In Paris, at 27 Rue de Fleurus on 23 November 1937, Gertrude Stein dictated a letter to Thornton Wilder. It was addressed to Mr. Andrew Keogh, Librarian, Yale University, New Haven, Conn., and it began:
Dear Mr. Keogh:
Mr. Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis has sent me a message through Mr. Thornton Wilder that the American Collection of the Yale University Library would be pleased to conserve the manuscripts of my work in its archives. I am happy to avail myself of this kind offer and wish to follow Mr. Wilder’s example by making a complete gift of one work and by depositing the rest as a loan for safe-keeping, available to such persons as may wish to study them. The work which I donate outright is “A Long Gay Book.” Among the works that are reaching you now, and of which an inventory can be made later, are the manuscripts of “The Making of Americans” and “Geography and Plays.” In the near future I hope to send over further manuscripts and the correspondence of Picasso, Matisse, Ernest Hemingway, Juan Gris, William James, Mildred Aldrich and others.
In the event of my demise all this material becomes automatically your property and I would be happy to receive in your reply any suggestion you may have as to how these conditions may be expressed in satisfactorily legal form.
It is a source of pleasure and confidence to me to know that this material is in the collection of American Literature which is being assembled under your direction.
Very sincerely yours,
Gertrude Stein …