Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Neda M. Westlake was the curator and librarian of the Rare Book Collection at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960's through the 1980's. She graduated from Wheaton College in 1939 and earned a Ph.D. in American civilization at the University of Pennsylvania in 1950. In 1949, she became assistant curator of rare books at Van Pelt Library. She became the head curator in 1960 and the Librarian of the Rare Book Division in 1962. She was one of the key scholars working on the 2nd edition of the American Literary Manuscripts.
The American Literary Manuscripts was created to aid scholars in their search for new research materials by making it easier to locate primary manuscript sources of major and minor authors. The first edition text described the scope of the American literary manuscripts in roughly 270 American libraries. Approximately 2,350 American authors were represented in this volume. The revised edition included 400 additional authors and 327 additional libraries; furthermore, it included "not only academic, historical and public libraries which contain manuscripts but also the possessions of museums, foundations, and authors' homes," (box 1, folder 2).
This collection documents the long difficult process of editing and creating the second revision of American Literary Manuscripts. It contains correspondence between Westlake and her editorial staff as well as correspondence between Westlake and staff of other regional repositories, printouts of institution inventories, and annotated author lists indicating the authors present in the the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library collections.
This collection is divided into three series. These series include correspondence, the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library collection author lists, and repository inventory printouts.
Correspondence contains letters between Neda Westlake and her editorial staff and staff from other regional repositories concerning the creation of the second edition of American Literary Manuscripts. The series houses correspondence between Westlake and Dr. J. Albert Robbins, Dr. J. V. Ridgley, Dr. Leo Weigant, Thomas Whitehead, Murphy Smith, Peter Parker, and Sister Regina Maria from 1970, 1972 and 1973. It also includes correspondence between Westlake and Mary Leahy, Howell J. Heaney, Murphy Smith, Thomas Whitehead, Peter Parker, Clive Driver, Elliott H. Morse, Dr. J Albert Robbins, and Sister Anne Xavier from 1975 and 1977. Letters relate largely to the logistics involved in creating inventory lists and sending them to appropriate individuals for inclusion in the volume and obtaining proofs and corrections in a timely manner. Also included in the correspondence files are the formulary for the revised edition and a press release regarding the printing of the second edition.
The Penn collection author lists include lists of the correspondence of Waldo Frank, Richard Penn Smith, Carl Zigrosser, Burton Rascoe, Ada Rehan, Theodore Dreiser, Samuel Ingham, Albert Mordell, and Benjamin Franklin with the listed authors. These annotated lists indicate with who these authors communicated and the number of known correspondences between them.
The repository inventory printouts include reports from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania for the revision of American Literary Manuscripts.
Gift of Neda Westlake.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Kelin Baldridge
- Finding Aid Date
- 2015 November 13
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.