Guide to the Clarence Louis Frank Gohdes Papers, 1811-1990s and undated (bulk 1905-1981)
The Clarence Louis Frank Gohdes Papers date from 1811 to the 1990s, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1905 to 1981. The collection consists of research materials, correspondence, writings, clippings and other printed materials, and a few photographs, mainly from the latter half of Gohdes's career. The earliest date (1811) refers to reproductions of original materials used in his research. Correspondence with other American Literature teachers and authors, combined with other materials relating to Gohdes's institutional and organizational affiliations, in particular with Duke University, the Modern Language Association (MLA), and American Literature, comprise the most substantive aspects of this collection. They provide insight into the bureaucratic and institutional exigencies of American literary scholarship in the mid-twentieth century. Major authors and scholars of the time wrote to Gohdes, and include Alexander Blackburn, Oscar Cargill, Lewis Chase, Robert Elias, Norman Foerster, Arthur Rubin, Arthur Quinn, and Upton Sinclair. Original manuscripts by Gohdes, inscribed reprints of writings by his colleagues, and materials relating to many major British and American literary figures, make up the rest of the collection. There is substantial material on Edgar Allen Poe. The collection also includes papers documenting his research and writing for his last book project, a cultural and horticultural history of the scuppernong grape entitled Scuppernong, North Carolina's Grape and Its Wines. The Gohdes Papers are divided into seven series: Biographical Data, Correspondence, Author Files, Subject Files, Writings and Speeches, Scuppernong, and Clippings.
The Biographical Data Series briefly sketches the major events of Gohdes's life. It consists of only a few items, including a one-page sketch by Gohdes of his career's highlights, and photocopies of Gohdes's obituaries. Further biographical information, especially pertaining to Gohdes's academic life, can be culled from materials in the Correspondence Series.
The Correspondence Series contains letters exchanged with university administrators, publishers, colleagues, librarians, and literary figures. The series is divided into four subseries, American Literature, Lewis Chase, Duke University, and General. The bulk of the correspondence concerns professional and academic affairs, such as appointments, editorships, research and reviews, and publishing. Included are exchanges between Gohdes and Duke University administrators about English Department and American Literature affairs, as well as between Gohdes and contemporary literary critics about the study of American literature. There are also several documents that illuminate Gohdes's political affiliations and social concerns.
Materials on approximately fifty authors, largely major British and American writers, are in the Author Files Series and were originally gathered by Gohdes and his colleague, Lewis Chase. The folders contain a variety of information on the represented authors, in an equally varied mix of formats: clippings, notes, lectures, student papers, photographs, and reproductions or photocopies of original writing.
Included in the Subject Files Series are materials relating to several projects and interests which engaged Gohdes during his career. These include: bibliographies, poetry, travel narratives and the American West, and the United Nations' Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/American Literature Section's Best American Books List. The bibliographies collected in this series reflect Gohdes's interest in this genre, as he participated in and edited many such projects throughout his career.
The Writings and Speeches Series contains manuscript and printed materials in two subseries: Writings by Gohdes and Writings by Others. The Writings by Gohdes Subseries includes manuscripts of short stories, poetry, and academic essays, as well as notes and notecards. The manuscripts also contain folders pertaining to unfinished projects and writings. The Writings by Gohdes Subseries also contains several folders of printed materials, consisting of reprints and reproductions of as well as advertising and promotional materials for Gohdes's published writings. This subseries consists almost entirely of reprints that are inscribed to Gohdes by the authors.
Materials relating to the writing and research of Gohdes's last published book, Scuppernong, North Carolina's Grape and Its Wines, are in the Scuppernong Series. Three subseries make up this series: Correspondence, Research and Notes, and Publication Materials. Correspondence plus photocopied articles and essays about the grape and agricultural production form the bulk of the series. Also included are Gohdes's many notes and notecards, as well as reviews and materials relating to the book's publication.
The Clippings Series contains the few clippings that are not housed in the Author Files Series. These clippings mostly consist of articles relating to literary figures.
Related collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library include the records of American Literature and the Modern Language Association's American Literature Section, as well as the papers of many of Gohdes's colleagues, such as Jay B. Hubbell and Arlin Turner.
Roman numerals have been appended to certain folders, such as the Contemporary Poetry Selections, to indicate when Gohdes's original folders had the same title for distinct groups of materials, and to maintain such original distinctions.
