Skip to main content

Carl Haverlin papers relating to Carl Sandburg

Identifier: MSS 0144

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of the Carl Sandburg files kept by Carl Haverlin spanning the years 1909–1964. The material consists of correspondence, contracts, speeches and poetry by Sandburg, photographs of Sandburg, programs, galley proofs and drafts of writings by Sandburg, and clippings and tear sheets.

The files reflect the friendship between Haverlin and Sandburg, Sandburg's publication projects connected with Broadcast Music Incorporated, and their shared study of the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.

The first series of these papers consists of Carl Haverlin's correspondence with Carl Sandburg or with other persons on topics related to Carl Sandburg. The second series includes material toward the publication of Lincoln's Devotional, for which Carl Sandburg wrote the introduction. Series III consists of material related to Carl Sandburg's The New American Songbag, published by BMI in 1950.

Series IV includes various printed or typescript copies of speeches, addresses, and remarks delivered by Carl Sandburg as collected by Carl Haverlin. Series V consists of copies of poetry written by Carl Sandburg. Series VI includes a variety of material related to Carl Sandburg, including a preface for Sandburg's Complete Poems, a prologue for "The Family of Man" (photography exhibition by Edward Steichen), and a transcript of "Lincoln on Pennies," which was Sandburg's first printed piece.

Series VII consists of programs of events honoring or involving Carl Sandburg. Series VIII includes clippings, tear sheets, and photocopies of articles about Sandburg. Series IX consists of photographs of Carl Sandburg.


  • Creation: 1909-1964
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1947-1963


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, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

Carl Haverlin, born (circa 1899) in Globe, Arizona, was the son of a mining engineer. Although Haverlin never graduated from high school, he was regarded as an authority on the Civil War. Haverlin was considered a pioneer in radio broadcasting.

His career in broadcasting began in 1924, when, at the age of 25, he took a job working at Station KFI in Los Angeles. He conceived the idea of broadcasting the Rose Bowl football game and sold the idea to NBC. The 1927 Rose Bowl game was one of NBC's first coast-to-coast broadcasts. The play-by-play account was called by Haverlin and Graham MacNamee.

After working at Station KFI for a number of years, Haverlin left radio to enter the business of music transcription. In 1940 he became vice president for station relations at Broadcast Music Inc. BMI had been formed in 1940 to compete with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers in licensing radio broadcasters to use copyrighted material.

Carl Haverlin became president of BMI in 1947, returning to BMI after serving as vice president of the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1944 to 1947. He continued as president of BMI until his retirement in 1964. Haverlin died in 1985 at the age of 86.

During Haverlin's years at BMI, he developed a close working relationship and friendship with Carl Sandburg. They worked together on Lincoln's Devotional and The New American Songbag. In addition to the correspondence and material related to their work together, Haverlin collected various printed items and manuscripts written by Carl Sandburg. It is this collection of Sandburg material which composes the Carl Haverlin Papers.

"Carl Haverlin, Leader in Radio and Historian," The New York Times, August 30, 1985. p.D15.


.7 linear foot (circa 535 items)


This collection consists of the Carl Sandburg files kept by BMI president and radio pioneer Carl Haverlin (1899-1985) spanning the years 1909-1964. During Haverlin's years at BMI he developed a close working relationship and friendship with Carl Sandburg.


Purchase, June 1987.

Shelving Summary

  • Boxes 1-2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes
  • Box 3: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (17 inches)


Processed by Anita A. Wellner, 1988-1991. Encoded by Thomas Pulhamus, February 2010. Further encoding by Lauren Connolly, June 2015, and Tiffany Saulter, November 2015.

Finding aid for the Carl Haverlin papers relating to Carl Sandburg
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2010 February 25
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