Mencken Family Collection and Mencken's Personal Library: F and G Collections
Mencken Family Collection
The F Collection holds materials related to the Mencken family including books, memorabilia, family and genealogical documents, and an extensive photographic record of his life.
The collection preserves family and business documents, such as:
- The records
of his father’s tobacco firm
- Family pictures, including several
valuable portfolios of Mencken portraits and personal photos
made by Mencken (particularly his Souvenirs of Childhood and Schooldays, 1880-1896), his wife Sara, and his brother August and his family.
The Family collection also contains copies of books authored by members of the Mencken family, from the works of German scholars of the 17th and 18th centuries to members of Mencken’s immediate family.
Mencken's Personal Library
Mencken was among the most well-known and powerful literary critics of
his day and he built a large personal library. These and other volumes make up the G Collection.
As a critic Mencken championed the likes of Theodore Dreiser and F. Scott
Fitzgerald, and among the collection’s many treasures are presentation
copies inscribed to Mencken and signed by many authors, including
Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.
volumes contained lively and highly personal inscriptions which,
together with other letters of literary correspondence Mencken attached
to individual volumes, have been removed for safety and preservation.
The collection also contains copies of
books, pamphlets, and various biographical and critical works about
Mencken’s life and work. These volumes were purchased by the library
after his death. The collection continues to grow as more is written
about H.L. Mencken.
Access to these collections is available in the Mencken Room. Or call 410-396-5547 to reach the curator of the Mencken Collection.