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Felix E. Schelling papers

Ms. Coll. 1118

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

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Schelling, Felix Emmanuel, 1858-1945
Felix E. Schelling papers
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1118
7.25 linear feet (13 boxes)
Felix E. Schelling (1858-1945) was a professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, an expert on Shakespeare, and an author of scholarly works on Shakespeare and Elizabethan literature. This collection documents Schelling's life as a student, a professor, a scholar, and an author. It also documents the University of Pennsylvania through the eyes of an individual who was a student and a faculty member over a period of more than fifty years.
Cite as:
Felix E. Schelling papers, 1856-1945, Ms. Coll. 1118, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
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Felix Emmanuel Schilling was born on September 3, 1858, the son of Felix and Rose (White) Schelling. He and his siblings, Julia and Ernest were all very musical and, in 1873, he studied with Henry C. Timm in New York. According to Thomas H. Hill's dissertation, Felix E. Schelling had been tutored at home, but "was accepted as a sophomore by the University of Pennsylvania even though he had never attended a school," (Hill, page 9). As a student, he was class poet, sang with the Glee Club, and was a member of several fraternities. He earned his A.B. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1881, his LL.B in 1883, his A.M. in 1884, his Litt. D. in 1903, and his LL.D in 1909. In 1893, he began his career as the John Welsh Centennial professor of English Literature, a title which was renamed in 1930 as the Felix E. Schelling Professorship of English Literature. At the time of his retirement, after serving as a faculty member for 48 years, he was considered the "Father of the English Department" at the University of Pennsylvania and it is stated that "his course in the modern novel was the first of its kind in American colleges," (box 1, folder 2) Following his retirement, he served as the curator of the Howard Furness Memorial Library.

According to resolution adopted in 1934, Schelling's "place in the world of scholarship is attested not only by the large number of students inspired and trained by him who occupy important positions in colleges and universities throughout the county, but by his own writings," (box 1, folder 2). Indeed, he authored more than 15 books and countless articles and edited 7 works, most of which relate to Shakespeare and Elizabethan literature and writers.

In 1886, Schelling married Caroline Derbyshire and they were the parents of Dorothea and Felix. Schelling died on December 15, 1945.

Works cited:

Biography (box 2, folder 19)

Hill, T. H. (1970). Ernest Schelling (1876-1939): His life and contributions to music education through educational concernts.

Resolution on Schelling's retirement (box 1, folder 2)

Scope and Contents

This collection documents Schelling's life as a student, a professor, a scholar, and an author. It also documents the University of Pennsylvania through the eyes of an individual who was a student and a faculty member over a period of more than fifty years. The collection is arranged in eleven series: Correspondence, Events, Financial records, Personal items, Research, Speeches and addresses, Teaching, University of Pennsylvania, Writings, Theatrical scrapbooks, and Newspaper and magazine article clippings.

Series I. Correspondence includes letters to and from Felix E. Schelling, although the bulk of the letters are addressed to Schelling. He appears to have had a wide range of correspondents, but there are a few people with whom he corresponded fairly regularly. These correspondents include Joseph Q. Adams, Raymond M. Alden, Frank Aydelotte, Henrietta Bartlett, A.S. Bouton, A. Brandl, J. LeGay Brereton, Tucker Brooke, Martin G. Brumbaugh, Edgar Potts Cheyney, Florence Coates, Allen S. Cook, Morris W. Croll, J.E. Davies, George W. Douglas, A.R. Elsasser, John Erskine, Max Farrand, Albert Feuillerat, Horace Howard Furness, Dr. M. Nelson Gay, Austin K. Gray, Francis B. Gummere, J.M. Hart, Henry Hanby Hay, Morris Jastrow, H. La Barre Jayne, W.W. Keen, Horace Liveright, Percy Long, Hughes Mearns, S. Weir Mitchell, Harrison S. Morris, A. Edward Newton, D. O'Bolger, E.H. Oliphant, Willard Parker, Leonidas Payne, Josiah H. Penniman, William Lyon Phelps, Agnes Repplier, Ernest Rhys, Maura Skinner, J. Duncan Spaeth, Charles William Wallace, Cornelius Weygandt, and W.A. White. Researchers interested in Schelling's career at Penn (and also collections found within the Kislak Center) will find letters from colleagues including E. Scully Bradley, E.P. Cheyney, Thomas Sovereign Gates, Joseph Hergesheimer, Edgar L. Potts, Arthur Hobson Quinn, J. Howard Reber, J.G. Rosengarten, and Edgar F. Smith. Letters are largely professional in nature, although there are several letters to and from his family (filed under Schelling in box 1, folder 18). If letters had attachments, the attachments are filed behind the letters. Material in this series is arranged in alphabetical order.

The second series, II. Events, contains invitations, programs, and memorabilia relating to events which Schelling almost certainly attended. Early events focus on musical performances in which Schelling and family members performed. From 1878 to 1884, there are many University of Pennsylvania student events represented, including performances of the Glee Club, Cremation ceremonies, athletic events, class days, and commencements, to name the most prevalent. Later years include memorabilia from University of Pennsylvania alumni events and commencements, the Shakespeare Society of Philadelphia, and other local institutions such as the American Philosophical Society. A few notable events include a trip to the University of Glasgow Jubilee in 1901, the Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft in 1914, the Shakespeare Tercentenary in 1916 (multiple events), cornerstone dedication at the University of Louvain in 1918, and a trip to England in 1923 which included the Cambridge University Jubilee and the 800th anniversary of the foundation of St. Bartholomew's Hospital. Material in this series is arranged in chronological order.

Series III. Financial records and IV. Personal items are both very small but contain important information for researchers interested in Schelling's writing career. These series contain receipts, royalty statements, biographical material, and copyright certificates.

The fifth series, V. Research, contains material that Schelling used for his scholarly work on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan literary world. This group of material contains photocopies of works by Bacon, Flacci, Lenton, and Livy and a number of inventories of collections of primary sources held at repositories, largely in New York. The primary source collections relate to theater. Material in this series is arranged in alphabetical order.

Schelling's career at the University of Pennsylvania is documented in series VI. Speeches and addresses and VII. Teaching. Schelling appears to have been a popular speaker during his career, and topics addressed are the Elizabethan literary world, Shakespeare, theater, teaching, and education. Very few of the speeches have titles and many are undated and therefore, the speeches are arranged chronologically whenever possible, with a large numbered grouped together as "undated." His teaching career is not particularly well documented--there are a few lectures (at least two of which were not held at the University of Pennsylvania), several of the exams he gave, and some student records.

Schelling's connection to the University of Pennsylvania was strong. Not only did he teach at the University for 48 years, he also earned all his degrees from Penn. The eighth series, VIII. University of Pennsylvania includes some academic records from his time as a student, alumni information, and publications about the University. Events relating to his time as a student and alumni of the University of Pennsylvania are located in Series II.

The bulk of the collection can be found in Series IX. Writings. Schelling appears to have been a prolific writer, publishing books, articles, and reviews on others' works. He also wrote a play which was performed and many poems, but it is unclear if many or any of them were published. The material in this series is arranged by type of publication and then alphabetically by title within Books, Drafts, Play, and Poetry, and chronologically within Published articles and Reviews (written by Schelling). The poems are in Schelling's original folders, but there appears to be a great deal of duplication. It is unclear if Schelling tried to publish the same poems under several different titles over a period of time. Researchers interested in Schelling's poems should take the time to look at all folders in the group.

Series X. Theatrical scrapbooks contains eleven scrapbooks, some of which may have been created by Schelling. There are three scrapbooks created by the physician Charles W. Burr which document theater fairly generally. These scrapbooks include clippings (largely magazine) of theater actors and actresses and scenes from plays and other productions. A scrapbook which appears to have been created by Owen Marlowe contains clippings, letters, and playbills from his career. A few writings (manuscript) are scattered through the scrapbook, and the last few pages contain recipes for champagne and orange wine. The Clara Woodward scrapbooks include playbills and images of actors and actresses. For the most part, the playbills are for the Broad Street Theatre, the Castle Square Opera Co., the Chestnut Street Theatre, and the Chestnut Street Opera House. The remaining scrapbooks have no names attached to them, but several are in the same style as Clara Woodward's and may well be created by her. All scrapbooks relate to theater, regardless of the creator.

