Ralph Leslie Rusk papers, 1782-1981 30 Linear Feet — 25,276 Items
The Ralph Leslie Rusk Papers span the years 1782-1981, and chiefly concern Rusk's teaching and research in American Literature, notably the life and letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The collection contains research papers and notebooks, and travel diaries related to Rusk's research and teaching; a large series of correspondence covering the years 1912-1963; teaching materials such as lecture notes; clippings files and articles related to Rusk's publications and related activities; many photographs; Rusk, Gibbs, and Emerson family papers; and papers relating to his wife, Clara Gibbs, including a scrapbook and wedding mementoes. Some of the papers and photographs refer to a period of time spent teaching in the Philippines, around 1912-1914. The collection was originally arranged by additions, described below in more detail. Some boxes have been reordered to reflect a chronological or topical sequence, thus, some box numbers appear out of order.
The original collection (6-19-78) (32 items; dated 1939-1956) contains an essay on William Peterfield Trent, and 31 letters regarding Rusk’s academic activities. There are letters from Bliss Perry, Stanley T. Williams, Henry A. Pochmann, George C. D. Odell, Newton Arvin, John Erskine, Randall Stewart, Harry H. Clark, and Ernest E. Leisy.
The addition (9-25-85) (5982 items; dated 1880-1979) relates primarily to Rusk’s research for editing The Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and his teaching. Rusk maintained journals and ledgers during research trips in Europe, where he retraced the travels of Ralph Waldo Emerson. There are photostatic copies of Emerson family letters, articles about Emerson and related topics, and a clippings file featuring reviews of Rusk’s book. In addition, Rusk’s lecture notes are held in three volumes, notebooks, and notecard files. There are also photographs, photograph albums, and letters (1912-1914) from the period Rusk spent as a professor at the University of the Philippines. These items including descriptions of the islands and culture. There are also miscellaneous items and scrapbooks.
The addition (12-18-85) (100 items; dated 1883-1980) contains an inventory and appraisal of Rusk’s private library now housed at Columbia University; as well as Clara Gibbs’ scrapbooks, correspondence, and various commencement invitations. There are also items related to their marriage, including her bride’s book, a wedding announcement, and their marriage certificate.
The addition (6-25-86) (16,920 items; dated 1782-1963) contains correspondence, clippings, travel diaries, and pictures for the Rusk and Gibbs families. The clippings refer to Rusk’s books THE LIFE OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON, LETTERS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON, and THE LITERATURE OF THE MIDDLE WESTERN FRONTIER. The correspondence pertains to Rusk’s research and teaching.
The addition (87-116) (12 items; dated 1941-1981) comprises official documents concerning the deaths of Rusk family members. Acquired as part of the Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography.