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Stephen Crane Papers (Newark Stephen Crane Collection)

Identifier: MG Crane

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, clippings, magazine articles, ephemera, photographs, etc., and Newark Public Library reference requests for information regarding Crane.

Box 1: contains Carol Joan Decker's bibliography of the Stephen Crane Collection at NPL, as of 1956. The introduction to the bibliography includes information regarding the Stephen Crane Association and the disposition of the Stephen Crane birthplace. The bibliography also provides an inventory of individual items, housed in Boxes 1-6 - with later additions, grouped in the following categories:

"Circulars" (book promotion material, 1921-1931); "Letters," which includes one typed copy of a letter from Stephen Crane to William Crane, much correspondence regarding Crane to and from Max J. Herzberg, and reference requests received by the NPL (1897-1956); "Magazine Articles," only a few of them by Crane (1900-1959); "Miscellaneous," including a Syracuse University Yearbook and catalogues, pamphlets, programs, and manuscripts regarding Crane (1891-1939); "Newspaper Clippings," the largest category, consisting of articles about Crane, his birthplace, etc. (1896-1946); and "Photographs," including images of Crane, his birthplace, his grave, etc. (ca. 1871-1921)

Box 7: contains correspondence, including a letter to Herzberg commenting on his idea of "developing a cultural centre for colored people in the neighborhood" (1930); letters regarding the Stephen Crane plaque (1921); and reference requests, including several letters from R. W. Stallman, a Crane biographer (1967)

Box 8: includes, among other material, two manuscripts of personal reminiscences, "The Real Stephen Crane," by Frederic M. Lawrence, a fellow fraternity brother, and "My Uncle Stephen Crane," by Edna Crane Sidbury

Box 9: includes more correspondence regarding the activities of the Stephen Crane Association (1921-1928) and a chronology of Crane and of activities in Newark to honor Crane (1971-1996)

Box 10: contains an NPL grant proposal to the New Jersey State Council of the Arts for funding for a Stephen Crane Celebration (1980); clippings regarding an opera based on Crane's short story, "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" and other events celebrating Crane (1980); and a copy of a holograph score of "Song Cycle based on the Poems of Stephen Crane," composed by James Waters.


  • 1897 - 1996


Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff. Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

Biographical / Historical

Stephen Crane, novelist, short story writer, and journalist, was born on November 1, 1871 at 14 Mulberry Place, Newark. He was the youngest of fourteen children (eight of whom survived infancy). His father, the Reverend Townley Crane, was a Methodist minister, and his mother, Mary Helen Peck, the daughter of a minister. Crane began publishing articles at sixteen and left college at twenty to devote himself to journalism and fiction. His story "Maggie of the Streets" was published in 1893. He is perhaps best known for his novel "The Red Badge of Courage" (1895), depicting the experiences of a soldier in the Civil War. After several years of high adventure -- surviving a shipwreck off the Florida coast, covering a conflict in Greece, and living for a time in England -- Crane traveled to Cuba to cover the Spanish-American War in 1898. Struggling financially, he died of tuberculosis on June 5, 1900 in a spa in Germany.

In 1921, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Crane's birth, the Schoolmen's Club of Newark, in an effort spearheaded by Max J. Herzberg, erected a commemorative tablet on the exterior wall of Newark Public Library. In 1924, at the annual dinner of the Carteret Book Club, Mayor Thomas L. Raymond suggested organizing a Stephen Crane Association. Herzberg, an English teacher who became the Head of the Central High School English Department and later the first principal of Weequahic High School (1933-1951), was the first president of the Association. Herzberg also wrote the introduction to an edition of Crane's "Red Badge of Courage" (Appleton, 1926).

Activities of the Association included raising funds to purchase Crane's birthplace, which it succeeded in doing by 1929. In 1941 the Crane House was deeded to the City of Newark and the Association was dissolved. Because of the deteriorated condition of the house, the City, in conjunction with the Work Projects Administration, soon demolished the house and created a playground in its stead. Material that had been collected by members of the Stephen Crane Association was given to the NPL; in 1956 Carol Joan Decker catalogued and created an inventory of this material. Over time copies of articles and other Crane-related items were added to the collection.


4.17 Linear Feet (10 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials


No finding aid, text from Newark Archives Project
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, Newark Public Library Repository

3rd Floor
Newark Public Library
5 Washington St.
Newark NJ 07102 United States