Arthur Miller has long had a significant presence at the Ransom Center. In 1961 and 1962, Miller donated a collection of his manuscripts to the Center. These materials—including drafts and working notebooks for All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and many other plays—have been studied and enjoyed by researchers and students in the decades since. The Ransom Center has also been seeking out and acquiring original letters, scripts, photographs, and papers from other sources to offer researchers additional resources to study. The extensive Arthur Miller archive recently acquired from the Arthur Miller Trust joins these materials and a rich network of other collections at the Ransom Center that connect with Miller and his work.
One of the Ransom Center’s key priorities in developing its collections is to bring together materials that complement and enhance one another. To this end, the Center works to build a network of interrelated archives that demonstrate the ties between creative figures. Individuals represented in the Ransom Center’s collections often collaborated with, influenced, or corresponded with one another. Theatre productions are represented in the papers of playwrights, actors, designers, critics, and photographers, who each provide a different perspective on a play. The various nodes of connection between our collections give scholars and students the ability to approach their research from a wide range of angles, allowing them to delve deeply into a subject and to better understand the context in which works of art and literature were created.
Arthur Miller is a key figure connecting dozens of the Ransom Center’s collections. Scholars interested in Miller’s life and work can look not only to his personal papers but also to the papers of acting teacher Stella Adler, whose script interpretations of Death of a Salesman and other plays influenced students including Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and Elaine Stritch. The archive of Mel Gussow includes recordings and transcripts of the theatre critic’s interviews with Miller and many of his peers. The recently acquired papers of actors Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach include materials relating to the 1961 film production of The Misfits. Within the Boris Aronson Scenic Design Papers, one can see a stage model of the original Broadway production of Incident at Vichy. The records of PEN, an organization to which Miller was deeply dedicated, include dozens of Miller’s letters and papers from his tenure as president of PEN International in the 1960s.
These collections, and the many others listed below, are carefully preserved and accessible for research at the Ransom Center. There are, undoubtedly, traces of Arthur Miller in other collections at the Ransom Center, as well. This extensive network of collections demonstrates the breadth and significance of Arthur Miller’s impact on twentieth-century culture, and the Ransom Center’s dedication to the study of his legacy.
Stella Adler’s teaching archive includes her lecture notes and audio and video recordings of her detailed script interpretation of Death of a Salesman, which was one of the core foundational texts she worked on with her students. Harold Clurman directed the 1964 production of Incident at Vichy, and his work on this production and his thoughts on Miller can be found throughout his papers.
The archive of publishing giant Alfred Knopf includes correspondence with Miller.
Aronson’s archive includes scripts, sketches, watercolor renderings, research materials, and photos of his set designs for the original productions of The Crucible, Incident at Vichy, and A View from the Bridge.
Simmons was the leading costume house in London for over a century, and the archive includes costume designs for some of Miller’s original West End productions including Death of a Salesman.
Miller’s The Crucible was a major influence on T. C. Boyle’s 1994 short story “Termination Dust,” and Boyle’s archive includes his notes on the play.
Brown was a noted Shakespeare scholar and literary manager of the National Theatre in London from 1973 to 1988. His archive includes correspondence with Miller and documentation related to the planning and construction of the Arthur Miller Theatre at the University of Michigan.
The archive of Commentary, founded in 1945 by the American Jewish Committee, includes a lengthy correspondence between the editors and Miller.
This design collection includes Jo Mielzener’s designs for Death of a Salesman.
Pascal Covici was senior editor of Viking Press, publishing a number of influential writers including Miller. His archive includes his correspondence with Miller.
This collection of Hollywood producer Lester Cowan covers the 1945 film project The Story of G. I. Joe based on the writings of Ernie Pyle. The collection includes several of Miller’s uncredited attempts at drafting the screenplay for this project, along with two versions of an unpublished Miller diary that documents his process in interviewing soldiers and gathering research.
