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Ralph Leslie Rusk papers, 1782-1981 30 Linear Feet — 25,276 Items

Professor of American Literature at Columbia University, 1925-1953. One of the founders of the journal American Literature. Married Clara Gibbs in 1915. 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. Acquired as part of the Jay B. Hubbell Center for American Literary Historiography.

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.

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Collection consists of an assortment of correspondence, fragments, and notes from Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle. Correspondents include Carlyle's secretary, Henry Larkin; John Fergusson; Thomas Murray; Basil Montagu; Bryan Waller Procter ("Barry Cornwall"); Henrietta Maria Stanley; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Thomas Erskine; Richard Owen; Frederic Chapman; William McCall; and John Reuben Thomas.

The collection consists primarily of the Correspondence Series, 1820-1927 and undated, between Thomas Carlyle, Jane Welsh Carlyle, and various other correspondents. Correspondents include Carlyle's secretary, Henry Larkin; John Fergusson; Thomas Murray; Basil Montagu; Bryan Waller Procter ("Barry Cornwall"); Thomas Erskine; Richard Owen; Frederic Chapman; William McCall; and John Reuben Thomas. Letters present not only a narrative of their own lives, but also provocative discussion of the ideas and events of their time, including the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, the coronation of Queen Victoria, the repeal of the Corn Laws, the Great Exhibition of 1851, the deaths of Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington, the Crimean War, and the rise of modern Germany. Also present are vivid references to the works and movements of noteworthy contemporaries such as Robert Browning, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Ivan Turgenev, and others. Most of the letters are outgoing from the Carlyles; there is also one letter dated 1860 April 25 from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Thomas Carlyle, asking Carlyle to sit for a portrait. There is also an August 1863 letter from Carlyle likely directed to Virginia devine and abolitionist Moncure Conway, who travelled to London in 1863 armed with letters of introduction from Emerson, his mentor. There are several letters from Jane Welsh Carlyle to Henrietta Maria, Lady Stanley of Alderley, discussing day-to-day life with numerous references to her husband, Thomas Carlyle. Also included is a fragment of a letter from Thomas Carlyle to his wife containing reference to Lady Stanley's little boy.

The collection also includes miscellaneous correspondence, such as one letter to Charles Kingsley promising to help Kingsley get his book published; one letter to James Aitkin; one to Sir Richard Owen concerning inviting O. M. Mitchel (an American astronomer) to lecture on the Mississippi at Somerset House; one letter from Walter Savage Landor prior to Carlyle's only visit with Landor; one letter from Carlyle to London publisher [Frederic] Chapman referring to two manuscripts by Mr. Meccall; one letter from Carlyle to Boehm; and one letter from Carlyle to John Reuben Thompson, as well as several pieces to or from unidentified correspondents. Also includes a letter from Carlyle to D. B. Brightwick at Greenwood College regarding teaching virtue by example (includes published transcription).

The Scrapbook Series consists of a volume of clippings and annotations on Thomas Carlyle's life and works compiled by his biographer, David Alec Wilson.

The Writings Series consists of manuscript fragments of Thomas Carlyle's Shooting Niagara: And After? and his History of Frederich II of Prussia.

The Photographs Series contains a photograph showing part of the Carlyles' study and an autographed a cartes-de-visite of Thomas Carlyle.