Guide to the Jay B. Hubbell Papers, 1816-1998 and undated, bulk 1920-1979
Professor of American literature, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
The Jay B. Hubbell Papers span the years from 1816 to 1998, with the bulk of the material documenting Hubbell's career from his early student years in the 1920s until his death in 1979. The collection consists mainly of his professional papers, including correspondence with colleagues and literary figures, articles written by others at his request for the Jay B. Hubbell Center, printed materials inscribed to him and written by him, and unpublished manuscripts. The material chronicles the four decades of Hubbell's career as professor and critic, which he dedicated to the growth and development of American literature as a field of critical inquiry. Among the many significant correspondents or subjects of others' writings are Conrad Aiken, Gay Wilson Allen, Robert Frost, Clarence Gohdes, members of the Hubbell family, Ralph Leslie Rusk, Carl Sandburg, Allen Tate, Arlin Turner, and John Hall Wheelock. Other significant topics covered by the material include the founding of the Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography at Duke University, the study and teaching of literature from the American South, the activities of the faculty at Duke University, and the development of the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association (MLA).
- Jay B. Hubbell papers 1816-1998 and undated, bulk 1920-1979
- Hubbell, Jay B., 1885-1979
- 10.2 Linear Feet, 6375 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Biographical Data Series 1906-1980 and undated
- Correspondence, Alphabetical Series, 1871-1979 and undated (bulk 1919-1970)
- Correspondence by Date Series, 1919-1979, bulk 1929-1955
- Writings and Speeches Series, 1867-1998 and undated, bulk 1920-1979
- Subject Files Series, 1916-1980 and undated
- Teaching Abroad Series, 1948-1957 and undated
- Photographs Series, 1861-1978 and undated
- Clippings Series, 1816-1984 and undated, bulk 1920-1969
- Oversize Material
The Jay B. Hubbell Papers span the years from 1816 to 1998, with the bulk of the material documenting Hubbell's career from his early student years in the 1920s until his death in 1979. The collection consists mainly of his professional papers, including correspondence with colleagues and literary figures, articles written by others at his request for the Jay B. Hubbell Center, printed materials inscribed to him and written by him, and unpublished manuscripts. The material chronicles the four decades of Hubbell's career as professor and critic, which he dedicated to the growth and development of American literature as a field of critical inquiry. Among the many significant correspondents or subjects of others' writings are Conrad Aiken,Gay Wilson Allen,Robert Frost,Clarence Gohdes, members of the Hubbell family,Ralph Leslie Rusk,Carl Sandburg,Allen Tate,Arlin Turner, and John Hall Wheelock. Other significant topics covered by the material include the founding of the Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography at Duke University, the study and teaching of literature from the American South, the activities of the faculty at Duke University, and the development of the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association (MLA). The collection is divided into eight series: Biographical; Correspondence, Alphabetical; Correspondence by Date; Writings and Speeches; Subject Files; Teaching Abroad; Photographs; and Clippings.
The Biographical Data Series contains correspondence, manuscripts of his autobiographical writings, financial and legal documents, writings by his siblings, curriculum vitae, and obituaries, all of which chronicle Hubbell's life from his earliest years until his death.
The largest component of the collection contains correspondence from colleagues, former students, and literary figures. The Correspondence, Alphabetical Series consists of many letters from students and colleagues. The bulk of the correspondence gives shape to the nature and status of American literary studies in the early- to mid-twentieth century. In particular, the many letters exchanged among Hubbell, his colleagues, and his students provide insight into the routine professional life of this first pioneering generation of scholars. From job appointments to topics of scholarship, the letters uncover the kinds of professional interests and pressures that influenced the formation of American literary studies. Additional miscellaneous letters are arranged chronologically in the Correspondence by Date Series. These letters mainly represent single items from colleagues, publishers, and minor writers. The same topics are represented here as in the correspondence arranged alphabetically.
Jay B. Hubbell authored numerous articles and books throughout his career which contributed to the bibliography of American literary studies. Samples of such are located in the collection's Writings and Speeches Series. The series is divided into two subseries, the Writings by Hubbell Subseries and the Writings by Others Subseries. The Writings by Hubbell Subseries includes unpublished manuscripts, publication files consisting of correspondence with publishers and review clippings, and printed material consisting of article reprints and reviews. The Writings by Others Subseries contains articles and essays by Hubbell's colleagues and peers, as well as several essays that Hubbell collected on topics of interest to him. It also contains several memoirs which narrate the lives and influence of several key figures in the first generations of American literary scholars.
The Subject Files Series chronicles some of the major events, interests, and projects of Hubbell's career. His involvement with the Modern Language Association is represented by material filed in the General Files Subseries. Also included in this subseries is material concerning several of his institutional affiliations, including Clemson University, Columbia University, and Southern Methodist University (SMU). Hubbell's papers concerning his many professional projects can be found in the Projects Subseries, such as the Checklist of Manuscripts and the Center for Southern Studies. Information related to many of the subject files can be found throughout the collection, particularly in the Biographical Data and Correspondence Series.
Jay Hubbell dedicated a generous portion of his scholarly career to teaching and students. Besides his interest in different configurations and institutions for furthering learning and scholarship, Hubbell spent several years teaching abroad. The Teaching Abroad Series contains correspondence and incidentals concerning his service at universities in Vienna, Jerusalem, and Athens. This series includes materials which highlight Hubbell's experiences at the intersection of American foreign policy and university teaching, as Hubbell served as a Visiting Expert for the U.S. Army in Vienna as well as a quickly evacuated Visiting Professor in Jerusalem in 1956, during the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Photographs Series includes photographs of Hubbell, family, and colleagues. The series includes portraits of Hubbell alone as well as with family.
The Clippings Series contains newspaper and journal clippings recording the many significant personal and professional events of Hubbell's life. The series also includes clippings about contemporary events, friends, and colleagues which Hubbell found noteworthy.
Hubbell's papers pertaining to English Department matters and committee assignments can be found in the Duke University Archives. The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University houses many related collections, particularly in the Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography: the records of American Literature;American Literary Manuscripts;and the Modern Language Association'sAmerican Literature Section and Southern Literature Discussion Group; and the papers of Gay Wilson Allen, Sacvan Berkovitch, Cathy Davidson, and Arlin Turner.
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.
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.
The bulk of this series contains correspondence and financial documents (contract and royalty letters) chronicling the scope of Hubbell's career. The series also includes rough drafts of Hubbell's autobiographical writings, which seem to have been written largely at the end of his life, about his early years in rural Virginia, his early readings, and his years at Harvard University and Columbia University. His brother Paul Edgar Hubbell's writings, poems and an essay with a foreword by Jay B. Hubbell, as well as his sister Ruth Ann Hubbell's poetry are a part of the series. Folders arranged in alphabetical order.
This series contains letters from colleagues, students, publishers, and literary figures. Highlights of the correspondence include letters exchanged with Gay Wilson Allen, George Bond, Herbert Brown, Matthew Bruccoli, Mary Sue Carlock, John Chapman, James Emanuel, Benjamin F. Fisher, Herbert Gambrell, Clarence Gohdes, Theodore Gross, Ima Honaker Herron, Hugh Holman, Howard Mumford Jones, Lewis Leary, Maureen C. Mabbott, Rayburn Moore, Albert Robbins, Henry Nash Smith, Hope Stoddard, and Edward Stone. The series also includes correspondence with major literary figures and critics, such as B. A. Botkin, Donald Davidson, Robert Frost, Hamlin Garland, Ellen Glasgow, John Lomax, Howard Odum, Carl Sandburg, Allen Tate, and John Hall Wheelock. Many of the letters to literary figures concern permissions and copyrights, as Hubbell edited several anthologies. His letters exchanged with colleagues and students include professional concerns such as recommendations and references, exams, job opportunities, departmental procedures, and the study of American Literature. The largest group of letters is from the poet John Hall Wheelock, dating from 1921 when Hubbell wrote asking permission to use Wheelock's poem, "Earth," in a poetry anthology.
