Robert Payne Collection
Manuscript Collection 293


Pierre Stephen Robert Payne [4 December 1911 - 3 March 1983], was a distinguished writer, whose works include novels and non-fiction, biography and poetry, translation and short stories.

In the early 1970s the Special Collections Department was contacted by Lew D. Feldman, proprietor of the House of El Dieff, a well-known bookseller and manuscript appraiser. Feldman inquired, on behalf of Robert Payne, if the Special Collections Department would be interested in receiving donations of books that had served as research materials for Payne. The offer was accepted with alacrity and large contributions of books were received in the 1970s. Since that time, Special Collections has been enhanced by Mr. Payne's manuscripts, drafts, galleys, literary notebooks, diaries, correspondence, research files, and collections of books from his working library. Part of these additions were a bequest, the rest was a gift from his widow, Sheila L. Payne.

The Special Collections Department houses an extensive collection of published works by Mr. Payne, which are cataloged as a special research collection. Researchers are encouraged to use the extensive index, which brings together similar materials and titles. The index currently includes names of some characters of stories and plays to aid to staff in locating variant titles and fragments of manuscripts.

The Robert Payne Collection, the gift of Robert and Sheila L. Payne, includes approximately 110 cubic feet. Literary rights are held by Mrs. Sheila L. Payne. Access to the collection is unrestricted.

In earlier years, Mr. Payne contributed a number of his manuscripts to the Department of Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles, and to the Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Requests for permission to publish any material from the collection should be addressed to Mrs. Sheila L. Payne, c/o Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3323. As the collection includes original letters and materials created by others, it may also be necessary for the researcher to obtain their permission to publish materials.