A writers' colony, located in Marshall, Illinois, was founded in 1950 by Lowney and Harry Handy and best-selling novelist James Jones. It supported numerous young writers, many of whose works were published. The colony dissolved with the death of Lowney Handy in 1964.
The collection includes: by-laws, minutes, correspondence, membership, and financial records of the colony regarding its founding, organization, finances, philosophy, and teaching methods; approximately 2,000 letters written by Lowney Handy, Harry Handy, Jones, colony members, relatives, publishers, editors, friends, and fans; military records, and other personal papers of James Jones; diaries, memorabilia, and other papers of Lowney Handy; class notes, journals, and poetry of colony member Charles S. Robb; an extensive clipping file concerning the colony and Jones' career; photographs and negatives of the Handys, Jones, colony members and scenes; and about 100 published and unpublished manuscripts of Lowney Handy, and colony writers, including notes, manuscript drafts, and galleys of James Jones's 1951 novel From Here to Eternity, as well as some of his early essays, short stories, and his first, unpublished novel, "They Shall Inherit the Laughter."
The following links lead to a summary inventory of the Handy Colony Collection.A more complete inventory and index may be found in Thomas J. Wood and Meredith Keating, James Jones in Illinois: A Guide to the Handy Writers' Colony Collection (Springfield: Illinois Issues, 1989; PDF 11.7MB). When received by the Archives in 1983-84, the collection was in considerabledisarray. The current arrangement was created by the archives staff.