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
Arthur Hobson Quinn (1875-1960) was a professor and dean of English and History at the University of Pennsylvania and an internationally recognized authority on the history of American drama. Other than a brief period at the University of Munich during his PhD studies, the whole of Quinn's postsecondary education took place at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.S. in 1894 and his PhD in 1899. The same is true of Quinn's teaching career; hired by the University as an instructor of Mathematics in 1894, he became instructor of English in 1895 and was appointed Assistant Professor of English in 1904. Quinn would eventually hold the title of Welsh Professor of History and English, and serve as Dean of the College from 1912 to 1922. Born in Philadelphia, he had a special interest in that city's role in the development of the American theater. His books on American drama were for many decades the standard reference work for university courses on the subject, and his critical biography of Edgar Allan Poe was crucial in elevating Poe's position from that of an intriguing curiosity to a central figure in American literature. In addition to his scholarly work, Quinn was very active in the theatrical scene of his day, corresponding with important playwrights and theatre professionals, most notably Eugene O'Neill; he was also an avid supporter of amateur drama, both at the University of Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia at large. He died in 1960 in Bala Cynwyd, PA.
This collection contains material related to Quinn's entire professional life: his correspondence with publishers, playwrights, and theatre professionals; manuscripts (some partial) and notes for four of his books, A History of the American Drama from the Beginning to the Civil War (1927), The Soul of America (1932), Edgar Allan Poe, a Critical Biography (1941), and his collaborative textbook The Literature of the American People (1951), as well as numerous scholarly articles; extensive lecture notes for his classes at the University of Pennsylvania; reviews of contemporary plays; his collection of playbills and libretti; and material related to his research on Edgar Allan Poe and the American realist playwright James A. Herne, including several of Herne's own manuscripts. Although the collection contains a small amount of personal material belong to Quinn and his daughter Kathleen, there is very little material concerning Quinn's family or his private life. For more details, see notes at the series level.
Gifts of Kathleen Carberry Quinn and James H. McK. Quinn, August 1984, December 1985, and December 1986.
- College teachers
- Theater -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
- Theater -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- 20th century
- Theater -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- 19th century
- Education, Higher
- Theater -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Theater -- United States -- 20th century
- American literature -- History and criticism
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Sam Allingham
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 May 2
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- 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.