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Inventory of the Celeste Turner Wright Papers
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Collection Details
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  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Materials
  • Indexing Terms
  • Access
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Creator: Wright, Celeste Turner
    Title: Celeste Turner Wright Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1921-1994
    Extent: 6 linear feet
    Abstract: Celeste Turner Wright (1906-1999) served as Professor of English at the University of California, Davis from 1928-1979. She authored Etruscan Princess (1964), Inscription Rock (1963) and Seasoned Timber (1977). The majority of the collection consists of Wright's works, specifically her poems published in journals. Also included are manuscripts of several works as well as a small amount of correspondence.
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
    Davis, California 95616-5292
    Collection number: D-161
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English.


    Celeste Turner Wright was born in New Brunswick, Canada on March 17, 1906 and moved with her family to Pasadena, California in 1918. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
    Wright, who came to the University Farm (now the University of California, Davis) in 1928, chaired the Division of English (1928-1934), the Division of Languages and Literature (1934-1952), and the Department of English, Dramatic Art and Speech (1952-1955). During that time she also taught English, Latin, German, and drama. She retired in 1979.
    Professor Wright achieved many firsts during her time at Davis: she was the first woman with a Ph.D. to become a faculty member, the first woman to be tenured, the first drama instructor, and the first humanities professor to be honored as Faculty Research Lecturer.
    In addition to publishing many individual poems in poetry journals, she also published three books of her own poetry, Etruscan Princess and Other Poems (1964), A Sense of Place (1973), and Seasoned Timber (1977).
    The UC Davis Dramatic Arts Building was named Celeste Turner Wright Hall on October 9, 1997. Wright passed away on September 16, 1999.
    Morris, Linda, Hays, Peter, and Osborn, Marijane. "Celeste Turner Wright." In Memoriam. [Berkeley, Calif.: Academic Senate], 1999.

    Scope and Content

    The majority of the collection consists of Celeste Turner Wright's works, specifically her poems published in journals. Also included are manuscripts of several works as well as a small amount of correspondence.

    Arrangement of the Collection

    The collection is arranged in four series: 1. About Celeste Turner Wright and Her Works, 2. Works, 3. Correspondence, 4. Works by Others.

    Related Materials

    Special Collections also holds the following works by Celeste Turner Wright: The Amazons in Elizabethan Literature, Etruscan Princess: and Other Poems, First Resort: a Memoir, History of the Department of English, Davis, 1908-September 1966, Inscription Rock and Other Poems, Seasoned Timber, A Sense of Place, Thumbprint, and University Woman: the Memoir of Celeste Turner Wright, Professor of English Emeritus, as well as an oral history interview conducted by the UCD Emeriti Association.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Wright, Celeste Turner--Archives
    University of California, Davis--Faculty--Archives
    Women poets, American--20th century
    American poetry--20th century


    Collection is open for research.

    Processing Information

    Sara Gunasekara was assisted by student employees Jane Oh and Michelle Xie in the processing of this collection.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Celeste Turner Wright Papers, D-161, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis 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 by the researcher.