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Guide to the Raymond Macdonald Alden Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Sketch
  • Description of the Collection
  • Access Terms
  • Index of Major Correspondents

  • Overview

    Call Number: SC0134
    Creator: Alden, Raymond Macdonald, 1873-1924.
    Title: Raymond Macdonald Alden papers
    Dates: 1891-1924
    Physical Description: 5.5 Linear feet
    Summary: Includes personal correspondence, speeches, essays, articles, lectures, notes, manuscripts, manuscript materials for some of Alden's works, and 34 pocket journals (1891-1924). Correspondents include James and Parker Hall, Cheesman A. Herrick, Frank Hill, Will David Howe, William Jaggard, Edmund James, Harry Stuart Veddar Jones, W. A. Neilson, A. G. Newcomer, S. A. Tannenbaum, Ashley H. Thorndike, and Henry Van Dyke.
    Language(s): The materials are in English.
    Repository: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Green Library
    557 Escondido Mall
    Stanford, CA 94305-6064
    Email: specialcollections@stanford.edu
    Phone: (650) 725-1022
    URL: http://library.stanford.edu/spc

    Administrative Information


    Gift of Donald H. Alden, 1975, 1985.

    Information about Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Ownership & Copyright

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Cite As

    Raymond Macdonald Alden Papers (SC0134). Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical/Historical Sketch

    R.M. Alden, born in New Hartford, New York in 1873, was the only child of the Reverend Gustavus R. Alden and Isabella Macdonald Alden (editor of a juvenile publication and author of numerous Sunday school books and fiction for adult readers). He began his college career at Rollins College in Florida, a school which would award him an honorary doctorate in 1910. Alden eventually completed his A.B. in English at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1894.
    Alden earned his A.M. from Harvard (1896) and finished his Ph.D. at Penn (1898). During his student and immediately post-doctoral years, he was an instructor at Columbian (now George Washington) University, an assistant at Harvard, and a Senior Fellow-instructor at Penn. He came to Stanford in 1901 as Assistant Professor of English and Rhetoric. Promoted to Associate Professor in 1909, Alden left for the University of Illinois in 1911, having been offered a full professorship and the chairmanship of the Illinois English Department. He retraced his steps four years later when Stanford offered him a duplicate situation. Alden continued as chairman at Stanford until his death in 1924.
    Alden's major professional works include: The Rise of Formal Satire in England (1899), The Art of Debate (1900), On Seeing an Elizabethan Play (1903), English Verse (1903), An Introduction to Poetry (1909), Tennyson--How to Know Him (1917), Shakespeare (Master Spirits of Literature Series, 1917).
    In addition, Alden served as editor for numerous editions of Shakespeare (Julius Caesar and Sonnets) and other authors, as well as for several anthologies of essays, poems, and other readings. He was a frequent contributor to professional journals and publications.
    Alden also achieved a certain amount of recognition as a writer of fiction and poetry. His Knights of the Silver Shield (1906), Why the Chimes Rang (1909), and The Boy Who Found the King (1922) were joined on the verse side by Consolatio--an Ode. A short story won third prize ($1,000) in the Collier's contest of 1905.
    Alden served as President of the Drama League of America from its founding in 1914 until his death in 1924. He was also a member of the Modern Language Association, American Philological Association, American Association of University Professors, Phi Beta Kappa, and Beta Theta Pi.
    Married to Barbara G. Hitt in 1904, Alden had a daughter and four sons. He was active in the Palo Alto Presbyterian Church.
    [Information obtained from the Who Was Who in America, Vol I, 1897-1942, and from the Stanford Illustrated Review, October 1924.]

    Description of the Collection

    Raymond Macdonald Alden (1873-1924) was an Assistant and later Associate Professor of English at Stanford from 1901 to 1911. He returned to Stanford as a full Professor and as department chairperson in 1915, maintaining this position until his death.
    This collection contains a relatively small portion of Alden's personal and professional papers. There are four boxes of incoming correspondence (with a few copies of outgoing letters interfiled), most of which came from English teachers with whom Alden was acquainted at other institutions. There are four boxes of manuscripts and manuscript materials for some of Alden's minor works: essays, articles, lectures, notes for lectures, speeches (including the valedictory address that Alden delivered at the University of Pennsylvania commencement of 1894), several poems, and a number of short stories (including all of those from the collection The Ends of the Earth, publication unknown).
    In addition, the collection contains thirty-four pocket journals in which Alden chronicled the days of the years 1891 through 1924. These diaries note weather conditions, general activities, reading done and writing completed. There are also brief comments on major historical events (San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, outbreak of World War I, etc.), although the journals' purpose appears to have been primarily one of objectively recording factual data.
    This collection also contains 5 issues of the Carbondale Firefly, a privately printed and distributed journal which Alden produced in his childhood.