- Collection Number
- Clarence Louis Frank Gohdes papers
- 1811-1990s and undated, bulk 1905-1981
- Gohdes, Clarence, 1901-1997
- 6.2 Linear Feet, 4650 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Biographical Data Series, after 1959 and 1997
- Correspondence Series, 1926-1989 and undated, bulk 1928-1967
- Author Files Series, 1899-1964 and undated
- Subject Files Series, 1857-1969 and undated, bulk 1915-1969
- Writings and Speeches Series, 1851-1990s and undated , bulk 1930-1987
- Scuppernong Series, 1811-1984 and undated, bulk 1977-1984
- Clippings Series, circa 1922-1970 and undated
- Oversize Materials
Access to the Collection
Collection is restricted.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
In addition, all or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.
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 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], Clarence Louis Frank Gohdes Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Contains a brief document resembling a curriculum vita, and clippings of obituaries. Further details of Gohdes's career can be found in the Correspondence and Writings and Speeches series. In particular, the American Literature and Duke University correspondence files provide information about Gohdes's professional life.
Chiefly concerns professional and academic interests. The series is divided into four sections: American Literature, Lewis Chase, Duke University, and General.
The American Literature correspondence mainly addresses administrative issues and editorial appointments. In particular, the letters represent discussions among Gohdes, Duke administrators, the American Literature editorial board, and representatives of the American Literature Section (ALS) of the Modern Language Association over a 1966-1968 reworking of the contractual agreement between Duke and the ALS.
The Lewis Chase correspondence contains letters exchanged between him and libraries and colleagues. All letters concern Chase's research on Edgar Allen Poe.
Duke University Correspondence contains letters about Gohdes's discussions with the University and its English department over hiring, tenure, and his professorship. Included is a series of letters between Arlin Turner, Gohdes, and the administration that concerns a disagreement over the editorship of American Literature. The group also contains one letter from Lyne S. Few, son of William Preston Few, that recounts his memories of Duke faculty and his father's role at Duke. It was written in response to reading Gohdes's booklet, Pioneers in English at Trinity and Duke.
The General Correspondence includes letters from colleagues and peers, contemporary authors, and publishers and librarians. The main topics of discussion are professional, such as job appointments and recommendations, research and reviews, and publishing. The files include letters exchanged with some of the major scholars and authors of the day: Alexander Blackburn, Walter Blair, Van Wyck Brooks, Oscar Cargill, Robert Elias, Norman Foerster, Ima Honaker Herron, James Meriwether, Perry Miller, William Mulder, Arthur Quinn, Louis Rubin, Arthur M. Schlesinger (single item), Upton Sinclair, Henry Nash Smith, Robert Spiller, George R. Stewart, and George F. Whicher. Substantial correspondence exists between Gohdes and Thomas O. Mabbott, Henry A. Pochmann, and James Woodress. Other items of interest include a letter from Martha Baird (Mrs. Eli Siegel) to Gohdes which includes a copy of a letter from William Carlos Williams, letters exchanged with Clayton L. Eichelberger concerning the establishment of American Literary Realism (journal), and invitations to Richard Nixon's 1971 and Ronald Reagan's 1985 inaugurations. Gohdes saved several form letters from major intellectual and political leaders: Albert Einstein; Archibald MacLeish; Richard M. Nixon; Pearl S. Buck; Jacques Cousteau; and Nancy Reagan (letter contains autograph). Arranged chronologically by date within each section.
Consists of clippings, student papers, and notes. Some author files contain only printed materials or other non-original materials. Some, however, contain original notes, lectures, or early twentieth-century student papers. Lectures, usually by Lewis Chase, provide insight into turn-of-the-century literary perspectives on major authors from Poe to Shakespeare. The student papers suggest the scope and range of literary training and pedagogy at this moment in history.
This series contains a large amount of material belonging to Dr. Lewis Chase (1873-1937). It seems that many unattributed items and folders came from Chase, including all student papers. The files which contain material compiled or created by Gohdes include those on Anderson, Dickinson, Dreiser, Eliot, Emerson, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Frost, Garland, Holmes, Howells, James, Lanier, Longfellow, O'Neill, Ransom, Twain, and Updike. In particular, the Emerson "Notes" and Longfellow folders include substantial original materials by Gohdes. The rest of the folders seem to be heavily weighted to Chase materials, with only some of Gohdes's resources added. Most of the British authors are from Chase, whereas Gohdes is responsible for the American author materials.
