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A Guide to the John Seelye Papers

Finding aid created by Monica Blair

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
August 2013


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Seelye, John D.
Title: John Seelye Papers
Dates: 1960-2006
Bulk dates: 1979-2006
Abstract: This collection includes the writings, research, and correspondence of Professor John Seelye. As a scholar of American literature, Seelye wrote academic books as well as fiction. He also served as an editor for the Penguin American Library from 1979-2006. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence between Seelye and various authors and academics in his capacity as an editor for Penguin.
Extent: 4.5 Linear feet. 8 boxes.
Identification: MS Group 320
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

John Seelye is a scholar and professor of American Literature. He received his BA from Wesleyan in 1953 and his PhD from Claremont Graduate School in 1961. He began his teaching career at the University of California, Berkeley and went on to teach at the University of Connecticut, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the University of Florida.

In 1979 Seelye became the general editor of the Penguin American Library. In this capacity, he helped choose important literary works to be republished by Penguin Group that included introductions and notes on the texts provided by prominent literary scholars.

John Seelye was instrumental in the establishment of the Florida Center for the Study of Children's Literature (Center for Children's Literature and Culture) at the University of Florida in 1986. Professors John Seelye and Jack Zipes were the original Co-Directors of the program.


Scope and Content

The John Seelye Collection consists of the correspondence, writings, and manuscripts of John Seelye. The collection dates from 1960-2006. The bulk of the materials span from 1979-2006 when John Seelye worked for Penguin Group as the general editor for the Penguin American Library series, which was devoted to publishing classics from American literature. The collection is divided into four series described below.

Series I consists of correspondence from 1960-2005 that are placed in alphabetical order by individual, followed by alphabetical order by subject. Prominent correspondents include Houston Baker, Baker, James Beard, Sacvan Bercovitch, Edwin Cady, Leon Edel, Leslie Fiedler, Eric Foner, Boris Ford, Ed Fussell, William Gaddis, Sandra Gilbert, Gerald Graff, Doris Grumbach, Edward Hoagland, Alfred Kazin, Alison Lurie, Elaine Showalter, Richard Slotkin, and Stanley Weintraub. Letters are arranged chronologically within each named folder.

Series II consists of Seelye's Penguin papers that are arranged chronologically by subject file as dictated by original order. The papers include book proposals and edits, meeting notes, company memos, marketing information, editor contracts, correspondences, and other Penguin related documents from 1978-2006.

Series III is comprised of materials related to Seelye's career as a published author. Documents include correspondence, contracts, reviews, reader reports, and manuscripts with dates that range from 1960-2006. Titles included are: The Iridescent Scabbard: Melville's Ironic Mode, Melville: The Ironic Diagram (1970), The True Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1970), The Kid (1972), Dirty Tricks: Or, Nick Noxin's Natural Nobility (1974), Mark Twain in the Movies (1977), Prophetic Waters: The River in Early American Life and Literature (1977), Beautiful Machine: Rivers and the Republican Plan, 1755-1825 (1991), Memory's Nation: The Place of Plymouth Rock (1998), Stories of the Old West: Tales of the Mining Camp, Cavalry Troop, and Cattle Ranch (2000), and Jane Eyre's American Daughters (2005).

Series IV includes materials related to the Florida Center for the Study of Children's Literature (Center for Children's Literature and Culture) and the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature at the University of Florida (UF). Documents range from 1966-1994 and include correspondence, program and grant proposals, meeting notes, UF Children's Literature director reports, steering committee memos, fundraising and fellowship information, and other related materials.


Arrangement

Series I: Correspondence (1960-2005) Incoming and outgoing correspondence ordered alphabetically by individual are placed in the front, followed by alphabetical correspondence by subject. Letters are in chronological order within each folder.

Series II: Penguin Subject Files (1979-2006) Papers are arranged according to original order in chronological subject files.

Series III: Book Publication Materials (1960-2006) Folders are ordered chronologically by publication date.

Series IV: The Florida Center for the Study of Children's Literature (1966-1994) Folders are arranged in the original order of chronological subject files.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Seelye Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Gift of John Seelye in 2013.


Contents List

Correspondence 1960-2005


Box
1 Elizabeth Ammons. 1992-1996
1 Michael Anania. 1970-1973
1 Eve Auchincloss. 1972-1974, 1986
1 Houston Baker. 1979-1983
1 Nina Baym. 1981-1985
1 James Beard. 1966-1985
1 Sacvan Bercovitch. 1975-1983
1 Bobbs-Merrill. 1967-1971
1 Carl Bode. 1977-1986
1 Louis J. Budd. 1977-1986
1 Knox Burger. 1971
1 Barbara Burn. 1971-1983
1 Roger Butterfield. 1966-1975
1 Edwin Cady. 1968-1986
1 Hennig Cohen. 1962-1979, 1993
1 Michael Colacurio. 1983
1 Albert Cook. 1977, 1981
1 Kathryn Court. 1979-1981
1 Pascal Covici. 1970, 1980-1982
1 Walker Cowen. 1960-1961, 1971-1987
1 Alexander Cowie. 1963-1973
1 Malcolm Cowley. 1973
1 James Cox. 1968-1983
1 Arthur Crook. 1971-1974
1 Scott Donaldson. 1981-1984, 1990
1 Ann Douglas. 1979-1984
1 Leon Edel. 1980-1981
1 Ann Elmo. 1970-1986
1 Richard Etulain. 1980-1984, 1990
2 Dan Farley. 1979-1982
2 Judith Fetterley. 1979-1983
2 Leslie Fieldler. 1967, 1970-1985, 1989
2 Eric Foner. 1981-1982, 1989
2 Boris Ford. 1981-1982, 1985
2 Dan Frank. 1984-1985
2 Bruce Franklin. 1966-1968, 1972-1978, 1985-1986
2 Margaretta Fulton. 1982-1984
2 Ed Fussell. 1963, 1966-1976, 1986
2 Paul Fussell Jr. 1963
2 William Gaddis. 1960-1964, 1970
2 Donald Gibson. 1984
2 Sandra Gilbert. 1980-1983
2 Ronald Gottesman. 1981-1985
2 Gerald Graff. 1980-1982
2 Doris Grumbach. 1973-1977
2 Giles Gunn. 1978, 1982-1988, 1992
2 Louis Harlan. 1983
2 Hamlin Hill. 1972, 1976, 1980-1981
2 Udo Hebel. 1999-2002
2 William Hedges. 1980-1986
2 Robert Hemenway. 1979-1981, 1986
2 Edward Hoagland. 1981-1983
2 Hugh Holman. 1970-1973, 1979-1980
2 Kay Seymour House. 1980
2 Michael Kammen. 1981-1984
2 Jay Kasson. 1976, 1992
2 Alfred Kazin. 1980, 1987
2 Martha Kinney. 1979-1984
2 Charlotte Kohler. 1960
2 Annette Kolodny. 1980
2 J. A. Leo Lemay. 1976-1989
2 David Levin. 1977, 1980-1981
2 Michael Lofaro. 1983-1988, 2003-2005
2 Alison Lurie. 1975, 1982
3 Robert D. Madison. 1984
3 Wendy Martin. 1975-1985, 1992
3 Martin Marty. 1980-19881
3 Joseph McElrath. 1992
3 Michael Meyer. 1973-1986
3 Michael Millman. 1990-1993
3 Geoffrey Moore. 1981, 1987
3 Blake Nevius. 1965-1966, 1971, 1977-1981
3 Charles Newman. 1969-1971, 1977
3 Margaret O'Connor. 1995
3 Arthur J. Phelan. 1960, 1960-1980
3 Thomas Philbrick. 1971, 1978-1981
3 Donald Pizer. 1983-1989
3 Vivian Pollack. 1991
3 Joel Porte. 1982-1985
3 Peter Prescott. 1973, 1983
3 Robert Sayre. 1981-1982
3 Susan Shillinglaw. 1983, 1988
3 Elaine Showalter. 1984
3 Kenneth Silverman. 1976, 1984-1985, 1988
3 Richard Slotkin. 19779-1981
3 Eric Solomon. 1981
3 William Spengemann. 1967-1987
3 Kevin Starr. 1976-1985
3 Milton Stern. 1967, 1977-1990
3 Albert Stone. 1979-1982
3 Cecilia Tichi. 1977-1982
3 Kermit Vanderbilt. 1981-1982, 1986-1987
3 Steve and Carol Van Strum. 1969-1978, 1984
3 Linder Wagner. 1975, 1980-1983, 1987, 1990
3 Stanley Weintraub. 1972, 1978, 1982-1983
3 James West. 1980
3 Caroline White. 1996-1998
3 George Abbott White. 1970-1974, 1979
3 John White. 1982-1983
3 Reed Whittemore. 1969-1974
3 Cynthia Wolff. 1982, 1990
3 David Wyatt. 1991
3 Larzer Ziff. 1979-1981
4 American Literature (Journal) Editorial Board. 1971-1972
4 American Short Story. 1977-1979
4 Columbia Literary History of the U.S. 1981-1986
4 Icarus Anthology. 1962
4 McGraw Hill. 1971-1971
4 Melville Society and the Univ. Pennsylvania Press. 1969-1971
4 The New Republic. 1969-1972
4 New York Magazine. 1971
4 New York Review. 1972
4 Saturday Review. 1973
4 Times Literary Supplement. 1971-1973
4 Virginia Quarterly Review. 1976-1977


Penguin Subject Files 1978-2006


Box
4 Original Penguin Contract Correspondence. 1978
4 Penguin Correspondence With Editors. 1978-1979
4 Penguin Memos. 1978-1981
4 Penguin: Financial. 1978-1991
4 Penguin Classics. 1079
4 Penguin Correspondence With Editors. 1979-1980
4 Penguin Proposals. 1979-1983
4 Penguin Requests for Editors - Rejected. 1980-1982
4 Penguin American Libraries Series. 1980-1983
4 Penguin Meeting Notes. 1980-1984
4 Penguin Contracts. 1981
4 Book Proposals - Rejected by Penguin. 1981-1982
4 Conversion from Penguin English Library to Penguin American Library Series. 1981-1982
4 Penguin Correspondence. 1981-1984
4 Penguin Editions of Twain Texts. 1981, 1985
4 Maritime Literature. 1982
5 Penguin Literary Classics. 1985
5 Penguin Correspondence. 1985-1987
5 Misc. Penguin Correspondence. 1986-1999
5 Penguin Projects. 1987
5 Penguin Correspondence. 1987-1988
5 Penguin Memos. 1987-1988
5 Penguin: Uncle Tom's Cabin. 1989
5 Penguin Correspondence. 1989
5 Penguin Marketing Meetings. 1989-1990
5 Penguin Correspondence. 1990
5 Penguin Steinbeck Project. 1990-1993
5 Penguin Shakespeare Series. 1989-1992
5 Penguin Correspondence. 1990
5 Penguin Correspondence. 1991
5 Penguin Meeting Papers/Notes. 1991-1993
5 Penguin New Projects. 1991-1994
5 Penguin Correspondence. 1992
5 Penguin Correspondence. 1993
5 Penguin Projects and Correspondence. 1994
6 Penguin Projects and Correspondence. 1995
6 Penguin Correspondence. 1996
6 Penguin Correspondence. 1997
6 Penguin Correspondence. 1998
6 Hemingway Anthology. 1998
6 Penguin Correspondence. 1999
6 Penguin Correspondence. 2000
6 Penguin Papers and Correspondence. 2000-2006
6 Penguin Correspondence. 2001
6 Penguin D. H. Lawrence Project. 2001-2003
6 Penguin Correspondence. 2002
6 Penguin Crocket Project. 2002
6 Penguin Correspondence. 2003
6 Penguin Correspondence. 2004-2005
6 Emily Post Project. 2005
6 60th Anniversary Penguin Classics. 2005
6 Penguin Tom Sawyer Revision. 2005
6 Penguin Classics Relaunch. Circa 2005
6 Penguin London Assassination Edits. Undated
6 Classic American Short Stories: Nineteenth Century. Undated


Book Publication Materials 1960-2006


Box
7 Iridescent Scabbard: Melville's Ironic Mode. 1960-1962
7 Melville: Ironic Diagram Reader Reports and Contracts. 1964-1972, 1979
7 Melville: Ironic Diagram Reviews. 1970-1973
7 The True Adventures of Huck Finn Correspondence. 1967-1970
7 The True Adventures of Huck Finn Publication Correspondence. 1969-1972
7 The True Adventures of Huck Finn Reviews. 1969-1972
7 The True Adventures of Huck Finn Contract. 1969-1974
7 The True Adventures of Huck Finn Movie Contract and Correspondence. 1970-1974
7 The True Adventures of Huck Finn Manuscript and Notes. Undated
7 Rights Revision: True Adventures and Ironic Diagram. 1981-1986
7 The Kid Publication Correspondence. 1970-1981
7 The Kid Correspondence From Readers. 1972
7 The Kid Movie Rights. 1973, 1977
7 The Kid Copyright. 1995-1998
7 Dirty Tricks Correspondence. 1973, 1983
7 Dirty Tricks Reviews. 1973-1974
7 Mark Twain in the Movies. 1977
7 Prophetic Waters Correspondence. 1973, 1976-1979
7 Manuscripts - Stories - Seidenschlupter. 1990s?
7 Beautiful Machine Reviews. 1993
7 Memory's Nation: The Place of Plymouth Rock Correspondence and Contract. 1997
7 Memory's Nation: The Place of Plymouth Rock Reviews. 1998-2002
7 Stories of Old West Anthology. 2000-2001
7 Jane Eyre's American Daughters Correspondence. 2001-2005
7 Jane Eyre's American Daughters Reviews. 2006
7 Melville Writings. Undated


The Florida Center for the Study of Children's Literature 1966-1994


Box
8 Children's Literature. 1966-1968
8 Penguin Companion to Children's Literature. 1974-1976
8 John Cech Correspondence. 1979-1980, 1986
8 University of Florida Children's Literature Program Proposal. 1986-1988
8 Children's Literature Correspondence. 1986-1991
8 Baldwin Grant Proposal. 1990
8 Children's Literature Program Meeting Notes. 1990-1991
8 Children's Literature Director's Reports. 1990-1991
8 Children's Literature Steering Committee Memos. 1990-1991
8 Cerimon Foundation. 1990-1992
8 Children's Literature Fundraising and Fellowships. 1991
8 Master of Arts in Children's Literature. 1991-1994
8 Children's Literature Censorship Colloquium. Undated


Selected Subjects and Access Terms

American literature
Children's literature
Penguin (Firm)
University of Florida. Center for Children's Literature and Culture.



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