Stuart Wright Collection: John Crowe Ransom Papers (#1169-010) documents the life and literary career of John Crowe Ransom, 1904-2000, undated. The Ransom Papers are arranged in original order (except as indicated below) in 15 series. The collection consists of an original acquisition of 13 series and the Cary Addition #1 & Ludlow Addition #2. The collection includes correspondence, literary essays, poetry manuscripts, manuscript volumes, clippings, original art, photographic materials, audio recordings, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, printed materials and oversized materials.
Series 1: Letters Received consists of letters received by John Crowe Ransom, 1918-1965, primarily relating to his publications but also including personal letters to family and friends. It includes two notable groups of letters relating to writers Delmore Schwartz, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren. Series 1 is held in Box 1.a – 1.k
Series 2: Letters Sent consists of letter sent by John Crowe Ransom, 1917-1961, to writers John Ciardi, Marc Jaffe, Richard Ghormley Eberhart, Allen Tate, Louis Untermeyer, and Edward L. Anderson. Perhaps the most interesting letter in the series, however, is a letter Ransom sent during World War I, when he was in France, serving as a lieutenant in the Field Artillery. He wrote to a fellow officer named “George”, in December 1917, when he was anticipating being court martialed for violating military police rules. The letter requests that George write a testimonial on his behalf. Series 2 is held in Box 1.l - 1.o.
Series 3: Literary Essays consists of three typescripts of literary essays by John Crowe Ransom, ca. 1953-1958, undated, and an undated essay by Caroline Gordon, including manuscripts of American Poetry at Mid-Century, On Shakespeare’s Language, and Responsible Criticism. Gordon’s untitled essay relates to Isak Dinesen, Katherine Anne Porter, and Gertrude Duby-Blom. Series 3 is held in Box 1.p – 1.s
Series 4: Poetry Manuscripts consists of manuscript versions of poems by John Crowe Ransom, including the 1945 edition of Selected Poems. It also includes a one page poem by Robert Lowell entitled On Hearing of Richard Eberhart’s Gain in Weight. Series 4 is held in Box 1.t – 1.v
Series 5: Manuscript Volumes consists of the Guest Book of John, Rob, Revell, and Helen Ransom, containing entries dated 27 December 1933 – 9 September 1934. Series 5 is held in Box 1.w
Series 6: Clippings consists of a incomplete clipping of an interview with William DeWitt Snodgrass by "E. S." published in The American Poetry Review of July/August 1990 in which Snodgrass discusses his literary influences including Robert Lowell and Randall Jarrell. The beginning and end of the interview is missing. Series 6 is held in Box 1.x
Series 7: Original Art consists of two copies of John Crowe Ransom’s Phi Beta Kappa membership certificate, 15 June 1909, done in multi-colored calligraphy; also a pen and ink sketch or caricature of Robert Penn Warren, by Taylor Jones of the Sunday Gazette-Mail, 1976. Series 7 is held in Box 1.y – 1.z
Series 8: Photographic Prints (Arranged Chronologically) consists of photographs of John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren, and Gilbert Chesterton, and their friends, families, and associates, ca. 1904-1980. It includes photographic prints of Ransom’s college career at Vanderbilt University, camping trips and other family activities, publicity and dust jacket photographs of both Ransom and Warren; it also includes photographs of Ransom and Warren lecturing to college students, writing, and reading; it includes a notable photograph of President Jimmy Carter awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Robert Penn Warren autographed by the President. Series 8 is held in Box 2.a – 2.ze
Series 9: Audio Recordings consists of a single reel-to-reel audio tape recording John Crowe Ransom speaking at “U of A” in 1967. Series 9 is held in Box 2.zf
Series 10: Loose Manuscripts Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection consists of loose manuscript and other materials found between the leaves of volumes in the Stuart Wright Book Collection. The material consists of notes, letters, clippings, photographs, printed material and ephemera, 1936-1980, relating to John Crowe Ransom, W. H. Auden, T. S. Eliot, Christopher Isherwood, Robert Penn Warren, Richard Eberhart, and their publications. Many of the items consist of notes by Stuart Wright identifying people mentioned in the items. The loose manuscripts are linked to the book of origin by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #38.04). Series 10 is held in Box 2.zg – 2.zza
Series 11: Contracts, Posters, and Printed Forms consists of John Crowe Ransom’s contracts with publishers, the poster from the Lotos Club State Dinner honoring Robert Penn Warren, Randal Jarrell’s Phi Beta Kappa certificate from Vanderbilt University, the certificate for Ransom’s burial plot, Ransom’s World War I military identification card and his diploma from University de Nancy. Series 11 is held in Box 3.a – 3.p
Series 12: Printed Materials consists of flyers, brochures, pamphlets and other printed materials by John Crowe Ransom, Reynolds Price, and Anthony Harwood, 1936-1970 undated. It includes a printed letter by Ransom announcing the discontinuance of The Southern Review during World War II and its replacement by Kenyon Review; it also includes a printed brochure, for the Committee for the Alliance of Agrarian and Distributist Groups, Nashville, Tennessee, signed by Ransom among others; also Ten Poems, a pamphlet by Anthony Harwood; and a pamphlet entitled Wanted: An Ontological Critic, by John Crowe Ransom, reprinted in 1970. Series 12 is held in Box 3.q – 3.v
Series 13: Oversized Materials consists of five oversized proofs of John Crowe Ransom’s published works: The Planetary Poet (1964), Selected Poems (1963), Selected Poems (1944), and Gerontion (1968). Series 13 is held in Folder 1.l.os.1 – 3.v.os.1
Note to Researchers: Series 10 & 15 contains Loose Manuscripts Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection. These consists of items found laid in works in the Stuart Wright Book Collection by, about, associated with, or owned by John Crowe Ransom. They include notes and bookmarks inserted by Ransom, Stuart Wright, and others; also notes, cards, correspondence, clippings, advertising, reviews, ephemera, etc. relating to his published works. The loose manuscripts are linked to the books from which they came by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #40.15).