Vassar College Digital Library
Guide to the Carol Gelderman Papers, 1981-1984

Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Gelderman, Carol W.
Title: The Carol Gelderman Papers
Dates: 1981-1984
Quantity: 4.9 cubic feet (7 Boxes)
Abstract: This collection comprises the research material Carol Gelderman compiled for use in her biography of Mary McCarthy, entitled Mary McCarthy: A Life. The bulk of the collection is interview material, including audio cassettes. Several of the interviews were with Mary McCarthy but most were with others who knew or worked with McCarthy. There is also correspondence as well as articles and portions of books either by or about Mary McCarthy and her work.

Biographical Note

Carol Wettlaufer Gelderman, born on 2 December 1939, first became interested in Mary McCarthy after discovering they had both been educated for a time by The Religious of the Sacred Heart. This interest of hers would eventually lead to writing or editing several pieces about Mary McCarthy, including Mary McCarthy: A Life, the first comprehensive biography of Mary McCarthy, and Conversations with Mary McCarthy. She also contributed to Twenty-four Ways of Looking at Mary McCarthy: The Writer and Her Work.


Scope and Content Note

This collection comprises the research material Carol Gelderman compiled for use in her biography of Mary McCarthy, entitled Mary McCarthy: A Life. The bulk of the collection is interview material, including audio cassettes. Several of the interviews were with Mary McCarthy but most were with others who knew or worked with McCarthy. There is also correspondence as well as articles and portions of books either by or about Mary McCarthy and her work.



This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Librarywithout any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to quote (publish) from unpublished or previously published material must be obtained as described in the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library.


Subject Headings


  • McCarthy, Mary, 1912-1989
  • Wilson, Edmund, 1895-1972


  • Novelists
  • Women authors--Biography


  • Castine (Me.)

Document Types:

  • Interviews
  • Photographs

VCL Categories

  • Literature and Writing

Encoding Information

Encoded by Madeleine Amodio, July 2011.


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

A tape player is required to play the tapes in Series X.


Preferred Citation

The Carol Gelderman Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Madeleine Amodio in July 2011. Last updated 7 July 2011.

Acquisition Information

The bulk of the collection was received in 2005 from Carol Gelderman (M2005-016). Additional material was received in 2009 (M2009-014).


Series List

Series I. Forebears

Series I contains original photographs given to Carol Gelderman by Mary McCarthy which portray her family and herself, and also a detailed file on Simon Manly Preston, Mary McCarthy's great-grandfather.

Series II. Early Childhood

Series II contains notes, correspondence, and research conducted by Carol Gelderman into Mary McCarthy's early Seattle childhood.

Series III. Vassar Years

Series III contains copies of prose composed by Mary McCarthy in her time at Vassar College, as well as reviews of The Group and interviews and articles about Mary McCarthy and her time at Vassar.

Series IV. First Marriage

Series IV contains both interviews and articles published during the time of Mary McCarthy's first marriage and correspondence from Mary McCarthy to Emmanuel Roussuck, who was an art dealer who routinely lent her paintings for parties.

Series V. Partisan Review

Series V contains articles and interviews taken from the Partisan Review. The bulk of this series is interviews with friends of Mary McCarthy.

Series VI. Second Marriage

Series VI contains information pertaining to Mary McCarthy's second marriage, including personal information about Edmund Wilson and articles both by and about Mary McCarthy published during the time of her second marriage.

Series VII. Third Marriage/Later Years

Series VII contains research and information about Mary McCarthy in her later years, and during the time period of her third marriage.

Series VIII. Fourth Marriage

Series VIII contains, along with information about the CIA's investigation into Mary McCarthy, information about her from the time period of her fourth marriage, including information about her Vietnam trip and the Lillian Hellman/Mary McCarthy court case.

Series IX. Interview Transcriptions and Interview Requests

Series IX contains interview requests and written interviews conducted by Carol Gelderman.

Series X. Recorded Interviews

Series X contains cassette tape recordings of interviews Carol Gelderman conducted with various people. The numbering system for this series was devised by the archivist.

Series XI. Mary McCarthy Correspondence

Series XI contains correspondence from and to Mary McCarthy, with the bulk being copies of letters Mary McCarthy sent to others.

Series XII. Miscellaneous

Series XII contains various correspondence and reviews of Mary McCarthy: A life, as well as several publications pertaining to Gelderman's research.

Container List

Series I: Forebears

Folder 1.1 Original Mary McCarthy Photos
Folder 1.2 Simon Manly Preston

Series II: Early Childhood

Folder 1.3 Early Childhood
Folder 1.4 Seattle Years- Forest Ridge 1912-1918
Folder 1.5 Seattle Years- Annie Wright Episcopal 1912-1918

Series III: Vassar Years

Folders 1.6-1.7 Vassar College
Folder 1.8 Vassar Years- Interviews/Articles

Series IV: First Marriage

Folder 1.9 First Marriage- Interviews/Articles
Folder 1.10 Emmanuel Roussuck - Art Dealer

Series V: Partisan Review

Folders 1.11-1.12 Articles/Miscellaneous
Folder 1.13 Interviews
Folder 7.1 Interviews- Irving Howe
Folder 7.2 Interviews- Dwight Macdonald to Nicola Chiaromonte
Folder 1.14 Interviews- Dwight Macdonald
Folder 1.15 Interviews- Delmore Schwartz
Folder 1.16 Interviews- Stephen Spender

Series VI: Second Marriage

Folder 1.17 Personal Information/Edmund Wilson
Folder 1.18 Second Marriage- Edmund Wilson Information- Rosalind Wilson
Folder 1.19 Portsmouth/Wellfleet- The Oasis Xerox- Robert Cowell Papers, 1949-1955
Folder 1.20 Part VI: Jim West, 1960-1987
Folder 1.21 Second Marriage- Articles By/About Mary McCarthy- Articles, 1940-1945

Series VII: Third Marriage/Later Years

Folder 1.22 Hannah Arendt From 1949
Folder 1.23 Hannah Arendt From 1949- Reviews of Hannah Arendt
Folder 1.24 Articles/Books about Mary McCarthy, 1949-1962
Folder 7.3 Articles/Books about Mary McCarthy, 1949-1962
Folder 1.25 Articles About Mary McCarthy, 1949-1962
Folder 1.26 The Oasis- A Xerox of 1st Edition: Random House
Folder 2.1 Later Years- Carol Gelderman Interviews with Mary McCarthy
Folder 2.2 Later Years- Carol Gelderman Interviews with Mary McCarthy- Summer 1984, 1984
Folder 2.3 Carol Gelderman Stuff- Letters from Library, etc.- 3rd/4th Marriage, Later Years
Folder 2.6 Third Marriage- Articles by Mary McCarthy
Folder 2.7 Third Marriage- Articles by Mary McCarthy- Congress for Cultural Freedom
Folder 2.8 Third Marriage- Articles by Mary McCarthy- John Davenport

Series VIII: Fourth Marriage

Folder 2.4 Investigation by CIA into Mary McCarthy
Folder 2.9 Vietnam- Vietnam
Folder 2.10 Vietnam- Articles about Mary McCarthy/Vietnam
Folder 2.11 Writings- Later Life- Mary McCarthy Speeches
Folder 2.12 Writings- Later Life-Articles/Book Reviews by Mary McCarthy
Folder 2.13 Writings- Later Life-Articles/Book Reviews about Mary McCarthy, 1963-1987
Folders 2.14-2.15 Writings- Later Life
Folder 7.4 Writings- Later Life
Folder 2.16 Lillian Hellman/Mary McCarthy- Articles about Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy
Folder 2.17 Lillian Hellman/Mary McCarthy- Mary McCarthy/Lillian Hellman Court Case
Folder 2.18 Articles/Book Reviews- Mary McCarthy Bibliography
Folder 2.19 Articles/Book Reviews- Inventory of Mary McCarthy Archives at Vassar
Folder 2.20 Articles/Book Reviews- Mary McCarthy Death Notices

