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James Agee Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-1998

  • To request permission from the James Agee Trust, contact: James Agee Trust c/o the Wylie Agency 250 W. 57th Street, Suite 2114 New York, NY 10107 Phone: (212) 246-0069 Fax: (212) 586-8953

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  • Staff Only

This collection houses correspondence, notebooks that Agee kept during his travels to Alabama and Cuba, movie reviews, and such personal effects as drivers licenses from New York and California and a bank book from the West Side Savings Bank. Much of the correspondence was written between James Agee and his third wife, Mia (Fritsch) Agee, and between James Agee and his mother, Laura (Tyler) Agee Wright. ***Materials in box 2 are currently closed to researchers except by permission of the James Agee Trust.

Dates

  • circa 1936-1955

Conditions Governing Access

The portion of the collection related to Agee's life is freely available to researchers, with the exception of thirteen letters between Agee and his third wife, Mia (Fritsch) Agee, found in box 2. These letters require permission from the James Agee Trust for access. Please note that unpublished materials protected under U. S. Copyright require permission from the James Agee Trust for any publication.

To request permission from the James Agee Trust, contact: James Agee Trust c/o the Wylie Agency 250 W. 57th Street, Suite 2114 New York, NY 10107 Phone: (212) 246-0069 Fax: (212) 586-8953

Conditions Governing Use

Patrons who wish to photocopy from this collection must first obtain written permission from the owners of the copyrights (the James Agee Trust). Upon presentation of such written permission from the Trust, photocopying will be allowed to the extent granted in the permission. UT Libraries reserves the right to deny photocopying if the material is too fragile or if in our judgment photocopying will contribute significantly to its deterioration. Patrons should note that permission to photocopy does not grant permission to publish.

James Agee Trustc/o the Wylie Agency250 W. 57th Street, Suite 2114New York, NY 10107Phone: (212) 246-0069Fax: (212) 586-8953

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection houses correspondence, notebooks that Agee kept during his travels to Alabama and Cuba, movie reviews, and such personal effects as drivers licenses from New York and California and a bank book from the West Side Savings Bank. Much of the correspondence was written between James Agee and his third wife, Mia (Fritsch) Agee, and between James Agee and his mother, Laura (Tyler) Agee Wright. ***Materials in box 2 are currently closed to researchers except by permission of the James Agee Trust.

Biographical/Historical Note

James Rufus Agee was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 27, 1909 to Hugh James Agee and Laura Whitman Tyler. He had one sister, Emma. Hugh Agee was killed in an automobile accident in 1916. In 1918, Laura relocated the family to Sewanee, Tennessee. James attended the St. Andrew’s School where he met Father James Harold Flye who would become his lifelong close friend and mentor. The Agees returned to Knoxville in 1924, and James attended Knoxville High School for a year, before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He was accepted into Harvard University’s class of 1932.

Upon graduation, Agee wrote for Fortune magazine from 1932-1937, and published his only volume of poetry, Permit Me Voyage, in 1934. In 1941, Agee turned material for a scrapped Fortune article into his first book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Agee is also credited as a screenwriter on both The African Queen and The Night of the Hunter, both released in 1955. Published posthumously in 1957, A Death in the Family is Agee’s autobiographical novel set in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Agee led a somewhat tumultuous personal life. He was married to Via Saunders from 1933-1938. Later in 1938 he married Alma Mailman, and had a son with her, Joel, before their divorce in 1941. He then married Mia Fritsch in 1946, and they two daughters, Julia and Andrea, and a son, John. Agee died of a heart attack on May 16, 1955. In 1999, the street where Agee was born was renamed to James Agee Street in the Fort Sanders neighborhood of Knoxville.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a two boxes. Box two houses restricted materials.

Acquisition Note

The University of Tennessee Libraries purchased this collection in March of 2008.

Related Archival Materials

Interested researchers may wish to consult these additional collections: MS.1500 MS.1904 MS.2296 MS.2474 MS.2625 MS.2730 MS.2832 MS.3045 MS.3142 MS.3200 MS.3229 MS.3277 MS.3450 MS.3702 MS.3824 MS.3839

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480