Albert Croll Baugh papers
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
Albert Croll Baugh, born in Philadelphia in 1891, was a noted scholar of medieval English language and literary history. After receiving both his master's and doctoral degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, he taught at that same university, rising from the position of reader in 1912 to that of departmental chair in 1944 and Felix E. Schelling Memorial Professor of English in 1946 (a position he held until his retirement).
Baugh is known for his scholarship in both the linguistic and historical branches of medieval English philology, and especially for his History of the English Language (first published in 1935) and his contributions on the Middle English period (circa 1100-1500) to the Literary History of England (published 1948). He also wrote extensively on the life and works of Geoffrey Chaucer and edited a version of the 13th century Middle English religious codes text the Ancren Riwle, which was published 1956 (the collection contains large amounts of material related to all of these projects). He was also active in professional organizations, and served as the president at various times to the Modern Language Association, the Medieval Academy of America, the Modern Humanities Research Association and the Federation Internationale de Langues et Litteratures Modernes.
Throughout his time working at the University of Pennsylvania, Baugh was very much a teacher as well as a scholar. In addition to teaching Middle English subjects, Baugh also led classes in English methods and composed a manual for college students on the art of writing (two partial versions of which can be found in the research materials on teaching), which was first published in 1924.
Baugh retired in 1961, but continued his researches on Chaucer and Middle English. His papers were donated to the Penn Libraries by his son, historian Daniel Albert Baugh.
The Albert Croll Baugh papers are made up of 15 boxes of material including correspondence; research materials; a catalog of books donated to the Van Pelt Library; and reproductions of medieval manuscripts and other works. The collection spans through Baugh's professional life (though it is arranged topically rather than chronologically), starting with some of his earlier researches and ending over a decade after he retired from his professorship at the University of Pennsylvania. The material contained in this collection is professional, not personal, and documents Baugh's interests and works as a scholar and teacher of Middle English.
The Correspondence series contains a selection of Baugh's professional letters, separated out from his research materials. These letters largely relate to his various academic projects and also to the acquisition of the manuscript reproductions in the collection, which he assembled at different times to aid his research.
The Research Materials series is by far the largest series in the collection and covers the full range of Baugh's intellectual and professional interests in the language and literary culture of medieval England. It is divided into six sub-series: Arthurian Legends and Romances; English Literature; French Literature; Latin Literature; Paleography; and Teaching Materials. The Arthurian sub-series consists of materials relating to Arthurian legends, the authors of Arthurian legends, the idea of Courtly Love and the medieval romance genre. The English Literature sub-series (the largest in the collection) covers a wide range of twelfth through sixteenth century authors and literary works, as well as more generalized Middle English literary genres and trends, language and punctuation. The French Literature and Latin Literature sub-series, though each rather smaller than the English sub-series, also contain material relating to their respective authors, works, genres and literary trends. The Paleography sub-series encompasses material on paleography, textual criticism, scribal practices and the concept of authorship in the medieval world. The Teaching Materials sub-series reflects Baugh's contributions as a teacher and includes notes for lectures, materials on the teaching of English methods and copies of Baugh's outlines on the Foundations of English.
The Catalog series consists of an extensive record of the book collection Baugh donated to the Van Pelt Library. In addition to detailing Baugh's personal library, it also provides an impressive bibliography on medieval English literature and language. There is also a copy of this catalog in microfilm form, which can be found in the Microfilms sub-series of the Reproductions series. The Reproductions series consists of copies (photocopied, photographic and microfilmed) of manuscripts used in Baugh's researches. The series is divided into three sub-series: Photographs and Photocopies; Oversize Photocopies; and Microfilms. The Photographs and Photocopies and also the Oversize sub-series consist of copies of manuscripts from American (mainly the Huntington Library) and European libraries (especially the Bodleian, the British Museum, the National Library of Wales and the Public Record Office in London). Both the thirteenth-century Ancren Riwle and the fourteenth-century Piers Plowman figure prominently in this sub-series, as do a variety of English public records. The Microfilms sub-series consists of ten rolls of microfilm, eight of which are of manuscripts of the sort described above, one of which is a copy of Baugh's book collection, and the last of which is a copy of an obscure nineteenth-century article by French librarian Gaston Maspero.
Gift of Daniel Albert Baugh, 1988.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Hannah Ewing
- Finding Aid Date
- 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.