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Guide to the John R. Theobald Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: John R. Theobald Collection
    Dates: 1920-1989
    Identification: MS-0359
    Creator: Theobald, John R., 1903-1989
    Physical Description: 2.17 linear ft
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
    5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
    San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
    URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
    Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
    Phone: 619-594-6791

    Biographical Information:

    John R. Theobald was born September 5, 1903 in India where his parents were doing missionary work. He was sent to England at age 6 for schooling. He later attended Oxford University, graduating in 1925 with honors in English. He was also the recipient of the England Fellowship to Union Seminary in New York where he received a degree in theology in 1929. Dr. Theobald earned his doctorate in 1943 at the University of Iowa. He taught at Queens University in Canada, Amherst, Trinity College, Grinnell College, and San Diego State University. He also worked as a research associate in the Division of War Research at the University of California, San Diego.
    Dr. Theobald came to San Diego State University in 1946 as an associate professor in the English department. He later became a full professor and retired in 1969 as professor emeritus. While at San Diego State University, Dr. Theobald gave numerous recitals and addresses on National Public Radio. He wrote a series of radio talks called The Nine Ultimate Questions that covered subjects from man to God and beauty and peace. He also did a fourteen part series on poetry and poets called The Spoken Word.
    Dr. Theobald was also a respected author. His works include: The Earthquake and Other Poems, An Oxford Odyssey, A Second Light, Planetsong, and Introducing Poetry. His translations of French poetry were published in Midi-Noon, A Work by Leconte De Lisle, The Lost Wine: Seven Centuries of Lyric French Poetry Into English Lyrical Poetry.
    Dr. Theobald died in December of 1989.

    Access Terms

    This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Corporate Name:

    San Diego State University -- Faculty -- Biography -- Sources

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Personal Papers

    Personal Name:

    Lawrence, D. H. (David Herbert), 1885-1930 -- Criticism and interpretation
    Theobald, John Richmond -- Archives


    German poetry -- Translations into English

    Topical Term:

    American literature -- 20th century -- Sources
    Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography -- Sources

    Administrative Information

    Conditions Governing Use:

    The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    This collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation:

    Identification of item, folder title, box number, John R. Theobald Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    I. Personal Files
    II. Professional Files

    Scope and Contents

    The John R. Theobald Collection documents Theobald's writings.  The collection dates from the 1920s to 1989 with many materials undated.  The collection has been divided into two series: Professional and Personal.
    The Professional series documents Theobald's numerous radio addresses, poetry translations, and publications from 1926-1989, with some undated materials.  Included in this series is the script for Theobald's Nine Ultimate Questions radio address; scripts for various other radio talks given in San Diego; gallery proofs, introduction, and publicity for his book The Lost Wine: Seven Centuries of Lyric French Poetry Into English Lyrical Poetry; manuscripts for some of his other works; poems in German translated into English by Theobald; and original poems.  Also included in this series is correspondence between Theobald and Ezra Pound.  There is no filing order.
    The Personal series includes Theobald's memoirs, correspondence, poems (published and unpublished), essays, his thesis from Union Seminary on Benedetto Croce, and his PhD thesis on D.H. Lawrence.  This series also includes a group photo of Theobald's class at Mansfield College in 1922.  There is no filing order. The series dates from the 1920s to 1990, with some undated materials.  There is no filing order.