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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Hamlin Garland papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts, notebooks, photographs, and memorabilia, by and about the American realist writer. Hamlin Garland (1860-1940) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who once held the title of "Dean of American Letters" and counted many of the prominent literary figures of his time as friends. This collection holds over 8,000 of Garland's letters, which are now digitized and available via the USC Digital Library. Garland's literary notebooks and manuscripts--with the author's revisions--are also included, documenting the early working stages of Garland's autobiographies and memoirs, fiction, plays, poetry, published articles, and lectures. The Garland papers also contain the typescripts, notebooks, interview transcripts, correspondence, and research material created by Garland for his biography of Ulysses S. Grant published in 1898. Lastly, the collection holds hundreds of the Garland family's photographs and memorabilia dating as early as the 1850s.
Background
Hamlin Garland (1860-1940) is best remembered by the title he gave his autobiography: as a "son of the Middle Border." First receiving notice with a successful collection of grimly naturalistic "down home" stories in 1891 ("Main-Travelled Roads"), Garland came to prominence just as the "frontier" mentality was receding in the wake of the settling of California and the West. Garland, with roots in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, frequently wrote about how this area had also been borderland in his lifetime. In later years, Garland wrote extensively about American Indian affairs, conservation, art, and literary trends; he also expanded his geographic range to include romances of the Far West, yet it was the reminiscences of his early years which stamped him in the public mind, and to which he turned repeatedly for inspiration.By the terms of his bequest, a large part of Hamlin Garland's library came to the University of Southern California in 1939-1940. The author died in March of 1940, and in November the University Library announced the acquisition by purchase of Garland's personal papers and correspondence. Although he had drawn quite close to USC during his final decade, receiving an honorary doctorate from the University in 1935, Garland long held out the idea of placing his papers with an institution in the East or Mid-West, geographically closer to the parts of the country he most closely identified with. He left final disposition of the archive to Mrs. Garland, however, who saw the merit of adding her husband's papers to the USC library's growing American Literature collection.
Extent
74 Linear Feet 138 boxes
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Availability
Advance notice required for access.