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Robert Walter Marks papers

Identifier: Mss 0029

Collection Overview

Collection of correspondence, manuscripts, drafts, notes, clippings, photographs, and other materials reflecting Marks' multifarious career in Charleston, South Carolina, New York, and Europe. Much of the collection consists of typewritten manuscripts and drafts of hundreds of published articles, short stories, advertisements, and books. Topics of non-fiction works include photography, hypnotism, wine, automobiles, mathematics, and a biography on R. Buckminster Fuller. His published writings also include his autobiography. Marks' professional and personal correspondence include letters from Arnold Gingrich (editor of Esquire magazine), Clare Luce, Alfred Stieglitz, Pierre Salinger, Ruth Benedict, Laura Bragg, Alexander Calder, and Buckminster Fuller. The longest series of letters is his correspondence from 1923-1969 with Thomas Jefferson Tobias, a Charleston businessman and historian. The collection also contains Marks' school papers and related correspondence, notes, and programs from his years at the College of Charleston and Yale University. Other miscellaneous items include clippings of Marks' articles and reviews of his books. Also included are ten audio cassettes, twelve reels of audio tape, and fifteen metal instantaneous discs, and two wire recordings of lectures, concerts, and conversations.


  • Creation: 1890-1980


Language of Material

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Writer and mathematician, born in Charleston, South Carolina. After studying at Porter Military Academy, College of Charleston, and Yale University, Robert Walter Marks (1907-1993) moved to New York City and began his career as a freelance writer. Marks became Esquire's automotive and airplane writer, but soon began to cover a wide array of fields and topics, often contributing several articles in single issues under different pen names. He wrote a series of articles on early 20th century photographers for Coronet, and his articles were published in numerous other magazines under pen names such as Mark Ashley, Tradd Cooper, John Charleston, and Tycho Brache. He wrote books on mathematics using the pen name Bradford Smith. After his magazine writing career Marks began editing, publishing, teaching (professor of philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York), and writing novels. He wrote scientific, mathematical, and technical works, and published numerous erotic novels under the name of John Colleton. In the 1970s Marks moved back to Charleston, South Carolina.


23.0 linear feet (52 document boxes, 7 slim document boxes, 1 oversize paper folder, 12 reel to reel tapes, 15 instantaneous discs, 9 audiocassettes, 2 wire recordings)


Correspondence, typescripts, drafts, notes, clippings, photographs, and other miscellaneous items of writer and mathematician Robert Walter Marks. Collection consists of typescripts and drafts of hundreds of published articles, short stories, advertisements, and books written by Marks under multiple pen names, including the pen name John Colleton. Also included is professional and personal correspondence and letters from Arnold Gingrich (editor of Esquire magazine), Elsa Maxwell, Clare Luce, Alfred Stieglitz, Pierre Salinger, Ruth Benedict, Laura Bragg, Alexander Calder, Buckminster Fuller and Thomas J. Tobias and assorted materials related to his tenure at the New School for Social Research in New York city.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the box and folder level.

Acquisitions Information

Materials were donated 1979 July 11 by Robert Walter Marks.

Processing Information

Processed by Gene Waddell, date unknown.

Inventory of the Robert Walter Marks Papers, 1890-1980
Processed by: Special Collections staff; machine-readable finding aid created by: Joshua Minor
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)