The final series, Series XI. Newspaper and magazine article clippings, cover a variety of topics and are arranged alphabetically by topic. Reviews of Schelling's works are located at the end of the series.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2015 September 23

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Nicole Love and Holly Mengel

Access Restrictions

The bulk of this collection is open for research use. Researchers interested in using the scrapbooks (located in boxes 6 to 13) will require assistance from Kislak staff as the items are extremely fragile. Please make an appointment to use these materials so that staff will be available.

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 Mrs. Schelling, 1946.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • University of Pennsylvania. Libraries.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Printed ephemera
  • Research notes
  • Scrapbooks
  • Speeches
  • Theater programs
  • Writings (documents)
Personal Name(s)
  • Burr, Charles W. (Charles Walts), 1861-1944
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
  • Authors
  • College teachers
  • Drama--History and criticism
  • Education
  • Literature
  • Literature--Study and teaching
  • Theater

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Collection Inventory

I. Correspondence.

Box Folder

Adam, John S.-Aydelotte, Frank, 1914-1938.

1 1

"Baconian"-Bouton, A.S., 1907-1938.

1 2

Bradley, E. Scully-Butler, Pierce, 1906-1935.

1 3

Camac, C.N.B.-Cunningham, Hal, 1890-1937.

1 4

Da Costa, [Illegible]-Dwight, M.N., 1890-1936.

1 5

Earle, Governor George H. and Mrs.-Evans, Elizabeth, 1888-1938.

1 6

Farquhar, F.G.-Furness, William Henry III, 1893-1942.

1 7

Garland, Hamlin-Gummere, Richard M., 1888-1940.

1 8

Haas, John A.W.-Hay, Henry Hanby, 1893-1935.

1 9

Hays, Morris-Ishida, Kenji, 1891-1942.

1 10

Jackson, Francis A.-Krebs, Arnold, 1880-1936.

1 11

Lane, Andrew-Long, Percy, 1885-1936.

1 12

Macaulay, G.C.-Mustard, Wilfred P., 1890-1937.

1 13

Nason, Arthur H.-Northup, Clark S., 1904-1938.

1 14

Oakley, Thornton-Parker, Willard, 1906-1935.

1 15

Parmenter, C.L.-Princeton University, 1891-1936.

1 16

Quinn, Arthur H.-Runk, L.B, 1897-1944.

1 17

Saints Mary, George-Symmes, Harold S., 1892-1945.

1 18

Tannenbaum, Samuel A.-True, Rodney H., 1888-1936.

1 19

Valentine, Alan C.-Von Moschzisker, Robert, 1912-1926.

1 20

Wallace, Hulda-Young, Karl, 1891-1936.

1 21

Unidentified (illegible or unsigned), 1919-1936, undated.

1 22

Relating to Thor, 1917-1918.

1 23

II. Events.

Box Folder


1 24


1 25


1 26


1 27


1 28


1 29


1 30


1 31


2 1


2 2


2 3


2 4


2 5

1915-1916 June.

2 6


2 7


2 8


2 9


2 10

1924, 1926-1928.

2 11


2 12


2 13


2 14

1934-1938, undated.

2 15


2 16

III. Financial records.

Box Folder

Receipts, 1923-1926.

2 17

Royalty statements, 1927-1938.

2 18

IV. Personal items.

Box Folder

Biographies, bookplate, passport, and report of accident of Ernest H. Schelling (brother) in World War I, 1919-1929.

2 19

Collected bookplates and memorabilia, undated.

2 20

Commonplace book, undated.

2 21

Copyright certificates, 1893-1932.

