Guide to the Raymond Macdonald Alden Papers

Daniel Hartwig
Stanford University. Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Stanford, California
October 2010
Copyright © 2015 The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved.


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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
Phone: (650) 725-1022

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:
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

Collection Contents



Box 1, Folder 1

Correspondence, Allin, C.D.

Box 1, Folder 2

_______, Automobile Association

Box 1, Folder 3

_______, A - AM

Box 1, Folder 4

_______, AN - AZ

Box 1, Folder 5

_______, Basset, Lee Emerson

Box 1, Folder 6

_______, Bobbs-Merrill Co.

Box 1, Folder 7

_______, B

Box 1, Folder 8

_______, C

Box 1, Folder 9

_______, D

Box 2, Folder 1

Correspondence, E - F

Box 2, Folder 2

_______, G - HA

Box 2, Folder 3

_______, HE - Holt

Box 2, Folder 4

_______, Houghton Mifflin Co.

Box 2, Folder 5

_______, Howe - HU

Box 2, Folder 6

_______, I - J

Box 2, Folder 7

_______, K - L

Box 3, Folder 1

Correspondence, M

Box 3, Folder 2

_______, N

Box 3, Folder 3

_______, O - P

Box 3, Folder 4

_______, Q - R

Box 3, Folder 5

_______, S - SC

Box 3, Folder 6

_______, Scribners, Charles

Box 3, Folder 7

_______, SE - ST

Box 4, Folder 1

Correspondence, T

Box 4, Folder 2

_______, U - Z

Box 4, Folder 3

_______, Fragementary and Unidentified

Box 4, Folder 4

_______, R. M. Alden to his family

Box 4, Folder 5

Christmas Greetings

Box 4, Folder 6

Alden, Barbara Hitt : letters received on the death of R.M. Alden

Box 4, Folder 7

Alden, Barbara Hitt : Correspondence re: Carnegie Foundation Pension

Box 4, Folder 8

Alden, Barbara Hitt : Correspondence, General

Box 5

Daily Journals, 1891 - 1907


[Professor Alden kept a diary from 1891 to 1924, a period which encompassed his adult life from age 18 until six months prior to his death. The pocket journals include brief entries for each day of the year, recording the weather, the day's primary activities (often citing particular restaurants and nearly always mentioning what the author had read) and occasional notes on historical events (the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the outbreak of World War I, etc.)]
Box 6

Daily Journals, 1908 - 1924

Box 7, Folder 1

Articles: "Studies in Modern Tragedy, I & II"

Box 7, Folder 2

_______: "Studies in Modern Tragedy, III & IV"

Box 7, Folder 3

_______: "Literature and Morality"

Box 7, Folder 4

_______: "Art and Morality", "Types of Modern Tragedy", and "Theory of Poetry".

Box 7, Folder 5

Essays: "Some Thoughts on Victorianism", "The American Professor" (2 versions)

Box 7, Folder 6

_______: "The Late Victorians", "The Punctuation of Shakespeare's Printers", and "The Relation of Verse to the Drama"

Box 7, Folder 7

_______: "Some Notes on So-called Trochaic Meters in English"

Box 7, Folder 8

Lectures: "Hyper-class Consciousness: A Study in Morbid Social Psychology", "Imagination and Reality", "The Pilgrim Consciousness and the Commonwealth", and "The Young Man's Christ"

Box 7, Folder 9

_______: "The Meaning of Christmas", "The Dark Ages and Modern Literature", "Notes on the History of the Doctrine of Divine Justice", and "Palo Alto Presbyterian Church: an Historical Sketch"

Box 7, Folder 10

_______: "The Non-Vocational Student", "Personality and Modern Tragedy", "Literature and Nationalism", and "The Historical Novel"

Box 7, Folder 11

Notes for Assorted Lectures: Shelley, Poetry and Drama, Poetry and Life, Poetry and Music, Poetry and Tragedy, and the Non-Vocational Element in Education

Box 8, Folder 1

Notes for Lectures on Tragedy

Box 8, Folder 2

Notes and Assorted Materials for Lectures on Tragedy

Box 8, Folder 3

Reading Lists and Bibliographies

Box 8, Folder 4

Reminiscence of The University of Pennsylvania Zelosophic Club of 1894 (written in the form of a letter, 1909).

Box 8, Folder 4

Speeches: "Myself, My Work, and My Neighbor" and "The Utilities of Culture" (the letter being the Valedictory Oration for the Penn Class of 1894)

Box 8, Folder 5

"Know Thyself" (A Farce) and Assorted Poems

Box 8, Folder 6

Novel: The Turkish Balloon

Box 8, Folder 7

Short Stories: "The Ills That Tom Was Heir To", and "The Tongue of Sapphira"

Box 8, Folder 8

_______: "Two Balloons and a Girl", "The Encyclopedist", "The Agitator", and "Mr. Wetherbee's Good Time"

Box 8, Folder 9

_______: "The Eligibility of Pilkington", "The Vindication of Uncle Silas", and "A Sprig of Holly"

Box 8, Folder 10

_______: Ends of the Earth - collection's introduction and the title story

Box 8, Folder 11

_______: Ends of the Earth - "Promised Land", "Lake of the Sky", and "Marantha"

Box 9, Folder 1

Short Stories: Ends of the Earth - "Her Other Self", "Filippo", and "San Felice"

Box 9, Folder 2

_______: Ends of the Earth - "The Race for Home", "According to Lucy", and "The Flight"

Box 9, Folder 3

_______: "The Seven Kingdoms and the Hidden Spring", "The Adventures of Pscyhe", and "The Halowe'en School"

Box 9, Folder 4

_______: "An Hour in ST. Batholomew's", "In St. Bartholomew's"

Box 9, Folder 5

_______: "Jo-John and the Ogre", "In a Quaker Library", "Monte Potiri"

Box 9, Folder 6

_______: "The New Rose in the Old Garden", "Mr. Funk's Collision", "The Ideal Man", and "Ad Astra"

Box 9, Folder 7

"Why the Chimes Rang" and Related Ephemera

Box 9, Folder 8

Publishing Agreements, 1900 - 1932

Box 9, Folder 9


Box 9, Folder 10

Bibliography of R.M. Alden's Writings

Box 9, Folder 11

Scrapbook, 1893-1894

Box 10, Folder 1

"Carbondale Firefly"

Box 10, Folder 2

University of Pennsylvania, Alumni Register November 1924

Box 10, Folder 3

_______, "The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle" January 1942

Box 10, Folder 4

_______, "The Record of '94"

Box 10, Folder 5

_______, "Ninety-four : Five Years After"

Box 10, Folder 6

_______, "Ninety-four : Twenty-five Years After"

Box 10, Folder 7

_______, "Ninety-four : Fifty Years After"

Box 10, Folder 8

Obituaries, R.M. Alden

Box 10, Folder 9

"Ajax et Cassandra" Mss. and drawings

Box 10, Folder 10

Anderson, Melville B. The Great Refusal : A War-Poem

Box 10, Folder 11

Alden, Barbara Hitt. Chapparal, Vol. 3 no. 10 (1902) - Annotated Copy

Box 10, Folder 12


Box 11

Scrapbook circa 1888-1910

Box os

Sheet music

Box os