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Edmund Wilson papers, 1911-1972

Identifier: 1976-014

Scope and Contents

Consists of 74 handwritten, typed and carbon copy typed letters, postcards and telegrams between Wilson and various editors at Doubleday & Company (including brief correspondence between Jason Epstein and Leonard Baskin concerning a proposed portrait of Wilson for a dust jacket), as well as correspondence with friends and colleagues such as Leon Edel, Helen Gould, Sidney Hook, Elizabeth Huling and Henry Miller. Also included are handwritten, typed, and carbon copy typed drafts of book reviews, plays, articles, etc., by Wilson and by other people; miscellaneous items such as Wilson’s course handouts and notes for a Comparative Literature course, “The Language of Literature,” taught at Harvard; publisher's announcements; dust jacket proofs; scrapbooks of press cuttings; photographs of Wilson and his library/study; as well as maps of various locations.


  • 1911 - 1972


This material is open for research use by any registered reader. Most of this material is housed off-site and will require advance notice of 1 business day for use.

Use and Copyright

This material is owned by the University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections. Unpublished manuscripts are under copyright. Therefore, permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from both the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Probably the most influential man of letters in the twentieth century, Edmund Wilson commands a central position in the study of modern literature. Best known as a book reviewer and literary critic, Wilson did not limit himself to the boundaries set by the world of literature, and yet it is the world of literature which is a pervasive force in all his other writing. Wilson wrote poetry, plays, and fiction; travelogues, biographies, and inquiries into the historical method; anthropological investigations, polemics on contemporary social consciousness and cultural myths, and reflexive studies of the critic's role in a modern technological society. His interests ranged from Marxism to the Iroquois Indians, from the American jitters of the depression to the Cold War and the income tax, from Europe without Baedeker to the Patriotic Gore of the Civil War. Despite the diversity of these interests, there was always a firm point of reference in the world of literature, the documents of a world's consciousness. This is the world reflected in Edmund Wilson's library.


2.5 Linear Feet (3 document boxes; 1 oversized boxes)

Language of Materials

Multiple languages

Physical Location

Collection shelved at off-site storage and 5th floor oversize racks.

Immediate Source of Acquisition



Edmund Wilson papers, 1911-1972
Milissa Burkart
1996 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections & University Archives Repository

McFarlin Library
University of Tulsa
2933 E. 6th St
Tulsa 74104-3123 US US
918-631-5022 (Fax)