Several of the author files contain photocopies of selections or excerpts from the author's writing, for example, most of the Twain and all of the Sidgwick folders. "Mark Twain's Funniest" folders seem to have been one of Gohdes's projects.
Within each folder, arranged alphabetically by author, items are arranged chronologically. Author names have been standardized on folder titles.
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Organized into groupings reflecting Gohdes's interests and projects: bibliographies, poetry, travel narratives of the American West, and UNESCO's best books list.
The bibliographic materials contain issues of the Bulletin of Bibliography and bibliographic information that Gohdes requested, such as library holdings in literature in various areas, including Cleveland, St. Louis, and Balboa Heights (Canal Zone).
The poetry files contain copies and mimeographs of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century poetry. "Contemporary Poetry," "Modern Poetry" and "Poetry" all contain early twentieth century materials. The first folder, "Criticism and Reviews," contains reprints of essays and articles by various authors. The only original writing can be found in the second folder, "Introductory Lecture, University of Wisconsin," which Lewis Chase may have written.
The "Travel Narratives and the West" folders contain photocopies and reproductions of nineteenth-century accounts of travel through the western United States, with some notes by Gohdes.
Inspired by the UNESCO translation project, Gohdes initiated a survey of leading American literature critics and scholars in 1949 to determine the best twenty American books. Gohdes and his fellow committee members, Jay B. Hubbell and Lewis Leary, successfully polled approximately twenty-five people. Those polled include many major critics of the day: Ralph Rusk, Walter Blair, Henry Canby, Mark Van Doren, Fred Lewis Pattee, F. O. Matthiessen, Van Wyck Brooks, Clarence Gohdes, Jay B. Hubbell, Charles Anderson, and Henry Nash Smith. Files includes correspondence from these critics discussing and listing their choices for the best twenty American books. The survey seems to have been passed on to UNESCO, and was used for publicity for the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association by submitting the final tallied poll to newspapers and journals. Arranged alphabetically.
Consists of two subseries: Writings by Gohdes and Writings by Others.
Consists chiefly of unpublished stories and memoirs as well as published writings. Also included are several academic pieces (other academic writing, such as lectures, can also be found in the Author Files Series). The manuscripts include work Gohdes did on an anthology, "True Stories about Indians from St. Nicholas Magazine and The Youth's Companion." Materials related to this project include original introductory material written by Gohdes as well as marked-up pages from the two magazines indicating which stories he hoped to include.
Notes and notecards pertain to Gohdes's more formal projects, while others provide insight into his many different interests. For example, a datebook contains "Some notes on big trees," which concern early literary references to large trees in the United States. Included is a notebook containing Gohdes's research on American humor. There are notes for a proposed project, "A Series on American Argument for Peace," containing very rough bibliographic notes on possible entries.
The Printed Materials consist of reprints of published articles by Gohdes, and include pamphlets and circulars that advertised the many series and books that Gohdes edited, introduced, or authored.
Arranged alphabetically by title within each section.
Chiefly contains articles and reprints that were sent and inscribed to Gohdes by his students and colleagues. The only manuscript materials are poems by Gohdes's one-time student, Kiffen Hayes. Several other pieces, not inscribed, comprise the rest of the subseries, including Norton's Literary Almanac for 1852 Containing Important Literary Information. The incomplete inventory of printed materials in the Gohdes Papers, created by a Duke University archivist, gives bibliographic information for many of the items. After the inventory, folders are arranged alphabetically by author.
Gohdes, an avid gardener throughout his life, wrote a definitive historical and cultural study of the scuppernong, a white grape of the American South. The series contains Gohdes's extensive research and writing materials pertaining to this book, The Scuppernong, North Carolina's Grape and its Wines.These materials are divided into three subseries: Correspondence, Research and Notes, and Publication Materials.
Within folders, items are arranged chronologically by date.
Contains Gohdes's queries for information on the scuppernong and agricultural production in North Carolina and the United States. Many letters exchanged with North Carolina vineyards and various organizations possessing information about viticulture or the scuppernong comprise the majority of the correspondence folders.
