University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Ronald S. Crane Papers

© 2009 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Crane, Ronald S. Papers




0.75 linear feet (2 boxes)


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


Ronald S. Crane, professor and writer. The Ronald S. Crane Papers consist of typescripts and manuscripts of lectures, correspondence, and articles from 1930 to 1968.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


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

Biographical Note

Ronald Salmon Crane was born on January 5, 1886 in Tecumseh Michigan to Theodore Horace Crane and Bricena Chadwick Crane. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1908 and a Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania in 1911.

Crane’s field of interest was English literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He was an instructor in English at Northwestern University from 1911 to 1915. He became an assistant professor there in 1915, and later became an associate professor in 1920. In 1924 Crane began as a professor at the University of Chicago. While at the University, Crane served as Chairman of the Department of English (1936 to 1947) and as Chairman of the Committee on Literature. He started what became know as the “neo-Aristotelian” or “Chicago” School of English Literature. Crane became a Distinguished Service Emeritus Professor in 1951 after 27 years on the University of Chicago faculty.

Crane discovered the complete prose of Oliver Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village,” which he published as New Essays by Oliver Goldsmith (1927). Crane’s other works include the Census of British Newspapers and Periodicals 1620-1800 (1927, with F.B. Kaye), A Collection of English Poems (1932), The Language of Criticism and the Structure of Poetry (1953), Critics and Criticism, Ancient and Modern (1957), and The Idea of the Humanities (1967). From 1926 to 1932 Crane edited the annual bibliography of eighteenth century studies in the Philological Quarterly. From 1930 to 1952 Crane was the editor of Modern Philology.

Crane’s professional memberships included the London Bibliographical Society, the Modern Language Association, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Crane married Julia Fuller. They had two children, Barbara Chadwick and Ronald Fuller.

Ronald S. Crane died in 1967.

Scope Note

The Ronald S. Crane Papers consists of two boxes containing typescripts and manuscripts of lectures, correspondence, and articles from 1930 to 1968. The articles are from 1930 to 1956. The manuscripts and notes are of articles, lectures, books, and reports. The correspondence consists of one folder to and from William R. Keast from 1953 to 1965 and one folder of correspondence with T.S. Elliot from May 1947.

Related Resources

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


Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1

Correspondence to and from William R. Keast, 1953-1965

Box 1   Folder 2

William R. Keast materials, includes Jubilee Dinner "Ode" for R. S. Crane, 1966, typescript of an article on Crane in University of Chicago Magazine, related correspondence, 1966-1968

Box 1   Folder 3

Reports, criticism, lectures, bibliographies, 1937-1957

Box 1   Folder 4

The university study of history, typescripts, ca. 1934

Box 1   Folder 5


  • "On Hypotheses in Literary Interpretation, Apropos of Certain Contemporary Medievalists"
  • "The High Priori Road," M.L.A. 1955 (2 copies)
  • "Definitions of Reading"
  • "Mr. Richards on the Art of Interpretation"
Box 1   Folder 6

Typescripts and a newspaper clipping, 1937-1955

  • "Two Modes of Criticism," 1937
  • "Modes of Literary History in Antiquity"
  • "Formal Aspects of Neo-Classical Criticism"
  • "On Writing the History of English Criticism, 1650-1800"
Box 1   Folder 7

Lectures, typescripts, 1954

Box 1   Folder 8

Alexander Lectures, University of Toronto, 1951-1952

Box 1   Folder 9

"The Languages of Criticism and the Structure of Poetry," manuscript based on Alexander Lectures, 1951-1952

Box 2   Folder 1

"The Languages of Criticism and the Structure of Poetry," parts of the manuscript based on Alexander Lectures, 1951-1952

Box 2   Folder 2


  • "Questions and Answers in the Teaching of Literature," 1953
  • "The Chicago Tradition," 1960
Box 2   Folder 3


  • "English Literature, 1660-1800: A Current Bibliography," reprint, 1930
  • "Anglican Apologetics and the Idea of Progress, 1699-1745," reprint, 1934
  • "Suggestions toward a Genealogy of the 'Man of Feeling,'" reprint, 1934
  • "History vs. Criticism in the Study of Literature," reprint, 1935
  • Review of Goldsmith and His Booksellers, by Elizabeth Eaton Kent, reprint, 1935
  • "Texts and Ideas," reprint, 1941
  • "Montesquieu and British Thought," reprint, 1941
Box 2   Folder 4


  • "Two Essays in Practical Criticism," reprint, 1942
  • "Semantics and the Teaching of Prose Literature," reprint, 1942
  • "Cleanth Brooks; or, The Bankruptcy of Critical Monism," reprint, 1948
  • "I. A. Richards on the Art of Interpretation," reprint, 1949
  • "On Writing the History of English Criticism, 1650-1800," reprint, 1953
  • "Varieties of Dramatic Criticism," reprint, 1956
  • "Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733)," and "Oliver Goldsmith (1730?-1774)," bibliographies, reprints, n.d.
Box 2   Folder 5

T.S. Eliot Letters

  • To Crane from T.S. Eliot, May 15, 1947. Eliot explains why he had to decline an invitation to visit Chicago
  • To T.S. Eliot from Crane, May 22, 1947. Crane responds to the previous letter.
  • To Crane from T.S. Eliot, May 29, 1947. Eliot mentions their mutual friend, Denis Saurat, and thanks Crane for the previous letter.