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William Alvord Borst travel diary

 Collection
Call Number: MS 2066

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of two diaries by William Alvord Borst’s documenting trips to Europe during the summers of 1937 and 1938. The 1937 diary describes sailing from New York and crossing the Atlantic, June 26-July 3; travelling through Germany, northern Italy, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, and Greece, July 4 –August 21; sailing in the Mediterranean with stops at Messina, Sicily and Portimão, Portugal, August 27-September 8; and sailing home to New York, September 9-21. Borst travelled with Joseph Toy Curtiss, Yale Assistant Professor of English, who played a role in the World War II Office of Strategic Services, eventually becoming head of American counter-intelligence in Turkey. While there are references to Curtiss’ many acquaintances and familiarity with the regions through which they are travelling, the diary focuses on the scenery, art, architecture, and Yale colleagues encountered during travel. Pages 109-115 covering August 22-26 are missing from the diary. The 1938 diary describes Borst’s trip by boat from New York to England. Borst departed on June 21 with Joe Curtiss, Ashley Olmstead, and two friends identified only as Bob and Charlie, arriving on June 27 at Southampton. Joe and Charlie departed for the continent on June 29 and Bob headed to Oxford on July 1, leaving Borst and Ashley to visit the cathedrals, areas of literary significance, and bookstores around the country until August 15, ending their visit in London to enjoy the museums and more literary highlights. On August 16, they set out for Paris and over the next 4 days visited Chartres, Versailles, and Venice before rejoining Joe Curtiss and Charlie at the Isle of Rab on August 21. On August 25, the group set out to visit Split, Herceg Novi, Cetinje, and Dubrovnik. The diary ends on August 31 with Ashley beginning his trip back return to England as the rest prepared to set sail for New York. Also includes a photograph of Borst, his Yale College roommate, Ashley Olmsted, and a helmswoman, Mara, in a boat off the coast of Rab Island in August of 1938.

Dates

  • 1937-1938

Creator

Language of Materials

The materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to Yale University for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection. 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 William W. Stowe, 2016.

Arrangement

The material is arranged as received.

Extent

1.08 Linear Feet (1 box)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.2066

Overview

This collection consists of two diaries by William Alvord Borst documenting trips during the summers of 1937 and 1938. The 1937 diary describes sailing from New York, travelling through Europe, and sailing home to New York. The diary focuses on the scenery, art, architecture, and Yale colleagues encountered during travel. Pages 109-115 covering August 22-26 are missing from the diary. The 1938 diary describes Borst’s trip to England, visiting the cathedrals, areas of literary significance, and bookstores around the country before visiting Europe. There is also a photograph of Borst, his Yale College roommate, Ashley Olmsted, and a helmswoman, Mara, in a boat off the coast of Rab Island in August of 1938.

Biographical / Historical

William Alvord Borst was born in New Haven, on July 6, 1915. He earned three Yale degrees: B.A. in 1937, M.A. in 1942, and Ph.D. in 1945. His dissertation, “Lord Byron’s First Pilgrimage (1809-1811),” was published by the Yale University Press in 1948. After teaching in the Yale English Department, 1937-1941 and 1942-1948, and at Pomfret School, 1941-1942, he joined the New York publishing company of Harcourt, Brace & Company, where he remained until his death in a hotel fire at Chapel Hill, North Carolina on May 11, 1953.
Title
Guide to the William Alvord Borst travel diary
Status
In Progress
Author
compiled by Christine Connolly
Date
May 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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