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Richard Hoffman - Arthur Miller collection

Identifier: MSS 0484

Scope and Content Note

The Richard Hoffman - Arthur Miller Collection spans the dates between 1945 and 2000 and comprises 2.3 linear feet of play scripts, screenplays, photographs, correspondence, financial documents, posters, flyers, periodicals, journals, theater programs, news clippings, and ephemera related to the American playwright and author Arthur Miller.

Assembled by the writer and Brooklyn-based bookdealer Richard Hoffman, the collection also includes Miller's published plays, which are cataloged individually and housed with printed collections in the Special Collections Department at the University of Delaware Library. Richard Hoffman built this archive by collecting materials related to the dramatic works of Arthur Miller, as well as general sources about Miller. The collection is arranged into two series: I. Dramatic works and II. Miscellaneous journals, periodicals, and ephemera.

Series I. is organized alphabetically according to the title of Miller's dramatic works and comprises the majority of the collection. The series includes a broad representation of twenty-one of Miller's plays, beginning with All My Sons (1947) and running through Mr. Peters' Connections (1998). Included are original play scripts for some of Miller's most well-known works, such as After the Fall (1967, two copies), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972, three copies), Death of a Salesman (1949, three copies), The Price (1968, two copies), and Up from Paradise (1978, two copies). Several of the scripts once belonged to cast members of Miller's plays and bear the annotations and stage directions of Rose Arrick ( After the Fall , 1984), Stanley Beck ( After the Fall , 1964), Len Cariou ( Up from Paradise ), Paul Lipson ( Death of a Salesman ), and Esther Person ( An Enemy of the People ). Additionally, a revised film script for Let's Make Love (1959) and the screenplay and dialogue continuity for The Misfits (1960-1961) are included in the series. The series also contains a number of promotional posters and theater programs, as well as original cast phonographic recordings of After the Fall , Incident at Vichy , and an operatic treatment of The Crucible . The most well-represented work in the series is Death of a Salesman : included are theater programs from the original production, financial documents related to production agreements and investment dividends, and promotional materials for both film and stage productions. Dates provided during processing appear in square brackets.

Series II. comprises material related to Miller's career in general and includes journal issues, clippings, postcards, flyers, programs, photographs, and other ephemera.


  • Creation: 1945-2002


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Richard Hoffman

Brooklyn-based theater collector and book dealer Richard Hoffman built a number of literary collections around American playwrights over a period of many years.

Hoffman has said that he entered the United States Army in the 1950s as an actor and left as a writer. His military experience led to an assignment to create a television program titled "Your Army in View," which consisted of interviews and live drama. After his discharge from the service in 1955, Hoffman taught in the drama department of The City University of New York. During this period he was awarded a Eugene O'Neill fellowship for playwriting. He also began to seriously collect rare books and first editions of contemporary American dramatists, notably the playwrights Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, and Neil Simon. Hoffman's interest in collecting first editions led to his career as an antiquarian book dealer.

Arthur Miller

American dramatist, writer, and essayist Arthur Miller (1915-2005) is considered a pioneer of expressionistic realism in post-World War II American theater.

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Miller's stage plays began receiving a number of awards, including the Drama Critics' Circle Awards, 1947, for All My Sons , and 1949, for Death of a Salesman ; Tony Awards, 1947, for All My Sons , 1949, for Death of a Salesman , and 1953, for The Crucible ; Donaldson Awards, 1947, for All My Sons , 1949, for Death of a Salesman , and 1953, for The Crucible ; Pulitzer Prize for drama, 1949, for Death of a Salesman . Frequently cited as one of the central works of twentieth-century American drama, Death of a Salesman remains Miller's best known work.

Miller's play concerning the Salem witch trials, The Crucible (1953), has been interpreted by some critics as an allegory for the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) Trials, which investigated the motion picture industry searching for communist sympathizers in the late 1940s through the 1950s. Miller himself, accused of communist sympathies, was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee, but refused to provide the committee with the names of other supposed communists. As a result Miller was found in contempt of Congress, but the conviction was overturned in 1958. During this same period Miller's life was affected by his marriage to the actress Marilyn Monroe, whom he wed in 1956. The public attention that surrounded the couple combined with Monroe's troubled fame proved difficult for Miller. However, his script for The Misfits (1961), based on a short story he first published in Esquire magazine in 1957, was written with Monroe in mind and reveals the admirable qualities he saw in her. The couple divorced in 1961. In After the Fall (1967), Miller further revealed the complexities of his relationship with Monroe, but within a broader thematic context that addresses man's alienation. One of Miller's most successful Broadway plays, The Price (1968), recalls the themes of his earlier works, such as All My Sons and Death of a Salesman . His other plays include Incident at Vichy (1964), The Archbishop's Ceiling (1977), The American Clock (1980), The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), and Broken Glass (1994).

As a socially conscientious writer, Miller has promoted human rights and artistic freedom; while serving as the president of International P.E.N. (1965-1969), Miller worked to open the organization to Soviet Bloc countries and to provide support for imprisoned and persecuted writers. He is credited with vitalizing the organization during his time as president.

Miller has received many honors for his writing, including an Obie Award, two New York Drama Critics' Awards, two Emmy Awards, three Tony Awards, the Pulitzer Prize (1949), the American Academy of Arts and Letters gold medal (1959), a John F. Kennedy Award for Lifetime Achievement (1984), the Jerusalem Prize (2003), and many other honors.

Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2004, reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: The Gale Group, 2004.


2.3 linear foot (3 boxes)


The Richard Hoffman - Arthur Miller Collection spans the dates between 1945 and 2002 and comprises 2.3 linear feet of playscripts, screenplays, photographs, correspondence, financial documents, posters, flyers, periodicals, journals, theater programs, news clippings, and ephemera related to the American playwright and author Arthur Miller.


Gift of Richard Hoffman and purchase, December 2002 - January 2003.

Related Materials in this Repository

MSS 0485 Richard Hoffman - Neil Simon collection

MSS 0490 Richard Hoffman - David Rabe collection

MSS 0496 Richard Hoffman - David Mamet collection

MSS 0505 Richard Hoffman - John Guare collection

MSS 0508 Richard Hoffman - Lorraine Hansberry collection

MSS 0510 Richard Hoffman - August Wilson collection

Shelving Summary

  1. Boxes 1-2: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
  2. Box 3: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes
  3. Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (20 inches)
  4. Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches)
  5. Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize mapcases


Processed by Gerald Cloud, February 2004. Encoded by Jillian Kuzma, January 2009. Updated by Maureen Cech, November 2010.

Finding aid for Richard Hoffman - Arthur Miller collection
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2009 January 15
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA