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Woody Guthrie Notebooks (diaries)

Collection Processed by: Jorge Arévalo Mateus, PhD

Collection Guide Prepared by: Original finding aid was prepared by Jorge’ Arevalo Mateus, PhD; updated by Tiffany Colannino, March 2011; updated by Kate L. Blalack, October 2013; updated by Melissa Kunz, June 2014

© Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.

Date Range:

1938-1954 (Bulk dates: 1942-1947)

Extent:

12 linear feet (8 flat storage boxes and 12 clam shell cases)

Provenance:

Marjorie Guthrie & offices of Harold Leventhal

Scope and Content:

Collection contains personal notebooks and songbooks created by Woody Guthrie from the period of 1938 through 1954, with the bulk having been created during his time in New York in the 1940s. Includes early handwritten songbooks created by Guthrie for use during his radio shows in Los Angeles, California; typed Songbooks from the early 1940s; and Notebooks, including diaries, journals, and datebooks.

These notebooks contain writings, correspondence, drawings, narrative and manuscripts, scheduled bookings, appointments, and other important dates, and artwork. This includes several composition books containing full-length letters to Guthrie’s second wife, Marjorie Mazia. This Collection also includes a run of 12 over-sized brown ledger books into which Guthrie has pasted lyrics (dating from 1938 to 1953), leaves, and flowers, and which include vibrant watercolor and wax crayon artwork. This run of 12 notebooks constitutes Notebooks Series-2.

Language:

Material entirely in English.

Access Restrictions:

There are no access restrictions for this collection.

Use Restrictions:

All materials is copyrighted to Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.

Arrangement:

These notebooks are arranged into two series.

Notebooks Series-1 includes Notebooks (i.e. datebooks, diaries, and journals) and Songbooks created by Guthrie, which have been arranged chronologically, beginning with the earliest pieces created in 1938. Undated Notebooks and photocopies of Notebooks from other collections have been placed at the end of this series. Songbooks created by Guthrie have been arranged together.

Notebooks Series-2 consists of 12 oversized notebooks created by Guthrie in the early 1950s. As each Notebook in this Collection touches on a wide variety of overlapping subjects, themes, people, and places, these Notebooks are best researched by date, and not subject. For example, a researcher interested in Guthrie’s time in the Merchant Marines is recommended to consult Notebooks created during the period spanning from 1943-1945. Alternately, researchers interested in Guthrie’s time in Los Angles are recommended to consult Notebooks created prior to 1940. For more information on researching the Notebooks, please contact the Archivist.

Related Materials:

For related materials please see Woody Guthrie Lyrics, Series II: Songs 2 and Series III: Songs 3.

List of Series:

Series I: Notebooks Series 1

Series II: Notebooks Series 2


 

