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Guide to the Ruth Fitch Mason Papers, 1908-1962

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Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Mason, Ruth, 1890-1974
Title: Ruth Fitch Mason Papers
Dates: 1908-1962
Quantity: 2 cubic ft (2 boxes)
Abstract: Material relating to Mason's work as a writer and literary agent as well as more personal material regarding her family, friends, marriage and education. Includes, professional and personal correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, postcards, and biographical information; and Eliot F. Bartlett's correspondence and notes regarding these papers.
Forms of Materials: Correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, postcards, and biographical information.

Biographical Note

Ruth Fitch Mason (1890-1974), writer and literary agent, was born in Milwaukee, Wis., and graduated from Vassar in the class of 1912. She earned a master's degree in economics at the University of Wisconsin but pursued a literary career. In 1917 she married Walter S. Bartlett; and under the name Ruth Fitch Bartlett, her poetry appeared in Harper's, The Nation, and other magazines. She also wrote short stories, a novel, and articles. From 1924-1929 she was literary editor of the Junior League Magazine. Her second husband, Thomas Boyd, was a writer. Many of his friends were leading literary figures, which the Boyds frequently entertained at their home in South Woodstock, VT.

Following Boyd's death in 1935, Ruth Fitch began a ten-year career as a literary agent. In 1937 she married Gregory Mason, an anthropologist and writer, who was later chairman of the Department of Journalism at New York University. The Masons collaborated on two novels; Danbury Curve and September Remember; the latter was a best seller in 1945. In the last twenty years of her life Ruth Fitch Mason studied art and had several exhibits of her paintings.

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Scope and Content Note

Professional correspondence includes letters to Ruth Fitch Mason from Sherwood Anderson, John Dos Passos, Havelock Ellis, Robert Frost, Ellen Glasgow, Langston Hughes, Sinclair Lewis, Amy Lowell, Eugene O'Neill, Alice Paul, Carl Sandburg, Sara Teasdale, Edmund Wilson, and other literary figures; and correspondence from her association with the publishing firms of Curtis Brown Ltd. and McKeogh and Boyd, 1937-1944. Family letters, 1908-1962, include her correspondence with Eliot Grant Fitch, her first husband Walter S. Bartlett, her sons Eliot F. and Scott Bartlett, her mother Eliza Eliot Fitch, and her third husband Gregory Mason. Some of her letters to her mother were written while attending Vassar College, 1908-1909; and letters of Elizabeth Grace Boyd Phillipson to Eliot Fitch Bartlett, 1936-1940. Other items include manuscripts of her stories and poetry; manuscripts by her second husband Thomas Boyd; manuscript of Danbury Curve (1962) by Ruth Fitch Mason and Gregory Mason; photographs, postcards, and biographical information; and Eliot F. Bartlett's correspondence and notes regarding these papers.

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Access and Use

Access

This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

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Related Material

  • Separated Materials: Some significant correspondence from the Mason Collection was removed and placed in the Library's "Autograph File." Correspondents include: Louis Adamic, Frederick Lewis Allen, Sherwood Anderson, Margaret Culkin Banning, William Rose Benet, Thomas G. Boyd, Ford Brown("Leslie Ford"), Zenith Brown ("David Frome"), Witter Bynner, Padraic Colum, Malcolm Cowley, John Dos Passos, Havelock Ellis, Negley Farson, Esther Forbes, Peter Freuchen, Robert Frost, Zona Gale, Ellen Glasgow, Elma Godchaux, Alice Walworth Graham, Ramon Guthrie, Sheila Hibben, Dorothy Hicks (Mrs. Granville), Granville Hicks, Langston Hughes, Rupert Hughes, James Huneken, Fannie Hurst, Kathleen P. Lahr, Ring W. Lardner, William Ellery Leonard, Lloyd Lewis, Sinclair Lewis, Amy Lowell, H.L. Mencken, Daphne Milne (Mrs. A.A.), Lois Seyster Montross, Lynn Montross, Virginia Moore, Louise Morgan, J. Middleton Murray, George Jean Nathan, Charles G. Norris, Edward J. O'Brien, Eugene O'Neill, Alice Paul, C.A. Pearce, Clara Kent Pearce, Maxwell E. Perkins, William Lyon Phelps, Ruth Pickering, Bentz Plagemann, Max Radin, Conrad Richter, Kenneth Roberts, Lady Patricia Russell (Mrs. Bertrand), Carl Sandburg, Budd Wilson Schulberg, Gilbert Seldes, Helen Seldes (Mrs. George), Donald Ogden Stewart, Ben Stolberg, Julian Street, Frank Swinnerton, Genevieve Taggart, Booth Tarkington, Phoebe Atwood Taylor, Sarah Teasdale, Lowell Thomas, Brenda Uland, Carl Van Doren, Hendrik Willem Van Loon, Sybil Vincent, Peggy Wood Weaver, Edmund Wilson, Helen Woodward, and Elinor Wylie.

