Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home >> Amherst College Archives & Special Collections >> John Erskine Papers, 1909-1950
Amherst College seal
Erskine Papers, 1909-1950
2 archives boxes (1 linear ft.)

Abstract:
Educator, writer, musician. Papers include correspondence and a corrected typescript of Erskine's book The Memory of Certain Persons.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Erskine Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from Erskine Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections

Biographical Note

John Erskine, educator, writer and musician, was born in New York on October 5, 1879. He received an A.B. in 1900, an A.M. in 1901, a Ph.D. in 1903 and an LL.D. in 1929 from Columbia University, as well as honorary degrees from Amherst College and the University of Bordeaux. He served during World War I in France, and was made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. He served as instructor in English at Amherst before joining the faculty of Columbia University, where he spent most of his life. Erskine is credited with having started the system of General Education at Columbia through his Great Books colloquium. Erskine was also a musician of considerable talent, who performed occasionally at concerts and wrote two opera librettos, and a prolific writer who said that he had written something every day since the age of 16. He was married twice: to Pauline Ives until their divorce in 1945, and later to Helen Worden. Erskine died in 1951 at the age of 71.

Erskine's books include the autobiographical works The Memory of Certain Persons (1947), My Life as a Teacher (1948), My Life in Music (1950) and My Life as a Writer (unfinished); as well as several essays, poems and novels, of which the most successful was The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1926).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers consist mainly of Erskine's correspondence and a corrected typescript of his autobiography, The Memory of Certain Persons (J.B. Lippincott: New York, 1947). There are also four miscellaneous items: a manuscript poem, class notes, a pamphlet and a newspaper clipping.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Erskine Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from Erskine Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

[Identification of item], in Erskine Papers [Box #, Folder #], Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library

History of the Collection


Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/askus
URL: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
Series 1: CORRESPONDENCE,
1909-1950


Series 1, CORRESPONDENCE, includes both incoming and outgoing correspondence from individuals as well as correspondence about many of those individuals. The series is arranged alphabetically by the individuals' names.

Allis, Frederick - 1
1937 Jun 21

Box 1: folder 1
Bianchi, Martha Dickinson. From - 40 letters + 2 postcards; To - 3 letters; Regarding - letters from Dr. Guy Hinsdale, Winnifred Brown, Jane Crowell, Alfred Hampson, Arthur Stanley Pease, Mabel Hill, Malcolm Young, and Curtis Hidden Page, with replies from Erskine.
1933-1947

Box 1: folder 2
Bigelow, William P. - 70 + 4 replies; Mrs. Bigelow - 2 + 5 replies
1927-1948

Box 1: folder 3
Bishop, Merrill - 4 + 5 replies
1934-1948

Box 1: folder 4
Blyth, Charles - 2
1943, 1957

Box 1: folder 5
Cobb, Charles - 9 + 2 replies; Cobb, Mary - 1; Cobb, William H. - 2
1909-1948

Box 1: folder 6
Cowles, William - 1
1921 Feb 13

Box 1: folder 7
Dakin, A. Hazard - 5 + 2 replies; Dakin, Rodney G. - 1
1947

Box 1: folder 8
Davis, Pierpont - 3 + 2 replies
1945

Box 1: folder 9
Genung, J.F. - 3 + 1 New Year's card; Mrs. Genung - 1; Marsh, Stephen - 1 letter regarding Genung
1910-1928

Box 1: folder 10
Hanson, Howard - 1
1935 Mar 26

Box 1: folder 11
Hobkins, M.B. - 1
1940 Dec 27

Box 1: folder 12
Houghton, Albert B. - 3
1910-1915

Box 1: folder 13
Meiklejohn, Alexander - 18
1913-1916

Box 1: folder 14
Morrow, Dwight W. - 2 + 2 replies; Morrow, Elizabeth C. - 6 + 3 replies; Allen, David J. - 1 letter regarding Morrow; McKay, A.I. - 1 letter regarding Morrow
1926-1937

Box 1: folder 15
Morse, Anson D. - 1
1910 Jan 15

Box 1: folder 16
Nitze, William A. - 9 + 9 replies; Mrs. Nitze - 6
1932-1947

Box 1: folder 17
Pease, Arthur Stanley - 1 + 1 reply
1927

Box 1: folder 18
Powell, Chilton - 10 letters + 5 replies; Article by Powell, "For Better or for Worse, the Puritan vs. the Modern View"; Nash, Dean Philip C. - 1 letter regarding Powell + 1 reply
1925-1927

Box 1: folder 19
Rand, Frank Prentice - 1 letter to
1949 Jan 26

Box 1: folder 20
Ruckmick, Christian - 1
1950 Apr 19

Box 1: folder 21
Scandrett, Richard - 1
1944 Mar 16

Box 1: folder 22
Sherman, Stuart P. - 6 + 1 reply; Holton, Genevieve - 2 letters regarding Sherman; Zeitlin, Jacob - 2 letters regarding Sherman + 1 reply
1914-1941

Box 1: folder 23
Shoop, Max - 2 + 1 reply
1927

Box 1: folder 24
Smith, Frederick P. - 4 + 3 replies
1927-1940

Box 1: folder 25
Smith, H. de Forest - 1
1926 May 2

Box 1: folder 26
Smith, Harold Ladd - 1 + 1 reply
1950 Apr

Box 1: folder 27
Smith, Robert M. - 1 letter to
1948 Dec 27

Box 1: folder 28
Spaulding, F.E. - 7 + 7 replies
1920-1949

Box 1: folder 29
Sproul, Harold - 11 + 7 replies; "Introduction to English 7" by Harold Sproul; Thomas, Joseph M. - 1 letter regarding Sproul + 1 reply
1925-1927

Box 1: folder 30
Stephens, H. Morse - 1
1913 Feb 22

Box 1: folder 31
Thompson, F.L. - 3; Mrs. Thompson - 1 + 1 reply
1914-1935

Box 1: folder 32
Thompson, Joseph O. - 11 + 4 replies
1935-1948

Box 1: folder 33
Walker, Williston - 1
1905 Nov 13

Box 1: folder 34
Whicher, George F. - 6 + 3 replies; Whicher, Harriet F. - 1 + 1 reply; Pamphlet, "Shakespeare for America" by George F. Whicher
1923-1948

Box 1: folder 35
Woodbridge, F.J.E. - 4 + 1 reply; Plimpton, George A. - 1 letter regarding Woodbridge + 2 replies
1909-1937

Box 1: folder 36
Series 2: MISCELLANEOUS,
n.d.


Personal class notes
n.d.

Box 1: folder 37
Pamphlet: "Jane A. Harris," by George Harris and George Harris Jr.
n.d.

Box 1: folder 38
Ms poem by JE, "Wildwood"
1911

Box 1: folder 39
Newspaper clipping regarding memorial service held for (former Amherst president) George D. Olds
1930 Jun 22

Box 1: folder 40
Series 3: Typescript of The Memory of Certain Persons,
ca. 1946-1947


Corrected typescript, pp. 1-287
ca. 1946-1947

Box 2: folder 1
Corrected typescript, pp. 288-653
ca. 1946-1947

Box 2: folder 2

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Columbia University--Faculty.
  • Erskine, John, 1879-1951.

Contributors
  • Bianchi, Martha Dickinson, 1866-1943.
  • Meiklejohn, Alexander, 1872-1964.
  • Nitze, William Albert, 1876-1957.
  • Whicher, George Frisbie, 1889-1954.


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search