Series IX: Interviews and Interview Requests

Folder 2.30 Malcolm Cowley, Sherman, Ct.
Folder 2.31 Mrs Alan Barth
Folder 2.32 Mrs Elizabeth (Jerome) Greenebaum
Folder 2.33 Judy Knickerbocker- Mrs Nicholas
Folder 2.34 Helen Wilson
Folder 2.35 Helen Sawyer Farnsworth - Mrs Jerry
Folder 2.36 Mrs Robert Penn Warren
Folder 2.37 Dr Gordon Ray, President of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Folder 3.1 Possible Talk Stuff
Folder 3.2 William Buell Radio Free Europe
Folder 3.3 OECD Francis Cassavetti
Folder 3.4 Dick Cavett- Channel 13
Folder 3.5 Mrs F.W. Dupec
Folder 3.6 Mr and Mrs David DuVivier
Folder 3.7 Mrs Nicola Chiaromonte
Folder 3.8 Mrs Thomas Finletter- Eileen Geist
Folder 3.9 Philippe Franchine
Folder 3.10 Mrs Stuart Frazier
Folder 3.11 Stanley Geist
Folder 3.12 Brendan Gill - The New Yorker
Folder 3.13 Alan Gilyn
Folder 3.14 Hester Green and Mark Hamilton of A.M. Heath
Folder 3.15 Doris Grumbach
Folder 3.16 Walter Goldwater
Folder 3.17 Clement Greenberg
Folder 3.18 Miriam Gross
Folder 3.19 Elizabeth Hardwick
Folder 3.20 Francis Haskell
Folder 3.21 Mrs Benjamin Hibshman
Folder 3.22 Mary Hooven
Folder 3.23 Kot Jelenski
Folder 3.24 Mrs John Jessup- Eunice Clark
Folder 3.25 Colton Johnson Telephone Interview
Folder 3.26 Gloria Jones - Mrs James
Folder 3.27 William Jovanovich
Folder 3.28 Ward Just
Folder 3.29 Harold Kavlan
Folder 3.30 Mr and Mrs Terence Kilmartin (literary editor of Observer)
Folder 3.31 Nicholas King
Folder 3.32 Dr Lotte Kohler
Folder 3.33 Lady Caroline Lowell
Folder 3.34 Mme Angelique Levi
Folder 3.35 Mary McCarthy to Mrs Robert Lowell- Elizabeth Hardwick
Folder 3.36 Dwight Macdonald
Folder 3.37 Nancy Macdonald
Folder 3.38 Flip McCarthy
Folder 3.39 Mary Dabney McCarthy San Francisco
Folder 3.40 Kevin McCarthy
Folder 3.41 Kevin McCarthy- Mary McCarthy Interviews Done for People
Folder 3.42 Preston McCarthy
Folder 3.43 Mrs Sheridan McCarthy
Folder 3.44 James Merrill
Folder 3.45 Professor Ulrich Middledorf
Folder 3.46 Karl Miller
Folder 3.47 Herbert Mitgang
Folder 3.48 Mr and Mrs William Mostyn-Owen
Folder 3.49 Mrs Curt Muser
Folder 3.50 John Myers
Folder 3.51 Ellen Adler Oppenheim
Folder 3.52 Interview with Ben O'Sullivan
Folder 3.53 Benjamin O'Sullivan Interview
Folder 3.54 Cees Nooteboom
Folder 3.55 Cleo Paturis
Folder 3.56 Eleanor Perenai
Folder 3.57 William Phillips
Folder 3.58 Mrs William Prince- Augusta Dabney
Folder 3.59 Jonathan Kaudal - International Herald Tribune
Folder 3.60 John Richardson
Folder 3.61 Yale Richmond
Folder 3.62 Jess Rosenberg
Folder 3.63 Larry Rivers
Folder 3.64 Mrs John Russell- Peggy Besnier
Folder 3.65 Mayer Schapiro
Folder 3.66 Brandt and Brandt
Folder 3.67 Arthur Schelsinger, Jr
Folder 3.68 The Reverend Mr and Mrs F.Q. Shafer
Folder 3.69 Elizabeth Niebuhr Sifton
Folder 3.70 William Shawn
Folder 3.71 Robert Silvers
Folder 3.72 Eileen Simpson
Folder 3.73 Roger Straws
Folder 3.74 Werner Stemans
Folder 3.75 Eve Stwertka
Folder 3.76 Signora Fiorella Superbi
Folder 3.77 Diana Trilling
Folder 3.78 Niccolo Tucci
Folder 3.79 Frank Preston
Folder 3.80 William Tuohy- LA Times
Folder 3.81 Margo Viscusi
Folder 3.82 Nick Wahl
Folder 3.83 Mrs Charles Walker
Folder 3.84 Lord George Weidenfeld
Folder 3.85 Alison West
Folder 3.86 Mrs Harold Williams
Folder 3.87 Celia Woyawoda
Folder 3.88 Revel Wilson
Folder 3.89 Francis Wyndham
Folder 3.90 Barry Zorthian
Folder 4.24 Lionel Abel
Folder 4.25 James Atlas
Folder 4.26 R.W. Abble, Jr- NYT London International Press Center
Folder 4.27 William Barrett
Folder 4.28 Signora Luigi Biso
Folder 4.29 Mrs William Blane
Folder 4.30 Dr Seymour Bonwit
Folder 4.31 Mary Brady- Mrs Leslie
Folder 4.32 Thomas F.S. Buckley
Folder 4.33 Irma Brandeis
Folder 4.34 Bowden Broadwater
Folder 4.35 [Correspondence to/from Carol Gelderman]

