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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Adair Welcker Papers 1885-1918

© 2007 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Welcker, Adair. Papers

Dates:

1885-1918

Size:

1 linear foot (2 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Adair Welcker (1858-1926), author. The Papers contain correspondence and self-published pamphlets and books sent to the University of Chicago Library by Welcker, prolific writer and frequent target of author and journalist Ambrose Bierce.

Information on Use

Access

No restrictions. Open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Welcker, Adair. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Adair Welcker was the son of US and Confederate military officer, lawyer, public official and professor of mathematics, William Thomas Welcker, and Katy Adair. According to an autobiographical manuscript sent by Welcker to the University of Chicago Library "to be preserved by that institution as carefully as it would any papyrus from Egypt," the author was born in Troy, New York, in 1858, and educated in the east and in California. Welcker identified himself as a "lawyer, scientist and journalist" and is listed in the 1920 US census as a lawyer residing in Berkeley, California. He died in 1926.

Welcker was the author of many plays, poems and other texts. Although he was unable to find a commercial publisher for his works, Welcker printed his volumes at his own expense, and distributed them widely to universities, libraries and publications around the world. His persistence was rewarded with occasional short reviews in journals and newspapers, many expressing scorn, bemusement, or simple bewilderment, but all mined by Welcker for quotation in future works.

Welcker was a regular target of author Ambrose Bierce, appearing in The Devil's Dictionary, Black Beetles in Amber, and other works, as an exemplar of dubious literary merit and inflated self regard.

Scope Note

The Adair Welcker Papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, pamphlets and books sent to the University of Chicago by Welcker.

Welcker's works were self-published, often in multiple editions, and distributed by the author to libraries and publications around the world. All of the publications in this collection contain tipped in correspondence and/or manuscript additions and emendations. Book of Generation, Understanding and Louis XVI are hand-written texts, which, the author notes, were produced in multiple copies and distributed as widely as their printed counterparts.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1-2

Correspondence, undated

Box 1   Folder 3

The After-Armageddon Prayer, Berkeley, 1916 (3 copies)

Box 1   Folder 4

A Dream of Realms Beyond Us, 3rd separate American edition, San Francisco: Cubery and Company, Book and Job Printers, 1902

Box 1   Folder 5

A Dream of Realms Beyond Us, 4th separate American edition, San Francisco, 1903

Box 1   Folder 6

A Dream of Realms Beyond Us, 5th separate American edition, San Francisco, 1903

Box 1   Folder 7

A Dream of Realms Beyond Us, 8th separate American edition, San Francisco, 1903

Box 1   Folder 8

Book of Generation and Other Poems, manuscript, 190?

Box 1   Folder 9

Flavia, Berkeley, 1885

Box 1   Folder 10

For People Who Laugh: Showing How, Through Woman, Came Laughter Into the World, 1904

Box 1   Folder 11

For People Who Laugh: Showing How, Through Woman, Came Laughter Into the World, 1904

Box 1   Folder 12

How a Dead Man was Drawn from his Tomb, and Back Again to Life, 1914

Box 2   Folder 1

Louis XVI, manuscript, 1893

Box 2   Folder 2

The One Kingdom to Come, 1918

Box 2   Folder 3

People (Thither coming out of a region wherein disasters are met as if they were a jest), Whom You May Meet at the Fair, Berkeley, 1913

Box 2   Folder 4

Romer, King of Norway and Other Dramas, Sacramento, 1885

Box 2   Folder 5

Understanding: For the Healing of the National that have, by their Politicians been made sick, manuscript, 1919