Guide to the Dana Burnet Papers
1915-1963

Print this Finding Aid | Email this Finding Aid


Results

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Burnet, Dana, 1888-1962
Title: Dana Burnet papers
Dates: 1915-1963 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 6.0 linear feet (12 containers)
Collection Number: Coll 141
Summary: 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.
Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon, 97403-1299
(541) 346-3068
spcarref@uoregon.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

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.

Content Description

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.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & 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 & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series:

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts: Short stories
  • Manuscripts: Plays
  • Manuscripts: Other
  • Tearsheets
  • Publicity material: The Great Commandment (Film)
  • Contracts
  • Personal material

Processing Note :  

[Identification of item], Dana Burnet Papers, Coll 141, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Processing 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.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Inventory
Container(s)
box
folder
1 1

^ Return to Top

Correspondence
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
1 2 1926-1944
1 3 January 1948-February 1948
1 4 March 1948-April 1948
1 5 May 1948-August 1948
1 6 September 1948-December 1948
1 7 January 1949-March 1949
1 8 April 1949-October 1949
1 9 November 1949-February 1950
1 10 March 1950-April 1950
1 11 May 1950-July 1950
1 12 August 1950-October 1950
1 13 November 1950-December 1950
1 14 February 1951-April 1951
1 15 May 1951-June 1951
1 16 July 1951-August 1951
1 17 September 1951-October 1951
1 18 November 1951-December 1951
1 19 January 1952-March 1952
1 20 April 1952-May 1952
1 21 June 1952-August 1952
1 22 September 1952-December 1952
2 1 January 1953-March 1953
2 2 April 1953-May 1953
2 3 June 1953-July 1953
2 4 August 1953-December 1953
2 5 January 1954-March 1954
2 6 April 1954-June 1954
2 7 August 1954-December 1954
2 8 January 1955-October 1955
2 9 November 1955-December 1955
2 10 January 1956-April 1956
2 11 May 1956-July 1956
2 12 August 1956-December 1956
2 13 January 1957-February 1957
2 14 March 1957-April 1957
2 15 May 1957-September 1957
2 16 October 1957-December 1957
2 17 January 1958-March 1958
2 18 April 1958-December 1958
2 19 January 1959-March 1959
2 20 April 1959-October 1959

^ Return to Top

Manuscripts: Short stories
Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
2 21 Absolution in April
2 21 The Admiral Gets the Word
2 21 American Liar
2 22 Arbutus
3 1 Attractive, Double, Piano, Refined
3 2 Bay Window
3 2 A Bed for Young Lovers (2 versions)
3 3 The Beautiful Island
3 4 Biological Accident
3 5 Breakfast with Bettina
3 6 Bus-Driver's Dream (2 versions)
3 7 Business Engagement
3 8 Business is Business
3 9 The Butterfly
3 9 The Butterfly Wife
3 10 The Candy Box Murder Case (2 versions)
3 11 Carousel
3 12 Checkbook
3 12 Children Write on Walls (2 versions)
3 13 Chins Up
3 13 The Claws of the Bear
3 13 A Costume for Katy (2 versions)
3 14 A Couple of Guys Named Joe
3 14 The Curse of Drink
3 15 Death of a Rabbit
3 15 Delegate from the Dead
3 16 The Doctor Always Doodled (2 versions)
3 16 Don't Miss Mystic, Mister (2 versions)
3 17 Dream's End
3 17 The Drowning of Annie
3 17 Duel in Connecticut
4 1 The Dumps Family
4 1 Duration, One Minute
4 2 Farewell to the Moon
4 3 A Flag Can Be a Prayer
4 3 Fog
4 4 A Friendly Game
4 4 The Gay Lady (2 versions)
4 5 The Giant Land
4 5 The Gold Dress (2 versions)
4 6 Goliath
4 7 The Grand March of the United States of America
4 7 Grandpa's Whiskers
4 7 The Happy Worrier
4 8 Hazel in Hollywood
4 8 Hole in One
4 9 Honesty, Industry, Perspicacity
4 10 The Incalculable Risk
4 11 The Inferiority Complex
4 12 Interlude (2 versions)
4 13 It All Worked Out Fine
4 13 It Seems to Be Fate (2 versions)
4 14 The Kick
4 14 Kisses for a Blonde
4 14 Last Nickel
4 15 Letter to a Neighbor
5 1 Life of the Mole (2 versions)
5 2 The Little Dog Laughed
5 2 A Look of Scorn
5 3 The Lost Hands of Lieutenant Edward Lord
5 3 Love and Laundry
5 4 The Man Who Burned a Hole in His Coast (2 versions)
5 5 The Man Who Got Hungry (2 versions)
5 6 The Man Who Loved a Statue
5 6 The Minnow
5 7 The Mirror (2 versions)
5 8 Miss Jenny
5 8 Miss Simpson Goes Wrong
5 9 A Mite O'Life (2 versions)
5 9 Moonlight and Honeysuckle
5 10 The Moose (2 versions)
5 11 Mr. Onion
5 11 Mrs. Trevalyn Serves Tea
5 12 No Idea
5 12 No Mother to Guide Her
5 13 The Old Man of the Tribe
5 14 Old Watch Dog
5 14 The Orange Bird
5 15 The Orange Tree (2 versions)
5 16 Pageant
6 1 The Pale Woman of Vedado
6 2 Papa
6 3 The Picture Was Crooked
6 3 The Pinwheel Age
6 4 A Prayer for the Little People
6 4 A Present for Patricia
6 4 The Rare, Rare Lily (fragment)
6 5 Reggie
6 6 Rescue
6 6 Rescued Romance (2 versions)
6 7 Revelation (2 versions)
6 8 Revolution of a Lady
6 9 Revolution on Wheels (2 versions)
6 9 The Road in the Shadow (fragment)
6 9 The Scrambled Lovers
6 10 The Sea Wall
6 10 Secret Desire
6 11 The Senator's Shadow (2 versions)
6 12 The Shaming of Willie Lord
6 12 A Slight Case of Connecticut
6 12 Something Appalling
6 13 Sport Model
6 14 The Stairs That Grew Longer
6 14 The Star's Secret
6 14 Straight Out to Sea
6 15 Street's End
6 15 Sweet William (2 versions)
7 1 Technique
7 2 Temperamental Mama
7 2 The Tenth Word
7 3 There's No Such Thing as Luck
7 4 They All Married for Love (2 versions)
7 5 Third Accident
7 5 A Touch of Romance
7 6 The Unattractive Daughter
7 7 The Unexpected Nude
7 7 What Price Love
7 7 Widow's Walk
7 8 Willie Lord's Pants
7 8 Wind-Blown (fragment)
7 8 Wings Over Mr. Midgate
7 9 You Might As Well Wave
7 9 A Young Man from the Sea
7 9 Youth at Midnight

^ Return to Top

Manuscripts: Plays
Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
7 10 Bad Manners, by Dana Burnet and William B. Jutte
7 11 Black John (screenplay synopsis)
7 12 The Boundary Line
7 13 The Christus
7 14 Extra Hazard, by Dana Burnet and Max Brand (screenplay synopsis)
7 15 The Good Samaritan (screenplay)
8 1 The Great Commandment (screenplay; early version, with revisions)
8 2 The Great Commandment (screenplay, with publicity stills)
8 3 Growth
8 4 The Habitual Husband
8 5 It is a Strange House
9 1 The Little Fellow (screenplay synopsis)
9 1 Pierrot Steals the Moon
9 2 Still Life
9 3 The Question (early version)
9 4 The Question (later version)
9 5 Sand
9 6 With the Eyes of a Saint (screenplay synopsis)

^ Return to Top

Manuscripts: Other
Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
9 7 The Undeveloped Resources of the Brain (Nonfiction)
9 8 Untitled fragment

^ Return to Top

Tearsheets
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
9 9 "Arbutus," Ladies' Home Journal September 1926
9 9 "The Beautiful Island," The Elks' Magazine June 1923
9 9 "Beauty in His Brain," Liberty undated
9 9 "A Better Mantrap," This Week January 13, 1957
9 9 "Between Hoover and High Water," Collier's July 16, 1927
9 9 "Beyond the Cross," Pictorial Review (Xerox copy) 1923
9 10 "Blindness," Ladies' Home Journal November 1919-March 1920
9 11 "Breakfast with Bettina," Saturday Evening Post June 20, 1925
9 11 "Bus Driver's Dream," Collier's March 22, 1930
9 11 "A Business Engagement," Collier's November 19, 1927
9 11 "Business is Business," McBride's Magazine January 1916
9 11 "The Butterfly," Saturday Evening Post November 16, 1918
9 12 "Carousel," Collier's October 8, 1927
9 12 "The Christmas Fight of X157," Ladies' Home Journal December 1917
9 12 "The Christus," Saturday Evening Post November 23, 1918
9 12 "The Crazy Young Lovers," Woman's Illustrated April 9, 1955
9 12 "Crust of the Moon," Collier's December 2, 1922
9 13 "The Doctor Always Doodled," Australian Women's Weekly January 16, 1957
9 13 "The Dream," Ladies' Home Journal January 1924
9 13 "The Dub," Saturday Evening Post March 17, 1917
9 13 "A Dumb-Waiter Destiny," Harper's August 1915
9 13 "The Dumps Family," Everybody's Magazine March 1923
9 13 "English Prose," Smith's Magazine undated
9 13 "An Experiment in Gentility," Saturday Evening Post November 11, 1916
9 14 "Familiar Disguise," Collier's January 6, 1934
9 14 "Fine Feathers," Red Book undated
9 14 "A Flag Can Be a Prayer," Saturday Evening Post May 29, 1943
9 14 "Fog," Illustrated Sunday Magazine April 1917
9 14 "Fog," McBride's Magazine February 1916
9 14 "Fraud in the Laundry Basket," This Week November 4, 1956
9 14 "A Friendly Game," Collier's June 20, 1931
10 1 "Garbo and Chaplin Talked for Me," Photoplay June 1936
10 1 "The Gay Lady," Saturday Evening Post April 14, 1923
10 1 "Genevieve and Alonzo," Ladies' Home Journal March 1917
10 1 "The Gifts of Three Wise Men," Saturday Evening Post December 9, 1916
10 1 "The Girl in the Tree," Saturday Evening Post May 17, 1958
10 1 "The Glamourous Stranger," Saturday Evening Post March 15, 1958
10 1 "The God I Believe In," magazine unknown, copyright 1963 1963
10 1 "Goliath," The Elks' Magazine November 1922
10 2 "The Grand March of the United States of America," Collier's July 5, 1947
10 2 "The Happy Worrier," Collier's May 21, 1932
10 2 "Hollywood Sequence," This Week September 12, 1937
10 2 "Honesty, Industry and Perspicacity," Lloyd's Story Magazine undated
10 2 "The Human Equation," Pictorial Review December 1916
10 2 "Important Memorandum," American Cavalcade August 1937
10 2 "Impromptu," The Bookman May 1923
10 3 "The Indirect Approach," Saturday Evening Post January 20, 1951
10 3 "The Indirect Approach," Woman (London) September 1, 1951
10 3 "The Inferiority Complex," Collier's January 26, 1924
10 3 "Interlude," Charm June 1924
10 4 "It All Worked Out Fine," Everywoman's Family Circle April 1959
10 4 "It's Just Life," Collier's December 27, 1930
10 4 "It Seems to Be Fate," Collier's July 30, 1927
10 4 "Jonesy," Saturday Evening Post December 12, 1942
10 4 "Kitty Was Afraid," Commercial Appeal (Sunday) Magazine April 19, 1942
10 4 "The Lark," McCall's April 1921-May 1921
10 5 "The Last of the Oldmasters," Everybody's Magazine January 1920
10 5 "Lessons from a Cat," This Week September 21, 1952
10 5 "Let's Be Crazy," Collier's July 30, 1932
10 5 "Letter from a Sailor," United States Naval Institute Proceedings (pp. 153-155, entire issue enclosed) February 1951
10 6 "Letter to a Neighbor," Saturday Evening Post July 24, 1948
10 6 "A Little Appreciation," Collier's September 27, 1930
10 6 "The Little Dog Laughed," Collier's June 16, 1928
10 6 "The Look of Scorn," Collier's August 1, 1931
10 6 "Lost Dog," Collier's November 25, 1933
10 6 "Lucy Ann's Chair," Collier's June 4, 1932
10 7 "The Making of William Simms," Scribner's July 1919
10 7 "The Man Without a Worry," Cosmopolitan May 1920
10 7 "The Man Who Burned a Hole in His Coat," The Elks' Magazine April 1926
10 7 "The Man Who Loved a Statue," Everywoman's Family Circle July 1958
10 7 "Marianna's Heaven," Lloyd's Magazine undated
10 7 "The Minnow," The Bookman April 1922
10 8 "The Mirror," Woman's Home Companion December 1926
10 8 "Miss Jenny," Good Housekeeping September 1923
10 8 "Money Grows on Trees," The Home Magazine October 1934
10 8 "Moonlight and Honeysuckle," Liberty July 10, 1926
10 8 "The Morality Pageant," Red Book undated
10 8 "The Mouse," Collier's April 19, 1924
10 9 "Mr. Billings Spends His Dime," Red Book June 1920-August 1920
10 9 "Mr. Onion," Collier's August 21, 1926
10 9 "My Sister's Mistake," Saturday Evening Post February 16, 1957
10 9 "Nice Girls Get Married," Collier's January 29, 1944
10 9 "Nice Weather Today," Boston Sunday Globe Magazine April 15, 1951
10 10 "The Night Katy Stopped the Music," This Week June 7, 1959
10 10 "Nightgown," Collier's May 7, 1932
10 10 "No Mother to Guide Her," Liberty September 25, 1926
10 10 "The Old Man of the Tribe," Hearst's International September 1923
10 10 "Old Story," Collier's March 24, 1924
10 10 "Omit Flowers," Collier's October 3, 1931
10 10 "The Orange Bird," Collier's December 26, 1926
10 11 "The Pale Woman," Hearst's International October 1922
10 11 "Patient Number Thirteen," Collier's March 14, 1931
10 11 "Pirate Blood," Saturday Evening Post April 5, 1924
10 11 "Pity," Pictorial Review April 1922
10 11 "The Pool," Saturday Evening Post January 20, 1945
11 1 "Portrait of a Lady in Silver," Saturday Evening Post May 7, 1927
11 1 "A Present for Patricia," Collier's May 28, 1932
11 1 "The Price of Happiness," The American Magazine November 1918
11 1 "Private Pettigrew's Girl," Saturday Evening Post September 14, 1918
11 1 "The Question," Saturday Evening Post May 5, 1945
11 1 "Rain on the River," Liberty August 8, 1936
11 2 "The Rare, Rare Lily," Collier's May 19, 1928
11 2 "Red and Ted," Collier's January 16, 1932
11 2 "Red, White and Blue," McClure's [August 1917 (?)]
11 2 "Reggie," Saturday Evening Post April 29, 1922
11 2 "Rescue," Collier's July 3, 1926
11 2 "Rescue Job," This Week October 23, 1938
11 3 "The Return of Jonesy," Saturday Evening Post October 27, 1945
11 3 "The Revolt of Horace Plum," This Week October 15, 1950
11 3 "Revolution of a Lady," Collier's May 14, 1927
11 3 "The Rich Man's Daughter," Collier's October 14, 1922
11 3 "The Riddle of the Swimming Horse," Saturday Evening Post December 6, 1941
11 3 "The Rise of Donald Duck," Pictorial Review October 1935
11 4 "Romance of a Country Road," Good Housekeeping October 1919
11 4 "Room for Two," Collier's July 11, 1931
11 4 "The Rose-Covered Cottage," Collier's June 13, 1925
11 4 "Sadie Goes to Heaven," Good Housekeeping August 1917
11 4 "Sand," Collier's March 13, 1926-March 20, 1926
11 4 "Saturday Miracle," Saturday Evening Post September 18, 1954
11 5 "The Saving Grace," Saturday Evening Post August 17, 1918
11 5 "The Second Year of Marriage," Saturday Evening Post June 2, 1956
11 5 "The Second Year of Marriage," John Bull (London) November 10, 1956
11 5 "The Secret," Saturday Evening Post November 12, 1955
11 5 "Secret Impulse," This Week April 1, 1945
11 5 "The Senator's Shadow," Saturday Evening Post June 19, 1948
11 5 "Servants of Peace," Saturday Evening Post January 25, 1919
11 6 "The Shaming of Willie Lord," Collier's October 4, 1930
11 6 "The Shining Adventure," (Part II) Smith's Magazine undated
11 6 "Shoe Shine," This Week October 21, 1945
11 6 "The Shoe Tree," Red Book July 1924-August 1924
11 7 "A Slight Case of Connecticut," Collier's June 5, 1948
11 7 "Sobs," Every Week July 12, 1915
11 7 "Something Appalling," Collier's January 2, 1932
11 7 "The Spider's Web," Hearst's International December 1921
11 7 "The Sponge," American Magazine January 1917
11 8 "Sport Model," Saturday Evening Post December 4, 1926
11 8 "Stonington, Connecticut" Ford Times October 1949
11 8 "A String of Beads," Saturday Evening Post April 20, 1918
11 8 "Sweet William," Collier's February 26, 1927
11 8 "There's No Such Thing As Luck," Saturday Evening Post July 19, 1924
11 9 "Those High-Society Blues," Saturday Evening Post May 23, 1925
11 9 "Through the Nose," Collier's September 12, 1931
11 9 "The Traitor," Red Book June 1952
11 9 "The Ultimate Security," Reader's Digest June 1945
11 9 "The Unexpected Nude," Collier's June 11, 1949
11 10 "Unfinished Love Affair," Saturday Evening Post May 10, 1952
11 10 "The Vision of Henry Whipple," Saturday Evening Post October 27, 1951
11 10 "Watching His Step," Pictorial Review January 1936
11 10 "The White Buck," Collier's December 12, 1931
11 10 "Why Did He Leave Me?" Saturday Evening Post May 9, 1953
11 11 "Wings," The London Magazine ca. 1925
11 11 "Wings," Liberty December 27, 1924
11 11 "Won't You Be William?" Collier's April 26, 1930
11 11 "Wrong Number," Collier's July 11, 1936
11 11 "X," Harper's December 1915
11 12 "You Can Always Get Married," Saturday Evening Post January 23, 1926
11 12 "You Forgot Your Rubbers," Saturday Evening Post October 9, 1943
11 12 "A Young Man from the Sea," Collier's December 23, 1922
11 12 "A Young Man in Peril," Collier's August 10, 1929

