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Langston Hughes papers

Call Number: RH MS 127


The Langston Hughes papers consist of a range of items chiefly pertinent to his career as a poet and playwright.


  • Creation: 1931 - 1967


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Langston Hughes (1901-1967)

Langston Hughes was born in 1901 in Joplin, Missouri to Caroline Leary Hughes. From 1903 to 1915, Hughes lived in Lawrence, Kansas with his grandmother, Mary Langston; in 1915 he joined his mother in Illinois. The family then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Hughes graduated high school. He then entered New York's Columbia University in 1921, but only attended for a year.

During his time at Columbia, Hughes discovered Harlem, where he became an influential part of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1926 he published his first book of poetry, The Weary Blues. Over the course of his life, Hughes created a wide range of works including novels, short stories, children's books, scripts, translations, and, of course, poetry. Following abdominal surgery, Langston Hughes died May 22, 1967.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 document cases + 1 oversize box, 1 volume, 3 folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Langston Hughes papers date from 1931 to 1967 and are arranged in two series by format for papers and for photographs. Items in the papers located at RH MS 127 include play scripts, playbills, publications by and about Hughes, clippings, and sheet music. Many items are signed by Hughes and/or have notations by him. Folder arrangement is alphabetical by topic; unless otherwise specified, arrangement within folders is chronological.

Oversize materials from the collection are located at RH MS Q44 and RH MS D94. Photographs, portraits of Hughes, are located at RH MS-P 127.

Physical Location

RH MS 127

Physical Location


Physical Location


Physical Location

RH MS-P 127

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Langston Hughes, 1957-1967.

Guide to the Langston Hughes Collection
Langston Hughes papers
Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2007; revised by cl, 2010; revised by skt, 2010. Finding aid encoded by mbw, 2007; revised by skt, 2010.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Langston Hughes papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 127, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States