H. L. Mencken Room Collection and State Library Resources

Mencken's Correspondence

Correspondence Smart Set

H.L. Mencken wrote well over 100,00 letters and, like all his other writing, his correspondence ranged across many subjects.

He discussed government and the law, philology and economics, politics (local, regional, national, and international), literature and music, and food and drink.

A complete list of authors is in the Mencken Room and the curator is always available to answer questions.

A small selection of letters is also available in the Pratt Digital Collection.

Personal Correspondence

With Marylanders

Mencken had a wide range of contacts across Maryland. The list reads like a Who's Who? in Maryland. He wrote to, among others, authors, judges, senators, governors, physicians and artists:

  • A. Aubrey Bodine
  • Dr. Louis Cheslock
  • Israel Dorman
  • Theodore Hemberger
  • Gerald W. Johnson
  • Governor William P. Lane
  • Governor Theodore McKeldin
  • Judge Eugene O'Dunne
  • Governor Albert Ritchie
  • Walter Sondheim
  • Gustave Strube
  • Senator Millard E. Tydings


Non-Marylanders

A large collection of Mencken's correspondence with non-Marylanders is in the New York Public Library but this collection has letters from Theodore Dreiser, long-time love Marion Bloom, the poet George Sterling and many others. A small sample:

  • Marquis Childs
  • William Feather
  • Edgar Kemler
  • Joseph Wood Krutch
  • Clare Leighton
  • Sara Mayfield
  • Burton Rascoe
  • N. W. Rodgers
  • George Sterling
  • Dorothy Taylor
  • Anthony Turano
  •  G. S. Viereck

Alfred A Knopf Correspondence

Mencken Signature

Knopf was Mencken's longtime publisher and good friend. This is a large collection that covers both their personal friendship as well as the business of two of the most powerful literary figures of the period. Covers the years 1919- 1956.

August Mencken Correspondence

August was the youngest of the four Mencken siblings and was a successful engineer as well as editor and author. After H. L. Mencken's stroke in 1948, he retired to care for his brother full-time. This is an extensive collection, often referencing his brother in some way.

Mencken Family Correspondence

The Menckens were a close-knit family who corresponded frequently. This collection also includes post cards from family members. A complete list of authors.

Correspondence About H.L. Mencken

These letters were donated by Alfred A. Knopf and deal with a variety of topics. A complete list of the authors.