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Bobby Fong Collection on Oscar WildeMS.2015.005
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Custodial History
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Related Materials
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
    Title: Bobby Fong Collection on Oscar Wilde
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.2015.005
    Physical Description: 3 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1977-2014
    Language of Material: English
    Abstract: The Bobby Fong collection contains notes, correspondence, reference materials, and typescripts concerning the writing of Fong's doctoral thesis in 1978 and a critical edition of Oscar Wilde's poetry that he published with his colleague Karl Beckson in 2000. Most of the collection consists of correspondence regarding the publication of the 2000 critical edition, the first ever compilation of every existing piece of Oscar Wilde's Poetry.
    Physical Location: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
    Physical Description: 3 boxes, 3 linear ft.

    Custodial History

    Gift of Suzanne Fong, 2015.

    Processing Information

    Some duplicate materials were identified and removed as appropriate, such as empty mailing envelopes with no contextual information and .
    This collection was processed and described in 2018 by Joyce Wang.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Bobby Fong Collection on Oscar Wilde, MS.2015.005, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Biographical Note

    Bobby Fong was born on January 28, 1950 in Oakland, California. His parents were Chinese immigrants, and Fong lived in Oakland's Chinatown neighborhood for most of his childhood. From 1969-1973, he attended Harvard on a scholarship where he obtained a bachelor's degree in English and was elected to the honor society Phi Beta Kappa. He started his PhD program at UCLA in 1975 with a specialization in 19th-20th century English and American literature, poetry, and intellectual and religious history. Between 1977 and 1978, he was a dissertation fellow at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, where he completed his dissertation establishing the texts of Wilde's poetry, including those for poems that had hitherto been unpublished. His thesis would be further expanded in a critical edition that he co-published with Karl Beckson (Brooklyn College) in 2000 that was titled Poems and Poems in Prose.
    His academic career included various professorships at the English department of Berea College, Hope College, and Hamilton College. He rose to deanship at both Hope College and Hamilton College, spending the latter portion of his career in largely administrative roles. Prior to his unexpected passing, he was the president of Ursinus College and had gained renown for spearheading an initiative to reinvigorate the campus' liberal arts curricula, believing in its capacity to not only offer critical thinking skills, but to also transform an individual's soul. He assumed a number of leadership positions, such as being the chair of the Board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Him and his wife Suzanne Fong had two children named Colin and Jonathan.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection almost exclusively consists imarily of notes, correspondence, invoices, proofs, typescripts, and manuscript facsimiles/scans related to Fong's research on the poetry of Oscar Wilde. A portion of his reference materials date from the time of his PhD studies, with the collection being added to in the early 90s as he refined his dissertation. These materials culminated in his co-production of the 4th volume of the Oxford English Texts Complete Works of Oscar Wilde: Poems and Poems in Prose with Karl Beckson.


    The collection has been split into four series. Despite this, some of the subject matter – including the actual materials themselves – may overlap or be repeated across series. Reference files are arranged in their original file numbering order, which was based on the order in which the poems appeared in the critical edition. The other series are arranged by approximate date. The four series are named as followed:
    Series 1 Reference Files on OW's Poetry Series 2: Dissertation Materials Series 3: Oxford English Texts (OET) Series 4: Correspondence

    Related Materials

    The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library also holds a facsimile of Bobby Fong's dissertation and a copy of his 2000 publication Poems and Poems in Prose, along with a number of other scholarly works regarding Oscar Wilde's poetry. Please consult the UCLA catalog to learn more about these collections.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Clark Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.