Notebook series-1, Contents List

Notebooks Series-1, Item-1: 1938. Notebook. “Daily Record.” Contains illustrations with political and social commentary created during Guthrie’s time in California .
Notebooks Series-1, Item-2: 1938. Notebook. “Daily Record.” Contains illustrations: political and social commentary created during Guthrie’s time in California .
Notebooks Series-1, Item-3: 1938 – 1943. Songbook. Contains song texts, illustrations, notes, and correspondence. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 3
Notebooks Series-1, Item-4: 1938 – 1940. Songbook. Contains song texts from KFVD period in Los Angeles , circa 1938-’40. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 4
Notebooks Series-1, Item-5: 1938 – 1941.  Songbook. Contains song texts, many from KFVD in Los Angeles . Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 5
Notebooks Series-1, Item-6: 1941.  Songbook. Contains song texts, writings, newspaper clippings, drawings, and photographs. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 6
Notebooks Series-1, Item-7: 1940-1941.  Songbook. Contains song texts, performance leaflets and announcements, and manuscript writings. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 7
Notebooks Series-1, Item-8: ca 1940.  Songbook. “Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People.” Original typed manuscript on onion skin paper. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 8
Notebooks Series-1, Item-8a: 1950.  Songbook. “Woody’s Grow Big Songs.” (5 songs.)
Notebooks Series-1, Item-8b: 1948.  Songbook. “Eight Grow Big Songs.”
Notebooks Series-1, Item-9: 1942.  Songbook. Contains song texts, photographs, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 9
Notebooks Series-1, Item-10: 1942.  Notebook. Contains illustrations, poems, letters, and one photograph.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-11: 1942.  Notebook. Contains one letter written by Woody Guthrie to Marjorie Mazia and her husband, Joe Mazia.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-12: 1942.  Notebook. Contains one letter written by Woody Guthrie to Marjorie Mazia, and song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 12
Notebooks Series-1, Item-13: 1942-1943.  Notebook. Contains one illustrated letter written by Woody Guthrie to Marjorie Mazia on New Year’s Eve, 1943.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-14: 1942.  Notebook. Contains one letter written by Woody Guthrie to Marjorie Mazia.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-15: 1942.  Notebook. Contains one letter written by Woody Guthrie to Marjorie Mazia.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-16: 1943.  Notebook. Contains one letter written by Woody Guthrie to Marjorie Mazia and ‘Railroad Pete.’
Notebooks Series-1, Item-17: 1943. Notebook. Contains one letter written by Woody Guthrie to Marjorie Mazia.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-18: 1943-1944.  Notebook. Contains daily entries related to Cathy Ann Guthrie composed by Woody Guthrie, Marjorie Mazia, and babysitters; and song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 18
Notebooks Series-1, Item-19: 1943 Notebook. Contains 160-page handwritten narrative, composed by Woody Guthrie, and song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 19
Notebooks Series-1, Item-20: 1943.  Notebook. Contains 16-stanza poem about Unions, composed by Woody Guthrie. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 20
Notebooks Series-1, Item-21: 1943.  Notebook. Contains writings, songs, and poems. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 21
Notebooks Series-1, Item-22: 1943.  Notebook. Contains letter or story written by Woody Guthrie to Cathy Ann Guthrie, and song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 22
Notebooks Series-1, Item-23: 1943.  Notebook. Contains letter or story written by Woody Guthrie to Cathy Ann Guthrie, and song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 23
Notebooks Series-1, Item-24: 1943.  Notebook. Contains song texts, poems, verses, and narrative writings. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 24
Notebooks Series-1, Item-25: 1943-1946.  Notebook. Contains narrative writings, poems, and song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 25
Notebooks Series-1, Item-26: 1943-1945.  Notebook. Contains poems, song texts, and narrative writings. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 26
Notebooks Series-1, Item-27: 1943-1946.  Songbook. Contains song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Song Lyrics Series-2. Note: This item is a photocopy of an original item contained within the Moses and Frances Asch Folkways Collection at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-28: 1944.  Notebook. Contains song texts, poems, narrative writings, and short snippets or quotes by Woody Guthrie. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 28
Notebooks Series-1, Item-29: 1944 Notebook. Contains song texts, poems, essays, and prose. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 44
Notebooks Series-1, Item-30: 1944.  Notebook. “Little Cathy Anny.” Contains song texts and manuscript writings. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 30
Notebooks Series-1, Item-31: 1944.  Notebook. Contains song texts, prose, poems, correspondence, and notes. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 31
Notebooks Series-1, Item-32: 1944.  Notebook. Contains song texts, narrative writings, poems, and illustrations. Composed by Woody Guthrie in Glasgow , Scotland . Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 32
Notebooks Series-1, Item-33: 1944.  Notebook. Contains song texts, narrative writings, stories, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 33
Notebooks Series-1, Item-34: 1944.  Notebook. Contains song texts, narrative writings, stories, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 34
Notebooks Series-1, Item-35: 1944.  Notebook. Contains song texts, narrative writings, stories, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 35
Notebooks Series-1, Item-36: 1944.  Notebook. Contains narrative writings. Composed by Woody Guthrie in Palermo, Italy.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-37: 1944.  Notebook. Contains song text and narrative writings. Composed by Woody Guthrie in Palermo, Italy. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 37
Notebooks Series-1, Item-38: 1944.  Notebook. Contains narrative writings. Composed by Woody Guthrie in Palermo, Italy.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-39: 1945.  Notebook: “Cathy’s Book Of Letters.” Contains song texts, poems, notes, and diary entries. Song title Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 39
Notebooks Series-1, Item-40: 1945  Notebook. Contains song texts, notes, poems, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 40
Notebooks Series-1, Item-41: 1945. Notebook. Contains song texts, illustrations, and notes. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 41
