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Correspondence of Sean O'Casey

Call Number: MS P237


Letters from 20th century Irish dramatist and memoirist Sean O'Casey, as well as letters from his wife Eileen to an American collector and a letter from Arthur Sinclair to Thomas King Moylan.


  • Creation: 1925 - 1959


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 Sean O'Casey

Seán O'Casey was born March 30, 1880 in Dublin as John Casey, the son of Protestant parents Michael and Susan (Archer) Casey. After his father's death when Sean was six years old, the family moved around Dublin a great deal. Sean left school at the age of 14 and worked odd jobs, including several years as a railwayman on the Great Northern Railway.

In 1906 O'Casey joined the Gaelic League and began learning Irish and the Uilleann pipes. He also joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and was briefly a member of the Irish Citizen Army.

O'Casey began writing seriously in the 1910s, and his first play, The Shadow of a Gunman, was performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1923. This was followed by several other plays over the next three decades, many of which were controversial and not popularly received, though other notable playwrights often responded favorably to his works.

O'Casey married Irish actress Eileen Carey Reynolds (1903-1995) in 1927. They had three children: Breon, Niall (who died of leukemia in 1957), and Shivaun. Sean O'Casey died September 18, 1964.


1 folder

Language of Materials


Physical Location

MS P237

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Douglas M. Jacobs gift (part of his gift of O'Casey material), 1959.

Related Materials

Archival materials from Sean O'Casey are available at numerous institutions, including New York University and New York Public Library, Cornell University Library, University of California-Los Angeles, University of London Library, National Library of Ireland, Boston College, etc.

Four proofs and playbooks for O'Casey's works are available here at the Spencer Research Library at MS B114 through MS B117. Additionally, printed copies of O'Casey's works, donated by Douglas M. Jacobs, can be searched in the online Libraries catalog.

Guide to the Sean O'Casey Collection
Correspondence of Sean O'Casey
Finding aid prepared by alh, November 7, 1979. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2005.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Correspondence of Sean O'Casey, Department of Special Collections, MS P237, 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