Gives insight into the extent of Gohdes's preparation for Scuppernong. The "Articles and Essays" folder contains many photocopies of essays including a fair amount of material on Secondo Guasti, a Californian wine-grower, and on Garrett and Company, an American winery. The "Printed Materials" folders consist mainly of brochures and pamphlets relating to the agriculture and science of grape production in the American South, many of which were published by government- or university-sponsored organizations. Also part of the subseries are several folders of notes, mainly on index cards, as well as folders on the two Garrett brothers (owners of a North Carolina winery), and Duplin Wine Cellars, another local vineyard.
Includes several reviews and clippings following the book's publication, as well as materials from the publisher, Duke University Press. In the Press folder can be found an "Author's Questionnaire" filled out by Gohdes.
Clippings not originally filed in the Author Files Series have been included in the Clippings Series. It contains clippings on Omar Khayyam, The Thoreau Society, Upton Sinclair, an editorial on Sinclair Lewis's death, the history of American Literature, Celestine Gohdes's orchids, and Mary Clair Sinclair. Items are arranged chronologically by date.
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|1901, July 2||
Born, San Antonio, Tex.
A.B., Capital University, Columbus, Ohio
A.M., Ohio State University
Assistant Professor of English, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Tex.
M.A., Harvard University
Instructor in English, New York University
Assistant and Associate Professor of English, Duke University
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published The Periodicals of American Transcendentalism
Managing Editor, American Literature (journal)
Published Uncollected Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Reports on American Life and Natural Religion (editor)
Visiting lecturer, Columbia University
Married Celestine Marie Beamer
Professor of English, Duke University
Published American Literature in Nineteenth-Century England
Published Faint Clews and Indirections: Manuscripts of Walt Whitman and His Family (co-editor)
Published Literature of the American People (contributor)
Editor-in-chief, American Literature (journal)
Published America's Literature (co-editor)
Published Bibliographical Guide to the Study of the Literature of the U.S.A.
Served as Chairman, Modern Language Association, American Literature Group
James B. Duke Professor of American Literature, Duke University
Published Literature and Theater of the States and Regions of the U.S.A.: A Historical Bibliography
Published Hunting in the Old South (editor)
Published Essays on American Literature in Honor of Jay B. Hubbell (editor)
Retired from Duke University
Published Scuppernong, North Carolina's Grape and Its Wines
Published Pioneers in English at Trinity and Duke
Died, Durham, N.C.
Clarence Louis Frank Gohdes began his post-undergraduate studies at Harvard, where he turned his attention from Latin to American literature under the tutelage of Bliss Perry, J. L. Lowes, G. L. Kittredge, and Kenneth B. Murdock. At Columbia, Gohdes wrote his dissertation under Ralph L. Rusk.
Gohdes earned his scholarly reputation through his work in American literature. He published two texts, one on Ralph Waldo Emerson and the other on Walt Whitman, that contributed to American literary scholarship through his original research and archival work. Gohdes also influenced the formation of American literary studies through his long-standing position as Managing Editor (under Jay B. Hubbell, founding editor) and then Editor-in-Chief of American Literature, the discipline's foundational academic journal. Similarly, Gohdes's A Bibliographical Guide to the Study of the Literature of the U.S.A., which went through five editions, played a key role in documenting and making accessible American literary criticism. Gohdes's career achievements attest to his role in extending the work of scholars of American literature.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Blackburn, Alexander
- Cargill, Oscar, 1898-
- Chase, Lewis Nathaniel, 1873-1937
- Elias, Robert H.
- Foerster, Norman, 1887-
- Gohdes, Clarence, 1901-1997
- Gohdes, Clarence, 1901-1997
- Modern Language Association of America. American Literature Section
- Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849
- Quinn, Arthur Hobson, 1875-1960
- Rubin, Arthur
- Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968
- American Literature (Durham, N.C.)
- American literature -- History and criticism
- American literature -- Study and teaching
- College teachers -- Correspondence
- Duke University. Dept. of English -- Faculty
- Muscadine grape -- North Carolina
- Viticulture -- North Carolina
- Wine and wine making -- North Carolina
The Clarence Louis Frank Gohdes Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift from Clarence Louis Frank Gohdes in 1983, with additional materials received through 2000.
Processed by Lauren Coats
Completed August 2, 2003
Encoded by Lauren Coats and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico