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Guide to the Charles Roberts Anderson Papers, 1806-1993 and undated

Abstract

Author and professor of American literature at Duke University and Johns Hopkins University.

The Charles Roberts Anderson Papers span the dates 1806-1993 and document his active career as professor of American literature at Duke University and Johns Hopkins University. Included are research materials on the intellectual life of Charleston, S.C., and on American literary figures such as Paul Hamilton Hayne, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, Sidney Lanier (to whom Anderson was related), Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, and others. Additional material includes correspondence and files on Anderson's publications; lectures and files related to teaching; travel diaries and keepsakes; and other papers related to his family history and academic career. Copies of correspondence and other documents by Anderson's research subjects, particularly Hayne, detail elements of life in the South in the nineteenth century. In addition, material in this collection chronicles the academic life of Anderson and provides insight into the state of literary scholarship and publishing in the mid-twentieth century. Early dates usually reflect the dates of the content of original material photocopied by Anderson in the course of his research. Acquired as part of the Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Anderson, Charles Roberts, 1902-1999.
Title
Charles Roberts Anderson papers 1806-1993 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
15.9 Linear Feet, Approximately 10,200 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Charles Roberts Anderson Papers span the dates 1806-1993 and document the active literary career of Anderson, who was professor of American literature at Duke University and Johns Hopkins University and a reknowned international lecturer. Included are research materials on Paul Hamilton Hayne and other Southern literary figures. Also contains writings and research files on the subjects of Anderson's books and edited volumes, especially Emily Dickinson, Henry James, Sidney Lanier (to whom Anderson was related), Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, and other American literary figures, including Walt Whitman, William Faulkner, and Mark Twain. Additional material includes files on his research and publications on the intellectual life of Charleston, S.C.; correspondence and files on other publications; lectures and files related to teaching, including two audiotapes of Anderson's lectures on Dickinson; travel journals, keepsakes, and two films on Charleston, S.C. and Stratford, England; and other papers related to the Anderson family history and his academic career. Copies of correspondence and other documents by Anderson's research subjects, particularly Hayne, detail social conditions and life in the South in the nineteenth century. In addition, material in this collection chronicles the academic life of Anderson and provides insights into the state of American literary scholarship and publishing in the mid-twentieth century. Early dates usually reflect original material photocopied by Anderson in the course of his research. Acquired as part of the Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

In addition, original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Technical Services staff need to produce use copies before contents can be accessed.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Files relate to efforts spearheaded by Anderson to have a memorial to Henry James placed in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Includes correspondence with officials and donors; financial and administrative material; and documentation of the installation ceremony. Correspondents include prominent American and British academics and creative writers such as Sir Frank Kermode, Iris Murdoch, Sir Charles P. Snow, Anthony Powell, Stephen Spender, Sir Victor Pritchett, Ralph Richardson, Leon Edel, C. Vann Woodward, Robert Penn Warren, Richard Ellman, and Roger Asselineau.

Henry James Memorial files
Box 1

Personal papers of Anderson and his family. Includes personal correspondence--some of which also contains elements germane to Anderson's research, photographs, and family historical and geneological material. A file of Christmas cards featuring new poetry by Robert Frost sent to Anderson by Holt, Rinehart and Winston is included. Additional files created by his wife Mary Pringle Anderson and some related to the disposition of Charles Anderson's mother's estate in Georgia also appear in this series. Several sheets of slides complete the series.

Personal files
Boxes 1-2

Material related to Anderson's teaching and students. The bulk of the material consists of files on individual students Anderson mentored. Additional files include course lectures, student papers, and course syllabi. One file containing minutes and recommendations from a planning conferences of the Modern Language Association and three files of professional correspondence are also included in this series.

Teaching files
Boxes 2-4

Files on Anderson's international travels, most of which were connected to his professional life. The bulk of the series contains travel diaries and writings detailing more personal aspects of Anderson's travels with his wife Mary as well as some keepsake printed material and ephemera. Includes some correspondence with universities and granting institutions regarding securing funding for travel, details of various international appointments and lectureships, and some copies of lectures given abroad. Areas visited by Anderson include: Austria, England, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Nepal, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Scandinavia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Yugoslavia.

Travel files
Boxes 5-6

Comprises the bulk of the collection and provides a record of Anderson's intellectual life, covering the scope of Anderson's writing and editing work, including research files; drafts and proofs; lectures; and correspondence with publishers. Organized into the following subseries: American Literary Masters, Charleston, Emily Dickinson, Paul Hamilton Hayne, Henry James, Sidney Lanier, Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, Other Writings, and Research Files. Much of the series consists of files either related to research or publishing. Research files are chiefly copies or reprints of scholarly articles but also include a number of copies of correspondence by research subjects. Copies of letters from Emily Dickinson, and numerous letters by or to Paul Hamilton Hayne, to which the earliest dates in this series refer, can be found in the subseries for each author. Copies of letters by Thomas Gayarre, Flannery O'Connor, and between Sarah Helen Whitman and James Wood Davidson are in the Research Files Subseries.

Correspondence with Henry Holt and Company, Inc. (later Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.) relating to the two-volume American Literary Masters anthology Anderson executive edited. Includes contracts, royalty statements, and other correspondence. Also includes drafts of essays by Anderson on Henry Adams, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Robert Frost, written for inclusion in the anthology.

American Literary Masters files
Box 7

Lectures on the intellectual life of Charleston as well as research files from the same period. Also includes undated drafts of Before It Became Historic Charleston, a memoir by Anderson eventually published as Charleston: A Golden Memory in 1993.

Charleston files
Boxes 7-8

Primarily files related to the publication of Anderson's Emily Dickinson's Poetry: Stairway of Surprise, including rejection letters; correspondence with publisher Holt, Rinehart and Winston; and letters of criticism and encouragement from colleagues, particularly Thomas H. Johnson; and clippings of favorable reviews from newspapers. Additional files include a few photocopies of Dickinson mansuscripts and correspondence; transcripts and notes of Anderson's lectures on Dickinson; a file of suggested readings on Dickinson probably associated with American Literary Masters; and correspondence with Duke University regarding the donation of these papers.

Dickinson materials
Box 8

Numerous photocopies of letters written to or by Paul Hamilton Hayne as well as correspondence related to Hayne between Anderson and colleagues or archives. Hayne's correspondents include Charles Gayarre and Henry Timrod. Unlike the other major research files in this series, there is no published work by Anderson in this group.

Hayne files
Boxes 8-9

Drafts and lectures on the works of Henry James; most are likely related to Anderson's Henry James: A Tale of Two Civilizations.

James files
Box 9

Research files include reproductions of Lanier letters, publisher correspondence, clippings, and lectures. Most are dated around the publication of the Centennial Edition of the Works of Sidney Lanier (1945) and Sidney Lanier: Poems and Letters (1969), both edited by Anderson.

Lanier research files
Box 9

Correspondence with co-editors and correspondence related to Anderson's edited and annotated manuscript of Typee, which was to have been part of the aborted Greylock Edition of Melville series, as well as galley proofs of the manuscript. Additional material related to Anderson's Melville in the South Seas and other articles and lectures on Melville are also included. One article may be part of the American Literary Masters anthology.

Melville files
Boxes 9-10

Publisher correspondence, partial drafts, and articles on Henry David Thoreau. Most center on Anderson's The Magic Circle of Walden and Thoreau's World: Miniatures from his Journal, which he edited. Files of clippings of reviews of The Magic Circle of Walden, research files including a map of locations referenced in Thoreau's journals, and an article likely related to American Literary Masters may be found at the end of the group.

Thoreau files
Boxes 10-11

Copies of most of Anderson's additional publications as well as other drafts, lectures, and a short memoir entitled A Georgia Boy in a Walled Garden. Most are scholarly journal articles on the same subjects as his major works. Additional topics include Southern literature, black writers in the South, and Victorian literature.

Other writings
Boxes 11-12

Primarily composed of serials, scholarly articles, and index card files on topics of professional significance to Anderson. Earliest dates refer to photocopied archival material. Includes copies of correspondence between Southern literary historian James Wood Davidson and Sarah Helen Whitman; writings and some letters by Louisiana historian and playwright Charles Gayarre; and several pieces of correspondence from Flannery O'Connor sent to Anderson by a student (box 12). Some research material was either collected by Anderson while abroad in Japan or sent by colleagues there. Thus, a few items are in Japanese. Boxes 15-19 contain Anderson's index card files used to organize his research. Includes research notes on the intellectual life of Charleston, Paul Hamilton Hayne, and a large file on various major American authors. Two boxes of cards of more varied material including post cards and miscellaneous notes are also included.

Research files
Boxes 12-14
Research card files
Boxes 15-18

Contains items from other series requiring separate housing. Early dates refer to photocopied archival material. Chiefly consists of books of research files on Paul Hamilton Hayne, which include additional copies of Hayne correspondence, as well as records of Anderson's correspondence with libraries and archive repositories as part of his Hayne bibliography project. Also included are film reels featuring the cities of Charleston, S.C. and Stratford, England in the 1930s, possibly amateur movies taken by Anderson; a reel of microfilm belonging to Mary Anderson; audiotapes of lectures on Dickinson by Charles Anderson; and a book of clippings of reviews of his book on Dickinson. Finally, photostats of Lanier research and illustrations related to Anderson's Melville work round out this group of oversize materials.

[Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Viewing or listening copies must be made before contents can be accessed.]

Film: Charleston, 1937
Box 19
Film: Stratford, 1938
(2 reels)
Box 19
Microfilm: Mary Anderson, undated
Box 19
Emily Dickinson, undated
(2 audiotape reels)
Box 19
Emily Dickinson's Poetry: Stairway or Surprise, book review clippings scrapbook, 1960
Box 21
Hayne correspondence files, 1825-1931
Box 20
Hayne photostats, 1853-1884
Box 21
Lanier photostat, undated
Box 21
Melville map photostat, undated
Box 21

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1902Charles Roberts Anderson born in Macon, Georgia
1930Joined faculty of the English Department at Duke University
1936Received doctorate from Columbia University; thesis was on Herman Melville's naval career
1939Published Melville in the South Seas
1941Appointed to faculty of Johns Hopkins University, in part to serve as general editor of the centennial edition of the collected works of Sydney Lanier, published in 1946
1949-1970sBecame sought-after as an international lecturer on American literature, traveling to Heidelberg University (1949), the University of Rome (1952-1953), Japan (1954), and the University of Torino (1960); during the 1960s and 1970s the U.S. Department of State engaged him for a lecture tour of Japan, Southeast Asia, the Balkans, and other countries
1960Published Emily Dickinson's Poetry: Stairway of Surprise, which received the Christian Gauss Book Award from Phi Beta Kappa in 1962
1965Edited the two-volume anthology, American Literary Masters
1968Publication of The Magic Circle of Walden
1976Memorial to Henry James unveiled at Westminster Abbey
1977Published Person, Place, and Thing in Henry James's Novels, for which he won a second Christian Gauss award
1999Died in Charleston, S.C.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Roberts Anderson Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Charles Roberts Anderson Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as gifts in December 1984, January 1986, and May 2000.

Processing Information

Processed by Christian Ferney, April 2009

Encoded by Christian Ferney, April 2009

Accessions from 1985, 1986, and 2000-0261 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.