiction, and translations. His works include The Heartless Land (1932); The Hidden Damage (1947); and The Stories of James Stern (1969). Stern's papers consist primarily of correspondence he received relating to Djuna Barnes, both from her and from others. The papers also include newspaper and magazine articles about Miss Barnes. Major topics include Nightwood, The Antiphon, mutual acquaintances, social events, personal affairs, and requests for information about Djuna Barnes.

Important Information for Users of the Collection


This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

James Stern papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

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Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

James Andrew Stern, author, was born on December 26, 1904, in County Meath, Ireland. He attended Eaton and Sandhurst.

The author of more than fifty short stories, his works included The Heartless Land (1932); Something Wrong (1938); The Hidden Damage (1947) (written after viewing the damage wrought by World War II as a member of the Strategic Bombing Survey in Germany); The Man Who Was Loved (1952); The Stories of James Stern (1969); and Thank You Fog (1974). Together with his wife, Constanze (Tania) Kurella, whom he married in 1935, Stern translated from German the works of Franz Kafka; Bertolt Brecht; Thomas Mann; Erich Maria Remarque; Hugo von Hofmannsthal; and Sigmund Freud. Mr. Stern also wrote for numerous newspapers and magazines including New Yorker; London Magazine; Irish Times; Harper's Magazine; Nation; and New Republic.

Mr. Stern also worked as a bartender, pig farmer, cattle rancher, and steeplechase rider. He died on November 22, 1993, at the age of eighty-eight.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Papers of James Andrew Stern cover the period from 1940 to 1986 and consist primarily of his correspondence relating to Djuna Barnes. Djuna Barnes is the primary correspondent, but the collection also contains Stern's correspondence with others about Miss Barnes. Other correspondents include John Byrne, Malcolm and Muriel Cowley, e. e. cummings, Silas Glossop, Peter Klappert, Howard Moss, and Nora Sayre. Major topics include Nightwood, The Antiphon, mutual acquaintances, social events, personal affairs, and requests for information about Djuna Barnes.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

James Andrew Stern bequeathed these papers to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries. The Libraries received them in June 1994.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Jennifer Lynn Pitts, June 1996.

Processing note:

The Papers of James Stern were divided into two series. Letters were removed from envelopes and flattened. Envelopes were discarded except those containing annotations. The date of a letter was recorded in brackets on its envelope if it differed from the date of the postmark. Paper clips were removed, and the collection was placed in acid-free folders and boxes.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Michael Yates, February 2006.

Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized as two series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1940-1986 (4 linear inches)

This series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and includes letters, Stern's notes on them, and related newspaper clippings. Individual correspondence files are arranged chronologically. Topics include requests for information on Djuna Barnes; Nightwood; The Antiphon; James Joyce; Georgia O'Keefe; and e. e. cummings.
DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Barnes, Djuna, 1940-1946 series 1box 1folder 1
Barnes, Djuna, 1947-1953 series 1box 1folder 2
Barnes, Djuna, 1954-1958 series 1box 1folder 3
Broe, Mary Lynn, 1985 series 1box 1folder 4
Byrne, John, 1974, 1978 series 1box 1folder 5
Connolly, Cyril, 1970 series 1box 1folder 6
Cowley, Malcolm and Muriel, 1978 series 1box 1folder 7
Cummings, e.e., 1952 series 1box 1folder 8
Field, Andrew, 1977-1978 series 1box 1folder 9
Glossop, Silas, 1978 series 1box 1folder 10
Klappert, Peter, 1975 series 1box 1folder 11
Martin Secker & Warburg -- (David Farrer), 1978 series 1box 1folder 12
Moss, Howard, 1970 series 1box 1folder 13
Sayre, Nora, 1974 series 1box 1folder 14
University of Maryland Libraries, 1986 series 1box 1folder 15

Series 2: Articles About Djuna Barnes, 1936-1970 (1 linear inch)

This series contains a manuscript draft of Stern's "The Barnes Among Women," which appeared in Time (January 18, 1943), and various memos to and from Stern and others about the article. The series also includes newspaper clippings about Barnes and her works. These materials are arranged alphabetically by folder title. The clippings are arranged chronologically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
By James Stern -- Barnes Among the Women, The, 1942-1943 series 2box 1folder 16
Clippings, 1936-1964 series 2box 1folder 17

Related Material

The Archives and Manuscripts Department holds the Papers of Djuna Barnes. Correspondence with James Stern is located in Series II. There is also Stern correspondence in Series I of the Papers of Katherine Anne Porter, also among the holdings of the Archives and Manuscripts Department.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.


Names (Added Entries)