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Preliminary Guide to the Harold Grier McCurdy Papers, 1918-2006

Collection Overview

Collection contains an unpublished manuscript of A Photorealist in Quest of God by McCurdy. This work traces the artistic development of his son, John. Among the correspondence are letters between John and his parents, and diaries detailing the early lives of both John and his sister, Ann. Also included is an exhibition catalog of John's work (1977); an essay by John with publishers' responses; his doctoral dissertation; reprints of articles John wrote; original art work; legal papers, handwritten notes, printed material, yearbooks, course work, diplomas, correspondence; and slides and photographs. Other works by Harold McCurdy include Barbara, The Unconscious Autobiography of a Child Genius and About Mary. Another group of materials include correspondence, clippings, articles, and other items relating to Harold McCurdy's writing, teaching, and publishing career.

Addition (2000-0424) (8216 items, dating from 1918-1999) provides a relatively well-rounded and sometimes intimate look into McCurdy's personal and professional life over the majority of his lifetime. Materials include correspondence from and to McCurdy; writings on psychology, poetry, and drama; diaries; subject files; cartoons; and 254 color slides of paintings and other sketches and writings by McCurdy's son, John Derrickson McCurdy.

Addition (2009-0021) (8 items; 0.2 lin. ft.; 1949-2006) consists of 6 bound notebooks and diaries kept by McCurdy. Some of the diaries appear to be sequential; other notebooks include clippings and writings. There is also an index of McCurdy's submissions (1949-1998), as well as a compilation of his poetry (2006).

Descriptive Summary

Title
Harold Grier McCurdy papers, 1918-2006
Creator
McCurdy, Harold Grier, 1909-
Extent
22.6 Linear Feet, 9934 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
English.

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.

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

Collection contains an unpublished manuscript of "A Photorealist in Quest of God" by McCurdy. This work traces the artistic development of his son, John. Among the correspondence are letters between John and his parents, and diaries detailing the early lives of both John and his sister, Ann. Also included is an exhibition catalog of John's work (1977); an essay by John with publishers' responses; his doctoral dissertation; reprints of articles John wrote; original art work; legal papers, handwritten notes, printed material, yearbooks, course work, diplomas, correspondence; and slides and photographs. Other works by Harold McCurdy include Barbara, The Unconscious Autobiography of a Child Genius, and About Mary. Another group of materials include correspondence, clippings, articles, and other items relating to Harold McCurdy's writing, teaching, and publishing career.

Includes Accessions (1989-0089), (1990-0094), (1998-0237)

Accession 1989-0089
Box Acc. 89/089: Box 1
Accession 1990-0094
Box Acc. 90/094: Box 1
Accession 1990-0094
Box Acc. 90/094: Box 2
Accession 1998-0237
Box Acc. 98/237: Box 1

Addition (2000-0424) (8216 items, dating from 1918-1999) provides a relatively well-rounded and sometimes intimate look into McCurdy's personal and professional life over the majority of his lifetime. Materials include correspondence from and to McCurdy; writings on psychology, poetry, and drama; diaries; subject files; cartoons; and 254 color slides of paintings and other sketches and writings by McCurdy's son, John Derrickson McCurdy.

Some of the materials in this collection are not immediately accessible, because they require further processing before use. Technical Services staff need to reformat newspaper clippings and other acidic paper; remove rusty fasteners; remove material from envelopes. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

Box 6 contains sensitive material--student grades. Patrons must sign a release form before use.

Correspondence to and from McCurdy and subject files, A-D, 1967-1999
Box 1
Correspondence to and from McCurdy and subject files, E-N, 1966-1999
Box 2
Correspondence to and from McCurdy and subject files, O-Z, 1941-1999
Box 3
Poetry and professional writings in manuscript form, 1943-1997
(one binder and various printed journals)
Box 3
Poetry and professional writings in manuscript form, 1943-1997
(15 folders)
Box 4
Letters home, 1929-1932, 1964
(3 folders)
Box 4
Letters to Frank, 1930-1934, 1987-1992
(four folders)
Box 4
Drawings/cartoons, 1918-1926
(2 folders)
Box 4
Drawings/cartoons, 1918-1926
(2 folders)
Box 5
Academic reprints and other writings, mainly poetry and plays, including Realizing Westward,1940s-1990s (some material in deteriorating bound volumes)
Box 5
Biographical files and publications, 1942-1999
Box 6
Poetry and professional writings in manuscript form, 1943-1997 (one printed journal)
Box 7
Elegy by W.S.(published book by other author)
Box 7
Bound volume of hand-copied verses by well-known poets
Box 7
Son John McCurdy's biographical material, academic writings and course work, cartoons, sketches, drawings, and lists of paintings, 1940-1974

Includes a small amount of material relating to daughter Ann McCurdy

Box 7
Papers, 1965-1970
Box 8
Manuscript of A Photorealist in Search of God

[Section Two Illustrations moved to OS box 133]

Box 8
Data books on subjects' dream contents, 1968 and undated
(three volumes)
Box 8
Personal and professional writings, including rough drafts of poems, 1942-1999
Box 8
Personal and professional writings, including rough drafts of poems, 1942-1999
Box 9
Copies of poems from other writers
Box 9
Diploma from Duke University, Ph.D., 1938
Box 9
Loose material from inside diploma, including two sketches by McCurdy, ca. 1940 and undated

[Class notes]

Box 9
Dream and daily diaries, 1941-1999
Box 9
Color slides of John McCurdy's paintings, shows, and wedding, 1965-1987
Box 10
Oversize artwork
Box 11
Miscellaneous Oversize Material
Oversize Folder 1

Addition (2009-0021) (8 items; 0.2 lin. ft.; 1949-2006) consists of 6 bound notebooks and diaries kept by McCurdy. Some of the diaries appear to be sequential; other notebooks include clippings and writings. There is also an index of McCurdy's submissions (1949-1998), as well as a compilation of his poetry (2006).

Diary, 1977
Box 1
Before and After March 23, 1989, notebook of writings and poems
Box 1
Red and black diary with clippings, 1964-1995
Box 1
Composition book V, 1990 (pages 376-474)
Box 1
Composition book IX, 1991-1992 (pages 810-869)
Box 1
Composition book X, 1992 (pages 870-929, 1145-1204)
Box 1
Index 1949-1998
Box 2
Poetry compilation, 2006
Box 2

Historical Note

Child psychologist and teacher, poet, professor at the University of North Carolina, and father of artist John Derrickson McCurdy.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Harold Grier McCurdy Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Harold Grier McCurdy Papers was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1989-2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Ruth E. Bryan, Ann Langford, and other Rubenstein Library staff

Completed 1989-October 31, 2000

Encoded by Ruth E. Bryan and Ming Guo

Updated by Meghan Lyon, February 2009

Updated by Alice Poffinberger, August 2010

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.

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