Carleton Hildreth and Harry Hervey papers
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Carleton Hildreth and Harry Hervey papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Hervey, Harry, 1900-1951.
Creator: Hildreth, Carleton, 1908-1977.
Title: Carleton Hildreth and Harry Hervey papers
Dates: 1920s-1976
Extent: 3.5 cubic feet (8 boxes)
Identification: MS 1695

Biographical/Historical Note

Born in 1908, Carleton Hildreth lived in Savannah, Georgia. He was an actor, writer, researcher, and copy editor, eventually working as proofreader for the Savannah Morning News. It was sometime during the 1920s that Hildreth met renowned author, Harry Hervey (1900-1951). At the time, Hervey was living in Savannah with his mother, Jane Davis Hervey, head of housekeeping for the Desoto Hotel. For approximately thirty years, until Hervey's death in 1951, Hildreth and Hervey lived together as companions and collaborators working on a number of artistic projects. Hildreth helped type and research many of Hervey's novels and travel books, co-wrote plays and screenplays with him, and acted in at least one of their productions on Broadway. Hildreth accompanied Hervey to Southeast Asia and the Orient in the mid 1920s, and later spent time with him in Hollywood, California, where Hervey was employed as a successful screenwriter. After Hervey's death, Hildreth remained in Savannah working as a proofreader. Hildreth died on 12 March 1977.


Scope and Content Note

The Carleton Hildreth and Harry Hervey papers contain correspondence, clippings, and literary productions of both Carleton Hildreth and Harry Hervey. The bulk of the papers include various versions of Harry Hervey's screenplays, mostly based on his original ideas. Some are also based on his novels and were co-written with Carleton Hildreth and other authors such as Alice D. G. Miller and Francis Marion. There are a few unpublished short pieces as well as published versions of short stories and essays. The majority of correspondence consists of letters from Harry Hervey to Carleton Hildreth documenting his artistic projects and daily life in Savannah, Georgia, in the 1940s. Some of the letters include information on gay life in the city at the time. Miscellaneous materials include estate papers of Harry Hervey, papers regarding Carleton Hildreth's brother, Walter Hildreth, and letters to Carleton Hildreth from his mother.

Also included are photographs that are organized alphabetically then chronologically by topic. Many of the photographs document trips to the Far East and include images from South East Asia. Significant portions capture Cambodia and Indo-China, present day Viet Nam, where Hervey conducted archeological expeditions for Cosmopolitan magazine. There are photographs of Hervey during all stages of his life as well as many family images of both Hildreth and Hervey. Photographs after 1950 document the life and travels of Carlton Hildreth and a man named J. Robert Swygert. Presumed to be a later friend and travel companion of Hildreth, Swygert appears throughout photographs dating from the 1960s to the 1970s. Miscellaneous photos include those of family animals, automobiles, and unidentified buildings. There are a small number of Georgia shots as well as an image of the DeSoto Hotel fire.

The collection is organized into three series: the Carleton Hildreth papers; the Harry Hervey papers; and photographs. The boxes containing photographs are noted as "VM" (visual materials) in the collection inventory.


Index Terms

Art, Asian.
Authors.
Bars (Drinking establishments)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Essays.
Gay men--Georgia--Savannah.
Hervey, Harry, 1900-1951.
Hildreth, Carleton, 1908-1977.
Letters (correspondence)
Motion picture industry--California--Hollywood.
Photographs.
Playwriting.
Savannah (Ga.)
Screenplays.
South America--Description and travel.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was purchased from Adam Wright.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Carleton Hildreth and Harry Hervey papers, MS 1695, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 2004.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Sponsorship

Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

 

SERIES 1:: Carleton Hildreth papers, 1930-1960s, undated

This series contains items such as Christmas cards dating to 1945, contracts and telegrams concerning Hildreth's professional life, materials regarding Hildreth's sale of Hervey's Asian art collection, and items relating to Hildreth's relatives, the McLendon family.

Box

Fldr

11Christmas cards and proofs, 1945
2Clippings, contracts, and telegrams related to Hildreth's professional life, 1930-1931, 1960
Correspondence
From Hildreth's mother, 1945
Regarding the estate sale of Hervey's Asian art collection, 1954-1974
Regarding Walter Hildreth's military service deferment, 1942-1964
6McLendon family materials including Alcoholics Anonymous speeches, clippings, obituaries, and prayers, circa 1960s
 

SERIES 2:: Harry Hervey papers, 1920s-1976, undated

This series is arranged into two subseries: Correspondence, clippings, and estate papers; and Literary works.



SUBSERIES 2.1:: Correspondence, clippings, and estate papers, 1920s-1976, undated

This subseries includes a large collection of correspondence dating from the 1920s through 1976. Many of the letters are to Hildreth, and others are from friends telling of Hervey's health, monetary issues, travel, literary works, and estate. This subseries also includes clippings regarding Hervey's life, work, and time spent in Hollywood, as well as one folder of miscellaneous clippings.
Correspondence

Box

Fldr

21Outgoing to friends while traveling in Saigon, 1920s
2Incoming from friends, 1930s
3-5Outgoing to Hildreth, 1943-1945
6Incoming from friends, 1948-1949
7Regarding health and money, undated
8Regarding literary work, 1944-1974
9Regarding burial plot, 1976
10-13Regarding Hervey's estate, 1943, 1951-1953
14Estate documents, undated
Clippings
Biographical, 1930s-1950s
Regarding literary work, 1931-1955
Regarding Hollywood, 1932, undated
Miscellaneous, circa 1940s
20Lock of hair, undated



SUBSERIES 2.2:: Literary works, 1921-1954, undated

This subseries includes essays, news articles, novelettes, plays, short stories, and screenplays. They are arranged by type of work and alphabetically by title and often include more than one version.
Essays

Box

Fldr

31"Christmas Carol", 1941
2"Stories I Shall Never Write", 1941
3News articles by Hervey, 1931-1951
4Novelette entitled, "Guest Star", undated
Plays
5"Black Maria" by Hervey and Hildreth, undated
6"Black Orchid" by Hervey and Hildreth, undated
7"Congia" by Hervey and Hildreth, undated
8"Devil Dance" by Hervey and Hildreth, undated
9"Wedding Dress", undated
Short stories
10"Black Leopard", undated
11"Conquering Magenta", undated
12"Devil Business", 1921-1922
13"Girl Who Was Watched", undated
14"Monsieur Satan", 1921
15"On the Wall", 1954
16"Wedding Dress", undated
Screenplays

Box

Fldr

41"Appointment in Korea", undated
2"Armada", undated
3"Barracoon", undated
4"Black Banquet", undated
5"Black Bridal Wreath", undated
6"Black Paradise", undated
7"Black Pearls", undated
8"Brave Music", undated
9"Bridal Song" by Alice D. G. Miller and Hervey, undated
10"Count of Monte Cristo", 1934
11"Devil Business", undated
12"Devil's Daughter", undated
13"Diamond in the Sky", undated
14"Flying Stair", undated
15"Green Hell" By Francis Marion with Hervey, 1939

Box

Fldr

51"Ho, For Shanghai", undated
2"Indo-China", 1934
3"Mrs. Medusa", undated
4"On Top of the World", undated
5"Return Engagement", undated
6"Safari", 1936
7"Saigon", undated
8"Saigon", 1943

Box

Fldr

61"Saigon", 1943
2-3"Swamp Fox", undated
4"This Man's Heaven", 1931
5"Ticket to Morocco", undated
6"Ticket to Paradise", undated
7-8"Wedding Dress", undated
 

SERIES 3:: Photographs, 1890-1975

This series contains photographs that are organized alphabetically then chronologically by topic.

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11Animals, undated

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12Asian art, undated

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13Children, undated

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14Georgia photographs, undated
Harry Hervey

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15Baby photographs, circa 1900 View online.

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16Adolescent images, circa 1910. View images: 1 | 2.

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17Formal portraits, circa 1910-1930s View online.

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18Informal portraits, circa 1910-1930s

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19Shadow and sketch portraits, circa 1910-1930s

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110In costume, 1920s. View images: 1 | 2.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items

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111Formal portraits, 1940s View online.

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112Smoking, 1940s

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113Working, 1940s

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114-15With Carleton Hildreth and friends, bar scenes, 1940, 1950, 1955 View online.

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116Burial plot, circa 1970

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117Hervey relatives, undated
Carleton Hildreth

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118Miscellaneous, circa 1920-1950s

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119Beach, circa 1920-1950s View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items

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120Young men, circa 1920-1950s

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121-22Miscellaneous, circa 1950-1970s View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items

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123Savannah Morning News, circa 1960-1970s
Hildreth relatives

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124McLendon family image, undated

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125McLendon, Laura Virginia Martin photographs, circa 1930-1940s

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Fldr

126Miscellaneous, undated
J. Robert Swygert

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127Miscellaneous, circa 1950-1960s

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128Bar scenes, circa 1950-1960s

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129Swimsuit images, circa 1950-1960s

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130Travel portraits at unidentified locations, circa 1950-1960s

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131Work images, circa 1960s

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132Miscellaneous, circa 1960-1970s
Travel

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21Anthropological or archaeological, circa 1920-1930s

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22China, circa 1920-1930s View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items

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23Egypt, circa 1920-1930s

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24Indo-China, circa 1920-1930s

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25Japan, circa 1920-1930s

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26People, circa 1920-1930s

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27Portraits of Hervey, circa 1910-1930s

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28Portrait of Hervey and Hildreth, circa 1920-1930s

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29Unidentified, circa 1920-1930s

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210India, 1960s

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211Peru, 1960s

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212Venezuela, 1960s

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213Unidentified, circa 1960-1970s

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214Group photos, circa 1920-1930s

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215-19Men, circa 1900-1960s, undated

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220-22Women, undated View online.