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Guide to the Edward Dahlberg Papers M1551
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Other Finding Aids
  • Acquisition Information
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation

  • Title: Edward Dahlberg Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M1551
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 8.0 Linear feet 12 manuscript boxes, 3 flat boxes
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1960-1977
    Date (inclusive): Circa 1960-1977
    Abstract: The papers document Dahlberg's writing career and personal life during the 1960s and 1970s.
    Physical Location: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    creator: Dahlberg, Edward, 1900-1977.

    Other Finding Aids

    Irving Rosenthal papers, M1550

    Acquisition Information

    Accession number: 2006-325 This collection was purchased by Stanford University, Special Collections in December 2006.


    The collection is arranged in Five series:
    Series I. Personal
    Series II. Correspondence
    Series III. Professional
    Series IV. Photographs
    Series V. Clippings

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains correspondence, typescripts, photographs, periodicals, clippings, and ephemera. Included in the collection are typescripts for The Olive of Minerva; or, The Comedy of a Cuckold, (1976) and typescripts for the Crowell anthology, Bottom Dogs; From Flushing to Calvary; Those who Perish: and Hitherto Unpublished and Uncollected Works (1976). Other materials in the collection include unpublished typescript portions of The Carnal Myth (1968), The Confessions of Edward Dahlberg (1971), and extensive notes for miscellaneous works. The collection also contains incoming correspondence from a variety of prominent literary figures, as well as a few outgoing letters and drafts of letters by Dahlberg.


    Edward Dahlberg, American writer of fiction, poetry, and criticism, was born in Boston in 1900. After a tumultuous early childhood, he was placed by his mother in the Jewish Orphan Asylum in Cleveland, where he remained until 1917. Dahlberg then joined the army and later worked as a day laborer while wandering the American West. In 1921, he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in philosophy and anthropology, before transferring to Columbia University to complete his degree.
    Dahlberg moved to Europe in 1926 and became part of the expatriate group of American writers living in Paris. In 1929, he published his first novel, Bottom Dogs, based on his childhood experiences at the orphanage and his travels in the American West. After the publication of Bottom Dogs, Dahlberg returned to the United States and wrote a number of other works that reflected his early life, including From Flushing to Calvary (1932) and Those Who Perish (1934).
    For a number of years, Dahlberg devoted himself to literary study. His extensive readings of the works of Dante, Shakespeare, Thoreau, and many others, resulted in a writing style quite different from the social realism that characterized his earlier writing. Dahlberg's new style, one rich in biblical and classical allusions, first appeared in Do These Bones Live (1941), a collection of essays on American Literature.
    During most of the 1940s and 1950s, Dahlberg wrote little, but during the 1960s and 1970s, he became quite prolific and further refined his unique style through the publication of poetry, autobiographical works, fiction, and criticism. Dahlberg died in Santa Barbara, California in 1977.


    The collection is open for research.

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    Edward Dahlberg papers, M1551. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Dahlberg, Edward, 1900-1977.
    American literatue--20th century