Robert Downing Papers
Downing’s archive includes promptbooks and annotated scripts for early productions of Miller’s After the Fall and Incident at Vichy. His library includes first editions of many of Miller’s plays, several of which are inscribed to Downing from Miller.
This collection of correspondence covers the first years of the groundbreaking Royal Court Theatre company in London, and includes a series of letters between Miller and the company relating to their 1956 production of The Crucible, the second play the company ever produced.
Photographer Elliott Erwitt’s collection includes a behind-the-scenes series of photographs taken during the shooting of The Misfits.Fred Fehl Theater Collection
Photographer Fred Fehl captured dozens of photographs of many of Miller’s original Broadway productions, including All My Sons, The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, and A View from the Bridge.
Critic and scholar John Gassner was a devoted fan of Miller, and his archive includes extensive research notes and clippings relating to Miller and his career.
Golby was a noted theatrical photographer, and his collection includes over 100 prints and negatives of Miller productions on Broadway.
The collection of longtime head cultural critic for the New York Times includes audio interviews, transcripts, and drafts of his Conversations with Miller book, along with interviews of many of Miller’s peers.
Hellman mentions Miller in her writings and letters, and her investment records for Death of a Salesman and View from the Bridge are included in her papers.
The papers of these method actors, and husband and wife, include materials relating to Wallach’s role as Guido in the 1961 film production of The Misfits.
James Jones, author of the influential 1951 novel From Here to Eternity, had an ongoing correspondence with Miller that is included in his papers.
The Friedman-Abeles Studio in New York was among the leading theatre photographers of the mid-20th century. This archive includes vintage prints and negatives of portraits of Miller from 1957 and 1969.
The Literary Files photography collection includes portrait photographs of Miller by Esther Handler, Inge Morath, and Desmond Tripp, and production photographs from The Price and The Creation of the World and Other Business.
Poet Willard Maas’s archive includes his manuscript for “Epithalamion: For the marriage of Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe.”
The New York bureau photo morgue of the Magnum Photos cooperative includes numerous photographs of Miller as a subject, as well as a significant collection of photographs by Miller’s wife Inge Morath.
The extensive archive of Norman Mailer includes the research and drafts for Mailer’s photographic biography of Marilyn Monroe. Arthur Miller contested the facts of this book, and his correspondence and corrections are included in Mailer’s archive.
Loomis wrote the 1982 biography on Mailer, and her archive contains over 82 audio cassettes of interviews, which include Arthur Miller.
When Miller died in 2005, playwright David Mamet wrote a tribute for the New York Times, drafts of which are in his archive.
The archive of composer Nicolas Nabokov includes correspondence with Miller and an unrevised proof of The Price.
The archive of PEN includes all of the organizational records from Miller’s presidency from 1965 to 1969.
The Ransom Center holds one of the limited Peter Blum editions of Miller’s Homely Girl with 10 original etchings by Louise Bourgeois.
Production Photographs Collection
The Production Photographs Collection contains thousands of publicity prints from Broadway productions and includes all of Miller’s major works through the 1970s.
Playwright Elmer Rice’s longtime advocacy efforts with the American Civil Liberties Union and PEN, as well as his work co-founding the influential Playwrights’ Producing Company, meant that his and Miller’s paths crossed often—which is well-documented in Rice’s archive.
This collection of correspondence from play publishing house Samuel French includes material relating to the publication and performance rights of Death of a Salesman.
Letters between Miller and modernist poet and author Dame Edith Sitwell are included in her archive.
A 1988 draft of Miller’s screenplay Everybody Wins is part of screenwriter Warren Skarren’s archive.
This collection includes three boxes of newspaper clippings, original programs, production photographs, and portrait photographs of Miller and his work.
Weeks was the editor of The Atlantic Monthly, and his archive includes letters from Miller.
Tennessee Williams and his longtime agent Audrey Wood frequently discuss Miller in their letters to each other and others. Wood was also an investor in the original Broadway production of Death of a Salesman, and her archive includes her investment records.
Eric Colleary oversees research, access, and interpretation of the Ransom Center’s theater and performing arts materials.