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Guide to the James Leslie Woodress Papers, 1941-1976

Abstract

Professor of American literature at the University of California, Davis.

The James Leslie Woodress Papers span the years from 1941 to 1976. The collection (2.4 linear feet) consists mainly of professional papers including correspondence with colleagues and literary figures, editors and publishers, copyright holders, libraries, and others regarding the production of a number of Woodress' published works on the history of American literature.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Woodress, James Leslie
Title
James Leslie Woodress papers 1941-1976
Language of Material
English
Extent
2.4 Linear Feet, 1112 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The James Leslie Woodress Papers span the years from 1941 to 1976. The collection consists mainly of professional papers, including correspondence with colleagues and literary figures, editors and publishers, copyright holders, libraries, and others regarding the production of a number of Woodress' published works, including Booth Tarkington: Gentleman from Indiana, Dissertations in American Literature, Eight American Authors, Essays Mostly on Periodical Publishing in America: A Collection in Honor of Clarence Gohdes, Howells and Italy, A Yankee's Odyssey: The Life of Joel Barlow, and "Voices from America's Past," a historical pamphlets series. Among the significant correspondents are Ashbel G. Brice and John Menapace of the Duke University Press, Elizabeth Blackert and Robert F. Wilson of McGraw-Hill, and scholars such as Walter Blair, Hugh Holman, Jay B. Hubbell, Lewis Leary, Floyd Stovall, and Willard Thorp. Background notes and drafts of publication materials are also contained in the collection. The collection is divided into seven series, corresponding to Woodress' published works and arranged in alphabetical order by title: Booth Tarkington, Dissertations in American Literature, Eight American Authors, Essays Mostly on Periodical Publishing in America, Howells and Italy, Voices from America's Past, and Yankee's Odyssey. These series are described fully below. Acquired as part of the Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography.

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

Comprised of book production materials and correspondence for research and editorial purposes related to Woodress' published book-length work, Booth Tarkington: Gentleman from Indiana. Included among this material are permissions; book illustrations; published writings by Booth Tarkington; and research, editorial, and other correspondence. Also included in the series are two groups of index cards designated as "Notes for Booth Tarkington (1955)."

Comprised of book production materials and correspondence for research and editorial purposes related to Woodress' published book-length work, Dissertations in American Literature. Included among this material are an author's contract; draft writings (some with hand-written corrections); research, editorial, and other correspondence; as well as correspondence from readers of the published work.

Contains book production materials and correspondence for research and editorial purposes related to a published book-length collection of essays for which Woodress was editor, Eight American Authors. Included among this material are draft writings (some with hand-written corrections); author, editorial, and other correspondence; as well as correspondence from readers of the published work.

Comprised of book production materials and correspondence for research and editorial purposes related to a published book-length collection of essays which was edited by Woodress with the assistance of Townsend Ludington and Joseph Arpad, Essays Mostly on Periodical Publishing in America: A Collection in Honor of Clarence Gohdes. Included among this material are draft writings (some with hand-written corrections); author, editorial, and other correspondence; and a copy of the publication contract.

Contains publication materials and research and editorial correspondence related to Woodress' doctoral dissertation and the published book-length work that resulted from it, Howells and Italy, a work on the novelist William Dean Howells. Included among this material are draft writings; research, editorial, and other correspondence; as well as correspondence from readers of the published work.

Comprised of production materials and correspondence for research and editorial purposes related to publication of the "Voices from America's Past" series of historical pamphlets edited by Woodress and Richard B. Morris. Included among this material are research, editorial, permissions, and other correspondence; permissions documents; a cover of Volume 4 of the series; draft writings and proofs (some with hand-written corrections); and a 1963 award from the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation.

Contains production materials and correspondence for research and editorial purposes related to publication of Woodress' book-length work, A Yankee's Odyssey: The Life of Joel Barlow. Included among this material are book illustrations; research, editorial, and other correspondence; as well as correspondence from readers of the published work. Also included in the series are a single large group of index cards designated as "Notes for Joel Barlow."

Historical Note

Chronology List

DateEvent(s)
1916 July 7Born Webster Groves, Missouri
1938A.B., Amherst College
1938-1940Assistant News Editor for station KWK, St. Louis, Missouri
1940-1943Radio writer for United Press Association
1943M.A., New York University
1943-1946Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army
1946Enrolled at Duke University
1947-1949Assistant in Duke's English Department
1949-1950Instructor at Grinnell College, Grinell, Iowa
1950Received Ph.D. from Duke University; doctoral thesis was on novelist William Dean Howells
1950-1958Appointed as Assistant, then Associate Professor at Butler University
1952Howells and Italy published
1955Booth Tarkington, Gentleman from Indiana published
1957Publication of Dissertations in American literature, 1891-1955
1958A Yankee’s Odyssey: The Life of Joel Barlow published
1958-1961Associate Professor, San Fernando Valley State University
1958-1963Chair of English Department, San Fernando Valley State University
1961Became Full Professor, San Fernando Valley State University
1961-1965Served as Secretary of the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association of America
1962-1963Fulbright Lecturer, France
1963Appointed Dean of the School of Letters and Science at San Fernando Valley State University; founded American Literary Scholarship, annual review of the year in American literary studies, published by Duke Press
1965-1966Fulbright Lecturer, Italy
1966Appointed Professor on the English Department faculty, University of California at Davis
1968Publication of Dissertations in American Literature, 1891-1966
1970-1974Appointed Chair of English Department, UC Davis
1972Eight American Authors published
1973Publication of Essays Mostly on Periodical Publishing in America: A Collection in Honor of Clarence Gohdes

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James Leslie Woodress Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The James Leslie Woodress Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1976, 1988, and 1997.

Processing Information

Processed by Aaron Thornburg, April 2009

Encoded by Aaron Thornburg, April 2009

Accession from 1976 and accessions 89-012 and 1997-0080 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

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

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.