Series X: Recorded Interviews

Tape 5.1 Nancy Macdonald, 5 Jan 1982
Tape 5.2 Dwight Macdonald
Tape 5.3 Walker- NYC, 20 Oct
Tape 5.4 Elizabeth Hardwick- Her Apartment, 21 Oct 1981
Tape 5.5 Eileen Simpson Side 2
Tape 5.6 Eileen Simpson Side 1
Tape 5.6 Rosamond Russell
Tape 5.7 Rosamond and John Russell
Tape 5.8 Brendan Gill
Tape 5.8 Shafer Side 1
Tape 5.9 Shafer Sides 2 and 3
Tape 5.10 Kevin McCarthy
Tape 5.11 Kevin Sides 3 and 4
Tape 5.12 Mrs Sheridan McCarthy
Tape 5.13 Preston McCarthy
Tape 5.14 Mary McCarthy Interview
Tape 5.15 Tom Buckley McCarthy, 12 Oct 1981
Tape 5.16 Silvers
Tape 5.17 Clement Greenberg, Jan 1982
Tape 5.18 William Shawn at the New Yorker, 26 Oct 1981
Tape 5.18 Muser Side 1, 26 Oct 1981
Tape 5.19 Muser Side 2
Tape 5.20 Prof. Ulrich Middeldorf, 3 May
Tape 5.20 Signora E. Sartori, 3 May
Tape 5.21 Jessup
Tape 5.22 Viscusi
Tape 5.23 Viscusi, Jan 1982
Tape 5.24 Mrs Stuart Frazier
Tape 5.25 Rosenberg Sides 1 and 2
Tape 6.1 Rosenberg Side 3
Tape 6.1 Frank Preston Side 1
Tape 6.2 Frank Preston Sides 2 and 3
Tape 6.3 Myrtle and Frank Preston Side 4, 22 March 1982
Tape 6.4 Mrs Harold Williams Side One
Tape 6.3 Mrs Harold Williams Side 2, 22 March 1982
Tape 6.4 Mary Dabney McCarthy
Tape 6.5 August Dabney
Tape 6.6 Sir Harold Acton, 2 May
Tape 6.7 Jon Nanday
Tape 6.7 Randal -Washington Post Office in Paris
Tape 6.8 Alison West- Institute of Fine Arts- NYU, 10 June 1982
Tape 6.9 Caroline Blackwood Lowell, 13 April 1982
Tape 6.10 Cees Nooteboom, 20 April 1982
Tape 6.11 Cees Nooteboom
Tape 6.12 Cleo Paturis
Tape 6.13 Francis Cassavetti, 8 Dec, 23 April 1982
Tape 6.14 William Tuohy- London, 14 April 1982
Tape 6.15 Philippe Franchine- Owner of Continental Palace in Saigon
Tape 6.16 Terrence Kilmartin, 17 April 1982
Tape 6.17 Terrence Kilmartin- London, 18 April 1982
Tape 6.17 Francis Haskell- Oxford, 18 April 1982
Tape 6.18 Miriam Grass at The London Observer, 18 April 1982
Tape 6.19 Mary Brady Side 1
Tape 6.19 Doris Grumbach
Tape 6.20 Countess Anna Maria Cigonga
Tape 6.21 Stwertka
Tape 6.22 Eve Stwertka, 9 Jan 1982
Tape 6.23 Madame Levi Sides 1 and 2
Tape 6.24 Angelique Levi
Tape 6.25 Walter Goldwater
Tape 6.26 Karl Miller- Head of Engineering Department University College London and London RB, 15 April 1982
Tape 6.26 Lord Weidenfeld 5-6pm, 15 April 1982
Tape 6.27 Kohler
Tape 6.28 William Mostyn-Owen
Tape 6.29 Gaia Servadio Mostyn-Owen, 19 April 1982

