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Charles T. Davis papers

 Collection
Call Number: JWJ MSS 91

Scope and Contents

The Charles T. Davis papers contains correspondence, research and teaching files, and personal papers documenting the life of American academic Charles T. Davis. Correspondents feature literary scholars and African-American artists, writers, and cultural figures, including Doris Alexander, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Amiri Baraka, Romare Bearden, John Blassingame, Michel Fabre, Leon Forrest, Athol Fugard, Henry Louis Gates, Leon Higginbotham, Ishmael Reed, Jean Toomer, and others. Correspondents also include colleagues and students. Research and Teaching Files contain files documenting Davis's professional activity as an academic at various institutions from the 1950s through 1970s. Research files include notes and subject files on 19th and 20th century writers and African-American history, literature, and culture. Teaching files include course and lecture notes, writings by Davis and others, and administrative files. Personal papers consists of various other materials, including family papers, audiovisual material, and military and academic records.

Dates

  • 1931-1980

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Restricted material in boxes 34-37 are restricted until 2051.

Box 38 contains audiovisual material. Restricted fragile. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Charles T. Davis Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Charles T. Davis, 2005.

Arrangement

Organized into three series: I. Correspondence, [circa 1930s-1980]. II. Research and Teaching Files, 1936-1980. III. Personal Papers, 1931-1980.

Extent

29.67 Linear Feet (38 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Overview

The collection contains correspondence, research and teaching files, and personal papers documenting the life of American academic Charles T. Davis. Correspondents feature literary scholars and African-American artists, writers, and cultural figures, including Doris Alexander, Anthony Appiah, Amiri Baraka, Romare Bearden, John Blassingame, Michel Fabre, Leon Forrest, Athol Fugard, Henry Louis Gates, Leon Higginbotham, Ishmael Reed, Jean Toomer, and others. Correspondents also include colleagues and students. Research and Teaching Files contain files documenting Davis's professional activity as an academic at various institutions from the 1950s through 1970s. Research files include notes and subject files on 19th and 20th century writers and African-American history, literature, and culture. Teaching files include course and lecture notes, writings by Davis and others, and administrative files. Personal papers consists of various other materials, including family papers, audiovisual material, and military and academic records.

Charles T. Davis (1918-1981)

Charles Twitchell Davis, born April 29, 1918, in Hampton, VA, was a literary critic and scholar. Davis was educated at Dartmouth College (1939), University of Chicago (1942), and New York University (1951), and taught at NYU (1948-1955), Princeton University (1955-1961), Penn State (1961-1970), University of Iowa (1970-1976) and finally Yale University (1972-1981), where he taught until his death in 1981.

Davis's early work was on American poetry of the 19th and early 20th centuries, but later in his career he began to focus more on black literature, culture, and history. His study of black American literature helped bring it to the fore as a significant part of the American literary tradition, and as a leader of the African-American studies program at Yale University, he was an important figure in the development of African-American studies in American universities. His books include Black is the Color of the Cosmos (1982) and The Slave's Narrative (1985).

Biographical information taken from "Charles T. Davis." Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 48. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 2 May 2012.

Processing Information

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and in some instances minimal organization. Descriptive information found in the Collection Contents section is drawn in large part from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Former call number: Uncat MSS 837.
Title
Guide to the Charles T. Davis Papers
Author
by Beinecke staff
Date
2012
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977