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Guide to the Melville Best Anderson Papers, 1926-1930
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Access Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Anderson, Melville Best Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1926-1930
    Collection number: M0731
    Creator: Anderson, Melville Best, 1851-1933
    Extent: 1 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: Primarily incoming correspondence to Melville Best Anderson from former students Anna Strunsky Walling and Agnes Smith Manucci Capponi, from colleagues E.O. James, David Starr Jordan, Thomas H. MacBride, Charles Eliot Norton, and Paget Toynbee (fellow Dante scholar), as well as less detailed correspondence from Fremont Older and former students Samuel S. McClure and John Huston Finley, as well as various other academic and literary figures of the early twentieth century, including many affiliated with Stanford.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Gift of Patricia Sage Liedtke, 1985.

    Preferred Citation:

    Melville Best Anderson Papers. M0731. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    Melville Best Anderson was born in Kalamazoo Michigan in 1851, the son of Helen Best Anderson and Edward Coffin Anderson. His father's career as a teacher and minister caused the family to move several times during Melville's childhood. At eighteen he entered Cornell University, where he began life-long friendships with other young scholars, including David Starr Jordan. In 1872 Anderson began his career as a literary scholar, and in the next decades he taught at Butler University, Knox College, Purdue University and the University of Iowa. In 1891 Anderson came to Stanford at the request of David Starr Jordan to serve as head of the English Department. Professor Anderson remained at Stanford until 1910, when he retired emeritus to devote himself to Dante scholarship. His most celebrated literary achievement was his translation of the Divina Comedia (final edition, Oxford University Press: 1932). Anderson died on June 22, 1933 at his brother's home in La Jolla, California.

    Scope and Content

    The Melville Best Anderson Collection of primarily incoming correspondence was donated to the Stanford Libraries by Patricia Sage Liedtke in 1985. The collection measures 1.0 linear foot in two regular-sized manuscript boxes, and consists of letters to Professor Anderson from family, friends, students and colleagues.
    The collection includes extensive correspondence from former students Agnes Smith Manucci Capponi and Anna Strunsky Walling (poet and socialist), and from colleagues E. O. James, David Starr Jordan, Thomas H. MacBride, Charles Eliot Norton and Paget Toynbee (fellow Dante scholar). Also included is less detailed correspondence from Fremont Older (writer) and former students Samuel S. Mc Clure and John Huston Finley, as well as various other academic and literary figures, including many affiliated with Stanford. More materials on Melville Best Anderson are available in the Anderson Family Papers collection (M051).

    Access Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Anderson, Melville Best, 1851-1933.
    Capponi, Agnes Smith Mannucci.
    Capponi, Agnes Smith Manucci.
    Finley, John H. (John Huston), 1863-1940.
    James, E.O.
    Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931.
    MacBride, Thomas H.
    McClure, S.S. (Samuel Sidney), 1857-1949.
    Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1931.
    Older, Fremont.
    Toynbee, Paget Jackson, 1855-1932.
    Walling, Anna Strunsky, 1879-
    American literature--20th century.