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Register of the Lampson (Robin) Collection, 1868-1975
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Lampson (Robin) Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1868-1975
    Collection number: Mss56
    Creator: Robin Lampson
    Extent: 3.5 linear ft.
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Lampson (Robin) Collection, Mss56, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

    Access Points

    personal name

    Lampson, Robin (1900-1978)
    Lampson, Margaret Fraser
    Sharon, Sarah Althea Hill (1853-1937)
    Sharon, William (1821-1885)
    Terry, David Smith (1823-1889)
    Gorgas, William Crawford (1854-1920)
    Hewes, David (1822-1915)
    Olmsted, Frederick Law (1822-1903)
    London, Jack (1876-1916)

    corporate name

    University of California, Berkeley -Curriculum


    Poets, American -California -Berkeley
    Gold mines and mining -Poetry
    Yellow fever -Poetry
    California -Poetry
    Historical poetry, American -California


    Robin Lampson (1900-1978) is best remembered for his verse novels, "Laughter out of the ground" (1936)--an epic of the California Gold Rush--and "Death loses a pair of wings" (1939)--the tale of Dr. William Gorgas' victory over yellow fever. In the years immediately following World War I, Lampson studied English and Russian at Stanford University. In 1922 he was sent to Russia with the American Relief Administration. There he administered the distribution of food relief in the vicinity of Tashkent for about two years. Following his return to the United States, Lampson worked at a variety of jobs, eventually returning to college at the University of California, where he received an A.B. degree in 1932. From this date, his poetry began appearing with some frequency in literary journals. As a poet, Lampson was a neo-classicist, preferring rhyming sonnet structures to free verse. He invented a sonnet type that borrowed rhyme-schemes from Renaissance Italian terza rima.
    Following the publication of his best-selling "Laughter out of the ground," Lampson wrote literary criticism and produced radio programs for San Francisco Bay area outlets. He also became an adjunct English instructor at the University of California (1937-1941). During these years he researched and wrote most of his extended works on themes drawn from California history, including The Mending of a Continent (1937) and San Francisco Souvenir (1938). He seems to have contemplated a work on the William Sharon-Althea Hill relationship, although no such poem was ever completed. Beginning in the 1930s Lampson also operated a stamp shop in Richmond, California.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists of: drafts of works; literary reviews, by and about Robin Lampson; clippings describing Lampson's activities; bulletins & hand-outs describing his teaching activities; professional and personal correspondence; research materials on Sharon-Hill, Frederick Law Olmsted and the landscaping of the University of California, the Golden Spike, Jack London and yellow fever; as well as photographs, some business papers and memorabilia.