The correspondence files often contain other materials, such as solicited memoirs, photographs of correspondents, or printed materials that correspondents sent to Hubbell. Such materials have been filed under the name of the person who sent or wrote them. For example, letters exchanged between John Wheelock and Aubrey Burns are filed under the latter's name. An audio cassette recording of four of John Wheelock's poems set to music and performed by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra is included in Wheelock's "Clippings" folder. Folders occasionally include Hubbell's retrospective commentary on the correspondence or correspondents, for example, Hubbell's brief notes on his relationships with Van Wyck Brooks and Aldous Huxley. Most of the commentary was written in 1976 when Hubbell prepared his papers for donation to Duke University. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent, then chronologically within each folder.
[RESTRICTED. Contains letters of reference. For a period of 75 years after the latest date in the collection, patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Responsibilities and Privacy Rights form before using materials.]
Contains single letters from publishers, colleagues, librarians, and minor writers. As in the Correspondence, Alphabetical Series, these letters pertain to the daily paperwork of academic life, such as departmental and committee appointments, recommendations, thesis approvals, and speaking engagements. Several letters concern Hubbell's writings and research.
[RESTRICTED. Contains recommendations. For a period of 75 years after the latest date in the collection, patrons must sign an Acknowledgment of Legal Responsibilities and Privacy Rights form before using materials.]
This series consists of two subseries, Writings by Hubbell and Writings by Others. Unpublished and published manuscripts, reprints, reviews, and correspondence pertaining to the writings make up each subseries. The materials in both subseries are arranged alphabetically.
This subseries contains original writings by Hubbell, both published and unpublished. It is divided into three sections: Manuscripts, A-Z; Publications Files; and Printed Materials. Manuscripts of lectures, articles, student handbooks, conference and meeting papers, and reminiscences written by Hubbell of literary figures and critics (including Frank Clyde Brown,Robert Frost,Lewis Leary,John H. McGinnis, and Carl Sandburg) can be found in the Manuscripts, A-Z folders. Reminiscences are filed alphabetically by the subject's last name. The Publications Files mainly consist of correspondence and related bureaucratic materials concerning Hubbell's published works, and are arranged alphabetically by title. An exception is the inclusion of a copy of his memoir of his wife, Lucinda. The Printed Materials files include reprints of Hubbell's articles and essays as well as reprints of reviews of his writings. The files also include a scrapbook in which reprints and clippings of newspaper articles, Hubbell's writings, and reviews of Hubbell's writings can be found. Folders arranged in alphabetical order by folder title.
Contains many reprints inscribed and sent to Hubbell as well as articles and essays which Hubbell gathered, including copies of four pre-1900 essays. Several manuscripts of memoirs of early teachers of American literature written by their colleagues appear in these folders, filed by author's last name (memoirs also appear in the Writings by Hubbell and Correspondence, Alphabetical Series). Eleanor Marguerite Tilton's collected writings by and about Ralph Leslie Rusk are filed under her name, along with her reminiscence of Rusk. Items are arranged alphabetically by author's name.
Includes material pertaining to the major events, institutions, and interests of Hubbell's life and career. Two subseries make up this series: General Files and Projects. Some material related to these subject files is filed elsewhere in the collection, in particular letters from Hubbell's more regular correspondents that appear in the Correspondence, Alphabetical Series. Papers concerning institutional appointments also can be found throughout the Correspondence and Biographical Data Series.
Contains materials on a broad range of topics: Hubbell's institutional affiliations (Southern Methodist University, Columbia, Clemson, and the University of Richmond), the proceedings of the Modern Language Association (MLA) and its American Literature Section, the Jay B. Hubbell Medallion (given by the MLA to honor American literary scholarship) and the Mayflower Award (given annually to the best nonfiction work by a North Carolina resident). Other areas of professional interest and concern, such as graduate students and courses, Duke Library collection development, and folklore make up the rest of the series. Items are filed alphabetically within the subseries and chronologically within each folder.