^ Return to Top

Publicity material: The Great Commandment (Film)
Container(s)
Description
Box
Folder
11 13 What Kansas City Clergymen Think of The Great Commandment (typewritten copy of quotes)
11 14 Magazine reviews
11 15 Newsclipping review

^ Return to Top

Contracts
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
12 1 Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, motion picture rights for "Private Pettigrew's Girl" September 30, 1918
12 2 Famous Players-Lasky, motion picture rights for "Blindness" March 31, 1920
12 3 Famous Players-Lasky, motion picture rights for "Mr. Billings Spends His Dime" September 8, 1922
12 4 Arthur Jacobs, motion picture rights for "Wandering Daughters" July 27, 1922
12 5 Charles Bryant and Robert Long, motion picture rights for "The Shining Adventure" June 1, 1923
12 6 Kajor Productions, Inc., motion picture rights for "Technic" May 27, 1925
12 7 Twentieth Century-Fox Corporation, employment terms November 1, 1939
12 8 S. George Ullman Agency, Ltd., agency contract 1941
12 9 MCA Artists Ltd., agency contract January 28, 1943

^ Return to Top

Personal material
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
12 10 Agreement between Dana Burnet and Eugenia C. Burnet (his wife), September 10, 1936. Legal statement concerning disposition of property September 10, 1936
12 11 U.S. Passport issued to Dana Burnet February 14, 1928

^ Return to Top

Subjects

  • Personal Names :
  • Brandt, Carl G.
  • Burnet, Dana, 1888-1962
  • Burnet, Dana, 1888-1962--Correspondence
  • Corporate Names :
  • Brandt & Brandt
  • Subject Terms :
  • Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Screenwriters--United States
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Love stories
    • Manuscripts for publication
    • Screenplays
    • Short stories
    • Tear sheets

    ^ Return to Top