Mississippi Department of Archives and History - Archives and Record Services Division Catalog

 Basic Search
Manuscript Search
 Advanced Search Online Archives Help 

View Catalog Record

Z 0301.000

Series 12. The Optimist's Daughter

1967-1972; n.d.

Note on arrangement and description: For preservation reasons, many of the materials in this series have been re-boxed and re-foldered. Original box and folder numbers have been retained, but subletters have been added to them as needed to indicate their new divisions. (For example, the material originally contained in box 17, folder 4, is now in box 17b, folders 4a, 4b, and 4c.) The finding aid below has been revised accordingly, and will indicate the new divisions of the material.

Bracketed page numbers have been placed on the verso of each piece of material. In this series, these bracketed numbers exist solely for the purpose of archival control in establishing a piece count, and reflect only the order existing at the time of preservation re-boxing. These numbers, therefore, are not mentioned in the finding aid below. The pagination referred to in the finding aid is either that established by Welty herself, or by the Welty scholar, Suzanne Marrs, who created it.

Only minor changes have been made to the text of her description: abbreviations (ts, ms) have been replaced by the full terms (typescript, manuscript); specialized terms such as “holograph” have been replaced by more common ones such as “handwritten.” References to the numbering system used by Marrs for her book The Welty Collection: A Guide to the Eudora Welty Manuscripts and Documents at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson and London: University Press of Mississippi, 1988) have been replaced in this finding aid by the appropriate new box numbers. However, for those accustomed to the numbering system of the guide by Suzanne Marrs, the following table has been provided to help locate the re-boxed materials:

Number of draft (Marrs) Title Type of Material New Box and Folder Numbers
I 1 “Baltimore” Early draft / working papers Box 17a, fols. 1a-b
I 2 “An Only Child” Early draft / working papers Box 17a, fols. 2a-e
I 3 “An Only Child” Early draft / working papers Box 17a, fol. 3
I 4 “Poor Eyes” Early draft / working papers Box 17b, fols. 4a-c, 5a-b
I 5.a “Poor Eyes” Typescript setting copy Box 18a, fols. 1a-c, 2a-c
I 5.b “The Optimist’s Daughter” Carbon of typescript setting copy Box 18b, fols. 3a-c, 4a-c
I 6 “The Optimist’s Daughter” Galleys Box 114, fol. 2
I 7 “The Optimist’s Daughter” Complete draft Box 19a, fols. 1a-c, 2a-c; Box 19b, fols. 3a-c
I 8.a “The Optimist’s Daughter” Typescript setting copy of Random House novel Box 20a, fols. 1a-c, 2a-b; Box 20b, fols. 3a-d
I 8.b “The Optimist’s Daughter” Author’s duplicate copy of Random House novel Box 21a, fols. 1a-c, 2a-c; Box 21b, fols. 3a-d
I 9.a “The Optimist’s Daughter” Galleys Box OS7b, fol. 1
I 9.b “The Optimist’s Daughter” Galleys Box OS7b, fol. 2
I 9.c “The Optimist’s Daughter” Galleys Box OS7a, fol. 3
I 10.a “The Optimist’s Daughter” Page proof Box OS7a, fol. 1
I 10.b “The Optimist’s Daughter” Page proof Box OS7a, fol. 2
I 11.a “The Optimist’s Daughter” Repros Box OS7b, fol. 3
I 11.b “The Optimist’s Daughter” Repros with slip-sheets Box OS7b, fol. 3
I 12 “The Optimist’s Daughter” Blues Box 22, fols. 1a-b, 2
I 13 The Optimist’s Daughter Final signatures Box 22, fols. 3, 4

In addition to the material originally included in this series, there is a small amount of material added recently from the bequest of Welty’s Estate: it is indicated in bold font below.

The New Yorker Story
Early Drafts and Working Papers

  Box Folder
"Baltimore." n.d. 41 pieces.
Typescript; pages [1]-5, 7-18, 20-21, 23-41, plus page 30a, an additional page 9, and a slip of paper; pages 6, 19, and 22 are missing; the handwritten title, "An Only Child," is written above the typed title, "Baltimore"; handwritten revisions; slip of paper following page 29 contains a handwritten note: "Use carbon to correct this part by."
17a 1a-b
"An Only Child." n.d. 94 pieces.
Carbon typescript; pages [1]-43, plus 37 unnumbered pages, 13 variant pages (hand-numbered pages 31-34 and 9 unnumbered pages), and a folder in which the typescript was stored; handwritten revisions; a handwritten note on page [1]: "77 pp. (Carbon of earlier version, end missing) Later The Optimist's Daughter"; a handwritten note on the folder, "An Only Child|early draft"; seems to be a later version of "Baltimore."
17a 2a-e
"An Only Child." 1967. 29 pieces.
Carbon and ribbon pages from a draft or drafts of "An Only Child" plus folder in which pages were stored and a handwritten note; many of the pages have pin-ons; numerous handwritten revisions; Welty has written on folder: "The Changes|An Only Child|Feb. 67|as typed.”
17a 3
"Poor Eyes." n.d. 105 pieces.
Typescript; pages [1]-96 plus 4A, 6A, 16A, 39A, 86A, 3 variant pages, a small yellow sheet of paper, and the envelope in which the typescript was stored; pages 66 and 67 are one sheet; title "Poor Eyes" is a handwritten revision of typed title, "The Optimist's Daughter"; handwritten revisions throughout; many paste-overs; the pencil markings in margins of this draft indicate parallel pages in The New Yorker typescript setting copy (box 18a); revisions and corrections to this draft typically have been incorporated into The New Yorker typescript setting copy (box 18a); on a small sheet of yellow paper enclosed with typescript is a handwritten note, "My Original Typescript of The Optimist's Daughter."
Beginning - p. 56 17b 4a-c
P. 57 – ending 17b 5a-b

The New Yorker Story
Typescript Setting Copy and Carbon

  Box Folder
"Poor Eyes." 1967. 117 pieces.
Typescript; pages [1]-114 of text, a page with handwritten note, "Original New Yorker MS," and a page describing the typescript, partially in Welty's hand; originally titled "The Optimist's Daughter," but the title has been lined out and the title "Poor Eyes" written above it; handwritten revisions, editorial changes throughout; revisions tend to be minor, involving the change of a word or phrase.
Beginning - p. 59 18a 1a-c
P. 60 – ending 18a 2a-c
"The Optimist's Daughter." 1967. 116 pieces.
Carbon typescript; pages [1]-114, title page, and pink folder with handwritten title; carbon of “Poor Eyes” typescript setting copy above (box 18a); on the title page, the typed title "The Optimist's Daughter" has been lined out; "Poor Eyes" is written above in ink and lined out; "The Optimist's Daughter" is written above that in pencil; a pencilled question mark occurs next to original typed title; handwritten revisions.
Beginning - p. 59 18b 3a-c
P. 60 – ending 18b 4a-c

The New Yorker Story

  Box Folder
"The Optimist's Daughter." 1967. 71 pieces.
Galleys 1-70 and envelope in which they were stored; last pink galleys of "The Optimist's Daughter" for The New Yorker; dated June 13, 1967; a few handwritten corrections and revisions; editorial corrections; on The New Yorker envelope addressed to Mrs. C. W. Welty is Eudora Welty's handwritten note: "The Optimist's Daughter|Pink galleys (last)."
114 2

The Random House Novel
Complete Draft

  Box Folder
"The Optimist's Daughter." n.d. 171 pieces.
Typescript; pages 1-41, 43-167, plus 25A, 35A, 52A, 110A, 114A; there is no page 42; handwritten revisions throughout, primarily of words or phrases; substantial deletions; expands upon The New Yorker version; many paste-overs, often using photocopied sheets.
Beginning - p. 58 19a 1a-c
P. 59 - p. 116 19a 2a-c
P. 117 – ending 19b 3a-c

The Random House Novel
Typescript Setting Copy and Author’s Duplicate Copy

  Box Folder
"The Optimist's Daughter." n.d. 181 pieces.
Typescript photocopy; pages 8-181, 7 preliminary pages; though this is the setting copy used at Random House, it is primarily a photocopy of the author’s duplicate copy below (boxes 21a and 21b); pages 8 and 160 are photocopies of pages 1 and 146 in the typescript of the complete draft above (boxes 19a and 19b); there are stamped paged numbers in the bottom right-hand corner of each page; legal size paper; handwritten revisions; notes from Eudora Welty to Albert Erskine, her editor; an editorial hand has recopied some of Welty’s revisions, probably to make them legible; some transpositions, insertions, and deletions not made in the typescript of the complete draft above (boxes 19a and 19b).
Beginning - p. 60 20a 1a-c
P. 61 – 104 20a 2a-b
P. 105 – ending 20b 3a-d
“The Optimist's Daughter.” 1971. 175 pieces.
Typescript photocopy; pages 1-167, plus pages 25A, 35A, 52A, 110A, 114A, envelope in which typescript was stored, and 3 small yellow pages of notes (encapsulated as one); pages 41 & 42 are one sheet as are pages 148 & 149; a photocopy of the typescript of the complete draft above (boxes 19a and 19b), except that pages 1 and 146 are photocopies of pages 8 and 160 in the typescript setting copy above (boxes 20a and 20b); identical to Random House setting copy except for some handwritten revisions which will be incorporated in the galleys; on the envelope in red ink is the handwritten note, "The Optimist's Daughter|only Xerox|as typed up, August, Sept. 1971|to be corrected," and in black ink is the handwritten note, "corrected & revised, Oct. 1971"; in the three handwritten pages of notes, Welty has matched page numbers from the galleys and the typescript with some descriptions of revisions.
Beginning – p. 49 21a 1a-c
P. 50 - p. 98 21a 2a-c
P. 99 - p. 167 21b 3a-d

The Random House Novel
Materials From The Printer

  Box Folder
“The Optimist's Daughter.” [1971]. 59 pieces.
Galleys 1-58 and envelope in which galleys were returned to Eudora Welty; Welty’s handwritten revisions and corrections; editorial corrections; numerous queries from Albert Erskine to Welty and from Welty to Erskine, with their respective replies; most revisions involve only a word or phrase; one deletion of several lines.
OS7b 1
“The Optimist's Daughter.” 1971. 58 pieces.
Galleys 1-58 with photocopy of 12.30.1971 typescript letterhead memo from Ines Alfano, Random House, to Pam Pierce, Book Press, attached to back of galley 58; the galleys are identified as "Master Set 12/2/71"; the memo provides instructions for producing page proof; revisions and corrections suggested by Welty in her set of galleys (described directly above) have been made here in an editorial hand.
OS7b 2
“The Optimist's Daughter.” [1971]. 58 pieces.
Galleys 1-58; unmarked.
OS7a 3

The Random House Novel
Materials From The Printer
Page Proof

  Box Folder
“The Optimist's Daughter.” 1972. 96 pieces.
95 galley sheets (preliminary pages, pages 3-180, a concluding biographical page), a photocopied page concerning layout, and a photocopy of a 01.28.1972 typescript letterhead memo from Barbara Lauster, Random House, to Pam Pierce, Book Press (layout page and memo encapsulated as one); the page proof is identified as "Master Set 1/14/72"; the memo concerns the production of blues; editorial corrections, primarily of punctuation; two marginal notes in Welty's hand.
OS7a 1
“The Optimist's Daughter.” [1972]. 95 pieces.
95 galley sheets; unmarked.
OS7a 2

The Random House Novel
Materials From The Printer

  Box Folder
“The Optimist's Daughter.” [1972]. 51 pieces.
48 repro sheets which include preliminary pages and pages 3-181; some printer’s markings.
OS7b 3
“The Optimist's Daughter.” [1972]. 48 pieces (and slip-sheets).
48 repro sheets which include preliminary pages and pages 3-181; slip-sheeted. [Slip-sheets have been separated for preservation reasons and may be found at the end of this set of repros.]
OS7b 3

The Random House Novel
Materials From The Printer

  Box Folder
“The Optimist's Daughter.” 1972. 8 pieces.
6 signatures (10 preliminary pages, pages 3-180 of text, concluding biographical page), 2 dittoed copies of a "Change Order" dated 03.02.1972 and giving instructions to check margins, to set new lines for CR page, and to have that new set-up approved; the only editorial markings on the blues appear on the copyright page and page 25.
Change orders 22 1a
Sigs. 1-3 22 1b
Sigs. 4-6 22 2

The Random House Novel
Materials From The Printer
Final Signatures

  Box Folder
The Optimist's Daughter. 1972. 6 pieces.
Unbound, typeset copy; 6 signatures (10 preliminary pages, pages 3-180 of text, concluding biographical page); unmarked.
Sigs. 1-3 22 3
Sigs. 4-6 22 4

Miscellaneous Material

  Box Folder
Opening Time Sequence in The Optimist’s Daughter” n.d. 2 pieces.
One handwritten page of notes on the difficulties of establishing the length of time spent in the hospital in the story and reconciling it with the duration of the actual Mardi Gras season. This commentary is not in Welty’s hand, and was enclosed in a folder entitled by her as “Personal or Family.”
21b 4

Table of Contents