Scope and Contents note
The Dana Burnet Papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, magazine tearsheets, publicity material, contracts, and personal material. Correspondence comprises the first series and is arranged chronologically, spanning the years 1926-1959. Primarily business-related, most of the correspondence consists of exchanges between Burnet and his literary agents in New York, Carl and Carol Brandt.
Manuscripts, separated by type, are arranged alphabetically by title. They consist of both published and umpublished works. In some cases, the published title will vary from the working title. Short stories form the largest segment. The remainder consists of plays, screenplays, and synopses for both stage and screen. Of note in this series is the script for The Great Commandment, which was made into a film by a small, private firm (Cathedral Films) and later sold to Twentieth Century-Fox. The film was released in 1939. Reviews of the film and other publicity is filed separately.
The next series contains tearsheets from magazines of stories and articles by Dana Burnet. These are arranged alphabetically by title and contain stories published by Collier's, Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Red Book, among other magazines. Contracts releasing motion picture rights for some stories are filed under "Contracts."
Many of the stories in this collection can be characterized as light comedies or romances, usually set in small towns. Burnet often used locales in which he resided for the settings of his stories. Some of his stories, for example, are set in "Lymington," Connecticut, a clear reference to Stonington, Connecticut. In some stories, he modeled characters after himself, his wife, and other people he knew. The true names of persons and locales were changed, of course.
- Burnet, Dana, 1888-1962 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.
Conditions Governing Use note
Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.
Dana Burnet (1888-1962), a writer of short stories, plays and poems, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 3, 1888. He was educated at Cornell University, where he earned a law degree in 1911.
Instead of practicing law, however, he immediately launched his writing career by serving as a reporter and editor for the New York Sun from 1911 to 1918. It was during this period that Burnet also began writing and publishing his own poems and short stories. A book entitled Poems was published by Harper Brothers in 1915.
Burnet was married twice: to Marguerite Dumary in 1913, and to Eugenia Chapin in 1936. He and his second wife lived in Beverly Hills, California, until around 1948. During this time Burnet was writing screenplays, one of which was released as a film titled The Great Commandment, in 1939. He also was employed for a brief time as a staff writer for Twentieth Century-Fox.
Meanwhile, Burnet continued to write and sell numerous short stories and articles which were published in such magazines as Collier's, Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, and Red Book. In 1948, he and his wife moved to the Narragansett Bay community of Stonington, Connecticut, where he spent the rest of his life. There he designed and built his own house in 1959.
Dana Burnet died on October 22, 1962.
6 linear feet (12 containers)
Language of Materials
The papers consist of Dana Burnet's correspondence, 1926-1959, primarily with his literary agents Carl and Carol Brandt; manuscripts of short stories, plays and screenplays, most notably The Great Commandment; tearsheets; and contracts.
Collection is organized into the following series: CorrespondenceManuscripts: Short storiesManuscripts: PlaysManuscripts: OtherTearsheetsPublicity material: The Great Commandment (Film)ContractsPersonal material
General Physical Description note
Preferred Citation note
[Identification of item], Dana Burnet Papers, Coll 141, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.
Processing Information note
Collection processed by James A. Kenny.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Authors, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Brandt & Brandt
- Brandt, Carl G.
- Burnet, Dana, 1888-1962
- Burnet, Dana, 1888-1962
- Literature Subject Source: Archiveswest
- Love stories Subject Source: Local sources
- Manuscripts for publication Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Screenplays Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Screenwriters -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Short stories Subject Source: Local sources
- Tear sheets Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Guide to the Dana Burnet Papers
- Revise Description
- Finding aid prepared by James A. Kenny
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.