Lionel Stevenson papers, 1808-1989, bulk 1911-1974

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Stevenson, Lionel, 1902-1973
Lionel Stevenson was James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University from 1955-1971. This collection contains artwork, canadiana, clippings, correspondence, course material, diaries, financial records, manuscripts, photographs, and scrapbooks regarding the life and work of Lionel Stevenson. The material ranges in date from 1808-1989, bulk from 1911-1974.
25.25 Linear Feet
30,300 items
Material in English, French, German
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 02 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

The papers of Lionel Stevenson span the years 1808 to 1989, although the bulk of the material dates from the 1920s to 1973. They consist of canadiana; clippings; correspondence; course material; general files; manuscripts and notes; notes, papers, and research; non-textual material; organizations; oversized materials; and writings. The collection documents Lionel Stevenson's work as both an author and a professor, as well as an avid collector of news clippings and expert on the Cary family. Subject areas include genealogy of the Cary family, Canadian authors and poets, and photographs, and nineteenth century English literary criticism.

The General Files series is mainly comprised of personal files, like financial records and general miscellany. The Non-Textual Material series contains over 230 cartes de visite photographs, chiefly of the Cary family, as well as other various photographs and pictures. The bulk of the Writings series contains mainly articles and drafts. Notable in this series is Stevenson's Masters thesis. The series Course Material contains folders of syllabi, lecture notes, and miscellaneous papers relating to courses he taught. The Notes, Papers, and Research series contains research notes relating to the writings of Lionel Stevenson. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Notable in this series are letters from literary figures Joyce Cary, Bliss Carman, and Evelyn Waugh. The Organizations contains papers regarding the various groups Stevenson belonged to, notably the Canadian Authors Association, Dickens Fellowship, Modern Language Association, and the PEN Congress. The Manuscript and Notes series contains miscellaneous papers and a manuscript of Revolt Among the Artists. The bulk of the Clippings series are clippings removed from Correspondence and arranged alphabetically. The Diaries series is two boxes filled with Stevenon's personal diaries kept from 1919 to 1974. The Oversized Material series contains clippings and papers removed from their respective series, as well as three scrapbooks of clippings, a novel, audio cassette, and a poster for an essay contest. Canadiana contains miscellaneous Canadian memorabilia that Stevenson collected. The last series Oversized Artwork contains paintings and pictures that were formerly housed in the general oversized collection.

Biographical / historical:

Lionel Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 16, 1902. He moved to British Columbia in September, 1907, and finally to America in August, 1923. Stevenson became naturalized as an American citizen on May 23, 1930. He had a wife, Lillian, and one step daughter, Marietta.

Stevenson received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1922, M.A. from the University of Toronto in 1923, his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1925, and his B. Litt., from the University of Oxford in 1935.

He was James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University from 1955-1970. Before coming to Duke, Stevenson held teaching positions at the University of California, 1925-1930, Arizona State College, 1930-1937, and the University of Southern California, 1937-1955. He also was a Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois, 1952-1953, and Visiting Lecturer at University of Oxford, 1960-1961.

Stevenson held positions as Vice-president of the Western College Association, 1946-1947, Chairman of the Southern Humanities Conference, 1959-1960, and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, 1960-1961.

Lionel Stevenson died on December 21, 1973, at the age of 71.

Acquisition information:
The Lionel Stevenson Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1974-2001.
Processing information:

Processed by Matthew Shangler, August 2009

Encoded by Matthew Shangler, August 2009

Accessions A2001-53, A74-47, A74-184, A89-0063, A91-135, A94-55 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Accession UA2015.0004 added by Tracy M. Jackson, January 2015.

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

English literature -- 19th century
Poets, Canadian
Authors, Canadian
Clippings (information artifacts)
Duke University. Department of English
Carman, Bliss
Stevenson, Lionel, 1902-1973
Cary, Joyce


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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. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the University Archives to use this collection.

Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Lionel Stevenson Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.