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Hahn mss., 1900-1991

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Lilly Library
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Hahn, Emily, 1905-1997.

Hahn mss., 1900-1991

Collection No.
LMC 1438

7258 items

Materials are in English.

Collection consists of the correspondence and writings of author Emily Hahn.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

Hahn was born in St. Louis and lived there until her family moved to Chicago during her high school years. She later attended the University of Wisconsin and in 1926 received the first mining engineering degree awarded to a female student. Following graduation, until the spring of 1927, she worked for an engineering firm in St. Louis and then as a company courier for that firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Returning to the East during the summer, she attended Columbia University for graduate work, taught geology during the 1927/28 academic year, and then headed for Europe on her first overseas tour. After living in Florence and London, she returned home briefly in 1929 before going to the Congo and two years' residence there. In 1932 she began further travels, finally settling in Shanghai in 1935 where she taught English for three years.

All during this decade of travel and adventure Hahn wrote almost continually--articles, stories, letters--and many of her pieces were printed in The New Yorker, as well as five full-length books being published. Fortunately, as a supplement to her writings, the collection also contains Hahn's letters home to her mother and family while she lived and traveled in Europe, Africa, and China. This early correspondence is particularly descriptive of people, places, and activities, and is most interesting for the early years of Asian conflict that would later be seen as a prelude of World War II. The Sino-Japanese conflict eventually caused Hahn to leave Shanghai for Hong Kong, where she was later forced to remain after the Japanese took over that area in 1941. She was finally repatriated in 1943 and proceeded to produce two books concerning those years: China to Me and Hong Kong Holiday. In 1945 Hahn married British Major Charles Ralph Boxer, 1904-2000, whom she had met in Hong Kong prior to his internment as a POW, and following the war they moved to his family home in England. She continued to write short fiction, articles for magazine publication, particularly The New Yorker, and a remarkable number of books. During the 1950's she ventured into the juvenile field with some fiction, juvenile biographies, and descriptions of some of the countries in which she had traveled or lived. Other publications include biographies of Aphra Behn, James Brooke, Fanny Burney, Chiang kai-shek, D.H. Lawrence, and Mabel Dodge Luhan; a description of the diamond business; four books on zoos and animals; histories of China, Ireland, women; and several autobiographical accounts.

Scope and Content Note

In addition to drafts of her writings, typescripts, galleys, photographs, and research materials relating to many of her publications, the collection also contains several unpublished fictional pieces; college notes; family memorabilia and letters; photographs of various areas of the United States and Africa taken during the 1930's; clippings of book reviews and articles by and about Hahn; and miscellaneous clippings relating to people and places familiar to her.

Related Material

Complementing this collection are the Hahn-Brandt mss. which consist of her literary agent's files on her behalf, and the Bobbs-Merrill mss. containing materials related to her books published by that firm.

Other related manuscripts include: Hahn mss. II, Hahn mss. III, Hahn mss. IV

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Acquired: 1975, 1976, 1989, 1992.
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Preferred Citation
[Item], Hahn mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
[provenance note]
Processing Information
Processed by Staff.

Completed in 2013

Series: Correspondence

Correspondents, A-E

  • View All (56)
  • Allen, Mary E.
  • Alsop, Joseph Wright (1878-1953)
  • Alsop, Joseph Wright (1910-1989)
  • Andriola, Alfred
  • Armat, Virginia
  • Arthur, Josephine Edith Hahn
  • Astengo, John
  • Augustine, James Patrick
  • Baer, Howard F.
  • Bahadur, Ishwari Singh
  • Balk, Robert
  • Barker, Arthur
  • Baron, Marcel L.
  • Barrett, David Dean
  • Baum, Vicki
  • Baumgarten, Bernice
  • Bell, Vicars Walker
  • Benes, Barton Lidice
  • Benét, William rose
  • Billings, Katherine Stevens (Fowler)
  • Blunt, Arthur G.
  • Boxer, Amanda
  • Boxer, Charles Ralph
  • Bradford, Mary Rose
  • Brandt, Carol
  • Brooke, Basil Charles Barrington
  • Brooke, Bertram W.D.
  • Brown, Hazel Elizabeth
  • Brownrigg, Philip Henry Ackerman
  • Bruccoli, Matthew Joseph
  • Bryant, Margaret M.
  • Buck, Pearl (Sydenstricker)
  • Bynner, Witter
  • Calisher, Hortense
  • Caniff, Milton Arthur
  • Cape, Jonathan
  • Chapin, James Paul
  • Chapman, Chanler Armstrong
  • Chapman, Charlotte D.
  • Chiang, Mei-ling (Sung) (Mme. Chiang kai-shek)
  • Clarke, Ken
  • Cohen, Jessie
  • Cole, Irene Fincher
  • Comber, Elizabeth (Tang)
  • Cox, Corolyn
  • Crowell, Robert Leland
  • Crowley, Ralph
  • Cummins, James S.
  • Curran, Charles
  • Curtis, Lawrence
  • Davis, Aubrey
  • Dawson, Gregory
  • Dawson, Mitchell
  • Dawson, Rose Hahn
  • Edmonds, Helen (Woods)
  • Emmet, Jr., Christopher Temple

