Jay B. Hubbell papers, 1816-1998 and undated, bulk 1920-1979 10.2 Linear Feet — 6375 Items
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by others at his request for the Jay B. Hubbell Center, printed materials inscribed to him and written by him, and unpublished manuscripts.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's American Literature Section and Southern Literature Discussion Group; and the papers of Gay Wilson Allen, Sacvan Berkovitch, Cathy Davidson, and Arlin Turner.