The periodical and book collections within the Todd Collection are arguably the most complete in existence.

Periodicals [73KB PDF] The periodical section is one of the fastest-growing parts of the Todd Collection and one of great relevance to scholars, as it assembles in one place not only Williams’s hard-to-find contributions, but odd and randomly collected items documenting Williams as a cultural icon. The earliest periodical is the May 1927 issue of Smart Set that contains Williams’s entry in a letter-writing contest answering the question “Can a good wife be a good sport?” His largely fictional letter won third prize. This item is followed chronologically by the August 1928 issue of Weird Tales that includes Williams’s story “The Vengeance of Nitocris” and numerous short story and poetry contributions to a variety of literary periodicals during the 1930s and early ’40s.

Although Williams continued to contribute literary efforts to periodicals throughout his life, beginning in the late 1940s his own work is dwarfed by the proliferation of articles about his work that appeared in such periodicals as Theatre Arts, Time, Modern Drama, The Theatre, Show Business Illustrated, and Performing Arts. In the 1960s and ’70s numerous interviews focusing on Tennessee as a person and cultural icon appeared in periodicals. His mother, Edwina, was interviewed by Cosmopolitan in January 1963, and Tennessee was interviewed by such lifestyle magazines as After Dark, Gay Sunshine, and Playboy.

Although there are a number of very significant and rare items among the periodicals, the great value to this part of the Todd Collection is in the compilation. Decades of effort were devoted to bringing all of these items together to enable scholars not only to fill in the holes of Williams’s publication record, but also to understand how Williams was presented in American popular culture.


Books [492KB PDF] The books are organized into separate publications and collected editions, contributions, published translations, literary/theater criticism, and biographies. The arrangement is loosely based on George W. Crandell’s Tennessee Williams: A Descriptive Bibliography and is largely true to Fred Todd’s original arrangement. The separate publications and collected editions, which correspond to Section A of Crandell’s bibliography, include titles that are wholly or substantially by Williams and consist of proof and review copies, American and British first editions, special limited editions, inscribed and signed copies, and copies with notable provenance. The books are arranged by date of publication, the first item being the 1945 publication of Battle of Angels. In many of the bibliographies this item is listed as a periodical, as it represents a double number of Pharos magazine. But in order to be true to Todd’s original arrangement, and because the play is the only piece in this issue, it is listed as a separate publication.

Also of note are Audrey Wood’s 1951 copy of I Rise in Flame, Cried the Phoenix, copy II of ten Roman-numeral copies, which is inscribed “For Audrey with my hearts true love Tennessee” and an edition of The Rose Tattoo signed by the cast of the Paramount film version along with numerous newspaper clippings regarding the circa 1954 filming of the picture in Key West. Significant among the collected editions is one of 26 lettered copies of Tennessee Williams’s Letters to Donald Windham, 1940–1965 signed by both Windham and Williams. The contributions corresponding to Section B of Crandell's bibliography include titles in which something by Williams appears in a book written or edited by another author. The titles are arranged chronologically—beginning with The Blewett Junior Life Yearbook for 1925, Williams’s junior high school yearbook—and contain an early Williams poem entitled “Demon Smoke.” Audrey Wood’s copy of Five Young American Poets (1944) includes twenty-nine poems by Williams; 25 Non-Royalty One-Act Plays for All-Girl Casts (1942) contains his one-act At Liberty; and Margaret Mayorga’s series of The Best One-Act Plays for 1940, 1941, 1942, 1944, and 1945 contains Williams’s Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry, The Lady of Larkspur Lotion, The Last of My Solid Gold Watches, 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, and The Unsatisfactory Supper, respectively. The published translations correspond to Section H of Crandell’s bibliography and are arranged alphabetically by language, then by title. Included among almost one hundred translations are an Arabic version of A Streetcar Named Desire and a Korean version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The value of the separate publications and collected editions, contributions, and published translations is primarily artifactual; perhaps of greater interest to scholars are books on literary and theater criticism as they relate to Williams. Scholars also have access to an enormous collection of biographies of individuals associated with Williams’s life and work. Fred Todd devoted decades to building his collection of biographies and autobiographies, an invaluable resource for researchers. In the many cases in which there are multiple biographies of an individual, each adds new information about the subject’s involvement in Williams’s work.