Correspondents, F-M

  • View All (58)
  • Farrar, John Chipman
  • Field, Henry
  • Field, Julia Rand Allen
  • Fitch, Geraldine Townsend
  • Ford, Matthew Cuchulain
  • Foshay, Lee
  • Fritz Bernardine Szold
  • Gilbert, Dorothy
  • Gill, Louise Mary
  • Goodwin, John Blair L.
  • Gorer, Geoffrey
  • Gould, Randall Chase
  • Gray, Adeline
  • Greenstein, Milton
  • Gunther, John
  • Hahn, Charles
  • Hahn, Emanuel
  • Hahn, Emily
  • Hahn, Hannah (Schoen)
  • Hahn, Isaac Newton
  • Hahn, Nancy Coonsman
  • Haight, Gordon Sherman
  • Hanson, Donald P.
  • Hanson, Muriel
  • Henderson, Robert
  • Hohlfeld, rudy L.
  • Hoke, Helen
  • Horgan, Paul
  • Howard, George Wren
  • Hutheesing, Krishna
  • Johnson, Malcolm
  • Johnson, Williard
  • Just, Evan
  • Keedick, Robert Lee
  • Keith, Agnes Newton
  • Kelly, Walt
  • Kennedy, Margaret
  • Ker-Seymer, Barbara
  • Kinney, Harrison
  • Kogan, Herman
  • Kross, Agnes A.
  • Lackersteen, Mary
  • Larsen, Dorothy Hahn
  • Laurents, Arthur
  • Lescher, Robert
  • Lobrano, Gustav Stubbs
  • Loth, David
  • Ma, Pin-ho
  • McCormick, Kenneth Dale
  • MacDonald, Malcolm John
  • Martin, Francis Xavier
  • Maxwell, William
  • Mayer, Edwin Justus
  • Mears, Helen
  • Miller, Dorothy Raper
  • Miller, Henry
  • Moses, Robert
  • Myers, William Allen

Correspondents, N-Z

  • View All (49)
  • North, Sterling
  • Oda, Takio
  • Ogilvie, Gordon F.
  • Oppenheimer, Harry Frederick
  • Parkinson, Marshall
  • Pearse, richard L.
  • Perry, Patrick
  • Platt, Harrison Gray
  • Pritchard, Alma
  • Proulx, Benjamin A.
  • Putnam, Patrick Tracy Lowell
  • Rawson, Hugh
  • Reynolds, Robert Lester
  • Rosenbauer, Wallace W.
  • Ross, Harold Wallace
  • Ruhe, Robert W.
  • Sansom, Katharine
  • Sassoon, Evelyn Barnes
  • Sassoon, Victor
  • Schlessiger, Charles
  • Schlessiger, Hilary Dawson
  • Schneff, Arthur
  • Schroeder, Charles Robbins
  • Selwyn-Clarke, Selwyn
  • Shawn, William
  • Shively, George
  • Smith, Helen Hahn
  • Smith, Richard Rushton
  • Spoelberch, Jacques de
  • Stafford, Jean
  • Stearn, Noel
  • Streatfeild, Noel
  • Swanson, Clarenc O.
  • Toeg, Lorraine, Murray
  • Utley, Freda
  • VanWagenen, Gertrude
  • Vecchio, Carola Militia
  • Visser, Dorothy D.
  • Wade, Clint
  • Want, Suzanne C.
  • Warburg, Frederic John
  • Watt, Peter
  • Watts, Franklin Mowry
  • West, Rebecca
  • Weybright, Victor
  • White, Katherine Sergeant Angell
  • Young, Genevieve
  • Zau, Sinmay
  • Zuckerman, Solly

Box 1 1900-1937 

Box 2 1938-1949 

Box 3 1950-1964, May 

Box 4 1964, June-1970, June 

Box 5 1970, July-1973, Mar. 

Box 6 1973, Apr.-1991 

Box 7 n.d.  A-Z

(6 folders)

Brooke, 1951-1955 

Diamond, 1954-1956 

Jill libel suit, 1948-1949 

Soong Sisters, 1939-1953 

Tiger House Party, 1957-1967 


Series: Writings

Box 7 Aboab

Africa to Me

(6 folders)

Animal Gardens

(3 folders)

Box 8 Animal Gardens

(9 folders)


The Bearded Demoiselle

Breath of God

Chiang Kai-Shek

China Only Yesterday

(2 folders)

Box 9 China Only Yesterday

(9 folders)

China to Me

Cooking of China

(3 folders)


(4 folders)

First Book of India

Fractured Emerald

(3 folders)

Good Sports


(2 folders)

Box 10 Indo

(3 folders)

The Islands

(4 folders)

James Brooke

Leonardo da Vinci


(7 folders)

Box 11 Mabel

(9 folders)

Miss Jill

Nellie Bly

On the Side of the Apes

(10 folders)

Box 12 Once Upon a Pedestal

(11 folders)


Romantic Rebels

(4 folders)

[Royal Society]

(2 folders)

Box 13 Tiger House Party

(3 folders)


(2 folders)

Untitled memoir


(9 folders)

Short Prose: A-P

(7 ff.)

  • View All (90)
  • The Allowance
  • The American Accent
  • Anemones
  • [Aphra Behn]
  • The Assassins, by Hildegarde Tolman Teilhet. Book review
  • At Mother's Knee
  • Aunt Alice's Ghost
  • The Austere Market
  • Beauty Spot
  • The Big Smoke
  • The Bluebeard Room
  • Bohemianism
  • The Borgias
  • The Cat
  • China in the Sun, by Randall Gould. Book review
  • Chinese Women
  • Clip Boutell's Column
  • Coming from an Englishman
  • Confessions of a Schizoid
  • Conversation Piece, 1945
  • Correspondence
  • The Crowded House
  • The Cupboard
  • The Curator
  • Deep in Our Hearts Forever
  • A Demand for Fans
  • Dining Alone
  • Doing a Juvenile
  • East of the Middle
  • Exmoor of the Classics
  • Experiment in Finance
  • Fairy-Tales
  • Fish and Guests
  • The Flying President
  • Forts and Temples
  • Four Girls
  • The Genius
  • Gold-digger of '26
  • The Golden Ring
  • Graves
  • The Helping Hand
  • Horses of the Dawn
  • Hortense Calisher
  • The Hounds
  • In Confidence
  • Intermezzo
  • In the Forest of the "Little People"
  • It Doesn't Mean a Thing
  • Jappy
  • Jennifer
  • The Jodhpurs
  • Johnny
  • Just a Formality
  • Kathy, Not Me
  • Kimberley
  • The Ladies on the Lawn
  • Lepers of Shanghai
  • Little America
  • The Little Cad
  • The Little Red Light
  • Little Sister's Baby
  • Living With the Tribes
  • The Lost Island
  • The Lost Mine
  • Lysenko and the Jimshouse
  • Marching Home
  • The Marriage Hazard
  • Michelle
  • Millionaires
  • Mr. Berg and the Goddess
  • Mr. Crossley
  • Mr. Mangaldas
  • Mr. Wingcollar
  • Mrs. Prentiss' Betrayal
  • Monica
  • Monuments
  • My Greatest Adventure in Living
  • Night Watch
  • Not This Time
  • The Obvious Course
  • The Old People
  • Pants
  • Pater Dolorosus
  • Perfectly Natural
  • The Pink Cake
  • The Price of Poppies
  • The Primitive
  • Prophets With Honor
  • Publishers on Sunday
  • Pygmies and Crocodiles

Box 14 Short Prose: Q-Z

(2 ff.)

  • View All (21)
  • Quiet Morning
  • Rice Around the World
  • Sex Has No Place in Business
  • Shoestrings of the Past
  • Some Truths About China
  • Something Forgotten
  • The Spartans
  • Sporting Man
  • Spousery
  • Sun Yat-Sen: A Portrait, by Stephen Chen and Robert Payne. Book review
  • Tea With the Vicar
  • Ten Eventful Years
  • The Tent
  • They Never Kill the Bull
  • Thinking Out Loud
  • The Tough Egg
  • Undergraduate
  • Vacation
  • Walking the Dead Diamond River, by Edward Hoagland. Book review
  • Weekly Boarder
  • Zoo

Short Prose: Untitled




Miscellaneous research

Series: Photographs

Box 14 Africa

(2 folders)

Emily Hahn

United States


(3 folders)


(2 folders)

Series: Printed

Box 14 New Yorker tear sheets, 1929-1938

New Yorker tear sheets, 1939-1946, Feb.

Short prose

Clippings re: Hahn

(3 folders)

Clippings: Reviews of Hahn's books

(7 folders)

Series: Memorabilia

Box 14 College notes

(4 folders)

Box 15 College notes

(7 folders)


Hahn family


(2 folders)


Memoirs of Isaac Hahn

(2 folders)

Series: Miscellaneous

Box 15 Art pieces

(see also: Oversize)


(2 folders)



Thurber drawings

Writings by various people.

Includes: Noel Stearn--poems


(3 folders)

(see also: Oversize)

Box Oversize Bachelor's degree for Josephine Edith Hahn, Northwestern University, 1928


Includes: artwork for Pogo cartoon, by Walt Kelly


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