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David Brion Davis papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 1790

Scope and Contents

The papers include correspondence, teaching files, lecture notes, writings, research files, program files, personal papers, and student recommendations of David Brion Davis, historian and professor of history at Cornell University, 1955-1969 and Yale University, 1969-2001.

Davis’s research activities, centering on the history of slavery and abolition in the western world, are documented in the research files and writings. The writings also document Davis’s work as a cultural critic and contributor to scholarly and popular publications, including the New York Review of Books. Davis’s teaching activities at Yale University are documented in his teaching files, lecture notes, and student recommendations. His broader professional activities are documented in the program files, personal papers, and correspondence, which primarily pertains to requests for feedback on the written work and academic activities of his colleagues and students.

Dates

  • 1949 - 2016

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Student recommendations in the original accession are unprocessed and may contain sensitive information or be in a physical state that would prohibit use. Researchers wishing to request access should email mssa.assist@yale.edu requesting specific box numbers in order to initiate the review process, which may take several weeks.

Course materials and portions of the research files in Accession 2017-M-0002 contain student records and are restricted until 2091 as established by Yale Corporation regulations http://web.library.yale.edu/mssa/collections/research-use-of-yale-university-archives.

Yale University files in Accession 2017-M-0002 are restricted until 2048 as established by Yale Corporation regulations http://web.library.yale.edu/mssa/collections/research-use-of-yale-university-archives. Personnel records in the Yale University files are restricted until 2073 as established by Yale Corporation regulations http://web.library.yale.edu/mssa/collections/research-use-of-yale-university-archives.

All other materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by David Brion Davis and his heirs for materials authored or otherwise produced by Davis. On January 2, 2027, all copyright held by Davis and his heirs passes to Yale University. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of David Brion Davis, 2001 and 2016.

Extent

56.67 Linear Feet (112 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.1790

Overview

The papers include correspondence, teaching files, lecture notes, writings, research files, program files, personal papers, and student recommendations of David Brion Davis, historian and professor of history at Cornell University, 1955-1969 and Yale University, 1969-2001.

Biographical / Historical

David Brion Davis was born February 16, 1927 in Denver, Colorado to Clyde Brion and Martha Davis. He received a BA from Dartmouth College in 1950 and a PhD from Harvard University in 1956. Davis was a professor in the history department at Cornell University from 1955 to 1969 and a professor of history at Yale University from 1970 until his retirement in 2001. Davis died on April 14, 2019.

Davis’s scholarship focused on the history of slavery and abolition in the western world. While at Yale University, Davis taught courses in history, served as an academic advisor, and served as the founding director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, established in 1998.

Davis is the author of numerous monographs on slavery and abolition, including the Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (1966, and winner of the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction); the Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (1975); Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (2006); and the Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (2014). Davis also authored numerous shorting writings and essays, particularly as a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

In addition to his teaching and writing work, Davis participated in and held leadership roles in professional organizations, including serving as the president of the Organization of American Historians from 1988 to 1989. Davis is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Antiquarian Society, and the American Philosophical Society.
Title
Guide to the David Brion Davis Papers
Author
compiled by Tom Hyry and Alison Clemens
Date
July 2001
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)

Location

Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours