Guide to the Sacvan Bercovitch papers, 1940-2011
Collection contains research notes, manuscripts on paper and floppy diskettes, and correspondence relating to the serial Cambridge History of American Literature, of which Bercovitch is general editor. Research notes chiefly relate to Bercovitch's work on colonial American literature and religion, particularly on the Puritans in New England, and American humor. Also includes drafts with corrections of A Cultural Model of Literary Studies, and Literary Context, both by Bercovitch. Another set of files consists of writings by others, curriculum vitae, and more correspondence pertaining to the Cambridge serial. Some correspondence and articles date from the 1940s and 1950s and were written by Bryna Bercovitch in Yiddish; English translations included. There are also some research materials and correspondence concerning Yiddish literature. Part of the Jay B. Hubbell Center for Literary Historiography.
- Collection Number
- Sacvan Bercovitch papers
- Bercovitch, Sacvan
- 36 Linear Feet, Approx. 26,000 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material is in English
- Sacvan Bercovitch papers, 1940s-1999
- Addition (1999-0261), 1969-1999 and undated
- Addition (2001-0091), 1995-2001
- Addition (2001-0211), 1991-2001
- Addition (2002-0097), 2001-2002
- Addition (2002-0255), 2001-2002
- Addition (2003-0276), 2001-2003
- Addition (2004-0093), 2003-2004
- Addition (2005-0074), 1983-2005
- Addition (2006-0057), 2000-2006
- Additions (2008-0103 and 2009-0145), 1973-2009
- Accession (2010-0036)
- Accession (2011-0082) 1956-2010 and undated
- Accession (2011-1008)
Access to the Collection
Access is restricted.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
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.
Use & Permissions
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.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Sacvan Bercovitch Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Research notes, manuscripts on paper and floppy diskettes, and some correspondence relating to the serial Cambridge History of American Literature, of which Bercovitch is general editor. Research notes chiefly relate to Bercovitch's work on colonial American literature and religion, particularly on the Puritans in New England, and American humor. Also includes drafts with corrections of A Cultural Model of Literary Studies, and Literary Context, both by Bercovitch. Another set of files consists of writings by others, curriculum vitae, and more correspondence pertaining to the Cambridge serial. Some correspondence and articles date from the 1940s and 1950s and were written by Bryna Bercovitch in Yiddish; English translations included. Some later correspondence is comprised of email printed out. There is also material documenting his work as an English professor at Harvard, such as student correspondence and papers, and material regarding Yiddish literature.
Includes The Winthrop Variation, Games of Chess: A Model of Cultural Studies, and other variations of the same works, with differing titles.
Includes The Winthrop Variation, and other variants of the same work.
Addition (1999-0261) contains primarily e-mail correspondence with colleagues and students, and drafts of writings, including Deadpan Trickster: The American Humor of Huckleberry Finn. Additional items include clippings, printed materials, and an award.
Addition (01-091) (1700 items, dated 1995-2001) contains primarily e-mail correspondence with colleagues and students. Also includes teaching materials, a 1996 lecture on John Winthrop, and translations of writings (1943-1950) in Yiddish by Bryna Bercovitch.
Addition (01-211) (1500 items, 1.2 linear feet; dated 1991-2001 and n.d.) consists primarily of email correspondence with colleagues and students (1995-2001). Also includes drafts of writings sent to Bercovitch (1991-1999 and n.d.) and materials relating to a public television series concerning American literature.
Addition (02-097) (375 items, .6 linear feet; dated 2001-2002) consists of professional and personal correspondence, primarily printed email.
Addition (02-255) (1200 items, 1.2 lin. ft.; dated 2001-2002) contains primarily email correspondence with colleagues, friends, and former students. Also includes publication drafts (undated) by Bercovitch, particularly proofs of Deadpan Huck, which was published in the Kenyon Review, and information about Bercovitch's retirement at the end of 2001.
Addition (03-276) (2175 items, 3.4 lin. ft.; dated 2001-2003) consists primarily of printouts of email correspondence with colleagues, friends, and former students.
Addition (04-093) (1500 items, 2.4 lin. ft.; dated 2003-2004) contains primarily printouts of email correspondence with colleagues and friends regarding American literature, Yiddish literature, and other topics.
Addition (05-074) (4276 items, 7.2 lin. ft.; dated 1983-2005) comprises primarily personal and professional email correspondence (2001-2005); research notes; other correspondence; and teaching materials from courses taught in the 1980s.
Addition (06-057) (1,875 items, 3.0 lin. ft.; dated 2000-2006) consists primarily of printouts of email correspondence with colleagues, friends, and former students.
Additions (08-103 and 09-145) (7200 items; 9.6 lin. ft.; dated 1973-2009) includes printouts of email correspondence (both professional, personal, and class-related); research/lecture notecards on various books and authors; course packets with articles and readings on Puritans, Jewish-American literature, and general American literature; reviews of some of Bercovitch's books; materials from the publication of The Art of Sylvia Ary; and miscellaneous teaching materials and articles.
Although this addition has not been processed, materials have been arranged into loose series: Correspondence, Book Reviews, Materials from The Art of Sylvia Ary, Teaching Materials, and Research/Lecture Notes. Correspondence consists almost entirely of email printouts, and various folders have been marked as “professional” or “personal” when assigned as such by Bercovitch. The addition originally contained seven CDs and one floppy disk from The Art of Sylvia Ary; these materials have been copied to the library server, and the disks have been transferred to the custody of the Electronic Records Archivist.
These disks have been separated from the collection and are available through Duke's Electronic Records server. See Research Services for assistance.
Correspondence, lectures, and lecture notes about various English literature authors.
Series consists of three subseries. The Books Subseries includes fourteen published works with Bercovitch's notations in the margins. Correspondence Subseries consists of one folder with letters ranging from 2002 to 2010. The bulk of the letter are from past students. The Printed Material Subseries holds two articles; one from 1967 entitled Teenager's resentment dissolves in foster home and an article published in the New York Times on March 28, 2010 titled Mad As Hell. And...
Subseries consists of 14 books with Bercovitch's annotations.
Series includes class and lecture notes on a wide range of American authors and novels, as well as a small amount of material related to Bercovitch's writings, including Game of Chess and American Jeremiad. The lecture notes have been arranged alphabetically using Bercovitch's original naming scheme.
[Electronic records have been migrated to a library server. To request access, please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]
Sacvan Bercovitch is a literary scholar and professor of English and American Literature and Language, Harvard University.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Bercovitch, Sacvan -- Literary context
- Bercovitch, Sacvan -- Cultural model of literary studies
- Bercovitch, Sacvan
- Bercovitch, Sacvan
- Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography
- American literature -- 1783-1850 -- Study and teaching
- American literature -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
- American literature -- History and criticism
- American wit and humor -- History and criticism
- Authors, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence
- Puritans -- New England
- Religion and literature -- United States
- Yiddish literature
The collection was given as a gift by Sacvan Bercovitch from 1993-2011.
Processed by Paula Jeannet and T. Walker Robinson.
Completed August 26, 1997.
Encoded by Lisa Stark.
Finding aid updated by Meghan Lyon, 2009-2012, to include subsequent additions.
Subject headings updated and addition 1999-0261 encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, 2013.
Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 1993-0237, 1999-0261, 2001-0091, 2001-0211, 2002-0097, 2002-0255, 2003-0276, 2004-0093, 2005-0074, 2006-0057, 2008-0103, 2009-0145, 2010-0036, 2011-0082, 2011-1008.