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Subject Headings

Names:

  • Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941.
  • Bartlett, Scott.
  • Bartlett, Eliot Fitch.
  • Bartlett, Walter S.
  • Boyd, Thomas, 1898-1935.
  • Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970.
  • Ellis, Havelock, 1859-1939.
  • Fitch, Eliot Grant.
  • Fitch, Eliza Eliot.
  • Frost, Robert, 1874-1963.
  • Glasgow, Ellen Anderson Gholson, 1873-1945.
  • Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967.
  • Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951.
  • Mason, Gregory, 1889-
  • O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953.
  • Paul, Alice, 1885-1977.
  • Phillipson, Elizabeth Grace Boyd.
  • Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967.
  • Teasdale, Sara, 1884-1933.
  • Wilson, Edmund, 1895-1972.

Organizations:

  • Curtis Brown, Ltd.
  • McKeogh & Boyd (New York, N.Y.)
  • Vassar College--Students.

Subjects:

  • American literature.
  • Authors.
  • Bartlett family.
  • Family--New York (State).
  • Fitch family.
  • Literary agents.
  • Literature publishing.
  • Literature--Women authors.
  • Mason family.
  • Women authors, American.
  • Women college graduates.

Document Types:

  • Photoprints.
  • Poems.
  • Postcards.

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Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, February 2007.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Ruth Fitch Mason Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ruth Fitch Mason and Eliot F Bartlett.

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Container List

Folder 1.1 Eliot Bartlett's correspondence and notes about the collection.
Folder 1.2 Biographical information on Ruth Fitch Mason, Tom Boyd, Gregory Mason, and others related to them.
Folder 1.3 Letters to R.F.M.
Folder 1.4 Letters from Eliot Fitch to R.F.M., 1918-1919
Folder 1.4a Letters of Walter S. Bartlett to R.F.M., 1918-1919
Folders 1.5-1.16 Letters of R.F.M. to her sons, Eliot and Scott Bartlett, ca. 1929-1955
Folders 1.17-1.18 Letters of Eliot Fitch Bartlett to R.F.M., 1931-1942
Folder 1.19 Letters of R.F.M. to her mother, Eliza Eliot Fitch and 1 letter from E.E.F. to R.F.M., 1931-1936, 1941
Folder 1.19a Letters of Elizabeth Grace Boyd Phillipson to Eliot Fitch Bartlett, 1936-1940
Folder 1.20 R.F.M.-Gregory Mason correspondence, 1938-1962
Folder 1.21 Congratulatory letters to R.F.M on her marriage to Gregory Mason, 1937
Folder 1.22 Correspondence relating to R.F.M.'s resignation from Curtis Brown, formation of McKeogh and Boyd, and retirement from the latter agency, 1937, 1944
Folder 1.22a Letters of R.F.M. from Vassar to her mother, 1908-1909
Folder 1.23 Photographs
Folder 1.24 Postcards
Folder 1.25 Passport, 1957
Folder 1.26 Boyd and Mason contracts with publishers and related correspondence.
Folders 1.27-1.28 Poems by R.F.M.
Box 1 2 small packages of travel note and other notes
Folders 2.1-2 2 Stories by R.F.M.
Folder 2.3 R.F.M. miscellaneous notes
Folder 2.4 Poems sent to R.F.M.
Folder 2.5 Poems by Horace Kallem
Folders 2.6-2.7 Thomas Boyd's manuscript, Poor John Fitch (NY: Putnam [1935]) and information collected for the book
Folder 2.8 Thomas Boyd's manuscript, In Time of Peace (NY: Minton, Balch ), [1935]
Folders 2.9-2.10 Manuscripts of Thomas Boyd
Folder 2.11 Manuscript of Danbury Curve by R.F.M. and Gregory Mason, (New Haven: Whittier Books [1962])

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