Notebooks Series-1, Item-42: 1945. Notebook. Contains one letter written to Marjorie Mazia Guthrie by Woody Guthrie.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-43: 1945. Notebook. Contains illustrations, poems, and notes.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-44: 1945.  Notebook. Contains song text and one letter to Marjorie Mazia Guthrie by Woody Guthrie. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 44
Notebooks Series-1, Item-45: 1945.  Notebook. Contains song texts, notes, illustrations, and poems. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 45
Notebooks Series-1, Item-46: 1946. Notebook. Contains song texts, notes, and diary entries. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 46
Notebooks Series-1, Item-47: 1946. Notebook. Contains song texts, narrative writings, illustrations, and notes. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 47
Notebooks Series-1, Item-48: 1946. Notebook. “Selfless Portrait.” Contains song texts and notes. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 48
Notebooks Series-1, Item-49: 1946. Notebook. Contains song texts, illustrations, and poems. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 49
Notebooks Series-1, Item-50: 1946.  Notebook. “The Faulks: An Epistle…” Contains narrative writings and illustrations.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-51: 1946. Notebook. Contains narrative writings and prose.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-52: 1946-1947. Notebook. Contains song texts, poems, and watercolor illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 52
Notebooks Series-1, Item-53: 1946-1947. Notebook. Contains song texts, poems, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 53
Notebooks Series-1, Item-54: 1946-1947. Notebook. ” Coney Island Short Hauls.” Contains song texts, poems, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 54
Notebooks Series-1, Item-55: 1947.  Notebook. Contains diary entries, notes, appointments, and song writing dates.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-56: 1947.  Notebook. “Cathy Says.” Contains song texts, narrative writings, poems, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 56
Notebooks Series-1, Item-57: 1947. Notebook. “Short Hauls.” Contains song texts, narrative writings, and watercolor illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 57
Notebooks Series-1, Item-58: 1947. Notebook. “A Book For Cathy.” Contains song texts, manuscript writings, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 58
Notebooks Series-1, Item-59: 1947. Notebook. Contains song texts and one letter to Marjorie Mazia Guthrie. Composed by Woody Guthrie while traveling by train and bus from New Jersey to Washington . Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 59
Notebooks Series-1, Item-60: 1947. Notebook. “High Balladry.” Contains song texts and manuscript writing. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 60
Notebooks Series-1, Item-61: 1947. Notebook. Contains narrative and manuscript writings.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-62: 1947. Notebook. “Short Ones.” Contains manuscript writings and illustrations.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-63: 1947-1948. Notebook. “Atom Fires.” Contains song text and narrative writings. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 63
Notebooks Series-1, Item-64: 1947-1952. Notebook. “12 CINYC.” Contains song texts and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 64
Notebooks Series-1, Item-65: 1948. Notebook. “All Around Your Town.” Contains song texts and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 65
Notebooks Series-1, Item-66: 1948. Notebook. “No Kids Allowed.” Contains narrative writings and illustrations.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-67: 1948-1949. Notebook. Contains narrative writings.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-68: 1948-1949. Notebook. Contains narrative writings, correspondence to Pauline Winkler, and watercolor illustrations.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-69: 1949. Notebook. “Dear Bubbie Wietzmann.” Contains narrative writings and correspondence.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-70: 1947-1949. Notebook. “Willy Bee.” Contains narrative writings.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-71: 1949. Notebook. “All In.” Contains manuscript writings and illustrations.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-72: 1949-1950. Notebook. “On the Bowery.” Contains poems, manuscript writings, and illustrations.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-73: 1950. Notebook: Contains song texts, notes, appointments, and scheduling information. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 73
Notebooks Series-1, Item-74: 1952-1954. Songbook. Contains song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 74
Notebooks Series-1, Item-75: ca. 1950s. Notebook. Contains manuscript writings.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-76: ca. 1950s. Notebook. Contains song texts and manuscript writings. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 76
Notebooks Series-1, Item-77: Undated. Songbook. “My New Found Land.” Contains song texts (photocopy). Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 77
Notebooks Series-1, Item-78: Undated. Songbook. “My Dusty Road.” Contains song texts, newspaper clippings, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 78
Notebooks Series-1, Item-79: Undated. Notebook. Contains narrative writings.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-80: Undated. Notebook. Contains song texts, personal memos, illustrations, and poems. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series II: Songs – 2, Notebook 80
Notebooks Series-1, Item-81: Undated. Notebook. Contains narrative writings and ideas for songs.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-82: Undated. Notebook. Contains blank pages.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-83: Undated. Notebook. “Songs to Sing.” Contains a song list of 175 song titles.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-84: Undated. Notebook. “Songs I Know.” Contains song lists for children’s songs.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-85: 1947. Notebook. Contains watercolor lettering for Arlo Guthrie ‘s birthday announcement.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-86: 1948-1949. Songbook. “Woody’s 20 Grow Big Songs.” Contains song texts and watercolor illustrations.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-87: 1938. Songbook. “Alonzo M. Zilch’s Songbook.” Contains song texts and pencil illustrations.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-88: 1946. Notebook. Contains phone numbers, addresses, and dates/appointments for marches, rallies, and other engagements.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-89: 1939. Songbook. “On A Slow Train Through California .” Contains song texts, manuscript writings, and illustrations (photocopy). For original, see Harold Leventhal Collection Box-3, Folder-49.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-90: 1942. Notebook. Marjorie Mazia’s diary (photocopy). From Nora Guthrie Personal Collection.
Notebooks Series-1, Item-91: 1938. Songbook. “Woody And Lefty Lou’s One Thousand And One Laffs And Your Free Gift Of One Hundred And One Songs.” Contains songs and writings (photocopy).

 

Notebook series-2, Contents List

Notebooks Series-2, Item-1: 1946-1953. Notebook. “Union Labor Songs Book #1.” Contains song texts, correspondence, and illustrations. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series III: Songs – 3, Notebook 01
Notebooks Series-2, Item-2: 1940-1952. Songbook. “Dustbowl Migratory Floods, etc. (Tragedy) #2.” Contains song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series III: Songs – 3, Notebook 02
Notebooks Series-2, Item-3: 1947-1952. Songbook. “Outlaws Good & Bad Men & Women Blueses #3.” Contains song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series III: Songs – 3, Notebook 03
Notebooks Series-2, Item-4: 1939-1952. Songbook. “Love in & out, Marjorie Book #5.” Contains song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series III: Songs – 3, Notebook 04
Notebooks Series-2, Item-5: 1953. Notebook. “Tall tales, Heroes, Funny Book #6.” Contains photographs and annotations documenting a 1953 trip to Florida , undertaken by Jack Elliot, Anneke Van Kirk, and Woody Guthrie.
Notebooks Series-2, Item-6: 1949-1950. Songbook. “Original Songs, Book #7.” Contains song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series III: Songs – 3, Notebook 04
Notebooks Series-2, Item-7: 1945-1953. Songbook. “Original Songs by Woody Guthrie, Book #8.” Contains song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series III: Songs – 3, Notebook 07
Notebooks Series-2, Item-8: 1952. Notebook. “Chris Guthrie, Life and Times, #18.” Contains correspondence to Chris Guthrie, and illustrations.
Notebooks Series-2, Item-9: 1939-1953. Notebook. “Woody Guthrie Songs, #15.” Contains writings, illustrations, and song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series III: Songs – 3, Notebook 09
Notebook Series-2, Item-10: 1939-1950. Songbook. “Hot Ones Book #10.” Contains song texts by Woody Guthrie and the Almanac Singers. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series III: Songs – 3, Notebook 10
Notebook Series-2, Item-11: 1952-1953. Notebook. “Woody Guthrie Songs, White Only, Book #16.” Contains watercolor artwork and song texts. Song title list can be found by visiting Lyrics, Series III: Songs – 3, Notebook 11
Notebook Series-2, Item-12: 1954. Notebook. “Hard Times.” Contains photographs, illustrations, and annotations.