Scope and Content
Title: Lampson (Robin) Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1868-1975
Collection number: Mss56
Extent: 3.5 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of
Shelf location: For current information on the location of
these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Lampson (Robin) Collection, Mss56,
Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Lampson, Robin (1900-1978)
Lampson, Margaret Fraser
Sharon, Sarah Althea Hill (1853-1937)
Sharon, William (1821-1885)
Terry, David Smith (1823-1889)
Gorgas, William Crawford (1854-1920)
Hewes, David (1822-1915)
Olmsted, Frederick Law (1822-1903)
London, Jack (1876-1916)
University of California, Berkeley -Curriculum
Poets, American -California -Berkeley
Gold mines and mining -Poetry
Yellow fever -Poetry
Historical poetry, American -California
Robin Lampson (1900-1978) is best remembered for his verse novels,
"Laughter out of the ground" (1936)--an epic of the California Gold Rush--and
"Death loses a pair of wings" (1939)--the tale of Dr. William Gorgas' victory
over yellow fever. In the years immediately following World War I, Lampson
studied English and Russian at Stanford University. In 1922 he was sent to
Russia with the American Relief Administration. There he administered the
distribution of food relief in the vicinity of Tashkent for about two years.
Following his return to the United States, Lampson worked at a variety of jobs,
eventually returning to college at the University of California, where he
received an A.B. degree in 1932. From this date, his poetry began appearing
with some frequency in literary journals. As a poet, Lampson was a
neo-classicist, preferring rhyming sonnet structures to free verse. He invented
a sonnet type that borrowed rhyme-schemes from Renaissance Italian terza rima.
Following the publication of his best-selling "Laughter out of the
ground," Lampson wrote literary criticism and produced radio programs for San
Francisco Bay area outlets. He also became an adjunct English instructor at the
University of California (1937-1941). During these years he researched and
wrote most of his extended works on themes drawn from California history,
including The Mending of a Continent (1937) and San Francisco Souvenir (1938).
He seems to have contemplated a work on the William Sharon-Althea Hill
relationship, although no such poem was ever completed. Beginning in the 1930s
Lampson also operated a stamp shop in Richmond, California.
Scope and Content
This collection consists of: drafts of works; literary reviews, by and
about Robin Lampson; clippings describing Lampson's activities; bulletins &
hand-outs describing his teaching activities; professional and personal
correspondence; research materials on Sharon-Hill, Frederick Law Olmsted and
the landscaping of the University of California, the Golden Spike, Jack London
and yellow fever; as well as photographs, some business papers and