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Neda M. Westlake American Literary Manuscripts records

Ms. Coll. 1148

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Westlake, Neda M.
Title:
Neda M. Westlake American Literary Manuscripts records
Date [inclusive]:
1970-1977
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1148
Extent:
0.2 linear feet (1 box, 2 oversized folders)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Neda M. Westlake was named the librarian of the Rare Books Division of Van Pelt Library of the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. In addition to her library work, she worked extensively with the second revision of American Literary Manuscripts. This collection of documents consists of correspondence regarding American Literary Manuscripts, author lists indicating the authors present in the Penn collections, and inventory lists from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania.
Cite as:
The Neda M. Westlake American Literary Manuscripts records, 1970-1977, MS. coll. 1148, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Neda M. Westlake was the curator and librarian of the Rare Book Collection at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960's through the 1980's. She graduated from Wheaton College in 1939 and earned a Ph.D. in American civilization at the University of Pennsylvania in 1950. In 1949, she became assistant curator of rare books at Van Pelt Library. She became the head curator in 1960 and the Librarian of the Rare Book Division in 1962. She was one of the key scholars working on the 2nd edition of the American Literary Manuscripts.

The American Literary Manuscripts was created to aid scholars in their search for new research materials by making it easier to locate primary manuscript sources of major and minor authors. The first edition text described the scope of the American literary manuscripts in roughly 270 American libraries. Approximately 2,350 American authors were represented in this volume. The revised edition included 400 additional authors and 327 additional libraries; furthermore, it included "not only academic, historical and public libraries which contain manuscripts but also the possessions of museums, foundations, and authors' homes," (box 1, folder 2).

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the long difficult process of editing and creating the second revision of American Literary Manuscripts. It contains correspondence between Westlake and her editorial staff as well as correspondence between Westlake and staff of other regional repositories, printouts of institution inventories, and annotated author lists indicating the authors present in the the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library collections.

This collection is divided into three series. These series include correspondence, the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library collection author lists, and repository inventory printouts.

Correspondence contains letters between Neda Westlake and her editorial staff and staff from other regional repositories concerning the creation of the second edition of American Literary Manuscripts. The series houses correspondence between Westlake and Dr. J. Albert Robbins, Dr. J. V. Ridgley, Dr. Leo Weigant, Thomas Whitehead, Murphy Smith, Peter Parker, and Sister Regina Maria from 1970, 1972 and 1973. It also includes correspondence between Westlake and Mary Leahy, Howell J. Heaney, Murphy Smith, Thomas Whitehead, Peter Parker, Clive Driver, Elliott H. Morse, Dr. J Albert Robbins, and Sister Anne Xavier from 1975 and 1977. Letters relate largely to the logistics involved in creating inventory lists and sending them to appropriate individuals for inclusion in the volume and obtaining proofs and corrections in a timely manner. Also included in the correspondence files are the formulary for the revised edition and a press release regarding the printing of the second edition.

The Penn collection author lists include lists of the correspondence of Waldo Frank, Richard Penn Smith, Carl Zigrosser, Burton Rascoe, Ada Rehan, Theodore Dreiser, Samuel Ingham, Albert Mordell, and Benjamin Franklin with the listed authors. These annotated lists indicate with who these authors communicated and the number of known correspondences between them.

The repository inventory printouts include reports from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania for the revision of American Literary Manuscripts.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2015 November 13

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Kelin Baldridge

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Custodial History note

Gift of Neda Westlake.

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Correspondence
  • Lists (document genres)
  • Manuscripts, American
Subject(s)
  • American literature
  • Authors
  • Authors, American
  • Book editors
  • Literature

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Collection Inventory

I. Correspondence.

Box Folder

1970, 1972-1973.

1 1

1975, 1977.

1 2

II. University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library collection author lists.

Box Folder

Dreiser, Thodore, correspondence list, 1970.

1 3

Frank, Waldo, correspondence list, 1970.

1 4

Franklin, Benjamin, correspondence list, 1970.

1 5

Ingham, Samuel, correspondence list, 1970.

1 6

Mordell, Albert, correspondence list, 1970.

1 7

Rascoe, Burton, correspondence list, 1970.

1 8

Rehan, Ada, correspondence list, 1970.

1 9

Smith, Richard Penn, correspondence list, 1970.

1 10

Zigrosser, Carl, correspondence list, 1970.

1 11

III. Repository inventory printouts.

Drawer Folder

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1973.

55 1

University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 1973.

55 2