Five College Archives and Manuscript
                        Collections
Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> Charlotte Seitlin Papers, 1938-1979
Smith College seal
Charlotte Seitlin Papers, 1938-1979
2 boxes (1 linear ft.)

Abstract:
Editor for Simon and Schuster, circa 1928-71, specializing in books about ballet and memoirs. Some of the authors she worked with over the years included Janet Flanner, Sam Levenson, Rocky Graziano, and June Havoc and June's better-known sister, Gypsy Rose Lee. Known as "Chatzie" to her family and friends, which included literary greats such as May Sarton and Kay Boyle. Her papers include biographical materials and correspondence with friends and colleagues. Notable correspondents include Kay Boyle, Uta Hagen, June Havoc, Janet Flanner, Nolan Miller, and May Sarton. Themes include lesbian and gay lifestyles, circa 1950-1970s.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The Papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to Charlotte Seitlin's unpublished works. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Born August 16, 1906 in Trenton, New Jersey, to Myron and Flora (Smith) Seitlin, Charlotte Seitlin graduated from Trenton High School in 1924 and from the New Jersey College for Women (later Douglass College, now part of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey) in 1928. Upon graduation, Seitlin went to work at Simon and Schuster in New York City, a publishing firm founded in 1924. By the time the firm forced her into retirement in 1971, Seitlin had risen to senior executive editor, specializing in entertainment memoirs and travel. Some of the figures she worked with over the years on their memoirs and other books include Erté, Sam Levenson, Rocky Graziano, June Havoc and June's better-known sister, Gypsy Rose Lee. Known as "Chatzie" to her family and friends, who included such literary greats as May Sarton, Janet Flanner, and Kay Boyle, Seitlin never married. After her retirement from Simon and Schuster, she worked as a freelance editor in New York and Connecticut, with occasional trips to Barbados, until her health declined severely in the spring of 1979. She died of a brain tumor in June of that year.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charlotte Seitlin Papers consist of 1 linear ft. and include some biographical materials and correspondence with friends, clients, and colleagues. Themes include lesbian and gay lifestyles, circa 1940s-1970s.

Seitlin's papers primarily pertain to her professional life as a freelance editor in the 1970s after her 1971 retirement from Simon and Schuster, after which the firm discarded decades of her professional files. Notable correspondents include Kay Boyle, Uta Hagen, June Havoc, Janet Flanner, Mercedes de Acosta, Nolan Miller, and May Sarton. Her professional correspondence frequently blurs with the personal, as her relationships with a number of her clients and colleagues developed into friendships.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The Papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to Charlotte Seitlin's unpublished works. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Charlotte Seitlin Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Laura Kaye donated the Charlotte Seitlin Papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by Adrienne Marie Naylor, intern, August 2012


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English

Series Descriptions
(1942-1979)


Note:

This series contains copies of her passport, her death certificate, an obituary, her college transcript, and information about her fiftieth high school reunion.

(1942-1979)


This series includes professional documents introducing Seitlin to overseas contacts, newspaper clippings from the 1970s about writing and the publishing industry, as well as materials from professional associations to which she belonged, notably the Woman Pays Club.

(1938-79)


Divided into two subseries, this series contains both personal and professional correspondence. In addition to correspondence with poet and lesbian May Sarton, a folder of correspondence between Seitlin and lesbian writers Mercedes de Acosta, Natalia Danesi Murray, and Murray's longtime partner Janet Flanner reveals their interpersonal conflicts amid World War II, and the diplomatic, mediating role these women expected Seitlin to fulfill. Seitlin also maintained a personal correspondence with writer Nolan Miller from 1952-1979, whose proposal of marriage she rejected in 1953. Professionally, with the exception of a 1938 letter Seitlin sent to the New York World-Telegram, the papers begin in 1971 with Simon and Schuster forcing her into retirement and Seitlin's entry into freelance editing. She kept numerous contacts in the publishing world while aspiring writers of all stripes, from celebrities looking to write memoirs to amateurs writing novels, utilized her editing services. Correspondence with celebrities is arranged alphabetically, as well as other figures with whom her correspondence is extensive. All other letters are arranged chronologically.

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS



Legal records
1976-79

Box 1: folder 1
Educational records
1942-79

Box 1: folder 2
SERIES II. PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES



Business-related travels
1942-79

Box 1: folder 3
The Woman Pays Club
1973-79

Box 1: folder 4
Miscellaneous professional
1960-68

Box 1: folder 5
Newspaper clippings, re: writing and the publishing industry
1970s

Box 1: folder 6
SERIES III. CORRESPONDENCE



Personal



General
1944-53

Box 1: folder 7
Flanner, Janet; Murray, Natalia Danesi; de Acosta, Mercedes
1944-78

Box 1: folder 8
Sarton, May
1944-47

Box 1: folder 9
Miller, Nolan
1952-79

Box 1: folder 10
Professional



Letter to New York World-Telegram
1938

Box 1: folder 11
General



1971-75

Box 1: folder 12-16
1976-79

Box 1: folder 17-20
Agress, Lynn
1975-79

Box 1: folder 21
Boyle, Kay, and "Bricktop"
1971-72

Box 1: folder 22
Erté
1972-78

Box 1: folder 23
Erté-related clippings
1970s

Box 1: folder 24
Hagen, Uta
1974-76

Box 1: folder 25
Havoc, June
1973-74

Box 1: folder 26
Steele, Marion A.
1975-78

Box 1: folder 27
Undated


Box 1: folder 28

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Agress, Lynne,1941-
  • Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography -- Sources
  • Boyle, Kay,1902-1992
  • Bricktop [born Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith], 1894-1984
  • Flanner, Janet, 1892-1978
  • Hagen, Uta, 1919-2004
  • Havoc, June, 1912-2010
  • Lesbians -- United States -- Biography -- Sources
  • Miller, Nolan, 1907-2006
  • Murray, Natalia Danesi, 1901-1994
  • Publishers and publishing -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Sarton, May, 1912-1995
  • Seitlin, Charlotte
  • de Acosta, Mercedes,1893-1968


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search