    Access Terms

    Alden, Raymond Macdonald, 1873-1924.
    Hall, James Parker.
    Herrick, Cheesman A.
    Hill, Frank Ernest, 1888-1969
    Howe, Will David, 1873-1946.
    Jaggard, William, 1868-1947.
    James, Edmund.
    Jones, Harry Stuart Vedder.
    Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931
    Neilson, William A. W.
    Newcomer, A. G.
    Stanford University. Department of English. Faculty.
    Tannenbaum, S. A.
    Thorndike, Ashley Horace, 1871-1933.
    Wilbur, Ray L., (Ray Lyman), 1875-1949
    College teachers.
    English language--Study and teaching.
    Manuscripts (for publication).

    Index of Major Correspondents

    Adams, Reverend Charles Ryan
    Adams, Joseph Q.
    American Book Company
    American Magazine
    Baker, George P.
    Barstow, C.L.
    Basset, L.E.
    Bernays, Albin
    Birmingham Library
    Blodgett, B.G.
    Boston Public Library
    Bovard, George F.
    Boyer, C.V.
    Briggs, L.B.R.
    Burnight, T.S.
    Carruth, W.H.
    Christian Endeavor World
    Clark, F.H.
    Clark, G.A.
    Coolbrith, Ina
    Cooper, Lane
    Cranston, William
    Croll, Morris W.
    The Dial
    Douglas, Lloyd F.
    Duffield & Co. Publishers
    Duniway, Clyde A.
    Earle, Homer P.
    Paul Elder & Co.
    Ensminger, F.P.
    The Evangelist
    Fenning, Frederick A.
    Flugel, Ewald
    Folger, H.C.
    Forbis, John F.
    Ford, J.H.
    Furness, Horace Howard
    Gaw, Allison
    Gayley, C.M.
    Good Housekeeping Magazine
    Gosse, Edmund
    Gray, H.D.
    Greenlaw, Edwin
    Hall, James Parker
    Harper and Brothers Publishers
    Hart, Walter Morris
    Harvard Graduates Magazine
    Hempl, George
    Herrick, Cheesman A.
    Hill, Frank
    Henry Holt & Co.
    Howe, Julia Ward
    Howe, Thomas C.
    Howe, W.D.
    Huston, C.A.
    Illinois, University of
    Jaggard, William
    James, Edmund
    Jessup, Alexander
    Jones, H.S.V.
    Jones, Llewellyn
    Jordan, David Starr
    Kellogg, V.L.
    Kelly, W.H.
    Kemp, D.C.
    Kittredge, G.L.
    Liddell, Mark H.
    The MacMillan Co.
    Manly, John M.
    Markham, Edwin
    McClatchy, V.S.
    Modern Language Reviews
    Monaghan, James
    Montague, A.P.
    Morris, A.R.
    Morrow, William
    Morton, Edward P.
    The Nation
    Neihardt, J.G.
    Neilson, W.A.
    Nevin, Allan
    Newcomer, A.G.
    Nolen, John
    Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
    Noyes, Alfred
    Noyes, George R.
    Omond, T.S.
    Padelford, Frederick M.
    Peers, E. Allison
    Pennsylvania, Associated Clubs
    Pennsylvania, University of
    Pepper, George W.
    Perriman, J.W.
    Perry, Bliss
    Pittman, E.K.
    Presbyterian Publication House
    Remington Typewriter Co.
    Riley, Alice
    Robinson, Fred N.
    Rollins College
    Benjamin H. Sanborn & Co.
    Schelling, Felix E.
    Scott, Foresman, & Co.
    Searles, Colbert
    Seward, S.S., Jr.
    Sherman, Stuart P.
    Skinner, Ada M.
    Smith, Kate E.
    Stoll, Elmer E.
    Tannenbaum, Dr. S.A.
    Tatlock, John S.P.
    The Texas Review
    Thayer, William R.
    Thompson, Karl O.
    Thorndike, Ashley H.
    Tolman, A.H.
    Trumbull, C.G.
    Trumbull, H. Clay
    Van Dyke, Henry
    Villard, Oswald Garrison
    Vincent, John H.
    Weygandt, Charles
    Wilbur, Ray Lyman
    Winans, J.A.
    Woodbridge, Homer
    Woolbert, Charles S.
    Wright, C.F. Tucker