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Guide to the Alexander Blackburn Papers, 1880-1999

Abstract

Professor emeritus of English and Creative Writing at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; novelist; son of Duke University faculty member William M. Blackburn.

Writings and correspondence of Alexander Blackburn, including books, correspondence, drafts, and typescripts of unpublished works. Also includes Blackburn and Cheney family history materials, photographs, and a scrapbook.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Blackburn, Alexander.
Title
Alexander Blackburn papers, 1880-1999
Language of Material
English
Extent
12.0 Linear Feet, 14602 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Collection contains two accessions. Accession (1999-0184) (1102 items; 6.0 lin. ft.; dated 1953-1998), consists primarily of writings by Alexander Blackburn, including books, articles, clippings, and typescripts of unpublished works. Also included are correspondence with writer Frank Waters and some other letters; memorabilia; and editorial files and an almost complete run of the literary journal, Writer's Forum, which Blackburn edited.

Accession (2010-0012) (6750 items; 9 lin. ft.; dated 1880-1990s) includes writings, drafts, books, and family history materials. Included are materials from Alexander Blackburn's mother, Elizabeth Cheney Blackburn, and the Cheney family.

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.

Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact a reference archivist before coming to use this collection.

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.

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

Accession (1999-0184) (dated 1953-1998) consists primarily of writings by Alexander Blackburn, including books, articles, clippings, and typescripts of unpublished works. Also included is correspondence with writer Frank Waters and some other letters; memorabilia; and editorial files and an almost complete run of the literary journal, Writer's Forum, which Blackburn edited.

Dossier to 1994, letters, commentaries on books together with some clippings about, Suddenly a Mortal Splendor. (1 binder)
Box 1
Phillips Academy Andover Class of 1947 50th Reunion Book (1997).
Box 1
Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1985
Box 1
Faculty Book Award, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 1993 (1 folder)
Box 1
Chancellor's Award, 1994 (1 folder)
Box 1
Letter to Prof. Maurice Cramer about The Cold War of Kitty Pentecost
Box 1
Frank Waters Correspondence, photos, etc. (1 black binder)
Box 1
Writers' Forum, Editorial files (4 tapes) See also Box 4
Box 1
The Beams of Love. A Novel, Typescript, 1998
Box 2
Creative Spirit: Essays on Literature, Imagination, and the New World of Consciousness, Typescript, 1998
Box 2
The Myth of the Picaro: Continuity and Transformation of the Picaresque Novel, 1554-1994 First edition. Cloth
Box 2
The Cold War of Kitty Pentecost. First edition. Cloth.
Box 2
Suddenly a Mortal Splendor. First edition. Cloth.
Box 2
Higher Elevations: Stories from the West, & 'Writers' Forum' Anthology First edition. Cloth
Box 2
A Sunrise Brighter Still: The Vision Novels of Frank Waters. First edition. Cloth.
Box 2
A Sunrise Brighter Still: The Visionary Novels of Frank Waters. Limited edition. Leather spine-autographed by Frank Waters and Tal Luther.
Box 2
The Interior Country: Stories of the Modern West. First edition. Cloth.
Box 2
The Interior Country: Stories of the Modern West. First edition. Paper.
Box 2
Flaubert and the Realism of Henry James" M.A. thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bound typescript.
Box 2
The Picaresque Novel: A Literary Idea, 1554-1954. Ph. D. dissertation, University of Cambridge. Bound typescript.
Box 2
Faulkner and the Southern Renaissance. First edition, Cloth. Contains an essay by A. B.
Box 2
Conflict and Arms Control. First edition, Cloth. Contains an essay by A. B
Box 2
American Vanguard 1956. First edition. Cloth. Missing dust jacket. Contains A. B.'s first published story.
Box 2
Dictionary of Literacy Themes and Motifs. 2 vols. First edition. Cloth Vol. 2 contains an essay by A. B.
Box 3
Sundays in Tutt Library with Frank Waters. First edition. Paper. Contains an essay by A. B.
Box 3
Frank Waters: Man and Mystic. First edition. Cloth. Contains an essay by A. B.
Box 3

1 and 3 are missing. The bound copy of Vol. 5 is damaged, but an unbound complete text is attached. Vol. 11, the Frank Waters Issue, is an extremely rare book. Vol. 17, with Index to Vols. 1-16, has some cover damage. Vol. 22 was edited by A.B.'s successor, C. Kenneth Pellow

Volume. 2 (1975)
Box 3
Volume 4 (1977)
Box 3
Volume 5 (1978)
Box 3
Volume 6 (1979)
Box 3
Volume 7 (1981)
Box 3
Volume 8 (1982)
Box 3
Volume 8 (1982)
Box 3
Volume 9 (1983)
Box 3
Volume 10 (1984)
Box 3
Volume 11 (1985)
Box 3
Volume 12 (1986)
Box 3
Volume 13 (1987)
Box 3
Volume 14 (1988)
Box 3
Volume 15 (1989)
Box 3
Volume 16 (1990)
Box 3
Volume 17 (1991)
Box 3
Volume 18 (1992)
Box 3
Volume 19 (1993)
Box 3
Volume 20 (1994)
Box 3
Volume 21 (1995)
Box 3
Volume 22 (1996)
Box 3
Studies in Frank Waters. Edited by Charles Adams.

Vol. 5 (1982) through Vol. 19 (1997), missing Vol. 17 (1995). A.B. frequently wrote essays for this periodical containing papers submitted for the annual conjoint meeting of The Frank Waters Society and the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association.

Box 3
The Carolina Quarterly Vol. 8, No. 1 (1955).
Box 3
Crosscurrents Vol. 4. No. 3 (1984).
Box 3
South Dakota Review Vol. 25, No. 3 (1987).
Box 3
South Dakota Review Vol. 28, No. 1 (1990).
Box 3
South Dakota Review Vol. 33, Nos. 3 & 4 (1995).
Box 3
High Plains Literary Review Vol. 10, No. 2 (1995).
Box 3
Sonora Review Vol. 31 (1996).
Box 3
New Mexico Humanities Review Vol. 5, No. 1 (1982).
Box 3
The Colorado Quarterly Vol. 24, No. 1 (1975).
Box 3
Journal of the Southwest Vol. 30, No. 4 (1988).
Box 3
Western American Literature Vol. 23, No. 2 (1988).
Box 3
Western American Literature Vol. 24, No. 2 (1989).
Box 3
Western American Literature Vol. 29, No. 1 (1994).
Box 3
South Central Review Vol. 6, No. 4 (1989).
Box 3
The Denver Quarterly Vol. 14, No. 2 (1979).
Box 3
Review of Frank Waters' Of Time & Change in The Bloomsbury Review Vol. 18, No. 5. Sept-Oct 558, and in The Gazette (Colorado Springs), Sept. 6, 1998.
Box 4
Frank Waters. Dictionary of Literary Biography 1986, Includes manuscript and correspondence.
Box 4
William Blackburn. Dictionary of North Carolina Biography.
Box 4
Sight: The Magazine of Psychological Warfare

Only extant copy of this Army publication edited by A.B.

Box 4
Writers' Forum (1 folder)
Box 4
Waste-Land to Heart-Land: The Quest of Frank Waters in la Tertulia (Southwest Studies, The Colorado College), Vol. 1, No Spring 1985), and in Leviathan (student paper, The Colorado College), Vol. 13, No. 3 (Feb 1987)
Box 4
Review of Robert Fiore's Lazarillo de Tormes in Hispania, Vol. 68, No. 1 (1985).
Box 4
Remarks on the short story today (1994).
Box 4
Reviews in Western American Literature of The Best of the West 2, Vol. 25, No. 4, and of New Writers of the Purple Sage, Vol. '28, No. 3.
Box 4
Secret Research Violates Academic Spirit,
Box 4
Letter to the editor of University of Colorado Silver & Gold Record, 1985, Dec. 19
Box 4
Frank Waters and the Peak of Western Consciousness. Springs Magazine, 1985.
Box 4
Reviews in Cambridge Review, Vol. 81, No. 1979, 7 May 1960.
Box 4
Letter to Taos News, 1996.
Box 4
Writers' Forum, Editorial Files, 1970s-1980s (16 folders)

Editorial correspondence with writers and other material relevant (especially) to founding the magazine in 1974-75. There are some letters, too, from such well-known writers as Yusef Komunyakaa. See also Box 1.

Box 4

Accession (2010-0012) (6750 items; 9 lin. ft.; dated 1880-1990s) includes writings, drafts, books, and family history materials. Included are materials from Alexander Blackburn's mother, Elizabeth Cheney Blackburn, and the Cheney family.

Letters to William Blackburn and Elizabeth Blackburn (parents) when he was at Yale, 1947-1951
Box 5
Early poems and stories, 2 essays
Box 5
Jane Allison Blackburn
Box 6
Journey to Chile, 1996
Box 6
Professional correspondence (scholarships, promotions)
Box 6
Letters from well-known people
Box 6
Concerning his cousin Emily's death
Box 6
Letters about his being named
Box 6
Letters, Writer's Forum
Box 6
Harvey Allen family
Box 6
Miscellaneous
Box 6
Concerning the atomic test and his experience in Nevada, 1951 Oct. 29
Box 6
Clay Reynolds
Box 6
Angela Davis-Gardner
Box 6
Reviews of Clay Reynolds' novels
Box 6
Gladys Swan
Box 6
Charles Adams
Box 6
Tom Filer
Box 6
James Oliver Brown, literary agent, re first novel (The Cold War of Kitty Pentecost)
Box 7
John Wain (who encouraged ALB's first novel)
Box 7
The Cold War of Kitty Pentecost
Box 7
Writers West books file
Box 7
Draft of Kitty Pentecost
Box 7
Drafts, edits, and correspondence regarding The Golden River and A Little Pain and You Get a Result, 1960s and no date (3 folders)
Box 7
Elementary schoolwork, 1937-1941 (2 folders)
Box 8
High school stories and magazines, 1941-1945 (3 folders)
Box 8
Scrapbook: Alex's baby book
Box 8
A Sunrise Brighter Still
Box 9
Letters, 1984-1985, to and from Charles Adams in reply to ALB's first Waters essay (On Otowi)
Box 9
Frank Waters miscellaneous
Box 9
Benjamin S. Lawson, The Men Who Killed the Deer: Faulkner and Frank Waters, Faulkner Journal Fall 2002/Spring 2003.
Box 9
Frank Waters Foundation
Box 9
The Myth of the Picaro
Box 10
Creative Spirit
Box 10
Tapes and videos, mostly involving presentations on Frank Waters (9 VHS tapes, 23 cassettes)
Box 11
Miscellaneous documents: birth certificate, army records, Cambridge University, etc.
Box 12
Vita, commentaries, recognition
Box 12
Essays, reviews, and some activities
Box 12
Reviews, draft essay, miscellaneous
Box 12
Splendor: signings, revisions, commentaries, etc.
Box 13
Suddenly a Mortal Splendor
Box 13
Agents involved with Suddenly a Mortal Splendor
Box 13
Suddenly a Mortal Splendor: early attempts by ALB and Inés B. to find a publisher
Box 13
The Interior Country
Box 14
Higher Elevations
Box 14
Writers' Forum, the early years, 1974-1980s
Box 15
Writers' Forum logo
Box 15
Writers' Forum Volume 21
Box 15
Craig Lesley
Box 15
Paul Scott Malone
Box 15
Bret Lott
Box 15
Laura Hendrie (former student)
Box 15
Yusef Komunyakaa (former student)
Box 15
Lou Gonzalez Oller (former student)
Box 15
Jill Landem (former student)
Box 15
Michael Petit
Box 15
Elizabeth Blackburn, The Noble Profession (a novel), 1928
Box 16
Elizabeth Blackburn's manuscripts and publications (3 folders)
Box 16
Photo wallet with Ednah Cheney and her 11 children, 1880s
Box 17
Elizabeth Blackburn's family
Box 17
Letters, 1925-1942
Box 17
Letters from James M. Cain
Box 17
Letters concerning H. Phelps Putnam
Box 17
Letters, Donald Ogden Stewart, 1921
Box 17
Cheney family trees
Box 17
Letters from Elizabeth Blackburn to Alexander Blackburn at Yale, 1947-1951
Box 18
Letters from Elizabeth Blackburn to Alexander Blackburn, 1952-1980
Box 18
If All Great Men, by Margreta Swenson Cheney
Box 19
Paintings, by Russell Cheney
Box 19
Parents and Children: A Family Vignette, by Antoinette Cheney Crocker
Box 19
Writers' Forum, Volume 25, 1999
Box 19
The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder
Box 19
Blue Notes: Essays, Interviews, and Commentaries, by Yusef Komunyakaa
Box 19
Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization, by Karen Horney, M.D.
Box 19
Sarah Orne Jewett, by Francis Otto Matthiessen
Box 19
Sites of Insight: A Guide to Colorado Sacred Places, edited by James Lough
Box 19
War, Literature, & The Arts, Volume 15, Numbers 1-2
Box 19
A Selected, Annotated Bibliography of Books about Taos and New Mexico, by Arthur J. Bachrach
Box 19
Tributes to Frank Waters, by T.N. Luther
Box 19
Books from T.N. Luther
Box 19
A Few Reminscences of my Exeter Life, by Elizabeth Dow Leonard
Box 19
How to Stay Married, by Norman M. Lobsenz and Clark W. Blackburn
Box 19
By a Stroke of Luck! An Autobiography, by Donald Ogden Stewart
Box 19
The Abnormal Personality, by Robert W. White, Ph.D.
Box 19
The Neurotic Personality of Our Time, by Karen Horney, M.D.
Box 19
Journals, 1799-1805, Mary B. Howell
Box 20
Cheney Hall
Box 20
Studies in Frank Waters-XXII
Box 20
Studies in Frank Waters-XX
Box 20
Studies in Frank Waters-XI
Box 20
Frank Waters and Charles: Eighty Years of Memories with a Friend, by Charles Elbert Hathaway
Box 20
Some Memories of the K.Ds. An Old Fashioned Family, by Helen Cheney Bayne
Box 20
Meeting the Professor: Growing up in the William Blackburn Family, by Alexander Blackburn
Box 20
Collected Poems of Harvey Allen, edited by Alexander Blackburn
Box 20
Monographie de la Cathedrale de Chartres
Box 20
Outline Sketches of the Lives of Six Generations of Cheneys with some Letters, by Helen Cheney Bayne
Box 20
Life in New Orleans 1870-1898
Box 20
Life in New York 1898-1917
Box 20
Life in Paris 1919-1928
Box 20

Historical Note

Alexander Blackburn (b. 1929) is the son of William Blackburn and Elizabeth Cheney Bayne Blackburn. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (M.A., 1956) and the University of Cambridge (Ph.D., 1963). He served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War before becoming a professor of English and literature at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1973. His interests and writings center on the American West; he has also published a critical study on the writer-philosopher Frank Waters. Blackburn also founded and edited the Writers' Forum literary journal. He retired 1995 but continues to write and publish. His books and novels include the following:

  • A Strange Joy
  • Remembering Time: Stories and Novellas
  • Creative Spirit: Toward a Better World
  • A Sunrise Brighter Still: The Visionary Novels of Frank Waters
  • The Cold War of Kitty Pentecost
  • The Myth of the Picaro: Continuity and Transformation of the Picaresque Novel, 1554-1954

More information on Alexander Blackburn can be found at his website, www.alexanderblackburn.com. His autobiography, Meeting the Professor (2008), details both his life and that of his father, William Blackburn.

Subject Headings

Related Material

Related Material

Related collections include the William Blackburn Papers, 1859-1985 and undated.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Alexander Blackburn Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Alexander Blackburn Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1999 and 2004.

Processing Information

Accessioned by Meghan Lyon, January 2010

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, January 2010

This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

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

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.