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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the University of Chicago Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Records 1929-1990

© 2016 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

University of Chicago. Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Records

Dates:

1929-1990

Size:

4 linear feet (6 boxes)

Repository:

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

Abstract:

Founded in 1890, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers programs in French, Italian, and Hispanic/Luso-Brazilian literatures as well as Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. This collection largely consists of administrative materials and departmental correspondence as well as some student materials and a series of photographic portraits both of professors in the department and prominent international scholars with whom the department had contact.

Information on Use

Access

Boxes 1-3 are open and available for research. Series VIII, comprising Boxes 4-6, is closed for research. Box 4 is restricted for thirty years from date of record creation, Box 5 is restricted for fifty years, and Box 6 is restricted for eighty years.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: University of Chicago. Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Historical Note

Founded in 1890, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures is as old as the University of Chicago itself, offering programs in French, Italian, and Hispanic/Luso-Brazilian literatures as well as Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. The early history of the department reflects the scholarship of its times, placing a strong emphasis on philology, historical linguistics, and textual criticism. Early on, the quarter system allowed preeminent scholars from around the world to visit the department, and signed photographs of such figures as Alfred Jeanroy, Paul Valéry, and Julian Green can be found in this collection (Series VII, Box 3).

Early department chairs included William I. Knapp, Karl Pietsch, and William A. Nitze. Pierre Robert Vigneron, professor of French from 1924 and Chair from 1951 until his retirement in 1954, would become well known as a representative of the “French” reaction against philological historicism with his introduction to American academia of the influential system of explication de texte. Bernard Weinberg, department chair from 1958 to 1967, was a key theorist and practitioner of the “Chicago School” of literary criticism and a beloved member of the department. It was under his chairmanship that prominent scholars (though not all adherents of this school) such as Paolo Cherchi and Peter Dembowski (both medievalists), George Haley (a scholar of the Spanish Golden Age), Bruce Morrissette (an authority on Robbe-Grillet), and the novelist Francisco Ayala were brought to the department.

Scope Note

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Records contains extensive correspondence from the offices of Weinberg and Morrissette (who succeeded Weinberg as chair), as well as Haley, ranging from personal greetings, to minor correspondence with famous international writers and scholars (such as Jorge Luis Borges and Roland Barthes), to day-to-day office matters. Also included are extensive administrative materials and correspondences from the chairmanship of Rebecca West from 1987 to 1990.

The collection is organized into eight series: Series I, General Administrative; Series II, Correspondence; Series III, Students; Series IV, Named Fellowships; Series V, Newsletters; Series VI, Audio-Visual; Series VII, Oversize; and Series VIII, Restricted.

Series I, General Administrative, contains correspondence and documentation related to departmental administrative procedures such as faculty teaching loads and assignments, graduate student lectureships, College course schedules and allocations, and correspondence with the Humanities Division, and materials related to department meetings. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series II, Correspondence, consists of both internal and external departmental correspondence, mostly from the offices of department chairs and acting chairs, including personal, academic, general office materials, and administrative correspondence of a less formal manner than those materials found in Series I. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series III, Students, contains unevaluated work by students. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series IV, Named Fellowships, contains materials related to the funding and arrangement of named fellowship funds hosted by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series V, Newsletters, contains departmental and divisional newsletters. This series is arranged chronologically.

Series VI, Audio-Visual, contains photographic portraits of professors in or associated with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Series VII, Oversize, contains an illustration of a mother and child, a parodic alternative University of Chicago crest, and a series of photographic portraits of professors and chairs of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures as well as signed photographs of other international scholars (presumably visitors of the department).

Series VIII, Restricted, contains restricted materials from Series I, II, and IV and is arranged as such: Box 4 is restricted for 30 years from date of record creation, Box 5 is restricted for 50 years, and Box 6 is restricted for 80 years.

Related Resources

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

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

Altrocchi, Rudolph. Papers

Brauer, Jerald. Papers

Cherchi, Paulo. Papers

Fussler, Herman Howe. Papers

Gran Conquista de Ultramar, La. Materials

Lowinsky, Edward E. Papers

Nitze, William A. Papers

Thomson, Virgil. Papers

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: General Administrative

Box 1    Folder 1

Lecture/Lectureship Correspondence – Paulo Cherchi, 1986

Box 1    Folder 2

Registrar, College, and Graduate Student Materials, 1987-1988

Box 1    Folder 3

Calls for Presentation/Application, 1987-1988

Box 1    Folder 4

Administrative Materials -- Courses and Advising, circa 1987-1990

Box 1    Folder 5

Faculty Affairs, Graduate Student Lectureships, 1989-1990

Series II: Departmental Correspondence

Box 1   Folder 6

Letter to Henry Robinson, 1934

Box 1   Folder 7

Unsorted Department Correspondence – Haley, Weinberg, Morrissette, 1966

Box 1   Folder 8

Department Correspondence, July-September 1967

Box 1   Folder 9

Department Correspondence, October-December 1967

Box 2   Folder 1

Department Correspondence, 1969-1973

Box 2   Folder 2

Bruce Morrissette Correspondence [1/2], June 1967-April 1968

Box 2   Folder 3

Bruce Morrissette Correspondence [2/2], 1974-1975

Box 2   Folder 4

Humanities Open House, 1987

Box 2   Folder 5

RLL Workshop, Visiting Professor Materials, 1987-1988

Box 2   Folder 6

Suzanne Noffke Correspondence, 1989

Series III: Students

Box 2   Folder 7

Marie MacNee Annotated Bibliography, 1980

Box 2   Folder 8

“Persuasion through Poetry” – Beth Joan Vinkler Dissertation Proposal, 9 December 1987

Series IV: Named Fellowships

Box 2    Folder 9

Mary Elizabeth Sibley Fellowship Materials, 1972

Series V: Newsletters

Box 2   Folder 10

Department Newsletter, February 1929

Box 2   Folder 11

Division of Humanities Newsletter, Spring 1987

Series VI: Audio-Visual

Box 2    Folder 12

Portrait of Ruth House Webber, undated

Box 2    Folder 13

Unidentified Portrait, undated

Box 2    Folder 14

Portrait of Wells F. Chamberlain, undated

Box 2    Folder 15

Portrait of Ernest Hatch Wilkins, undated

Series VII: Oversize

Box 3    Folder 1

“Mother Reading to Child,” 1909

Box 3    Folder 2

Alternative University Crest with Squirrel and Grass, undated

Box 3    Folder 3

Portrait of Karl Pietsch, undated

Box 3    Folder 4

Unidentified Portrait, undated

Box 3    Folder 5

Portrait of Bernard Weinberg, undated

Box 3    Folder 6

Portrait of Alfred Jeanroy, undated

Box 3    Folder 7

Portrait of Julian Green, undated

Box 3    Folder 8

Portrait of Paul Valéry, undated

Box 3    Folder 9

Portrait of James Dowden Bruner, circa 1895-1899

Box 3    Folder 10

Portrait of William Ireland Knapp, circa 1892-1894

Box 3    Folder 11

Portrait of Henry de Montherlant, undated

Box 3    Folder 12

Portrait of Ferdinand Brunot, undated

Box 3    Folder 13

Unidentified Portrait, with quote from St. Bernard, undated

Box 3    Folder 14

Portrait of Edmond Faral, undated

Box 3    Folder 15

Unidentified Portrait, undated

Box 3    Folder 16

Portrait of Rudolph Altrocchi, circa 1915-1927

Series VIII: Restricted

Box 4   Folder 1

General Administrative – Department Meetings [1/2], 1986-1988

Box 4   Folder 2

General Administrative – Department Meetings [2/2], 1988-1989

Box 4   Folder 3

Correspondence – Recommendations, 1967-1975

Box 5    Folder 1

General Administrative – Faculty Affairs, Graduate Student Lectureships, 1982-1988

Box 5    Folder 2

General Administrative – Italian Lecturers, 1987-1988

Box 5    Folder 3

General Administrative – Lectureships and Staffing, 1988-1990

Box 5    Folder 4

General Administrative – Applications for Lecturers, Lectors, 1989-1990

Box 5    Folder 5

Correspondence – Evaluations (non-student) and Staffing, 1967-1975

Box 5    Folder 6

Named Fellowships – Bernard Weinberg Fellowship Fund Donations and Correspondence, 1974

Box 6    Folder 1

General Administrative – Graduate Student Lectureship Applications, 1990

Box 6    Folder 2

Correspondence – Student Recommendations and Evaluations, 1966-1974

Box 6    Folder 3

Correspondence – Student Financial Aid, 1987