Reynolds Price papers, 1880-2014 and undated

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RESTRICTED: Access to, and duplication by any means, of most materials in the Reynolds Price papers requires written permission from his literary executor. Prior consultation with the Associate...
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Price, Reynolds, 1933-2011
Reynolds Price (1933-2011) was a novelist, short story writer, poet, dramatist, essayist, translator, and James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University, where he taught creative writing and literature beginning in 1958. He was an alumnus of Duke and of Oxford University, which he attended on a Rhodes Scholarship. He received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and his books were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The collection is comprised of correspondence, writings, serials, clippings, speeches, interviews, legal and financial papers, photographs, audiovisual materials, and digital materials reflecting Price's career and personal life. Personal and professional correspondence document his education at Duke University, especially his studies under William Blackburn; his period abroad as a Rhodes Scholar at Merton College, Oxford; and his literary work and interaction with other authors, including Stephen Spender, Eudora Welty, and Allan Gurganus. Writings include manuscripts, typescripts, proofs, outlines, and notes produced in the creation and publication of all his major works, including: A Long and Happy Life; Kate Vaiden; A Palpable God; Clear Pictures; A Whole New Life; The Collected Stories; The Collected Poems; A Letter to a Godchild; Ardent Spirits; The Good Priest's Son, and many other books, individual stories, poems, and essays.
151 Linear Feet
1 Gigabyte
354 boxes
Materials in English
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The (1) Correspondence Series is divided into the Correspondence, chronological subseries and the Correspondence, alphabetical by name subseries. The chronological correspondence subseries consists of letters to and from family, friends, teachers, and admirers of Price's work. The alphabetical correspondence subseries comprises correspondence between Price and other writers, literary figures, celebrities, and close friends including Eudora Welty and Stephen Spender. The (2) Writings Series contains various writings by Price and is divided into the Books, Scribner's Files, Uncollected Fiction and Nonfiction, Price Writing in Serials, Reviews by Price, Addresses and Speeches, and Audiovisual Recordings of Price Regarding Writing subseries. The Books subseries is composed chiefly of drafts, typescripts, and proofs of Price's novels, plays, autobiographical works, and volumes of poetry.

The (3) Events Series contains materials documenting Price's achievements, his education, and performances of his dramatic work and his speaking engagements, as well as performances, and presentations of interest to Price. The (4) Personal Papers Series has expanded significantly following the author's death. The Series contains many of the books, letters, art and photographs kept in his home, including personal health and financial records. The Series also includes personal scrapbooks, his postcard collection, and a collection of family home movies. Price's teaching career in the Duke University English Department is documented by the (5) Duke University Series. And manuscripts sent to Price by fellow authors and students make up the (6) Writings by Others Series.

Biographical / historical:

Chronology List

Chronology List
Date Event
1933 Feb. 1
Born in Macon, NC, to William Solomon and Elizabeth (Rodwell) Price
Editor, The Archive; Advisory editor, Shenandoah at Duke University
A.B. Summa cum laude, Duke University; Angier Duke Scholar
D. Litt., St. Andrew's Presbyterian College
B. Litt. (Rhodes Scholar), Merton College, Oxford University
Member of English Department faculty, Duke University
Assistant Professor, Duke University
A Long and Happy Life, first novel and book
Writer-in-residence, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1967, 1969
Writer-in-residence, University of Kansas
Associate professor, Duke University
Writer-in-residence, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Glasgow Professor, Washington and Lee University
Professor, Duke University
Literature Advisory Panel, National Endowment for the Arts (Chair, 1976)
Faculty, Salzburg Seminar
James B. Duke Professor of English, Duke University
National Book Award nomination for translation, for A Palpable God
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, for Kate Vaiden
Finalist for Pulitzer Prize in fiction, for The Collected Stories
The Collected Poems
2011 Jan. 20
Died following a heart attack, Durham, NC
Acquisition information:
The Reynolds Price Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift between 1986-2017.
Processing information:

Processed Leah M. Kerr, May 2019

Processed by Michael Shumate, Melissa Delbridge, Dan Daily, Linda Daniel, Pavla Vesela, October 2005

Encoded by Michael Shumate, Stephen Miller

Completed February 2006

Accessions 93-125, 94-022, 95-011, 95-075, 96-036, 96-121, 1996-0171, 97-066, 1998-0248, 1998-0047, 1998-0535, 1999-0007, 1999-0259, 2000-0146, 2001-0141, 2001-0228, 2002-0007, 2002-0040, 2003-0174, 2004-0091, 2007-0009, 2009-0105, 2011-0013, 2011-0080, 2013-0155, 2014-0158, 2016-0003, and 2017-0070 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.


Arrangement follows creator's chronological dates, where available. Archivist added versions where dates were unavailalbe.

Physical facet:
1,300 document (MS Word and text formats) and digital image files; approximately 1 gigabytes.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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RESTRICTED: Access to, and duplication by any means, of most materials in the Reynolds Price papers requires written permission from his literary executor. Prior consultation with the Associate Curator of Collections is required before permission can be granted. Please contact Research Services.

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. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

Terms of access:

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.

All safety and nitrate negatives of photographic materials are closed to use; copies are available on request. Please contact Rubenstein Library Research Services for assistance.

Access to original electronic and audiovisual materials is restricted. Contact Research Services in advance to request the production of a use copy.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Reynolds Price Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University