[Oversize material removed to Oversize Folder 2.]
Hubbell's interest in the development of literary scholarship, particularly of American and Southern literature, prompted him to undertake many projects throughout his career. One such project concerned Hubbell's role as an active contributor to the development of Duke University Library's literary collections. His interest in building a renowned collection of American literature and American literary scholarship at Duke is demonstrated throughout his papers, but most specifically in his proposal for the establishment of a Center for Southern Studies, whose purpose would be to house a vast historical and literary collection pertaining to the South. This plan never materialized as Hubbell envisioned in the letters that can be found in the "Center for Southern Studies" folders. In 1966, a Center for Southern Studies did open at Duke, but it was one in which Hubbell was not involved and whose vision Hubbell did not endorse.
Similarly, Hubbell spearheaded the Cooperative Training Program for Foreign Teachers of American Literature initiative. Two universities, at first Harvard and Duke and then Minnesota and Duke, were to cooperatively implement a program to train instructors to teach American Literature abroad. Due to a lack of funding, the program was never begun. Another project which experienced financial setbacks was Hubbell's plan to compile a checklist of American literature manuscript sources in the United States. Hubbell introduced the idea in 1930 and participated in many negotiations over the project, but it was sidetracked because of insufficient funding. The 1960 publication of American Literary Manuscripts, however, completed the project that Hubbell had initiated 30 years earlier. Papers relating to this publication are in the J. A. Robbins Papers and American Literary Manuscripts Papers in the Hubbell Center at Duke University.
This subseries also contains records of other more immediately successful projects, such as the SMU poetry contests, Correspondence Teaching, and the Extension Program at SMU. All files are alphabetical, and arranged chronologically by date within each folder.
Hubbell's many different teaching experiences included appointments at three universities outside of the United States. Hubbell served twice as Expert to the Secretary of the U. S. Army and Visiting Professor of American Literature at the University of Vienna. Reports which Hubbell submitted to the Army detailing his experiences can be found in the "Vienna" folders. The "Jerusalem" folders contain materials about Hubbell's brief trip to Israel. His appointment as Professor at Hebrew University was abridged as Hubbell and his wife were evacuated eight days after their arrival due to the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This series also includes information about his teaching at the University of Athens. Additional accounts of his experience teaching abroad can be found in his writings, Lucinda and South and Southwest. Correspondence and materials about Hubbell's teaching within the United States appears throughout several series: Biographical Data, Correspondence, and Subject Files. Files are arranged alphabetically by location.
The highlights of the Photographs Series include pictures of Hubbell throughout his life, including ones with his wife and young sons, and as a young Lieutenant; of colleagues, including a photograph of Hubbell's 90th birthday with many of his fellow Duke faculty; of the Hubbell's Pinecrest Rd., Durham home; of Carl Sandburg; and various other pictures of family, friends, and associates. The series contains black and white and color photographs, as well as candid pictures and formal portraits. The earliest photograph depicts Hubbell's relatives in uniform as Virginia Sharpshooters in the Civil War.
This series houses clippings of the many noteworthy personal and professional events of Hubbell's life, as well as clippings about contemporary events and Hubbell's friends and colleagues. While many clippings are scattered throughout the collection, this series contains those which were not originally filed by subject or correspondent. All personal clippings are housed in box 17, as the oversize folder of clippings only contains items relating to Hubbell's professional life.
The oversize clippings folder contains newspaper articles written by Hubbell and articles written by others about his scholarly work. Articles include several authored by Hubbell in the Dallas Morning News from 1920, 1924, 1926, and 1927. Many clippings review Hubbell's writings and projects, including American Literature;The South in American Fiction, 1607-1900;South and Southwest;and Essays on American Literature in Honor of Jay B. Hubbell. Other subjects include the SMU poetry contests and winners, John Lomax's folksong collections, the University of Richmond's 100th Anniversary newspaper (1932), and a Viennese paper's announcement of Hubbell's visiting professorship. All clippings are arranged chronologically by date.
