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George Ade papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 4

Scope and Contents

The George Ade Papers (1878-1947; 29 Cubic ft.) document the personal and professional life of author, humorist, and playwright George Ade. The collection includes original writings, manuscripts, personal correspondece, photographic materials, and artifacts. Notable persons include: John T. McCutcheon, William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, Booth Tarkingtoon, James Whitcomb Riley, W.C. Fields, Will Rogers, Elsie Janis, Theodore Dreiser, "Chick" Evans, Orson Welles, Kin Hubbard, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Major, and Purdue presidents Winthrop E. Stone and Edward C. Elliott.


  • 1878-2007
  • Majority of material found within 1890s-1943
  • Other: Date acquired: 11/30/1944


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


30.00 Cubic Feet

Arrangement Note

The collection is divided into nine series: Writings, ca. 1881-1943; n.d.: The Writings series contains George Ade's creative writings and documents his professional writing career, activities at Hazelden Country Club, and his winter vacations in Miami, Florida. The series is divided into two categories: Manuscripts and Newsletters. Types of materials in Manuscripts include handwritten, typed, or published versions of Ade's poems, plays, scripts, skits, books, fables, short stories, editorials, essays, articles, speeches, radio broadcast transcripts, and cartoon strips; also includes notes, revisions, outlines, alternative titles and chapters, business correspondence, movie and play memorabilia, reviews, and clippings relating to his writings. All manuscripts have been arranged alphabetically by title. Newsletters are divided into two categories: Hazelden Country Club and Family and Friends. Types of materials include handwritten first drafts, mimeographed newsletters, business correspondence, brochures, flyers, admission tickets, badges, ribbons, and receipts; subjects include golfing events, Chick Evans, Ade's annual children's party, upgrades to the country club, membership information, and social events in Miami, Florida. All newsletters have been arranged chronologically. Correspondence, ca. 1882-1947; n.d.: The Correspondence series documents George Ade's business and personal life. Types of materials include: letters, telegrams, postcards, brochures, invitations, programs, cartoons by George Ade and John T. McCutcheon, membership cards, stories and fables by Ade, newspaper clippings, income tax forms, magazines, song lyrics, fan mail, and memorabilia. Subjects of correspondence include: copyright and publishing; book, play and movie deals; Purdue University; Purdue Alumni Association; the Ross-Ade Foundation; Sigma Chi Fraternity; Hazelden Farms; Hazelden Country Club; Will Rogers; Burt Lahr; Orson Welles; Washington Irving; Mark Twain; and James Whitcomb Riley. Major correspondents include Cyril Clemens, George M. Cohan, Theodore Dreiser, W.C. Fields, William H. Hays, Knute Rockne, J. Edgar Hoover, J.K. Lilly Jr., George Barr McCutcheon, John T. McCutcheon, Charles Major, James Rathbun, Will Rogers, David Ross, James H. Smart, Winthrop E. Stone, Edward C. Elliott, Julian Street, Louise Dresser, Sophie Tucker, Gene Stratton-Porter, Kin Hubbard, Meredith Nicholson, William H. Taft, Booth Tarkington, and Theodore Roosevelt. All correspondence has been arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent. Printed Materials, ca. 1878-1944; n.d.: The Printed Materials series documents George Ade's personal life, professional career, and other areas of personal interest. It is divided into two categories: Collected Materials and Clippings. Types of materials include programs, business cards, lists of Ade's fables, stock analyses, illustrations, promotional materials, movie production books, reports, booklets, magazines, newspaper clippings, articles, stories, cartoon strips, fables, interviews, and reviews; subjects include Mark Twain, James Whitcomb Riley, John T. McCutcheon, and Booth Tarkington. Materials are arranged chronologically; oversized clippings were removed and stored separately for preservation purposes. Purdue University, ca. 1882-1941; n.d.: The Purdue University series documents George Ade's college career at Purdue University, his years as an active member of Purdue's Alumni Association, and his years as editor and columnist for the Purdue Alumnus. Types of materials include Ade's scholarship application, academic reports, certificates, handwritten and published articles, programs, clippings, and Purdue Alumnus magazines. All materials have been arranged chronologically. Indiana Society of Chicago, ca. 1904-1940; n.d.: The Indiana Society of Chicago series documents the early years of the Indiana Society of Chicago which was co-founded by George Ade, John T. McCutcheon, and Edward M. Holloway in 1905. Types of materials include handwritten and published speeches, invitations, programs, correspondence, pre-dinner arrangements, membership rosters, John T. McCutcheon cartoons, booklets, certificates, and Society memorabilia. All materials have been arranged chronologically. Photographic Materials, ca. 1878-1944; n.d.: The Photographic Materials series documents George Ade's personal and professional life. Types of materials include studio portraits, publicity shots, postcards, snapshots, and photograph albums; subjects include Orson Wells, John T. McCutcheon, Ade's family, friends, acquaintances, Sigma Chi, Purdue University, the Belle Meade Plantation Barbeque, the Taft Rally, golf, Hazelden, miscellaneous photographs, plays, movies, and various overseas vacation trips. Photographs have been arranged chronologically with oversized photographs and albums stored separately for preservation purposes. Scrapbooks and Diaries, ca. 1895-1915; n.d.: The Scrapbooks and Diaries series documents George Ade's early book writing career and overseas trips. Types of materials include book reviews, ticket stubs, maps, programs, daily handwritten travel accounts, and other printed memorabilia. Oversized Materials, ca. 1895-1944; n.d.: Oversized Materials contains materials separated from the other series due to their large size. Materials have been stored flat in large acid-free boxes or map case drawers. Types of materials include clippings, cartoons, posters, certificates, advertisements, promotional materials, magazines, newspaper front pages, maps, booklets, and photograph. The materials relate to George Ade's books, plays, movies, fables, Hazelden, Newton County, John T. McCutcheon, Mark Twain, James Whitcomb Riley, Booth Tarkington, Chick Evans, Purdue University, Indiana Society of Chicago, Broadway, golf, and World War I. Materials have been arranged chronologically. Artifacts, ca. 1900s-1920s; n.d.: Wood, metal, and glass negative plates used by Ade for publicity photographs and to make book plates for his personal library; stamp used by Ade to mark personal items and correspondence. The three-dimensional photographic materials have been placed in this series rather than the Photographic Series for preservation purposes.

Source of Acquisition

Ade Family

Method of Acquisition

Gift from George Ade estate, James Rathbun (George Ade's nephew by marriage and business manager), and George Ade Davis (George Ade's nephew), 1945

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

Separated Materials

The George Ade Book Collection, Ade's personal library, is housed in the Archive's stacks. Oversized material, photographs, and artifacts have been stored separately for preservation purposes.

Other Descriptive Information


Processing Information

Whenever possible, original order of the materials has been retained. All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes. All newsprint has been photocopied and in most cases original newspaper clippings have been discarded. Some clippings containing images of people or front pages of newspapers have been preserved for display purposes, with photocopies made available for research.
George Ade papers
In Progress
Joanne Mendes, Archives Assistant
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States