2 22

V. Research.

Box Folder

Bacon, Facci, Livy, and others, notes on and writings by, undated.

2 23

Inventory of Beck's collection of prompt books at New York Public Library, 1936.

2 24

Inventory of Burton's theatre play bills at New-York Historical Society, circa 1936-1937.

2 25

Inventory of Drama-tragedy programs at New York Public Library, Fridenberg Galleries, Keen's Chop House, The Lambs Club, and the Elks Club, volumes 1 and 2, circa 1936.

2 26-27

Inventory of the John James collection at New York Public Library, circa 1936-1937.

2 28

Inventory of manuscripts and prompt books at Columbia University, circa 1936-1937.

3 1

Inventory of the May D. Seymour collection, circa 1939.

3 2

Inventory of Play bills at the New York Public Library, Keen's Chop House, and the Elks Club, circa 1936.

3 3

Inventory of Theodore Liebler collection at the New York Public Library, circa 1936-1937.

3 4

Inventories of Van Damm collection of theatrical flashlights, the Altman collection, the Daly theatre collection, and Special program collection, circa 1938.

3 5

Musical notation, correspondence and notes, 1922-1929.

3 6

Lenton, Francis, copied manuscript notes and poems, undated.

3 7

Lenton, Francis, photocopy of Great Britains Beauties, undated.

3 8

Lenton, Francis, photocopy of Lenton's Leisures Described, undated.

3 9

Lenton, Francis, photocopy of Characterismi, undated.

3 10

Lenton, Francis, photocopy of Innes Of Court Anagrammatist, undated.

3 11

Lenton, Francis, photocopy of The Young Gallants Whirligigg, undated.

3 12

List of Gilbert and Sullivan opera publications, circa 1938.

3 13

Lists of English and Latin plays, and Elizabethan and Shakespeare material, undated.

3 14

Photographs of Shakespearean actors and actresses (photographs by Gilbert Bacon), undated.

3 15

VI. Speeches and addresses.

Box Folder


3 16


3 17


3 18


3 19

Schelling's farewell address at retirement from the University of Pennsylvania, 1938.

3 20


3 21

VII. Teaching.

Box Folder

Lectures on the Elizabethan Age, omitting the drama, circa 1904.

3 22

Philadelphia Branch, International Kindergarten Association, syllabus of six lectures, 1904.

3 23

Exams and student grades, 1932-1937.

3 24

Johns Hopkins lecture on Shakespeare, undated.

3 25-26

VIII. University of Pennsylvania.

Box Folder

Alumni information, undated.

3 27

Education, exams, 1878-1882.

3 28

Education, notes and grade reports, 1878-1881.

3 29

Education, Masters of Arts thesis: "On Literary Criticism", 1884.

3 30

Publications, 1920-1940.

3 31

IX. Writings.

a. Books.

Box Folder

English Chronical Play, uncut and unbound copy, 1902.

3 32-33

Foreign Influences in Elizabethan Plays, page proofs, 1923.

4 1

Pedagogically Speaking, galley proofs, 1929.

4 2

Poetic and Verse Criticism in the Reign of Elizabeth, unbound copy, 1891.

4 3

Shakespeare and Biography, 1937.



Shakespeare and Demi-Science, galley proofs, 1927.

4 5

Thor and Some Other War Rhymes, page proofs, 1918.

4 6

b. Drafts.

Box Folder

"Some Contemporary Picturings of the State and its Personnel in Shakespeare's Days," notes, manuscript pages, and annotated typescript, circa 1897.

4 7

"Robert Browning in Retrospect," annotated typescript and manuscript notes, undated.

4 8

"Story of a Teacher," corrected typescript, probably 1930s.

4 9-11

"Three Great Elizabethans," annotated and corrected typescript, undated.

4 12

Articles, probably by Schelling, undated.

4 13-14

Music manuscripts, undated.


c. Play.

Box Folder

"The Family Failing," performed at Houston Club Smoker, corrected manuscript and announcement (includes Schelling's note, "a dismal failure"), 1896.

4 15

d. Poetry.

