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William Inge collection

Call Number: RH MS 165


This collection of William Inge's papers contains manuscripts for many of his plays, some correspondence and photographs of his sculpture work, and a number of articles written and/or published between 1950 and 1976.


  • Creation: 1950 - 1976


Language of Materials

The majority of the collection is in English; there are two translated works, one in Italian and one in French.

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to these materials are retained by a third party; consent for their reproduction, publication, distribution, or display must be obtained by the researcher.

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

Biography of William Inge

William Motter Inge (1913-1973) was born in Independence, Kansas, the youngest of 5 children born to Luther Clay and Maude Sarah Gibson-Inge. He studied speech and drama at the University of Kansas and graduated in 1935. He received his Master's degree from George Peabody College at Nashville, Tennessee in 1938.

Inge worked as a teacher, laborer, and theater critic but is best-known as a playwirght and novelist. In his lifetime he earned both a Pulitzer Prize for Picnic and an Academy Award for the screenplay to the motion picture Splendor in the Grass. His later works did not achieve this same acclaim, and this lack of notice is believed to have played a factor in his suicide in 1973 at the age of 60.


2 Linear Feet (4 boxes + 1 oversize box, 40 volumes)

Scope and Contents

The collection mostly consists of manuscripts written by Inge, including popular works Bus Stop, Picnic, and Come Back Little Sheba as well as drafts of his semi-autobiographical My Son is a Splendid Driver and many other one- and two-act plays written by Inge. The collection also includes some correspondence, a handful of articles, an interview with Inge, and some photographs of sculptures created by Inge.

Physical Location

RH MS 165

Physical Location

RH MS D70 - RH MS D71

Physical Location

RH MS D97 - RH MS D98

Physical Location

RH MS D133 - RH MS D167

Physical Location

RH MS E112

Physical Location

RH MS P212

Physical Location

RH MS R387

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Helene Inge Connell, 1976.

Related Materials

William Inge collection, RH MS 1304, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

William Inge Collection, RH MS P915, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

William Inge Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 1249, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

William Inge collection, Independence Community College Libraries, Independence (Kansas) Community College.

Guide to the William Inge Collection
William Inge collection
Finding aid prepared by mt, 2007; revised by sda, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
William Inge Collection, RH MS 165, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

Repository Details

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

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States