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Jerome Charyn Papers

Call Number



1937-1997, inclusive


Charyn, Jerome


42 Linear Feet (28 boxes)

Language of Materials

Materials are primarily in English.


Jerome Charyn was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1937, and since 1963 has published short stories such as: 'On Second Avenue,' and more than twenty novels, the first of which is entitled: 'Once Upon A Droshky.' His reputation as a major writer has been fueled in part by a disregard for the limitations of established literary genres and a unique approach to the historical, romance and detective novel. The Jerome Charyn Papers are comprised of his personal archive from the years: 1937-1997.

Biographical Note:

Jerome Charyn was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1937. He entered the New York literary scene in 1963 upon publishing two of his short stories: 'Faigele,' 'the Idiotke' and 'On Second Avenue' in Commentary. His first novel, Once Upon A Droshky, which draws on his childhood experiences of the Jewish neighborhoods of the Bronxand earned for him a reputation as an emerging and major writer. In his more than twenty novels, Charyn has escaped the confines traditionally imposed on literary genres and has created a unique approach to historical, romance and detective novels. His works have been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek and other languages, and Charyn currently resides in Paris.


Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject/author heading.

The files are grouped into thirteen subject-based series and further subdivided into subseries.

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Correspondence
  2. Series II: Accounting
  3. Series III: Education and Employment
  4. Series IV: Notebooks, Notes and Source Materials
  5. Series V: Date Books
  6. Series VI: Photographs
  7. Series VII: Periodicals
  8. Series VIII: Newspapers
  9. Series IX: Typescripts and Galleys
  10. Series X: The Good Policeman TV Series
  11. Series XI: Publishers Catalogs
  12. Series XII: Events
  13. Series XIII: Audiovisual Materials and Ephemera
  14. Series XIV: Miscellaneous
  15. Oversize Materials

Scope and Content Note

The Jerome Charyn Papers is a part of the Archive and Manuscript Collection at the Fales Library, New York University. The Fales Library is the primary special collections division of the NYU libraries, housing over 200,000 volumes of English and American literature from 1700 to the present. Strengths of the collection include the development of the English and American novel, with an emphasis on the Gothic and the Victorian novel.

The Jerome Charyn papers comprise the personal archive of Jerome Charyn. The collection consists of notebooks, notes, manuscripts and galleys, cover designs, posters, correspondence, photographs, audio- and videotapes, ID's, high school and college essays, tax documents and other biographical materials spanning 1937-1997. The collection also includes periodicals, newspapers and clippings containing works by or about Charyn. Oversized archival materials from the various series are located in two flat oversize boxes at the end of the collection.


SERIES I: Correspondence (1955 - 1997)

The correspondence comprises over 8 linear feet of letters, both business and personal. The correspondence is mostly incoming, with only one folder (Subseries C) of the drafts and facsimile copies of the outgoing correspondence. The series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and then chronologically. Some correspondence is dated in American format (mm/dd/yy) and some in European format (dd/mm/yy). It is not always possible to determine which of these formats has been used, so some letters may have been misplaced.

Subseries A contains incoming letters (1955 - 1997) from publishers, literary figures, friends and relatives and other individuals and organizations. Correspondents include Walter Abish, John Barth, Saul Bellow, Ellen and Harold Brodkey, Don Delillo, Stanley Elkin, John Irving, Joyce Carol Oates, Cynthia Ozick, and John Updikeamong many others.

Subseries B contains incoming letters (1962 - 1997) from those individuals and organizations which have contributed exceptionally large volume of correspondence.

Subseries C contains drafts, facsimiles and copies of the outgoing correspondence (1963 - 1998).

SERIES II: Accounting (1964 - 1980)

Series II contains copies of income tax returns, bank account statements and checks, check stubs, receipts and expense records, medical and utility bills. Series is arranged chronologically.

SERIES III: Education and Employment (1942 - 1996)

Series contains Identification Cards, essays and other papers documenting Charyn's education including Public School # 61, Herman Ridder Junior High School, the High School of Music and Artsand Columbia University. Employment materials include Curriculum Vitae, job applications and contracts, and student evaluations on Cinema History course taught by Charyn. The series is arranged alphabetically by subject.

SERIES IV: Notebooks and Source Materials.

The series contains notebooks, loose notes and source materials for Charyn's literary works. The notebooks are undated, but most of them carry handwritten titles and are arranged alphabetically according to these titles. Many notebooks had loose notes, clippings and other source materials laid in.

SERIES V: Date Books:

Series contains two address and telephone books, and appointment calendars for years 1969 - 1980, arranged chronologically. All appointment calendars had various receipts, bills, correspondence and notes laid in.

SERIES VI: Photographs

The series contains Polaroids, black and white and color photographs of Charyn, his family and friends, color photographs of New York, full-size photographic portraits of Charyn, contact sheets and cover designs. A large number of photographs are unidentified.

SERIES VII: Periodicals (1963 - 1997) contains magazines in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Basque and Greek. Series consists of 3 subseries each arranged chronologically and by the magazine name.

Subseries A contains magazines featuring works of fiction or articles written by Charyn.

Subseries B contains magazines featuring articles about Charyn, interview with him or reviews of his books.

Subseries C contains other magazines from the collection sent to Charyn by their publishers or used as source materials.

SERIES VIII: Newspapers, contains complete newspapers and newspaper clippings and contains magazines in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. The series consists of two subseries.

Subseries A (Oversized) contains newspaper clippings used by Charyn as source materials or featuring articles written by or about him, or reviews of his books. The series is arranged alphabetically by book title. Original clippings are extremely fragile. Copies of clippings on regular paper are in good condition and are filed separately. Originals and copies do not duplicate each other.

Subseries B (Oversized - flat box) contains complete newspapers from the collection in English, French and German. Items are arranged in alphabetical order by newspaper title and stored in two flat oversize boxes, without individual folders.

SERIES IX: Typescripts and Galleys

The series contains galleys, setting copies, final typescripts originals and photocopies, edited typescripts with handwritten remarks and corrections, and typescript fragments of Charyn's fiction. The series is arranged alphabetically by name of the work. If the work had an earlier version under a different title, these versions are both filed under the later (final) title, with the previous title mentioned after the final one.

SERIES X: The Good Policeman TV Series (1992-1993)

The series contains paper materials relating to the production of The Good Policeman TV series, such as pilot episode drafts, beat sheet, call sheets, production documents, reports and schedules. The series is arranged alphabetically by subject.

SERIES XI: Publishers Catalogs (1977- 1997), contains catalogs from various English, French, German and Italian publishers which include books by Charyn.

SERIES XII: Events contains information on film and book festivals, art exhibitions and readings by Charyn and other authors. (1955 - 1997)

SERIES XIII: Audiovisual materials, computer disks and ephemera consists of four subseries.

Subseries A contains videotapes of The Good Policeman TV Series, Vasanta Productions, Inc. (1992-1993)

Subseries B contains other videotapes from the collection, such as interviews with Charyn, the CNN review of The Good Policeman, etc.

Subseries C (ephemera) contains 3 medals in a small box.

Subseries D contains audiotapes, floppy disks and a roll of film.

SERIES XIV: Miscellaneous contains various booklets, articles, cover designs, posters, drawings, lists, maps and other travel materials, etc.

Access Restrictions

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Use Restrictions

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Jerome Charyn Papers; MSS 044; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.

Location of Materials

Some materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.


The Jerome Charyn Papers were purchased by the Fales library in 1993-1998. Printed books were separated from the collection and are listed in BOBCAT. Archival materials were sorted into series and processed.

Separated Material

A list of New York Times Book Reviews removed from the collection is available from Fales Library,

Related Material at the Fales Library and Special Collections

Richard Kostelanetz Papers (MSS.089)

Collection processed by

Jane Gorzhevskaya between June 1998 - March 1999. Portions of the collection were re-processed by Jessica Shimmin between September 2003 and January 2004.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 17:05:51 -0400.
Language: Description is written in: English, Latin script.

Processing Information

In February 2019, materials from box 66 were refoldered.

Revisions to this Guide

December 2017: Updated by Megan O'Shea to incorporate artwork being sent to offsite art storage in December 2017

Edition of this Guide

Charyn FA 2.doc


Fales Library and Special Collections
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012