Johns Hopkins University Langston Hughes collection
Scope and Contents
This is an artificially assembled collection of printed manuscript materials selected by the curators of Special Collections, centered on the musical, theatrical, and public speaking careers of Langston Hughes. This collection includes sheet music and a 33 1/3 long playing (LP) vinyl record of Hughes' theatrical and poetic works; theatrical playbills and handbills of Hughes' musicals and plays; and lecture programs, handbills, and other promotional ephemera marketing his talks and readings. The collection spans from 1927 to 1999, with the bulk of it dating from 1936 to 1967.
- Creation: 1927-1999
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1936-1967
- Johns Hopkins University (Collector, Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval.
Contact Special Collections for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.
Biographical / Historical
James Mercer Langston Hughes (1902-1967), more commonly known as Langston Hughes, was an American poet, novelist, playwright, columnist, and social thinker and activist. He was known as a leading figure in New York City's Harlem Renaissance, the watershed movement centered on African-American cultural expressions.
Many of his poems were set to music and adapted for song and dance, frequently with his collaboration. Hughes also wrote plays, with strong influences from jazz. Along with his literary and theatrical accomplishments, Hughes went on lecture circuits across the country, hosted at African-American churches, schools, and organizations. He also was a correspondent for newspapers such as Baltimore's Afro-American.
A renaissance man himself, his many careers spanned from the early 1920s until his death in 1967.
Source: Academy of American Poets. "poet Langston Hughes." Accessed March 27, 2018. https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/langston-hughes.
.62 Cubic Feet (1 legal document size box, 1 flat box (14.5 x 1.5 x 11.5))
Language of Materials
This is an artificially assembled collection of printed manuscript materials selected by the curators of Special Collections, centered on the musical, theatrical, and public speaking careers of Langston Hughes. Hughes was an American poet, novelist, playwright, columnist, social thinker and activist, and leading figure in New York City's Harlem Renaissance. The collection spans from 1927 to 1999, with the bulk of it dating from 1936 to 1967.
There was no original order to the items and so they were organized into series by material type and relation to fields Langston Hughes was active in: sheet music and audio recording, theatrical ephemera, and lecture ephemera. The sheet music materials had the earliest materials (and thus grouped first), whereas the lecture ephemera contained the most recent items (and grouped last). Files of items within each series were further grouped by material type and then placed in chronological order by year in those subgroups.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased in multiple installments from William Reese Company in January 2017, Waiting for Godot in March 2017, William Reese Company in April 2017, Elysium Books in July 2020, Between the Covers in October 2021, and Between the Covers in January 2022.
Accessions: 2017-18.MS.050, 2017-18.MS.051, 2017-18.MS.052, 2020-21.MS.005, 2021-22.MS.043, 2021-22.MS.068
Processed by Annie Tang in March 2018. Last processed by Brooke Shilling in August 2022.
- Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967 (Person)
- Dunham, Katherine (Person)
- Bontemps, Arna, 1902-1973 (Person)
- Karamu Theatre (Organization)
- Weill, Kurt, 1900-1950 (Person)
- Holt, Stella (Person)
- Glanville, Maxwell, 1918-1992 (Person)
- Mayfield, Julian, 1928-1984 (Person)
- Foster, Frances, 1924-1997 (Person)
- Coleman, Ralf M., 1896-1976 (Person)
- Jelliffe, Rowena Woodham (Person)
- Guide to the Johns Hopkins University Langston Hughes collection
- Annie Tang
- March 2018
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA