Norman Holmes Pearson


Norman Holmes Pearson
Portrait of Prof. Norman Holmes Pearson by Deane Keller.

Norman Holmes Pearson (April 13, 1909 – November 5, 1975) was an American academic, author, editor, critic, archivist and prominent figures in establishing American studies as an academic discipline after the end of the Second World War.

Contents

Career

Pearson, worked for the Office of Strategic Services in London during World War II, with the mission of fighting Nazi Germany. Returning to Yale he headed the new American studies program, in which scholarship quickly became an instrument of promoting liberty. Popular among undergraduates, the program sought to instruct them in the fundamentals of American civilization and thereby instill a sense of nationalism and national purpose.[1] Also during the 1940s and 1950s, Wyoming millionaire William R. Coe made large contributions to the American studies programs at Yale and at the University of Wyoming. Coe was concerned to celebrate the 'values' of the Western United States in order to meet the 'threat of communism.'[2] The American studies program thus reflected the worldwide anti-Communist ideological struggle.

At Yale University, he was a Professor of English and American Studies.[3] He was twice a Guggenheim fellow, in 1948 and 1956.[4]

Archivist

Pearson worked with Donald C. Gallup to redirect the focus of the Yale Collection of American Literature, emphasizing archival collections of twentieth-century writers. It is through the extended concept of “archives” that the collection has acquired its extra-literary materials such as photographs, works of art, and memorabilia.[5]

Honors

Selected works

Pearson's prolific output encompassed 164 works in 246 publications in 4 languages and 10,656 library holdings.[7]

The most widely held works by Pearson include:

  • The Complete Novels and Selected Tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Nathaniel Hawthorne (ed. Pearson), 4 editions published between 1937 and 1965 in English and held by 1,954 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • The Oxford Anthology of American Literature (ed. Pearson), 11 editions published between 1938 and 1963 in English and held by 1,080 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • End to Torment: a Memoir of Ezra Pound by H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)(ed. Pearson), 2 editions published between 1979 and 1980 in English and held by 1,068 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • Between History & Poetry the Letters of H.D. & Norman Holmes Pearson by H. D. (ed. Pearson), 4 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 949 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • The Letters by Nathaniel Hawthorne (ed. Person), in English and held by 565 libraries worldwide
  • Decade; a Collection of Poems from the First Ten Years of the Wesleyan Poetry Program (ed. Pearson), 1 edition published in 1969 in English and held by 516 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • The Portable Romantic Poets (ed. Pearson), 3 editions published between 1977 and 2006 in English and held by 209 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • Poets of the English Language (eds W. H. Auden & Pearson), 6 editions published between 1950 and 1977 in English and held by 1,576 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • Restoration and Augustan Poets: Milton to Goldsmith (eds W. H. Auden & Pearson), 4 editions published between 1950 and 1977 in English and held by 201 libraries worldwide.[7]
  • Victorian and Edwardian Poets: Tennyson to Yeats (eds. W. H. Auden & Pearson), 3 editions published between 1950 and 1977 in English and held by 196 libraries worldwide.[7]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Michael Holzman, "The Ideological Origins of American Studies at Yale," American Studies 40:2 (Summer 1999): 71-99
  2. ^ Liza Nicholas, "Wyoming as America: Celebrations, a Museum, and Yale," American Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sep., 2002), pp. 437-465 in JSTOR
  3. ^ Kopley, Emily. "Art for the Wrong Reason: Paintings by Poets," The New Journal. December 2004.
  4. ^ Winks, Robin W. (1996). Cloak & Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 1939-1961,. p. 321.
  5. ^ Willis, Patricia C. "Collection of American Literature," Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. February 11, 2005.
  6. ^ a b c d H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) et al. (1997). Between History and Poetry: the Letters of H.D. and Norman Holmes Pearson, p. 55; Winks, p. 321.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j WorldCat Identities: Norman Holmes Pearson

References

Archival resources

External links


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