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Conrad Richter Letters,

Identifier: MSS-150-SC

Scope and Content

The collection consists of two letters from Richter to Howard Roosa concerning Richter's short novel, The Lady, dated September 24, 1956 and May 24, 1957. The letter dated 9-24-56 is missing as of 12-16-99.


  • 1956-1957

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publications or distribution.

Biographical Information

Conrad Michael Richter, novelist and essayist, was born in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. His writing career began in 1910 as a journalist for the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Journal which led to other newspaper work. Richter's first published story "How Tuck Went Home," appeared in Cavalier (6 Sept. 1913). In 1915, Richter married Harvena Achenbach. They had one daughter, Harvena. From 1915-1928, Richter engaged in magazine editing and publishing, as well as in continued creative writing. Simultaneously, Richter was involved in a process of reading and reflection about the meaning of life, an investigation resulting in two book length essays, "Human Vibration" (1925) and "Principles in Bio-Physics" (1927). In 1928, because of his wife's poor health, the Richters moved from Pennsylvania to the warmer, dryer climate of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The move forced Richter to adjust his writings to a new cultural orientation, the American Southwest. In 1937, Richter wrote his first novel, The Sea of Grass, which like his later novels set in the West concern the conflicts and other hardships of pioneering. These novels include: Early Americana (1936); The Rawhide Knot and Other Stories (collected posthumously 1978); Tacey Cromwell (1942); The Lady (1957) and The Mountain on the Desert (1955).

During his Southwestern residence, Richter continued to write about subjects concerning his native Eastern America. The Trees (1940) became the first volume of a trilogy including The Fields (1946) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Town (1950). These three novels were collected on one volume as The Awakening Land (1966). While working on the trilogy, Richter wrote other novels and received many awards for his writing. In 1950, the Richters returned to Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, where they again took up residence. Working steadily, Richter produced eight novels , a novelette, several short stories, and some magazine articles in the final eighteen years of his life. His The Light in the Forest (1953), was filmed by Walt Disney Studios. Its sequel, A Country of Strangers, was published in 1966. The major achievement of Richter's later years was the first two volumes of an unfinished trilogy of novels, the winner of the 1960 National Book Award for fiction, The Water of Kronos and A Simple Honorable Man (1962). Conrad Richter died October 30, 1968. Six book length studies and numerous articles have been devoted to Conrad Richter's life and work.


1 Folder

Related Material

Harvena Richter Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • American National Biography, Vol. 18, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Edwin W. Gaston, Jr., Conrad Richter.New York:Macmillan Library Reference, 1970.
Finding Aid of the Conrad Richter Letters, 1956-1957
Processed by Dennis P. Trujillo
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 150 SC::Conrad Richter Letters)//EN" "nmu1mss150sc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131