Box Folder

"Busy Buzzie," drafts and typed copies of poems, undated.

4 16

"Echoes and Epigrams", undated.

4 17-19

"The Golden Age," class poem, circa 1881.

4 20

"Sonnets of the Nations," typescript, 1917.

4 21

Miscellaneous manuscript and typescript copies of poems, undated.

4 22

e. Published articles.

Box Folder


4 23


4 24


5 1


5 2


5 3


5 5

"The Gownsman" articles, drafts and newspaper clippings, 1919, undated.

5 6-9

"Variorum Shakespeare," includes correspondence, circa 1931-1936.

5 4

By others or unknown, 1890-1935.

5 10

f. Reviews (written by Schelling).

Box Folder


5 11


5 12


5 13


5 14


5 15


5 16

X. Theatrical scrapbooks.

Conditions Governing Access note

Researchers interested in using the material in this series will require assistance from Kislak staff as the items are extremely fragile. Please make an appointment to use these materials so that staff will be available.


Charles W. Burr theatre scrapbook, images of actors, actresses, and scenes from plays (3 volumes), undated.


Owen Marlowe theatrical scrapbook, clippings, playbills, letters, writings, and recipes, 1856-1874.

6 1

Clara Woodward theatrical scrapbook, playbills and images of actors and actresses, 1894-1987.

6 2

Clara Woodward theatrical scrapbook, playbills and images of actors and actresses, 1897-1898.

6 3

Volume containing clippings and images of actors and actresses, 1896-1897.

10 1

Volume containing playbills and images of actors and actresses, 1898-1899.

10 2

Volume containing playbills and images of actors and actresses, 1899-1900.


Volume containing clippings, 1907-1910.


Volume containing clippings, 1920-1925.


XI. Newspaper and magazine article clippings.

Box Folder

Contemporary Club, 1919.

5 17

Folger Shakespeare Library, 1932-1936, undated.

5 18

Furness memorial and collection donated to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, circa 1932.

5 19

Mitchell, S. Weir, memorial, 1928.

5 20

Politics and world events, 1926-1937, undated.

5 21

Portraits of famous and notable personages, 1940, undated.

5 22

Schelling, Felix E., 1879-1921.

5 23-24

Schelling, Felix E., appointment as Felix E. Schelling Professorship of English Literature, 1930.

5 25

Schelling, Felix E., receiving honors, awards, and degrees, 1909-1934.

5 26

Schelling, Felix E., speeches and addresses, 1902-1930.

5 27

Schelling, Felix E., teaching (at University of Pennsylvania and other), 1888-1921.

5 28

Shakespeare, 1877-1934.

5 29

Shakespeare, tercentenary of his death, 1916.

5 30

Wallace, Charles William, 1909-1932.

5 31

Writers, poets, and libraries, 1910-1936.

5 32

Relating to Appraisement and Asperity, circa 1922.

5 33

Relating to Ben Jonson's Timber: or discoveries made upon men and matter, 1892-1897.

5 34

Relating to Book of 17th Century Lyrics, 1900.

5 35

Relating to Book of Elizabethan Lyrics, 1895-1897.

5 36

Relating to Elizabethan Drama, 1908-1909.

5 37

Relating to Elizabethan Playwrights, 1925.

5 38

Relating to English Chronicle Play, 1902.

5 39

Relating to English Drama, 1914-1915.

5 40

Relating to English Literature during the Lifetime of Shakespeare, 1910-1911.

5 41

Relating to The English Lyric, 1913-1914.

5 42

Relating to Masterpieces of the English Drama, circa 1912.

5 43

Relating to Pedagogically Speaking, 1929-1930.

5 44

Relating to Poetic and Verse Criticism of the Reign of Elizabeth, 1894.

5 45

Relating to The Queen's Progress, 1904-1905.

5 46

Relating to Shakespeare and Demi-Science, 1927.

5 47

Relating to Summer Ghosts and Winter Topics, circa 1924.

5 48

Relating to Typical Elizabethan Plays, circa 1926.

5 49