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Guide to the Allan Anderson Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Allan Anderson Papers
    Dates: 1953-2010
    Identification: MS-0478
    Creator: Anderson, Allan W., 1922-
    Physical Description: 1.25 linear ft
    Language of Materials: English Spanish;Castilian
    Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
    5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
    San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
    URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
    Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
    Phone: 619-594-6791
    Other Information:
    An oral history of Allan Anderson was recorded on July 17, 2009. Dr. Anderson's oral history documents his teaching philosophy, his love of language and literature, and his interests in Eastern philosophy and the wisdom tradition. Especially noteworthy are Dr. Anderson's readings of two poems from his children's book of poetry titled, Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and a Little Cove of Nonsense. Dr. Anderson also describes his ideal student-teacher relationship, and his teaching methods.

    Biographical Information:

    Dr. Allan W. Anderson was born in Hastings, New Zealand on July 18, 1922 but grew up in England. He moved to the United States in 1936 where he remained the majority of his life. He received a B.A. in history and general science in 1944 from Washington Missionary College, an M.A. in english literature from Trinity College in 1951, and a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Columbia University in 1960. He was an instructor at the National Academy of Broadcasting in Washington DC from 1947-1949, and was later a radio newscaster and announcer in Hartford, Connecticut, where he also worked as a social worker.
    Anderson began teaching at SDSU in 1962 and retired in 1985. He was a founder of the Department of Religious Studies, established in 1969. He taught courses on philosophy of religion, metaphysics, ethics, scripture, and psychology with a focus on Hindu and Chinese canons. Additionally, he received the 1970 California State Distinguished Teaching Award and the Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award for 1982 and 1983.
    His published works range from creative writing to children’s literature and fiction. Some of his works include Oracles of Love, Sonnets Toward Self-Change, The Hastings Papers, and Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and a little cove of Nonsense. Perhaps his most well-known works are the eighteen one-hour dialogues between Anderson and Jiddu Krishnamurti entitled A Wholly Different Way of Living. The talks were broadcast every Sunday on KPBS from January to April, 1975, and were later published as a book.
    In addition to his accomplishments in academia, Anderson founded Metanoia, a group for the study of self-transformation in La Jolla. He also participated in the Berkeley Regional Seminar in Confucian Studies and lectured regularly for the San Diego Friends of Jung organization.

    Access Terms

    This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Audio Recordings
    Personal Papers

    Administrative Information

    Conditions Governing Use:

    The copyright interests in the materials found in this collection have not been transferred to San Diego State University.  Special Collections and University Archives can only grant permission to publish materials for which it is the copyright holder.  For further information, please consult the section on copyright in the rules for using the collections, or contact the United States Copyright Office at (202) 707-3000 or http://www.copyright.gov.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    This collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation:

    Identification of item, folder title, box number, Allan W. Anderson Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

    Related Materials:

    Jiddu Krishnamurti Papers, 1935-1975
    Information about related materials is available at http://scua2.sdsu.edu/archon/?p=collections/controlcard&id=103

    Scope and Contents

    The Allan W. Anderson Papers (1953-2010) document Anderson’s work as a poet and academic in religious studies. The majority of the material dates from 1970 to 1990 with sparse documentation from the 2000s on. These files document some of Anderson’s creative processes for his published works including the children’s book Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and A little cove of Nonsense, as well as unpublished materials. His collection includes poems, lectures, correspondence, research papers, student work, newspaper clippings, and audio visual materials. Highlights include drafts of some of his most prominent writings such as Reflections on the I Ching and Self-Transformation and the Oracular, in addition to correspondence concerning the publication of his dialogues with Jiddu Krishnamurti, A Wholly Different Way of Living. The collection consists of three series: Poetry and Writings (1953-2010), Krishnamurti Foundation Correspondence (1974-1990), and Student Documents (1977-1983). The Poetry and Writings series has been divided into three sub-series: Titled Poetry (1953-2006), Untitled Poetry, and Drafts of Publications (1971-2010).
    The Poetry and Writings (1953-2010) files are divided into three sub-series, Titled Poetry (1953-2006), Untitled Poetry (circa 1980s), and Drafts of Publications (1971-2010). These files document Anderson’s work as a poet and creative writer. The Titled Poetry sub-series, arranged alphabetically, contains drafts and revisions of his poetry. It includes a draft of Brother Sparrow, written in 1953, which is the earliest document in the collection. Arranged topically, the Untitled Poetry sub-series consists of edited poetry. Of particular interest are religious and spiritually themed poems, corresponding to his professional work as a religious studies professor.  The third sub-series, Drafts of Publications, includes drafts of the creative process for some of Anderson’s published works. Revised originals of his most recent publication, Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and A little cove of Nonsense, can be found in this section. This sub-series includes documents and audio-visual materials.
    The Krishnamurti Foundation Correspondence (1974-1990) series predominantly documents correspondence between Anderson and the Krishnamurti Foundation concerning his dialogues with Jiddu Krishnamurti in A Wholly Different Way of Living. Arranged alphabetically by folder title, the series includes letters from Anderson suggesting a title change for the dialogue and release forms for copyright purposes.
    The Student Documents (1977-1983) series contains student writing assignments with annotations and recorded class lectures by Anderson while teaching at SDSU. The documents are arranged alphabetically, by student name, and then chronologically, and focus on the analysis of religious writings such as those used in Christianity, Taoism, and the use of I Ching hexagrams. The seventeen recordings of Anderson’s lectures and classes are arranged chronologically by cassette tape.