Edgar Marquess Branch papers, 1939-2003 and undated (bulk 1960-1990), bulk 1960-1990

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Branch, Edgar Marquess, 1913-
10 Linear Feet
4052 Items
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The Edgar Marquess Branch Papers span the years from 1939 to 2003, with the majority of the materials dating from 1960 to 1990. Through correspondence and writings, they document Branch's lifelong research on nineteenth-century American author Mark Twain. Important correspondents include such Twain scholars as Fred Anderson, Louis Budd, Cyril Clemens, Robert Hirst, and Henry Nash Smith. Topics chiefly focus on issues concerning academic writers, and Twain's life and literary output. Although the bulk of this collection concerns Branch's work on Twain, it should be noted that Professor Branch was also an eminent scholar of James T. Farrell, a twentieth-century American novelist best known for his "Studs Lonigan" series (1932-1935). Branch's papers are organized into three series: Correspondence, Special Projects Files, and Writings. Although Branch taught for many years as a Professor of English, there are no teaching materials in the collection. However, the correspondence may contain some references to teaching American literature and to activities as a faculty member at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

The Correspondence Series, the largest series in the collection, is organized into two subseries. The Individuals Subseries documents Branch's contacts over many decades with numerous Twain scholars, literary critics, and former students. There are also letters concerning his contacts with institutions such as the Mark Twain Boyhood Home Association. The Journals and Publishers Subseries contains Branch's correspondence with many well-known publishing firms and academic presses. Most of the correspondence is routine in nature but attests to Branch's lengthy and prolific writing career. In a few cases, drafts of writings are attached to his correspondence.

The bulk of the Mark Twain Special Projects Files Series consists of documents that pertain to Branch's service on the Board of Directors for the Mark Twain Project, based at the University of California at Berkeley, from 1980 to 1990. Administrative files and grant application files make up the majority of the materials.

The Writings Series consists of manuscripts and galley proofs of the Early Tales and Sketches of Mark Twain, Volume 1, and the page proofs for Early Tales and Sketches, Volume 2. Branch co-edited both of these volumes, which were published in 1979 and 1981, respectively.

Biographical / historical:
Date Event
1913 Mar. 21
Born in Chicago, Ill., son of Raymond Sydney (publisher) and Marian (Marquess) Branch
Studied at University College, London
Received A.B. from Beloit College, Beloit, Wis.
Graduate study at Brown University
Received M.A. from the University of Chicago
1939, Apr. 29
Married Mary Josephine (Mary Jo) Emerson
Received Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa
Instructor at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
(Editor) Mark Twain's Letters in the Muscatine Journal
Assistant Professor of English at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
Associate Professor of English at Miami University
Published The Literary Apprenticeship of Mark Twain
Professor of English at Miami University, and Chair of the English Department from 1959-1964
Published A Bibliography of James T. Farrell's Writings, 1921-1957
Research Professor of English at Miami University
(Editor and author of the introduction and preface) Clemens of the "Call"
Published James T. Farrell
Published (with Frederick Anderson) The Great Landslide Case
Named literary executor of the James T. Farrell estate
Named Research Professor of English Emeritus and Research Associate in American Literature at Miami University
Editor, with Robert H. Hirst, and with the assistance of Harriet Elinor Smith, of Mark Twain, Early Tales and Sketches, Volume 1: 1851-1864
Member of the Board of Directors of the Mark Twain Project in Berkeley, Calif.
Mark Twain, Early Tales and Sketches, Volume 2: 1864-1865
(With Robert H. Hirst) The Grangerford-Shepherdson Feud: Life and Death at Compromise, Friends of the Bancroft Library, University of California Press (Berkeley, Calif.).
Published Men Call Me Lucky: Mark Twain and the "Pennsylvania"
Editor, with Michael B. Frank and Kenneth M. Sanderson, Mark Twain's Letters, Volume 1: 1853-1866, Volume 2: 1867-1868, Volume 5: 1872-1873
Published Mark Twain and the Starchy Boys
Editor, with H.E. Smith, Roughing It
Published Studs Lonigan's Neighborhood and the Making of James T. Farrell
Published A Paris Year: Dorothy and James T. Farrell, 1931-1932
Acquisition information:
The Edgar Marquess Branch Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as gifts from 1981 through 2004.
Processing information:

Processed by David Mayer, Paula Jeannet

Completed August 1, 2002. Addition interfiled March 11, 2005.

All accessions from 1981 through 2004 are represented in this finding aid.

Encoded by Joshua A. Kaiser and Paula Jeannet

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For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
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[Identification of item], Edgar Marquess Branch Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.