Papers, 1921-1975

Kober, Arthur, 1900-1975

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Format Mixed Materials; Microforms
  • Physical Details
    • 9.6 c.f (2 archives boxes, 9 cartons) and
    • 1 reel of microfilm (35mm); plus
    • additions of 0.4 c.f
  • Finding Aids
    • Register to the processed portion


  • Papers of Arthur Kober (1900-1975), a playwright and film, television, and short story writer, most popular during the 1930's and 1940's. These are arranged in series of correspondence and related material, personal papers, and writings. Kober's correspondence dates from the 1920's through the 1970's, but is incomplete. Of greatest interest is the file of letters from Lillian Hellman, including a few undated letters apparently written before their divorce in 1930, and later letters which discuss her writing and reveal the nature of their relationship. Other files include letters from family, friends, and business people, among them Bennett Cerf, Harold and Florence Rome, Irene Lee, Irene Mayer Selznick, Herman Shumlin, and Katherine White.
  • Personal papers include Kober's diaries, fragmentary financial records, and transcribed notes from "The Audience as Collaborator," a course Kober taught at the New School for Social Research, New York City, in 1953.
  • Among Kober's writings are his autobiography, published and unpublished short stories, collections of short stories in book form, plays, screenplays, produced and unproduced teleplays, notes, and story and play ideas. Kober's major works include "Having Wonderful Time," "Let George Do It!," "A Mighty Man Is He," "My Dear Bella," "Oooh, What You Said!," "Thunder Over the Bronx," and "Wish You Were Here," all of which are represented by correspondence, royalty statements, and scripts, with incomplete files of box office statements, playbills, song lyrics, and other material. On microfilm are scrapbooks of reviews of Kober's plays and articles by and about him.
  • The processed portion is summarized above and is described in the register. Additional accessions date 1940-ca. 1955, include additional Lillian Hellman letters, and are described below.


  • Portions of this collection are available only on microfilm.
  • Presented by Arthur Kober, New York, N.Y., 1961 and 1968; by his estate, 1975 and 1977; and by the University of Oregon Library, 1985.
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