[Oversize material removed to Oversize Folder 1.]
|1885 May 8||Born, Smyth County, Va.|
|1905||A.B., University of Richmond|
|1908||A.M., Harvard University|
|1915-1916||Assistant Professor of English, Southern Methodist University|
|1916-1919||Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University|
|1918||Attended Field Artillery Central Officers Training Camp, Camp Zachary, Taylor, Ky.|
Married Lucinda Smith
|1921-1927||E. A. Lilly Professor of English and English Department Chair, Southern Methodist University, Tex.|
|1922||Ph.D., Columbia University|
Published An Introduction to Poetry
|1924||Published Prairie Pegasus (editor)|
|1924-1926||Served as Group Chairman, American Literature Section, Modern Language Association|
|1924-1927||Editor, Southwest Review|
|1927-1954||Professor of American Literature, Duke University|
|1927||Published An Introduction to Drama|
|1928||Founded American Literature (journal)|
|1928-1954||Served as Chairman of the Board of Editors, American Literature|
|1929||Published first issue of American Literature|
Published The Enjoyment of Literature
|1929-1930, 1932||Visiting Professor, Columbia University summer sessions|
|1936||Published American Life in Literature|
|1939||Served as Group Chairman, American Literature Section, Modern Language Association|
|1941||Published The Last Years of Henry Timrod, 1864-1867|
|1943-1948||Director of Graduate Studies, English Department, Duke University|
|1949||Served as Visiting Expert with the U. S. Forces in Austria on the American Literature Project, and Visiting Professor of American Literature, University of Vienna|
Visiting Professor, University of California at Los Angeles
|1950||Served as Visiting Expert with the U. S. Forces in Austria on the American Literature Project, and Visiting Professor of American Literature, University of Vienna|
|1953||Served as Fulbright Professor of American Literature and Civilization, University of Athens, Greece|
|1954||Retired from Duke University|
Published The South in American Literature
|1954-1955||Visiting Professor, University of Virginia|
|1955||Won Mayflower Award|
|1956||Visiting Professor, Clemson University|
Served as Smith-Mundt Professor of American Literature, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
|1957-1958||Visiting Professor, Columbia University|
|1959||Delivered Eugenia Dorothy Blount Lamar Lectures, Mercer University|
|1960||Published Southern Life in Fiction|
|1961||Visiting Professor, University of Kentucky|
|1964||Inauguration of the Jay B. Hubbell Medallion by the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association|
|1964-1967||Appointed Honorary Consultant in American Cultural History, Library of Congress|
|1965||Published South and Southwest|
|1967||Published Essays on American Literature in Honor of Jay B. Hubbell|
|1972||Published Who Are the Major American Writers?|
|1976||Founded Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography; David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University|
|1979 Feb. 13||Died|
|1980||Lucinda Hubbell died|
- Hubbell, Jay B. (Jay Broadus), 1885-1979.
- Allen, Gay Wilson, 1903-
- Turner, Arlin.
- Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973.
- Gohdes, Clarence Louis Frank, 1901-
- Frost, Robert, 1874-1963.
- Hubbell family.
- Rusk, Ralph L. (Ralph Leslie), b. 1888.
- Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967.
- Tate, Allen, 1899-
- Wheelock, John Hall, 1886-1978.
- Modern Language Association of America. American Literature Section
- Duke University -- Faculty
- American literature -- Study and teaching
- American literature -- Southern States -- History and criticism
- College teachers as authors
- Scholars -- Correspondence
- Scholars -- United States
- Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography
[Identification of item], Jay B. Hubbell Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The Jay B. Hubbell Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift from Jay B. Hubbell in 1978, with additional materials received from Hubbell and other donors from 1979 to 2001.
Processed by Erma Whittington and Lauren Coats
Completed June 16, 2003
Encoded by Lauren Coats and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.