Guide to the Edgar Marquess Branch Papers, 1939-2003 and undated
The Edgar Marquess Branch Papers span the years from 1939 to 2003, with the majority of the materials dating from 1960 to 1990. Through correspondence and writings, they document Branch's lifelong research on nineteenth-century American author Mark Twain. Important correspondents include such Twain scholars as Fred Anderson, Louis Budd, Cyril Clemens, Robert Hirst, and Henry Nash Smith. Topics chiefly focus on issues concerning academic writers, and Twain's life and literary output. Although the bulk of this collection concerns Branch’s work on Twain, it should be noted that Professor Branch was also an eminent scholar of James T. Farrell, a twentieth-century American novelist best known for his “Studs Lonigan” series (1932-1935). Branch’s papers are organized into three series: Correspondence, Special Projects Files, and Writings. Although Branch taught for many years as a Professor of English, there are no teaching materials in the collection. However, the correspondence may contain some references to teaching American literature and to activities as a faculty member at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
The Correspondence Series, the largest series in the collection, is organized into two subseries. The Individuals Subseries documents Branch’s contacts over many decades with numerous Twain scholars, literary critics, and former students. There are also letters concerning his contacts with institutions such as the Mark Twain Boyhood Home Association. The Journals and Publishers Subseries contains Branch’s correspondence with many well-known publishing firms and academic presses. Most of the correspondence is routine in nature but attests to Branch's lengthy and prolific writing career. In a few cases, drafts of writings are attached to his correspondence.
The bulk of the Mark Twain Special Projects Files Series consists of documents that pertain to Branch’s service on the Board of Directors for the Mark Twain Project, based at the University of California at Berkeley, from 1980 to 1990. Administrative files and grant application files make up the majority of the materials.
The Writings Series consists of manuscripts and galley proofs of the Early Tales and Sketches of Mark Twain, Volume 1, and the page proofs for Early Tales and Sketches, Volume 2. Branch co-edited both of these volumes, which were published in 1979 and 1981, respectively.
- Collection Number
- Edgar Marquess Branch papers
- 1939-2003 and undated (bulk 1960-1990)
- Branch, Edgar Marquess, 1913-
- 10 Linear Feet, 4052 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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How to Cite
[Identification of item], Edgar Marquess Branch Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Organized into two subseries: Individuals, and Journals and Publishers.
Branch’s correspondents include many eminent Twain scholars such as Fred Anderson, Minnie M. Brashear, George H. Brownell, Louis J. Budd, Cyril Clemens (who was also a second cousin of Twain’s), Hennig Cohen, Everett Emerson, Paul Fatout, Alan Gribben, Hamlin Hill, Robert Hirst, and Henry Nash Smith. Other correspondents of note include literary critics Matthew J. Bruccoli, John Crowe Ransom, Arlin Turner, and René Wellek; as well as Ira Berkow (NY Times sportswriter/journalist and former student of Branch’s) and W. Willard Wirtz (former U.S. Secretary of Labor under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson). Arranged alphabetically by last name of the correspondent.
Contains Branch’s routine correspondence with various academic journals and publishing firms. Most of the letters pertain to either Branch seeking permission to use a quote, or submitting his work for publication. In a few of the latter instances, some of Branch’s article manuscripts (including his oft-reprinted essay comparing Twain’s Huck Finn and Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye) are attached or enclosed with his correspondence. This section is arranged alphabetically by the name of the journal or publisher.
Houses documents pertaining to the administration and governance of the Mark Twain Project, based at the University of California at Berkeley. One of the objectives of the Mark Twain Project is to publish definitive and scholarly editions of Twain’s writings, including material that has hitherto remained unpublished. To this end, Branch spent several summers and sabbaticals working at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, where the vast majority of Mark Twain’s papers are held, working on such editions as Early Tales and Sketches, Volumes 1 and 2 and Roughing It. The bulk of the documents in this series pertain to Branch’s service on the Board of Directors for the Mark Twain Project from 1980 to 1990. In particular, there are several National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant applications included in this series. There are also folders of materials that concern a controversy arising over editorial and procedural policies of the Mark Twain Project. Arranged in chronological order.
Consists of manuscripts and galley proofs of the Early Tales and Sketches (ET+S) of Mark Twain, Volume 1, and the page proofs for Early Tales and Sketches, Volume 2. Branch co-edited both of these volumes, which were published in 1979 and 1981, respectively. The galley proofs of ET+S Volume 1 and the page proofs of ET+S Volume 2 are oversized materials. Arranged in original order.
|1913 Mar. 21||
Born in Chicago, Ill., son of Raymond Sydney (publisher) and Marian (Marquess) Branch
Studied at University College, London
Received A.B. from Beloit College, Beloit, Wis.
Graduate study at Brown University
Received M.A. from the University of Chicago
|1939, Apr. 29||
Married Mary Josephine (Mary Jo) Emerson
Received Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa
Instructor at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
(Editor) Mark Twain’s Letters in the Muscatine Journal
Assistant Professor of English at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
Associate Professor of English at Miami University
Published The Literary Apprenticeship of Mark Twain
Professor of English at Miami University, and Chair of the English Department from 1959-1964
Published A Bibliography of James T. Farrell’s Writings, 1921-1957
Research Professor of English at Miami University
(Editor and author of the introduction and preface) Clemens of the Call
Published James T. Farrell
Published (with Frederick Anderson) The Great Landslide Case
Named literary executor of the James T. Farrell estate
Named Research Professor of English Emeritus and Research Associate in American Literature at Miami University
Editor, with Robert H. Hirst, and with the assistance of Harriet Elinor Smith, of Mark Twain, Early Tales and Sketches, Volume 1: 1851-1864
Member of the Board of Directors of the Mark Twain Project in Berkeley, Calif.
Mark Twain, Early Tales and Sketches, Volume 2: 1864-1865
(With Robert H. Hirst) The Grangerford-Shepherdson Feud: Life and Death at Compromise, Friends of the Bancroft Library, University of California Press (Berkeley, Calif.).
Published Men Call Me Lucky: Mark Twain and the "Pennsylvania"
Editor, with Michael B. Frank and Kenneth M. Sanderson, Mark Twain’s Letters, Volume 1: 1853-1866, Volume 2: 1867-1868, Volume 5: 1872-1873
Published Mark Twain and the Starchy Boys
Editor, with H.E. Smith, Roughing It
Published Studs Lonigan’s Neighborhood and the Making of James T. Farrell
Published A Paris Year: Dorothy and James T. Farrell, 1931-1932
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Anderson, Frederick, 1926-
- Branch, Edgar Marquess, 1913-
- Budd, Louis J.
- Branch, Edgar Marquess, 1913-
- Clemens, Cyril, 1902-
- Farrell, James T. (James Thomas), 1904-1979
- Hirst, Robert H.
- Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) -- Faculty
- Smith, Henry Nash
- Twain, Mark, 1835-1910
- Authors and publishers -- United States -- Correspondence
- American literature -- Southern States -- History and criticism
- American literature -- Study and teaching
- College teachers as authors
- Literary historians -- United States
- Mark Twain Project
- Scholars -- Correspondence
- Scholars -- United States -- Correspondence
The Edgar Marquess Branch Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as gifts from 1981 through 2004.
Processed by David Mayer, Paula Jeannet Mangiafico
Completed August 1, 2002. Addition interfiled March 11, 2005.
All accessions from 1981 through 2004 are represented in this finding aid.
Encoded by Joshua A. Kaiser and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico