Stuart Wright Collection: Stuart Wright Papers, 1783-2013, (Bulk: 1945-2013), undated

Manuscript Collection #1169-039

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Stuart Wright Collection: Stuart Wright Papers
    Creator: Wright, Stuart T., (Stuart Thurman), b. 1948
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers of Stuart Wright (1783-2013, [Bulk: 1945-2013], undated) documenting the life and literary career of the noted Roxboro, North Carolina-born American educator, chiropodist, author, translator, bibliographer, editor, historian, publisher, musician & collector, vendor & donor of literary and musical manuscripts and published materials; consisting of correspondence, holograph & typescript manuscripts of published materials, clippings, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection; also original art, audio recordings, proofs and advance review copies of published works, photographic materials & oversized materials; including materials in English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Russian & Spanish.
    Extent: 30.672 Cubic feet, 30.672 Cubic feet, 52 archival boxes, 32 oversized folders, 3,993 items, 22,048 p., The Stuart Wright Collection consists of correspondence, holograph & typescript manuscripts of published materials, clippings, loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection; also original art, audio recordings, proofs and advance review copies of published works, photographic materials & oversized materials.
  • Description
     

    The Stuart Wright Collection: Stuart Wright Papers document the life and literary career of Stuart T. [Thurman] Wright (1948-), the noted North Carolina born educator, author, bibliographer, editor, historian, publisher, and collector of literary and musical manuscripts and published materials relating to American Southern writers, poets, composers and illustrators. The materials are arranged, in original order, in two series.

    Series 1: Cary Addition #1 to the Stuart Wright Collection, consist of Papers (1794-2011, undated; bulk 1948-2011) documenting the life and literary career of Stuart Wright (1948- ), including correspondence, manuscripts of published materials, Loose Manuscript Items Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, original art, audio recordings, proofs and advance review copies of published works, photographic materials and oversized materials. Series 1 is housed in Box 1.a-25.os19.

    Series 2: Ludlow Addition #2 to the Stuart Wright Collection, consist of papers (1783-2013 [Bulk: 1945-2013]) documenting the life and literary career of Stuart Wright (1948-), including clippings, correspondence, holograph and typescript manuscripts, manuscript volumes, Loose Manuscript Items Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, audio recordings, photographic materials and printed materials. Series 2 is held in Box 25.a-52.os32

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    Stuart Wright collected and compiled the Stuart Wright Papers. Wright was born on 30 March 1948 in Roxboro, North Carolina. He was the son of Frances Critcher Wright (1919-2010) and Wallace Lyndon Wright (1921-1965). An avid reader as a boy, Wright developed a strong interest in the American Civil War and with his father toured many of the war's battlefields searching for artifacts and studying the history of the era. At the age of 12, he won a statewide "Johnny Reb" essay contest and by the age of 15 had visited every major battlefield of the Civil War. Wright attended Roxboro High School, from which he graduated in 1966. It was during these years that he developed an interest in collecting historical books and manuscripts and began relationships with a number of local collectors and dealers.

    In the fall of 1966, Wright enrolled at Wake Forest University as a pre-med, history, German and music student. Wright earned a B.A. in German and music in 1970. As a graduate student at Wake Forest University, Wright focused his studies on Southern history and literature, his ambition being to build an authoritative Southern Studies collection for the university. He received a master's degree in Southern Studies in 1973 and a second master's degree in U.S. History in 1980. Additionally Wright holds a professional degree from England in a medically related field. It was while studying there that he became interested in Thomas Wolfe, the noted North Carolina native and novelist.

    Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Wright began to develop his collections more systematically, acquiring many first editions of Southern writers. In 1976 he began teaching at Reynolda House, a Wake Forest University affiliate dedicated to the arts and arts education. Wright taught classes in American music as well as human anatomy for art students. In 1978 Wright became Lecturer in Education at Wake Forest University. During his 10 years teaching at Wake Forest University, Wright authored numerous works of Civil War and North Carolina history, and dozens of articles, bibliographies, essays and reviews on Southern literature and the writers whose papers he collected. In addition, he developed a strong interest in the writings of the English poet Donald Davie and the Minnesota-born poet Richard Eberhart, whose works he also collected.

    At the same time, Wright also began a career as a publisher by starting Palaemon Press in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, consisting mainly of broadsides and limited editions, of the poetry and essays of such Southern writers as A. R. Ammons, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, William Goyen, George Garrett, and Eudora Welty. He also built comprehensive collections and compiled book-length descriptive bibliographies of A.R. Ammons, Andrew Lytle, Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Goyen, Walker Percy, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, George Garrett, Richard Eberhart, and Donald Davie. As well as serving as editor of the contemporary literature section of the Bulletin of Bibliography throughout the 1980s, Wright also contributed pioneering checklists of the writings of Southern poets Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, and Robert Morgan. For Meckler Publishing he served as series editor for a number of book-length bibliographies and checklists. In recognition of these accomplishments, when he was just 32, Wright was elected to membership in New York's prestigious Grolier Club.

    All of these works are represented in the Stuart Wright Collection. In his dealings with these various authors Wright made consistent efforts to acquire personal papers, letters and documents, photographs, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and published materials to supplement his continuing activities as a purchaser of their works. In this way, Wright acquired perhaps a majority of his overall collection. Over the years a number of biographers used Wright's collection to aid their research. For example, James A. Grimshaw, Jr. used the collection extensively for his Robert Penn Warren: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1922-1979 published by the University Press of Virginia, in 1981 and Craig S. Abbott did so as well for John Crowe Ransom: A Descriptive Bibliography, published by Whitston Publishing Company, Inc. in 1999. Joseph Blotner also used the Wright collection in researching Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, published by Random House in 1997.

    Nevertheless, from the mid- to late 1980s, Wright began to look for a permanent home for his collection, which he felt had grown too large and yet had been too little used. Unable to find a repository willing to accept the entire collection under suitable conditions, he sold a number of individual author collections to Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Emory University. It was not until 2010 that he reached agreement to house the remaining, and largest part of his collection at East Carolina University. The Stuart Wright Collection in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection of J.Y. Joyner Library includes 106 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers, composers, illustrators, and publishers. The related Stuart Wright Book Collection holds several thousand volumes by or about many of the same writers. Many of these volumes contain annotations, inscriptions, and insertions that reveal much about the authors in the collection and their relationships with one another. In 1998 Wright moved to England, and since 2001 he has resided in the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire.

    Author: Jonathan Dembo, 11/2/2016

  • Administrative Information
     
    Accessions Information

    27 October 2011, (Cary Addition #1), 15.4 cubic feet; 25 archival boxes & 19 oversized folder; 936 items; 12,265 p. Papers (1794-2011, undated; bulk 1948-2011) documenting the life and literary career of Stuart Wright (1948-), the noted North Carolina born educator, author, bibliographer, editor, historian, publisher, & collector of literary and musical manuscripts and published materials, including correspondence, manuscripts of published materials, Loose Manuscript Items Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, original art, audio recordings, proofs and advance review copies of published works, photographic materials & oversized materials. Vendor: Stuart Wright

    20 July 2012, (Ludlow Addition #2), 14.82 cubic feet; 27 archival boxes & 13 oversized folders; 3,055 items; 9,779 p. Papers (1802-2012, undated; bulk: 1945-2012) documenting the life and literary career of Stuart Wright (1948-), the noted North Carolina born educator, author, bibliographer, editor, historian, publisher, & collector of literary and musical manuscripts and published materials, including clippings, correspondence, holograph & typescript manuscripts, manuscript volumes, Loose Manuscript Items Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, audio recordings, photographic materials & printed materials. Vendor: Stuart Wright

    14 May 2013, (Ludlow Addition #3), 0.45 cubic feet; 1 item. 2 p. Papers (1972-2013; bulk 1991-2013) documenting the life and literary career of Stuart Wright (1948-), the noted North Carolina born educator, author, bibliographer, editor, historian, publisher, & collector of literary and musical manuscripts and published materials, including letters received by Stuart Wright; four cassette tapes and three CDs of answering machine messages used by Stuart Wright or left on his answering machine by literary figures; also two CDs and one DVD of material used in an exhibit displayed at Joyner Library at ECU in conjunction with a reading on, 7 February 2012, by Harvard Professor Stephen Burt of Randall Jarrell's writings; included are letters from poet Fred Chappell; former CFO at Oklahoma Baptist University and a Wake Forest University Gene Lucas; William Faulkner scholar Prof. Noel Polk; bookseller and publisher Rich Gekoski; and from George Core, Sewanee Review editor; the CDs contain the same recordings as the cassette tapes; miscellaneous items include two photographs (2012) of Prince Charles visiting Ludlow in Shropshire, England and the June 2012 issue of Chronicles Magazine, which contains a poem written by Fred Chappell and dedicated to Stuart Wright. Gift - Donor: Stuart T. Wright. Donation Received: 4/15/2013, by Maurice C. York

    25 April 2016, (Ludlow Addition #4) 0.002 cubic feet; 1 archival folder. Papers (1783) consisting of loose manuscript items transferred from a volume in the Stuart Wright Book Collection entitled The Purple Island, or The Isle of Man, An Allegorical Poem, by Phineas Fletcher. To Which Is Added Christ's Victory and Triumph, A Poem in Four Parts, by Giles Fletcher (London: Frys and Couchman, © 1783) Note : 1) Linton Stephens note conveying the volume to his friend L. I Derby (ca. 1783) AN. 1 item. 2 p. ; Source: Ludlow Addition Box #161.037. Gift - Donor: Stuart T. Wright. Donation Received: Received 25 April 2016, by Ralph Scott.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased from Stuart T. Wright, 6/21/2010, 10/27/2011, 7/20/2012 Gift of Stuart T. Wright, 5/14/2013, 4/25/2016

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    Stuart Wright Collection: Stuart Wright Papers (#1169-039), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processing, Preliminary inventory & Container List, by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Nathaniel King, Dale Wetterhahn & Ryan Schmidtke, 4/4/2014, 4/14/2014, 3/2/2016; Final inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 5/25/2016; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 5/25/2016; Biographical Sketch, by Jonathan Dembo, rev, 11/2/2016; Encoded by Martha Elmore, 5/14/2014; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 01/19/2017.

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