Series XI: Mary McCarthy Correspondence

Folder 4.1 Mary McCarthy to Carmen
Folder 4.2 Mary McCarthy to Jim West/Jim West to Mary McCarthy
Folder 4.3 Edmund Wilson to Mary McCarthy
Folder 4.4 Mary McCarthy to Edmund Wilson
Folder 4.5 Mary McCarthy to Ben O'Sullivan
Folder 4.6 To Frani Blough from Mary McCarthy
Folder 4.7 Mary McCarthy to William Jovanovich
Folder 4.8 William Jovanovich to Mary McCarthy
Folder 4.9 Sales Figures
Folder 4.10 Mary McCarthy to Doris Gumbach
Folder 4.11 Doris Gumbach to Mary McCarthy
Folder 4.12 Mary McCarthy to Bill shawn
Folder 4.13 Mary McCarthy to Fred Dupeel
Folder 4.14 Mary McCarhty to David and Ellie DuVivier
Folder 4.15 Mary McCarthy to Bernard Berenson
Folder 4.16 Mary McCarthy to Reuel Wilson/ RW to MM
Folder 4.17 Mary McCarthy to Dwight MacDonald
Folder 4.18 Mary McCarthy to Nicola Chiaromonte/ NC to Mary McCarthy
Folder 4.19 Hannah Arendt to Mary McCarthy
Folder 4.20 Mary McCarthy to Hannah Arendt
Folders 4.21-4.23 Miscellaneous Correspondence
Folder 7.5 Mary McCarthy to Kevin McCarthy

Series XII: Miscellaneous

Folder 2.5 Letters to Carol Gelderman from Various People
Folder 2.21 Correspondence between Carol Gelderman and Mary McCarthy- Interview in Paris
Folder 2.22 Correspondence between Carol Gelderman and Mary McCarthy- From Carol Gelderman to Mary McCarthy
Folder 2.23 McCarthy's Corrections on Galleys
Folder 2.24 [Correspondence from Mary McCarthy to Carol Gelderman]
Folder 2.25 Copies of Letters between Mary McCarthy to Carol Gelderman- Some Maybe Missing i.e. in Other Files in Another Tape
Folders 2.26-2.27 Mary McCarthy: A Life - Reviews- Originals
Folder 2.28 Reviews of Mary McCarthy: a Life
Folder 2.29 Carol Gelderman Reviews- Mary McCarthy: A Life Xerox copies
Folder 4.36 Nooteboom, Cees. "Nederlandse Po√ęzie." Avenue. May 1982: 132-133. Print. [Dutch]
Folder 4.37 Banks, William Nathaniel. "Castine, Maine, and St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada." The Magazine Antiques. July 1980: 102-119. Print.

Return to the Table of Contents


This collection comprises the research material Carol Gelderman compiled for use in her biography of Mary McCarthy, entitled . The bulk of the collection is interview material, including audio cassettes. Several of the interviews were with Mary McCarthy but most were with others who knew or worked with McCarthy. There is also correspondence as well as articles and portions of books either by or about Mary McCarthy and her work.

Finding Aid Date
Dates: 1981-1984
Document Types
Collection Title
The Carol Gelderman Papers